After a great slate of Saturday games, the AAF takes over Sundays. Two more great games will be taking place Sunday afternoon and evening during the opening week of games. These matchups include two regional battles. The Iron and the Express have a battle for the South at 4 pm ET. Then, the Hotshots and Stallions fight out west for a big first win in primetime. These two games should be a good way to finish off the opening week and create excitement for the season.
Memphis Express at Birmingham Iron
The Express may be one of the more exciting teams before kickoff of the AAF season. Their head coach, Mike Singletary, is an NFL hall-of-famer and a former NFL head coach. He should bring a spark to the Express that already has some intriguing names on the roster. The quarterbacks on the roster both looked like they could be serviceable NFL players at some point. Christian Hackenberg never played an NFL snap, but was highly touted during his time at Penn State. Zach Mettenberger was the starter for the Titans before Marcus Mariota arrived, but quickly fell out of the league. The quarterbacks have options around them as well with former Rams, Zac Stacy and Chris Givens on the roster.
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The Iron bring professional football to Alabama and are trying to attract fans with some former Tide players. Their quarterback, Blake Sims, led the Tide to the first ever College Football Playoff. They lost in the semi-final to the eventual champion, Ohio State, but were the number one ranked team in the country in the regular season. Behind him will be former Alabama superstar Trent Richardson. Richardson was a top pick in 2012, but has been widely regarded as a bust. Those two will try to reignite the Alabama magic in Birmingham on Sunday, but it won’t be enough. The Express look like the more explosive team and they’ll come out of Week 1 with a win.
Prediction: Express 38 Iron 21
Salt Lake Stallions at Arizona Hotshots
The Hotshots are filled with former PAC-12 stars looking to save their careers in the desert. Oregon’s Josh Huff and Arizona State’s Rashad Ross will be worth paying attention to as both can make big plays. Huff was a star at Oregon catching passes from Marcus Mariota. Now, he and Ross will be catching passes from Trevor Knight. On defense, former Arizona star Scooby Wright will be looking to shut down the Stallions along with Rahim Moore. The Hotshots have many players who could end up being stars this season.
Wright will be tested by the two-headed monster that the Stallions have in the backfield. Matt Asiata and Branden Oliver both made impacts on teams during their time in the NFL. Asiata took over in Adrian Peterson’s absence a few years ago while Oliver was a solid third-down running back for the Chargers. They can create a solid 1-2 punch in Utah this season. However, the Hotshots will be too hot to handle on the road. Arizona will be able to pull this one out late at home.
Prediction: Hotshots 24 Stallions 20