Latest posts by Mickey W (see all)
- AAF Week 7 Grades – Memphis Express Week 7 Grades - March 27, 2019
- Memphis Express Week 5 Grades - March 12, 2019
- The Midway Point – AAF Week 5 Preview Memphis Express At Atlanta Legends - March 6, 2019
On paper we have a 2-1 Fleet team coming off a monster 31-11-win vs an 0-3 team in the Express and it may sound like a mismatch. However, both San Diego’s wins came at home and Memphis had played arguably the three best teams in the league. Memphis is back home for the second time and it will be the first time at home with Zach Mettenberger under center. Mettenberger appears to have changed the dynamic of the Memphis attack in the second half of week 3. With home field on their side, Memphis may be in a better position in this one, especially if San Diego regresses some on the road after a very good performance, and maintaining high play on the road has been an issue for all teams in the AAF this year.
Keys to the game for Memphis:
Stop the Fleet’s running attack. The Fleet offense is mostly based on its running attack lead by Ja’Quan Gardner, who currently leads the league in rushing and is coming off a 122-yard game which featured 10.2 yards per carry and the longest TD run in the AAF this year, an 83-yard explosion. The fleet overall are coming off a game with 202 rushing yards. The Express have been a bit inconsistent against the run, but most slow down the Fleet. The Fleet had their own issues with the run and allowed 147 rushing yards to San Antonio themselves and a 5.88 yard per rush themselves and must improve against the dangerous stable of backs the Express will run out there lead by Zac Stacy and Sherman Badie coming off a huge debut last week.
Penalties: The Memphis Express cannot take so many penalties. Memphis committed 9 penalties for 85 yards in the game against Orlando. You cannot give away this many penalty yards and put yourself in trouble on offense and defense. The Express much play a cleaner game. San Diego has cleaned up their penalties at home and do not appear to be likely to beat themselves
Turnovers. Zach Mettenberger showed more poise in the pocket than Hackenberg and will likely be able to avoid some of the mind-boggling interceptions that were thrown. He must continue to play within himself and take what he gets. San Diego, on the other hand, also has had an issue with turnovers this season The turnover battle may play a major factor in this game.
Quarterback Protection: both teams have been good in getting into the backfield and putting hits on the QBs. Both teams have also allowed a lot of pressure on their own Qbs as well. The Express may be looking for longer passing plays in this one with Mettenberger while San Diego will likewise continue to use the short passing attack that they have been using this season.
While one team may be 2-1 and the other 0-3 the league has had a large advantage for home field wins and that favors the 0-3 team here. The 0-3 team also has a new QB coming off a fantastic half against a real solid team. Both teams actually have showed similar weaknesses in the pass protection and turnover issues. San Diego has not had the penalty issues after game 1, that the Express have had. The Express cannot let this issue pop up here and beat themselves. I expect this to be a very competitive game. Can the Express take advantage of the home field advantage? Can Mettenberger prove he is a true number 1 and lead this team’s offense to victory? We will soon find out.