The inaugural season of The Alliance of American Football is heading into week 3 this weekend and after two weeks of football action, the AAF hasn’t disappointed. The game play and style, the fast-paced action and, more importantly, the quality of play has elevated from week one to week two. Without further delay, here’s my week 3 predictions and previews.
Arizona Hotshots v. Salt Lake Stallions
The Stallions are entering week 3 seeking revenge against the Hotshots, when the Hotshots beat the Stallions 38-22. The Stallions should be getting starting QB Josh Woodrum back for this game, after missing the second half of the game in week 1 and the week 2 contest against the Birmingham Iron with a knee injury. If Woodrum plays, the Stallions will have their best chance of winning their first game this week. Backup QB Austin Allen played admirably against a very tough Iron defense, but didn’t provide enough big plays in the passing game to pull out the W. On the other side of the ball, the Hotshots beat the Stallions behind the passing game in week 1, but won in week 2, beating a very tough Memphis team, in Memphis, behind a balanced ground attack. In week 2, the Hotshots proved that they may have the best RB corps in the league. This week the game comes down to whether the Stallions defense can rise to the occasion and make big plays in the passing game.
Prediction: Stallions 29-26
Memphis Express v. Orlando Apollos
The winless Express travel South to take on the undefeated Apollos. Orlando is arguably the best team in the entire AAF. The Spurrier-coached Apollos have scored over 30 points in both their games and look to continue that trend against a tough Express defense. The Express’ start to the season hasn’t gone according to plan for the Mike Singletary coached squad. They got shut out in week 1 by the Birmingham Iron and then blew the lead at home against the Hotshots in week 2. Singletary stuck with QB Chistian Hackenberg in week 2 and the decision didn’t work out. The QB situation in Memphis is one to monitor moving forward, but if Hackenberg doesn’t perform well in this one – look for Brandon Silvers to relieve Hack of his duties as quarterback.
Prediction: Apollos 33-16
Birmingham Iron v. Atlanta Legends
Through two weeks, the Atlanta Legends have looked like the AAF’s version of the Cleveland Browns. The Legends has turmoil strike the team weeks before the season started, then head coach Brad Childress stepped away from the team and the team promoted Kevin Coyle. Then, with under 10 days before the start of the season, offensive coordinator Michael Vick was removed from the position and transitioned into an offensive consultant and media liaison and public relations role with the team. The Legends’ rough start to the season is the clear reflection of those coaching changes. The one thing Atlanta should be excited for is their first home game, unfortunately for the Legends, the undefeated Birmingham Iron are coming to town. The Iron have won their first two games by bringing back old school football with a ground and pound style offense that compliments the blue-collared style defense. It will be a tall task for the Legends to get their first victory this week but if they make the necessary adjustments, mainly make a quarterback change from Matt Simms to Aaron Murray, it could be the shot in the arm they need to pull out a surprise upset.
Prediction: Iron 26-12
San Antonio Commanders v. San Diego Fleet
The second of the rematches from week one, the Commanders of San Antonio travel West to San Diego to take on the Fleet. The Fleet received their first win last week when they beat the Legends. The Commanders suffered their first loss at the hand of the Apollos last week. Momentum could play a factor in this game; in week one, momentum was a deciding factor in the outcome in a very close, tough game between these two teams. The Fleet made the switch at QB last week to Philip Nelson, benching the week one started Mike Bercovici and Nelson played well. The Fleet still suffered a lot of drops from the WR corps, which is why them moving Kameron Kelly back to the secondary is surprising. The remaining WR corps, mainly Francis Owusu, is going to have to step up their play if the Fleet want to continue this momentum. The Commanders come into the game it the last ranked passing defense in the league. It’s going to be important for the Commanders to not let the Fleet move the ball through the air. Even though the Fleet won the game behind an excellent running game last week, it won’t work this week. This game comes down to the San Diego WRs and whether they can make plays when it counts. Logan Woodside needs to continue to improve and showcase why people think he’s the next bright star in this league.
Prediction: Fleet 22-18
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