AAF Week 8 Preview: Saturday Games

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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 02: De'Veon Smith #24 of Orlando Apollos rushes with the ball against the Salt Lake Stallions during their Alliance of American Football game at Rice Eccles Stadium on March 02, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/AAF/Getty Images) rrah1857_2019030261437621.jpg sport, alliance of american football, aaf

The first playoff spot in AAF history was clinched last week when the Orlando Apollos blew out the Atlanta Legends 36-6 on the road. Orlando hasn’t locked up home-field advantage yet, but a win this week would go a long way towards achieving that goal. They’ll get a matchup with the Express who look a lot more interesting than a 2-5 team after last week’s overtime win. Then, in the late game, San Diego and Salt Lake battle to stay alive in the West playoff race. Arizona took control of the second playoff spot in the West last week, but the Fleet still sit just one game back with three weeks to go. This Saturday should have some crucial matchups that could have major effects on the playoff race.

Orlando Apollos (6-1) at Memphis Express (2-5)

Orlando has been the most dominant team in the league throughout the entire year. Steve Spurrier’s bunch has only one blemish on their record and now gets to go face the struggling Express. Memphis escaped with an overtime win over Birmingham last week, but probably won’t be able to knock off the powerhouse Apollos. Memphis teased fans with Johnny Manziel last week when he came in for just a few snaps. However, this week, he may get an extended chance to play for Memphis. The Express may be 2-5, but people want to see Johnny Football suit up again because of how exciting he is.

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This may be one of the more watched games of the year in the AAF because of Manziel and how good the Apollos are. Memphis escaped last week, but they won’t be able to beat Spurrier’s Apollos even at home. Orlando will get one step closer to clinching the best record in the AAF this year with their seventh win of the season and a season sweep of Memphis

Prediction: Apollos 34 Express 18

San Diego Fleet (3-4) at Salt Lake Stallions (2-5)

The Fleet have looked dominant at times and have struggled at others. They have now lost two in a row and fallen out of the playoff picture in the West. San Diego currently sits one game out of second place behind the Hotshots. They have a matchup with Arizona looming in Week 10, but first they have to take care of business against Salt Lake. The Stallions have lost three of their last four and lost to the Fleet last time they played. Salt Lake is still technically in the playoff race, but most likely won’t be after this week.

San Diego is still missing quarterback Philip Nelson, but they will be able to beat the Stallions and stay in the playoff race with two weeks to go. They face the Apollos next week and the Hotshots the week after, so this game seems like a must-win. The Fleet will be in desperation mode after losing two straight and be able to take the victory in a close game.

Prediction: Fleet 22 Stallions 19

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