Week 7 AAF Sunday Game Previews


Photo Courtesy of Pat Pryor

San Diego Fleet (3-3) at Arizona Hotshots (3-3)


Where to Watch: CBS Sports Network


Preview

This Week 7 matchup features two teams that are looking to get back to a winning record. It will be an interesting game to watch as this is the first time the Hotshots and Fleet will face off against each other. With that being said, no one truly knows how they will match up. Arizona is coming into this week off a solid win over the Orlando Apollos while the Fleet is coming off a very close loss to the Birmingham Iron. I truly believe this will be one of the closer games this week and could very well come down to the final possession.


Players to watch

For Arizona, they will be relying on the arm of quarterback John Wolford to lead them to victory in this one. Wolford is currently third in the league in passing and will be relying on a big game from top target Rashad Ross, who is second in the league in receiving yards. In order to keep Wolford in check, the Fleet will be looking for defensive end Damontre Moore, who is third in the league in sacks, to apply some pressure. On the opposite side, San Diego has relied heavily on the run this year. They will look for running back Ja’Quan Gardner to have another big game this week. Gardner is currently third in the league in rushing yards.


Keys to the game

San Diego Fleet

  • Get Gardner going early

  • Put pressure on Wolford

  • Create turnovers


Arizona Hotshots

  • Stop the run

  • Protect Wolford

  • Get out to an early lead


Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • John Wolford, QB (ARI)

  • Rashad Ross, WR (ARI)

  • Ja’Quan Gardner, RB (SD)

  • Jhurell Pressley, RB (ARI)

  • Dontez Ford, WR (SD)


Prediction

I see this game being very back-and-forth for the most part. San Diego’s defense will keep them in the game through three quarters. However, I see Arizona’s passing attack taking over in the fourth quarter. Wolford for a throw for at least a pair of touchdown, including a late one to seal the win. I have Arizona winning by a couple of scores but as I mentioned, I could still see it coming down to the wire if the Fleet can get some offensive production.

Final Score: Hotshots 28, Fleet 17


Written by: Ryan Lippert



Birmingham Iron (4-2) at Memphis Express (1-5)


Where to Watch: NFL Network


Preview

The Memphis Express are coming off a game where they were dominated by another 1-4 team. They were beaten by 3 touchdowns, furthermore, they are about to face the Iron who are tied 2nd best record in the AAF. This would seem like a game that is simply not watchable, and yet on Sunday Night, in the heart of the NCAA Tournament, millions will tune in to see former Texas A&M and recently signed Express Johnny ”money” Manziel take his first snaps. The Birmingham Iron is coming off a huge win in San Diego against the Fleet to thrust into 1 game out from the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Iron, lead by HC Tim Lewis, hope to go on the road again and remind everybody that they are must watch tv.


Players to watch

There will be so many fans who turn on the NFL Network late Sunday night to see Johnny Manziel, but it will actually the former Troy Trojan standout, Brandon Silvers who is getting the start under center. This NCAA record holder for highest competition percentage as a freshman played pretty well against Salt Lake City despite the score. He leaned heavily on his 6’3” wideout, Reece Horn who came through with 8 catches for 129 yards last week. This week Horn will have his work cut out for him, however, as he lines up against the Iron’s superstar CB Jamar Summers who has the 2nd highest coverage grade for corners according to PFF.


Luis Perez earned his starting job back last week against the Fleet after losing the week prior. Perez had his best game against the Fleet throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Express will need to do a better job establishing the run this week if they hope to keep the Perez off the field. The Express running backs are averaging just over 50 yards a game for the last 3 weeks. If the Express want to have any chance they will need to find a way their running game going again, unfortunately, that will be a challenge with Iron LB Beniquez Brown playing off the ball. What it all comes down to though, if the Express is losing by halftime, expect to see Johnny Football come into the game. That’s when all eyes will tune in to see if that magic is still there.


Keys to the game

Birmingham Iron

  • Jamar Summers will need to contain Reece Horn

  • Stop the run, force Silvers to throw the ball

  • Wear down the Express front 7 with long methodical drives

Memphis Express

  • Create turnovers

  • Keep plays in front of them, do not allow big downfield plays

  • Keep Trent Richardson out of the EndZone

Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • Johnny Manziel, QB (MEM)

  • Luis Perez, QB (BIR)

  • Trent Richardson, RB (BIR)

  • Reece Horn, WR (MEM)

  • Wes Saxton Jr, TE (BIR)

Prediction

This game will be a defensive struggle all game, and even though the score is close, the Iron will have dominated the first half. The Iron will have at least 8 more minutes of time of possession. The Express bring in Manziel, and away we go. He makes some big plays on offense and takes a late lead, but Perez gets the ball back with enough time to drive the Iron down the field for Nick Novak to kick a game-winning field goal.


Final Score: Iron 27, Express 26


Written by: David Connors @connors_david

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