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AAF's Week 2 Saturday Game Previews

Photo Courtesy of Pat Pryor

Salt Lake Stallions (0-1) vs. Birmingham Iron (1-0)


Week Two of the inaugural AAF season kicks off when the Birmingham Iron plays host to the Salt Lake Stallions on February 16, 2019, at Legion Field. The Iron is coming off one of the best defensive performance in franchise history with a 26-0 shutout of the Memphis Express. That said, the question remains whether the team can continue their strong defensive performance in week 2 against the Stallions. Running back Trent Richardson carried the offense with two late touchdowns last week. However, the offense struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Iron will need to prove in this game that they can provide the fans in Birmingham, Al with an offensive attack now that the defense has shown signs of promise.

The Salt Lake Stallions come to Birmingham looking for their first win of the season after losing to Arizona 38-22 last week. The Stallions managed to find their offense late; however, it was not enough. Against Birmingham, the team will need to get off to a fast start and play better on the defensive side of the ball. The defense allowed 38 points against Arizona, which was the second-highest total of the week. If the defense can keep the Iron from scoring, Salt Lake will have a great chance to improve.

Players to watch

QB Luis Perez (BI)

RB Trent Richardson (BI)

LB Jonathan Massaquoi (BI)

RB Terrell Newby (SL)

RB Brandon Oliver (SL)

WR Jordan Leslie (SL)

Keys to the game

Salt Lake Stallions

Establish the Run

Force Turnovers

Red-zone Defense

Birmingham Iron

Red-zone Offense

Pressure the QB

Win the Line of Scrimmage

Top 5 Fantasy Players

Trent Richardson RB (BI)

Luis Perez QB (BI)

Brandon Oliver RB (SL)

Quan Bray (BI)

Jordan Leslie (SL)


The Iron’s defense will continue to dominate, producing their second solid performance with a couple late interceptions to boost their team to victory. That said, this game will be tight because the Iron is searching for their identity on offense.

Final Score: Birmingham 18, Salt Lake 9

Written by: Andrae’ Perry

Arizona Hotshots (1-0) vs. Memphis Express (0-1)


The Arizona Hotshots are coming into Memphis to take on the Express on NFL Network at 8p/7c. These are two teams that had completely different experiences in their season opener last week. The Express got “goose egged” in Birmingham and will need to find a spark in their offense in front of their home crowd to stand a chance against an Arizona offense that lit up the scoreboard the week before. Express QB Christian Hackenberg will get a second chance after an abysmal performance against Birmingham. Meanwhile, the Hotshots offense established themselves as a powerhouse in the AAF right out of the gates with a 38-point performance against the Salt Lake City Stallions, and will hope to bring that momentum with them into Week Two.

Players to watch

Although the Express offense left a lot to be desired, their defense looked quite formidable and will hope to be a handful for the Arizona offense. The most exciting matchup in this game might be Hotshots WR Rashad Ross against Express CB Channing Stribling. Ross showed off his speed and big play ability in Arizona last week with 5 catches for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Channing is big physical corner who showed off his skills in pass protection and run stopping in week 1, recording both a TFL and a PD. Ross will need to be on top his game if he wants to put a repeat performance.

The Stallions only managed 4 QB hits against the Arizona Hotshots last week, and Hotshots QB Walford turned that into an incredible four touchdown day. If the Express want to be successful, they will need to get to Walford early, possessing the defensive line to do so. They have a great rotation of pass rushers led by DE Anthony Johnson and DE Corey Vereen, who both hit Iron QB Luis Perez twice.

The Memphis Express show off the depth at DE with JaMichael Winston and Sam Montgomery, who both came out of Birmingham with a QB hit. The Memphis Express also show off an adequate interior pass rush from DT Montori Hughes and Julius Warmsley, who both landed home with a sack on the Iron QB in week 1. Wolford’s offensive line will need to be ready for a slugfest in the trenches from start to finish if they hope to keep their quarterback upright.

Keys to the game

Arizona Hotshots

Solid pass protection

LB Steven Johnson and Company containing the Express running backs

Get QB Hackenberg uncomfortable early

Memphis Express

Positive first down plays.

Must get pressure on John Walford

Get Fabian Guerra and Pig Howard in space

Top 5 Fantasy Players

John Walford QB (ARI)

Rashad Ross WR (ARI)

Zac Stacy RB (MEM)

Jhurell Pressley RB (ARI)

Fabian Guerra WR (MEM)


Although the Memphis defense will show up fired up with the home crowd behind them, the Arizona offense is too potent and will eventually break through in the second half. I do think the Express will correct some problems on their offense and put up points this week, but unless the Express offense can fix a lot of issues in one week of practice, they will not be able to keep up. The game will be close late into the third quarter, but Arizona pulls away towards the end and leaves Memphis with a 2-0 record.

Final Score: Arizona 24, Memphis 15

Written by: David Connors



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