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
After this game, the Memphis Express would have played all their division rivals one time. Both teams come in with 1 win and 3 losses and come off their first wins of the year. Both teams also have recent QB changes, though Atlanta’s was initially due to an injury. The changes at QB have caused renewed excitement for these teams who will face off in a crucial matchup with the winner possibly getting back into the playoff picture.
Memphis Express vs Atlanta Legends – The Keys to the game:
- Pass protection. The Legends have 10 sacks on the year in 4 games It is imperative for the Express to protect well in keeping Mettenberger upright when he throws the ball.
- Run the ball. The Express are coming off their least effective rushing game of the year. The Legends have allowed 537 yards this year overall for 134 yards a rush per game allowed. The Express have been trending better in stopping the run of late themselves.
- Contain the QB in the pocket. Aaron Murray is a mobile QB and is like San Diego’s quarterbacks with his ability to run. Memphis cannot have another game where they allow a QB to break contain and run for all sorts of yards like Fleet did.
- Keep the Legends out of the end-zone. The Legends have been terrible trying to get into the end zone and have seen their offense repeatedly fail in the red zone after a long drive to settle for field goals. The Legends average only 11 points a game. Even Murray did not really increase the red zone success that much in the win against Arizona. If the Express can hold the Legends out of the end-zone as other teams have, they may be able to outscore them. Mettenberger has made a big difference to the Express offense, leading them to 26 points against the Fleet and had a strong multi TD game in the 1 half he played the week prior against the Apollos.
These teams have different styles of play. The Express have been a team that has really looked to run the ball. They have taken some shots down the field, but generally have been conservative in their play calling. The Legends like to throw the ball a lot more often. The Legends have over 300 yards more than the Express do in the air, but do not have many points to show for it. The Legends need to score points. Settling for field goals like they did last week may not work out so well two weeks in a row.
Zac Stacy has been the primary man in the run game for the Express, but he has seen Terrence Magee and Sherman Bade did start seeing some more snaps at RB last week. The fleet have applied more of a committee approach at RB with several backs getting just about the same amount of carries.
Both teams like to spread the ball around to a host of different receivers. Malachai Jones and Seantavius Jones lead the way though with 145 and 138 receiving yards on the year respectively. Reece Horne has taken over the primary WR roll for the Express and leads the team with 12 catches for 158 yards. Alton “Pig” Howard has seen 11 receptions for 94 yards and has become more of the underneath possession receiver for the Express.
Aaron Murray will be making his first home start of the season and will be looking to end the TD drought the Legends have been dealing with. He may need to as the Express offense is trending upwards and relying on the defense may not hold for the Legends against Memphis. This is a crucial game for both as nobody wants to drop to 1-4. The loser of this one may find themselves out of the race in a too little too late scenario.