The Opening Drive AAF Week 8#1 Orlando Apollos (6-1) @ #6 Memphis Express (2-5)

Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo

MESPORTS SOUTH

Video Credit : AAF

MEMPHIS– The final moments of March will be no short of the usual madness invoked by this time of year. As the regular season is quickly approaching its final weeks in The Alliance.Week 8 will be filled with hugh storylines of which teams will be that much closer to The Star.

GAME NOTES WEEK 8

Saturday, March 30th,2019

Venue: The Liberty Bowl, (Memphis,TN)

Opening Snap: 1 PM CT

Network: TNT

Line: -10 Apollos

Gridiron Snapshot

Orlando

The Ole Ball Coach and his ball club may have secured a spot in the playoffs but don’t expect them to coast thru the remainder of the regular season. You can be sure that they will be operating that juggernaut of an offense and wrecking defense as if they were in second place rather than first. The Apollos know there future to exte but are really just waiting to see where they will be seeded in the East play-off which will come after Sundays meeting of the Iron vs the Legends.

Memphis

They may be down but the question remains are they completely out? Week 8 for the Express could be a game changer if they can manage to pull off an upset. Stranger things tend to happen this time in the season. When the Express in on track we have seen them be able to  come from behind and keep it close. The ability is there but the execution not so much. Now with Manziel to add to the QB situation this just could be the smoking fun for victory that could get this game rolling. I think utilizing a dual system QB in Manziel and Silvers could open up the offense in a big way they don’t have much to lose anyway. The response to Manziel and Silver both have proved to bring a little revival to their inner Memphis Mojo. This is a viable option that the Express need to utilize why it matters.

Keys To The Game

Orlando

Stay Healthy

The Apollos don’t need to completely turn on cruise control just because they have guaranteed themselves a  spot in the postseason. However, they do need to remain conscious of protecting their assets over the next few weeks. It’s high price to pay to remain at the top and no matter what your team’s tecors reflects you have to stay reate and fresh. Trying to exhaust your team just for a good record may be the very thing that does you in when it matters in the playoffs and championship

Balance & Control

There is no questions that the Orlando offense can make things happen when it comes to the scoreboard and plays a huge hand in controlling their destiny. However, we can’t forget the defensive side of the ball. The Apollos need to continue to operate like they have been because that’s what works for them in regards to getting things done.However they also need to make sure their defense is able to play just as well to stop the Express from having any chance to prey on their vulnerabilities. Yes folks even the best teams have vulnerabilities. The Apollos strong suit is game management on both sides of the ball they need to being more aware of it today on the road especially with this crowd.

Derail The Express

One of the toughest obstacles that could be in the way of the Apollos  is the ever changing face of the Express especially with the addition of Manziel to the offense. Not being able to know what there going to get come the opening drive could catch Orlando off guard. The Express may not be the most complete team but they find ways to be that for some key moments. The Apollos need to capitalize on the uncertainty of the offense. Even with two QBs with ability to get things going there still no foundation and consistency to be without holes. The Orlando D needs to be rail this train starting with shaking up an already Shaky offense. As far as the offense goes the key will be play in overdrive to shut down the already struggling defense early. The Express defense is not stacked enough to replenish over and over again during a qtr much less an entire game.

Memphis

Keep It Close

The Expressr may not be the best developed team but Magic Mike Singletary and his ball club no how to keep it close and orcrestate a  comeback under the right circumstances. If the Express were able to keep it close like they did in Week 3 against the Apollos they could very well pull just ahead to get the upset. The defense is going to need to make some big stops to keep Gilbert and that offensive juggernaut from too many leaps and bounds to early

Dual Threat

I know a lot of coaches are not fans of dualt system QBs but I think this could be just what the Express needs to expedite ahead of the game. Manziel and Silvers both demonstrated they can bring a lot of momentum and playmaking to the table under the right settings. Memphis needs to find ways to put points on the boards in the form of TDs  not just FGs. Between Manziel’s and Silvers individual abilities this is where I think could be tough for the Apollos to know what’s really coming and really open endless avenues on the ground

Nice and Slow

There not going to be able to completely stop Spurrier speedy offensive juggernaut but they need to find a way to slow it down. The Express doesn’t boast the best Defense in the league that is evident. However doesn’t mean they don’t have inability to prevent a train wreck. The key will be keeping a balanced pace so they can give ample time for their offense to take stage and allow themselves to be able to keep it close for the game.

This is going to be an interesting game and could be another low scoring OT match up in Memphis. While the Memphis mojo is capable of pulling off an upset I just don’t think they can do it against the ole Ball coach even at home. I have the Apollos on the road over the Express by 7.

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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University, graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.She can be reached at misskentuckyus2011@gmail.com. Follow her  on Twitter @ Misskyus2011

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