Two Key Factors In Fleet’s Win Over The Commanders

Credit: San Diego Fleet

The San Diego Fleet put together a dominating performance on Sunday night against the San Antonio Commanders. Ina 31-11 win, the Fleet played well in all phases on the game. The game started rocky for the Fleet. Philip Nelson first pass of the game was picked off Commanders cornerback  De’Vante Bausby. On the next play Commanders quarterback, Logan Woodside hit receiver Mekale McKay for a 47-yard touchdown pass. After that, the Fleet took the game over: Led by Philip Nelson and  Ja’Quan Gardner who had the Longest play so far in AAF history with an 83-yard touchdown run.

Balanced Attack on Offense

On offense, the Fleet passed the ball 25 times and ran it 28 times. Philip Nelson threw his first touchdown pass on the season along with another late in the game. Nelson Spruce caught both touchdowns and added 50 receiving yards. Nelson threw for 193 yards on 17 of 25 passing. The offensive line did a better job protecting but still managed to give up three sacks.

Running back Ja’Quan Gardner ran for 122 yards on 12 carries. Most of his yards came on his 83-yard touchdown run. Terrell Watson added 73 yards on 13 carries. Both running backs combined ran for 195 yards on 25 carries. The one thing the offensive line can do well is run block; The Line open up holes very well for Gardner and Watson.

Defense Defense Defense

After giving up the first touchdown the Fleet defense locked in. The Pass rush was dominate sacking Commanders quarterbacks five times. The defense also forced Logan Woodside to throw two interceptions. One of the interceptions was a pick-six by linebacker Aj Tarpley. The Commanders were only able to pass for 144 yards in the game. 47 of that 144 came on the first play of the game.

The Fleet’s defense led by there front seven has been amazing so far this year. The Line has 11 sacks in 3 games this season. Damonte Moore (2), Alex Barrett (2), and Shakir Soto (2.5) led the team in sacks. The secondary is doing its part too; they picked off four passes this season. The team has five interceptions, the other coming from linebacker AJ Tarpley.

It is nice to see Mike Martz adapt his play calling to a more balanced attack. In week one Philip Nelson and Mike Bercovici attempted  35 passes to just 16 run attempts. Since then Martz has been more balanced, something he struggled with in the NFL. In his days with the Rams, Martz was always pass happy, and it would cause him trouble. So it is good to see him evolve to the talent he has around him. 

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