Alliance of American Football debuts with strong ratings

Orlando Apollos rout Atlanta in AAF debut, 40-6

Poll: Which AAF team are Colts fans supporting?

The Alliance of American Football, a new professional football league that aims to serve as a "complement" to the NFL, made its debut Saturday night. Apollos head coach Steve Spurrier spoke about the crowd after the game.

After watching the first game of the Alliance of American Football, it's hard to not be excited.

Only time will tell if the league will stick around or work well over time. Orlando's first play from scrimmage was a deep post over the middle of the field. "Now it's just about going out and playing".

If you get a chance to catch a game, you should. Spurrier said. "They saw enough good plays after the first quarter or so, and we finally put on a little bit of a show".

Early in the first quarter Saturday, San Antonio Commanders linebacker Shaan Washington blindsided Mike Bercovici with an eye-popping hit that sent the San Diego Fleet quarterback's helmet flying. Those extra practice and game reps could make plenty of the AAF (and, next year, XFL) players better suited to compete with guys who otherwise would keep National Football League jobs. Sports TV Ratings said the first game on CBS ‏averaged 2.913 million viewers between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. The CBS broadcast out-rated ABC's Saturday night broadcast of the Rockets vs. Thunder. So were the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

Salt Lake Stallions at Arizona Hotshots8 p.m. ET on NFL Network - Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Should they make it in for the score, the team must also go for a two-point conversion.

It was a night of balance as the Apollos looked strong holding Atlanta to just six points, both field goals and caused four turnovers.

Offensively, Orlando was led by Gilbert who completed 15-25 passes for 227 yards and two touchdown passes. And games can end in a tie. At all. There will still be a coin toss, with the victor deciding whether to receive or defer, but the team that receives the ball will simply send out its offense to start from their own 25-yard line. Which means that onside kicks are not allowed.

Other teams have more players with Bears connections right now, but the Hotshots roster has former third-round pick Will Sutton, who last played in Chicago in 2016.

Also joining the AAF from the NFL are recent quarterbacks Christian Hackenburg, who had a brief stint with the New York Jets, and Scott Tolzien, a journeyman who found spots on a plethora of teams before being cut out of the league.

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