The final contest of Week 4 of the AAF season pits two teams looking to get on track. The Atlanta Legends have yet to win a game this season, falling for the third straight time last weekend to the Birmingham Iron, 28-12. The Arizona Hotshots are coming off an upset loss against the Salt Lake Stallions, 23-15. Date: Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 8:00 ET
Legends Offense Sputters in Loss to Birmingham, 28-12
The Atlanta Legends jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than a minute into their contest against the Birmingham Iron, but would then give up 28 of the next 31 points as they were crushed 28-12. Matt Simms, who was intercepted three times in the contest, finally got the team in the end zone with a 23 yard strike late in the fourth quarter for the final points of the game.
Simms had his biggest day of the season offensively, completing 28 of 48 passes for 328 yards, but the three interceptions moved him to six already this season. Simms also led the team in rushing with 27 yards as Atlanta mustered just 43 yards rushing. Seantavius Jones led the team in catches with four for 72 yards.
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Simms has completed 59.4% of his passes for 614 yards and two touchdowns this season, but those six interceptions hang out there like a neon sign. The running attack is been absolutely abysmal for Arizona this season, as they have 205 total yards on 63 carries. Lawrence Pittman leads the team with 72 yards on 17 carries. Jones is first with 138 yards receiving on 10 catches. Akrum Wadley leads the team in receptions with 11 for 99 yards.
Offense Frozen as Hotshots Fall, 23-15
After narrowly escaping with a two-point victory at Memphis the week before, the Arizona Hotshots traveldc to Salt Lake where they would fall 23-15. The Hotshots would get a 1-yard touchdown pass from John Wolford to Rashard Ross near the end of the first half but would generate just six points after the break, as Nick Folk proved to be the offensive star with three field goals.
Wolford had a tough day before finally being replaced. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 127 yards. Trevor Knight was 8 of 17 for 95 yards. Jhurell Pressley and the running attack struggled all game. Pressley had 34 yards rushing on 10 carries as Arizona produced just 66 yards rushing. Ross had six catches for 51 yards and a score.
There is some question about the health of Wolford. He is thrown for seven touchdowns this season, but a muscle strain may side-lined him for this weekend. Pressley has 40 carries for 155 yards this year. Justin Stockton is second on the team with 113 yards on 16 carries and he will have to have a more active role in this contest. Ross leads the team with 15 catches for 221 yards and leads the league with four touchdown receptions.
Arizona has generated just seven sacks and two interceptions this season. De’Sean Downey leads the team with two sacks. Steven Johnson is the team leader in tackles with 14 and has one of the Hotshots’ interceptions this season.
The Winner Prediction
With Wolford healthy, Arizona is the clear favorite in this game. They are favored by 14.0, but Arizona has been a double digit favorite this season already and failed to deliver when they took on another winless team, Memphis, winning by just two. We think Arizona’s get when here as well, but no one should think they’re going to pull out a two touchdown victory. Simms is getting better. He simply has to cut down on his interceptions, which could happen against an Arizona team that is struggling to generate turnovers.
The Pick:Atlanta Legends (+14.0) (-110)
The total is set at 40.5 for this contest, and we see this to be a low-scoring affair, especially if Wolford is slowed in any way. Arizona has generated just 35 total points over the last two weeks while Atlanta has produced just 24. That works out to an average of 17-12, which is the score we expect in this game.
The Pick: Under 40.5(-110)