The newest football league marches on to another week.
Week 4 of the Alliance of American Football (AAF ) was full of surprises with three favorites losing their respective games. One team lost for the first time this season while two teams finally got their first victory of the year.
Here is the complete week 5 schedule:
|Orlando Apollos @ Birmingham Iron||2 p.m., Saturday||TNT|
|Salt Lake Stallions @ San Diego Fleet||8 p.m.,Saturday||TNT|
|Memphis Express @ Atlanta Legends||4 p.m., Sunday||CBSSN|
|San Antonio Commanders @ Arizona Hotshots||8 p.m., Sunday||NFL Net|
The odds for Week 5 aren’t out yet as of this writing but here are our previews and early predictions for all games on schedule:
Orlando Apollos vs Birmingham Iron
The Apollos kept their unbeaten slate with a 20-11 win over the Salt Lake Stallions in a victory that was more dominant than what the final score indicates. Orlando’s offense has been their main weapon as they have outscored their opponents 118-63 thru four games. Garrett Gilbert and Charles Johnson lead the league in passing and receiving yards, respectively.
Week 4 ✅
Now we look ahead to #ORLvsBIR 😤
— Orlando Apollos (@aafAPOLLOS) March 4, 2019
The Birmingham Iron got ambushed by the San Antonio Commanders and suffered their first loss of the season in Week 4. The Iron never got their offense going after committing turnovers and lost by a final score of 11-12. Despite the loss and their offense stalling, Birmingham’s defense remained impressive as they have given up a total of 33 points in four games played.
Prediction: Birmingham Iron. Orlando is the top team hands down. If you like offense, go with the Apollos. I like defense over offense.
Salt Lake Stallions vs San Diego Fleet
The Stallions are 1-3 but two of their losses were to the top two teams in Orlando and Birmingham and came by an average losing margin of six points. Surely, Salt Lake isn’t the best team in the league but they are tougher than what their record says.
San Diego didn’t just lose to the Memphis Express 23-26 in Week 4, they also lost quarterback Philip Nelson to a shoulder injury last Saturday. Head coach Mike Martz will have to pick between opening week starter Mike Bercovici or Alex Ross who subbed in for the injured Nelson last week.
Prediction: Salt Lake Stallions. Unless the Express get another starter, I don’t trust Bercovici or Ross to win.
Memphis Express vs Atlanta Legends
Former LSU signal caller Zach Mettenberger got his first start and the Memphis Express notched their first win of the season by defeating the San Diego Fleet 26-23 last week. Mettenberger took over from Christian Hackenberg in the second half of week 3 and it looks like the Express will be his to run for now after going 18-25 with 174 yards and a touchdown in Week 4.
A quarterback change also helped the Atlanta Legends get their first win of the season in Week 4. Former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray replaced Matt Simms who left in the first quarter with an unspecified injury. Murray completed 20 of 33 passes and led the team with 54 rushing yards. More importantly, he got the Legends on board with a victory.
Prediction: Atlanta Legends. I like Aaron Murray over Zach Mettenberger.
San Antonio Commanders vs Arizona Hotshots
The Commanders played excellent defense in dealing the Birmingham Iron their first loss of the season. The San Antonio defense forced the Iron to committing three turnovers and didn’t allow them to score a touchdown until the final two minutes of the game. Outside that game though, the Commanders have been outscored 67-85 through four games so I’m not really sure what to make of them yet.
Arizona dropped an 11-14 decision to the previously winless Atlanta Legends. Their offense has +7 point differential over their opponents thru week 4 but they’ve regressed from scoring 38 points on opening week to just 11 the last time out. The Hotshots looked lost against a winless team last week but because they’re playing at home, I think the offense gets going again.
Prediction: Arizona Hotshots. That offense should come back to life at home.