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
The grade is not much Zach Mettenberger’s fault. While he needs to take the blame on the INT in the 4th quarter, this was still a tipped ball and not something thrown at a defender. Regretfully, this turned out to be the decisive moment of the game as it led to Atlanta’s game winning field goal. His 9 completions on 17 attempts though is very light for a pro QB and leaves little to judge Mettenberger did sneak in a TD run for the second week in a row.
Running Back: B+
While the Ground game was not doing much again, Stacy did run tough in the red zone and scored 2 rushing touchdowns. The combination of Stacy, Terrence Magee and Sherman Badie all showed explosiveness in the passing game and were responsible for 5 of the 9 total receptions and 113 of the total 158 passing yards. The only play that seemed to work with regularity for the Express was the running back screen.
Wide Receivers: C-
No Wide receiver made more than 1 catch. Again, this was mainly an issue with the pass protection. However, there is very little to excuse such little production from this group. This was the worst day the wide receivers had since the first game of the season.
Offensive Line: F
The offensive line was a total disaster in this game. It was likely the worst game an offensive line had all year for any team in the year. Mettenberger got hit 13 times on 17 total pass attempts and game him no time at all to make any decisions. No QB can perform under this type of pressure. I am not even sure how this issue can be fixed at this point as it is half way through the year and the much-maligned offensive line has found a way to regress further.
Overall Offense: C
Considering how poor the offensive line was, there still was some explosive plays by the RB group in the passing game and they did manage to score 3 TDs in the game and were in position to go ahead before a critical turnover ended that with under 5 minutes to go in the game.
Defensive front: B
The Defensive front was generally good, though inconsistent. Dealing with injuries to Sam Montgomery and Anthony Johnson had an impact. Corey Vereen had a stand out performance with 2 sacks and 3 QB hits. Drew Jackson was a beast again leading the team with 9 tackles, 8 of them solo.
Defensive backs: B-
Charles James II and Arnold Tarpley III both contributed 7 tackles, including some big hits. But, they seemed to spend most of the day trying to stop Atlanta receivers from making catches on perfectly thrown balls which they simply could not do.
Defense Overall Grade: B-
The defense did well in the red zone overall but could not get off the field on third down Atlanta converted 10 of 18 3rd down conversions (Memphis converted only 1 of 9) which probably had more to do with the result than anything else. Atlanta held the ball for 38 minutes to Memphis’ 23. Much of this had to do with Atlanta’s execution, but better is still expected on 3rd down.
Special Teams: B+
Memphis did not even attempt a field goal in the game. Winslow was over 42 yards punting with a long of 57. Punt coverage was good allowing only 3 total yards returned on 6 kicks. An acceptable performance in the punt game
The coaching staff tried to adjust to the pass rush by throwing some more screen passes but did not do this enough. They were again overly run heavy and too many deep drops allowing Mettenberger to get hit time and again. More three step drops should have been utilized with a much larger variety of screen passes to take advantage of the Atlanta aggressiveness. The coaching staff also did not adjust well on the defensive side as the game went on and really did nothing to bring more pressure on third downs to disrupt Aaron Murray’s tempo.
In the end it was another tough loss dropping the Express to 1-4. At this point it is hard to believe the season is anything but over from a playoff perspective. All we can hope for is the team continues to fight and tries to win as many games as they can. There is no advantage to tanking in the AAF. Next week the Express travel to the altitude of Salt Lake City to battle a 1-4 Stallions team that has also been dealing with the injury bug.