Birmingham Iron making case as best team in Alliance of American Football

Birmingham Iron making case as best team in Alliance of American Football
Trent Richardson of the Birmingham Iron poses for a photo with his teammates after one of his three touchdowns against the Atlanta Legends on Sunday. (Logan Riely/AAF/Getty Images)

Birmingham Iron safety Max Redfield was appalled when he saw the initial Vegas odds.

Heading into the inaugural season of The Alliance of American Football, the Iron were given the longest odds to win the championship.

Birmingham Iron quarterback Luis Perez attempts a pass against the Atlanta Legends during the second quarter of Sunday’s game. The Iron has defied preseason odds and is one of only two undefeated teams in the Alliance of American football after three weeks of play. (Logan Riely/AAF/Getty Images)

Redfield, the team and the coaches all stored it away as bulletin-board material.

“As far as the odds and all that, all I wanted to do when I saw the odds was bet on (the Iron) because I knew what our team had,” Redfield said with a smirk. “Fifteen to one is downright disrespectful to the talent we have on this team. We know that. We knew the odds going into it, and it added a little bit more motivation.

“When you have all of that talent and you have the coaches that dial up good schemes, you don’t want to give us any motivation because we’ll come out fired up and ready to make it happen.”

Through Redfield’s comments and the Iron’s play each time out, it’s clear the entire team and coaching staff have something to prove. The Iron are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, and continue to make their case as the top team in The Alliance.

The Iron, who improved to 3-0 after a 28-12 win over the Atlanta Legends on Sunday, return home this Sunday when they host the San Antonio Commanders. The first snap is scheduled for 3 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. Purchase tickets here.

Only the Iron and the Orlando Apollos remain undefeated through three weeks.

The Arizona Hotshots, who were favored to win the title before the season began, are 2-1.

The updated odds give the Iron the second-best shot of winning the title behind the Hotshots, via MyBookie.

A case can be made that the Iron’s defense has been the strongest individual unit in The Alliance. As a team, the Iron has forced eight turnovers (five interceptions, three fumble recoveries) on defense and another on special teams (fumble recovery).

What’s more, the Iron is allowing just seven points per game, by far the best mark in The Alliance. Opponents have scored only two touchdowns against the Iron, one coming after a special teams turnover against Salt Lake in Week 2 and the other by Atlanta in garbage time on Sunday.

Trent Richardson of the Birmingham Iron celebrates a touchdown run against the Atlanta Legends during the first quarter of Sunday’s game. It was one of three touchdowns Richardson scored during the game, which the Iron won 28-12. (Todd Kirkland/AAF/Getty Images)

Offensively, the Iron is seemingly unstoppable in goal-to-go situations because of Trent Richardson’s physical running style. Richardson found the end zone three times on Sunday to push his season total to six rushing touchdowns.

Alliance co-founder/Head of Football Bill Polian witnessed what Richardson can do to an opposing defense firsthand on Sunday.

At any level of football, Polian believes it takes an offense five weeks before it is fully clicking, which is especially apparent in the red zone once the field shrinks. Having Richardson has negated some of that for the Iron.

“Richardson, man, is he a weapon in the red zone,” Polian said with a smile. “He’s a bulldozer in there.”

In the first head coaching opportunity of his career, Tim Lewis has the Iron playing at a high level in all phases, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Polian.

“Nothing but positives, obviously,” Polian said of what he’s seen from Lewis. “When you’re 3-0, you’re doing a great job. His defense is close to stifling. They play really good football. … Tim is doing a great job, as we thought he would.”

Marq Burnett covers the Birmingham Iron for The Alliance of American Football. Follow him on Twitter: @Marq_Burnett.

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