Anyone who watched these two teams last week can tell you; this is a matchup of arguably the best team in the Alliance vs. the worst. The differences were like night and day. Don’t sleep on the
Express though. Here are five factors that Arizona need to go in their favor when they make the trek to Memphis.
- Shut down Zac Stacy. The guy is one of the best backs in the Alliance currently. While the numbers weren’t great against the Iron last week, he has the ability to take it home at any point he touches the ball. The Hot-Shots showed last week they have great lateral movement along the defensive line. The big guys up front can eat up blocks and allow that incredible linebacking unit to shut down the outside runs. This week they will need the same level of execution to keep Memphis’ rushing attack under wraps.
- John Wolford continuing to play like a freak! The man claimed the first ever AAF Offensive Player of the Week honors last week. He didn’t look like a guy who had never started a
professional game in his career. This guy is a baller! The way he was able to conduct the offense utilizing the RPO and play action was masterful. Credit his offensive line for keeping a clean pocket around him and opening holes and creating seams for the backs. If he can have similar success this week, this one could get ugly quick.
- Rashaad Ross over the top. Show up and show out was the mantra for the Hot-Shots last week. Ross looked like a man amongst boys in the week one win over Salt Lake. He was consistently able to beat the coverage and quickly became Arizona’s go-to guy when in need of a big play. This week should be no different. Look for #15 to be behind the defense A LOT!
— Arizona Hotshots (@aafhotshots) February 11, 2019
- Get the rushing attack established early. Memphis has the ability to limit the inside runs as well as those outside the tackles. Jhurrell Pressley and Larry Rose will need to read the field quickly and hit the hole immediately. If the backs can get rolling early, Coach Rick Neuheisel will be able to open up more of the RPO and play action passing. The advantage then falls back to Arizona and that lethal Wolford/Ross connection.
- Limit the penalties. Illegal Formation penalties on defense may have been the biggest issue for the Hot-Shots last week. They were flagged multiple times while trying to adjust to the new blitz rules of the Alliance. With Memphis looking to be a run strength team, giving them a short field could lead to some headaches.
As long as Arizona continues to play the way they did in week 1, this team should easily handle the struggling Express. It could get ugly fast, but the game is played on the field, not on paper. Tune in Saturday night at 8 pm EST/ 7 pm Central on NFL Network to see for yourself.