As we finish up Saturday’s games, here are a few notable takeaways I observed from each game.
In our 1st match-up, I’ll be reviewing key aspects of the game. And I will do the same for the 2nd match-up, of the day.
Orlando Apollos versus Memphis Express
Alright, so I’ll start with QB Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert (Who leads the league in passing yards: 2152), had an average game today. Now, I felt the urge to replace “average,” with “subpar.” And here is why:
QB Garrett Gilbert finished the day going 22/44 in Completions/Attempts, which is a completion percentage of 55 percent. Which is… not “so” average. Not only that, but he did throw 2 INTs, along with two other TDs. Now, I’m aware of some people who may perceive those statistics to end up as a stalemate. And believe that if someone throws 2 INTs, then they’re forgiven and everything is fine again if they throw 2 TDs. But…
There is always more recognizable fault and error in throwing interceptions, than recognizable success and talent in throwing touchdowns.
Now, I don’t wish to rain on any Apollos’ fan’s parade, because that’s not my intention. I am too, disappointed that he didn’t have a good day. Because I am also, a firm believer in Gilbert. But fear not! Gilbert should have a better game next week.
Moving on to the running back/s:
De’Veon Smith and D’Ernest Johnson both had a good game (That’s IF you combine both of their running yardage, on the day).
Smith ran for only 27 YDs, on 10 ATTs. And Johnson ran for 24 YDs, on 5 ATTs. To lighten the mood a bit, they both had 1 TD run.
Those stats aren’t the best. And your first guess is probably bad offensive line play. Which I can assure you, that was probably most of the reason. The other bit was simply Memphis’s defensive line; they performed well today.
Akeem Hunt is another notable RB, as he did average more yards per carry than Johnson and Smith. But he only ran for 21 YDs.
On to wide receivers:
Charles Johnson had a magnificent game. Racking up a hefty amount of 135 Receiving YDs, and hauling in 1 TD. Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league right now and leads the league in receiving yards: 687.
Another WR who goes by the name of Donteea Dye, had a good game. He hauled in a perfectly thrown dime, from QB Garrett Gilbert for a TD. That play also went for 65 YDs. It was indeed, fun to watch.
The Apollos defense had 1 Sack, and 2 INTs, today.
DE Earl Okine recorded the only sack from the Apollos defense, today, and 1 INT.
Exciting player, DB Will Hill III recorded the other interception on the day.
Interesting defensive stat: Every defensive player on the active list executed at least 1 or more solo tackle. There wasn’t one defensive player without a solo tackle. That’s a team effort, right there!
QB Brandon Silvers had a decent day. Throwing for 269 YDs, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Not much to say about this stat-line, besides the fact that it’s similar to Gilbert’s.
Johnny Manziel threw three passes today. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the best of luck. Considering he completed 2/3 passes, and his only incompletion wound up to be an INT — not a good look for him. Manziel would leave the game promptly after the interception, with a head injury.
Moving to the running back/s:
The only running back that showed up for the Express was RB Terrence Magee. Magee ran for 39 YDs, on 9 ATTs. He also ran for 1 TD.
Both QBs were shufflin’, today. Combined, they recorded 34 YDs on 5 ATTs.
WR Gerrard Sheppard had himself a game. Snagging 9 catches for 98 YDs.
WR Dontez Byrd caught the only receiving TD of the day, along with 52 YDs, and 5 REC.
These two teams’ defensive numbers are almost identical, it’s just off by a few tackles.
LB DeMarquis Gates recorded the Express’s only sack of today.
DB Justin Martin kept his eyes on the ball when he recorded an interception, today.
DB Jonathan Cook also intercepted a pass, and recovered a fumble, today.
That’s it for offense and defense, of this game. Penalties also affected this game by a tremendous amount in the end. There were missed calls, blown calls, unnecessary calls. You name it. It was a wild game in the end, and Express’ HC Mike Singletary didn’t take it all so well. Let’s just say that there was an ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ penalty flag thrown…
Result: Apollos win, clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Score: 34-31.
San Diego Fleet versus Salt Lake Stallions
QB Mike Bercovici had a bad day today, completing only 46.8 percent of his passes, and throwing 2 INTs. Also no TDs.
On to the running back/s:
RB Bishop Sankey was the ONLY running back on the Fleet with rushing yards, and/or at least 1 Rushing Attempt. Sankey finished off the day with 42 YDs and 11 ATTs.
I find it odd that the Fleet only used 1 RB for rushing plays in this game. Maybe it’s a strategy that I don’t understand at this moment.
Now moving to our receivers:
No passing TDs for the San Diego Fleet, today. But here are some notable pass catchers who helped to move the chains:
WR Nelson Spruce, 8 REC, 79 YDs.
WR Brian Brown, 3 REC, 38 YDs.
TE Marcus Baugh, 3 REC, 36 YDs.
Still similar numbers to the Express and Apollos. Interesting, if you ask me.
DE Damontre Moore made a QB sit on the turf in the process of a sack.
DB Ryan Moeller was all over the field today. Taking advantage of his ballhawk skills, he interrupted two passing plays for interceptions: two, count ’em, two INTs for Moeller.
Team total tackles accumulated to 47.
Not much action from this Fleet team, offensively. But the defense had a good day.
QB Josh Woodrum (Currently 5th Passing YDs Leader), didn’t have a good day, either. He’s seen better moments. He made two critical mistakes that led to interceptions. Other than that, there’s nothing much to say about his performance.
RB Terron Ward had a nice day, carrying for 47 YDs on 18 ATTs.
RB Joel Bouagnon also had a swell day. Racking up 45 YDs on 15 ATTs, and a single rushing TD.
Moving to the pass catchers:
No passing touchdowns today for any of the receivers.
TE Anthony Denham caught 4 catches for 32 YDs.
WR De’Mornay Pierson-El grabbed 3 passes for 29 YDs.
WR Adonis Jennings hauled in 3 thrown balls for 22 YDs.
DB Steve Williams made a notable play and picked off the Fleet’s offense. For his first, and only interception of the game.
DB C.J. Smith also intercepted a pass intended for a WR.
There were no sacks, on behalf of the Stallions. Despite having one of the best pass rushers, in Karter Schult. Who also leads the league in sacks (7).