The inaugural AAF season is halfway over. The start to the season has had exciting finishes and spectacular performances. Now, the second half of the season will be all about the playoff race. All of the teams are still firmly in the race for a playoff spot after five weeks of play and anything can happen. Saturday in Week 6 will be crucial for all four teams. In the afternoon, the Express and Stallions are fighting to stay alive in the playoff race. Then, in primetime, the Apollos will put their undefeated record on the line against the reeling Hotshots. These two games could have a large impact on the final standings and who gets a shot to play for a championship.
Memphis Express (1-4) at Salt Lake Stallions (1-4)
Both of these teams have had moments where they look like they are ready to step into contention. For the Express, Zach Mettenberger taking over the quarterback position has seemed to breathe new life into the team. However, they have only been able to win one game, with two close losses in the last three weeks. The Stallions knocked off the undefeated Hotshots in Week 3, but have not won since. These teams are not out of the playoff race yet, but one more loss may ruin their chances.
This game seems like almost an elimination game for these two teams. At 1-4, it will be tough to lose this week and still find a way to sneak back into the playoffs. Salt Lake playing at home gives them the advantage. The Stallions are 1-1 at home this year with their only loss coming against 5-0 Orlando. Memphis is 0-3 on the road and has really struggled away from home. Salt Lake will win this one and find their way back into the conversation in the West for a playoff spot.
Prediction: Stallions 22 Express 19
Arizona Hotshots (2-3) at Orlando Apollos (5-0)
The Hotshots looked like one of the best teams in the AAF after two weeks. However, they haven’t won in any of their past three matchups. This matchup doesn’t get any easier for Arizona as they face the only team in the league with four or more wins. Orlando has the best offense in the league and the second best defense in the league. They’ve shown no signs of slowing down.
Arizona has one of the best quarterback/receiver duos in the AAF in John Wolford and Rashad Ross, who are both second in the league in yards at their respective positions. However, Orlando has the two players ranked higher than them with Garrett Gilbert and Charles Johnson In Orlando, it is going to be tough for the Hotshots to end their losing streak. The Apollos will lock up their sixth straight win on Saturday night with another explosive offensive performance. Arizona still has one of the better teams in the league, but they will need to have a big finish down the stretch if they want to make the playoffs.
Prediction: Apollos 32 Hotshots 22