Posted on March 25, 2019, by Travis Pulver
There was a little more buzz surrounding the Memphis Express this week then usual. The team had a new starting quarterback in Brandon Silvers, but it also had a new player in the QB room—Johnny Manziel.
It would be unreasonable to expect Manziel to know the offense well after being on the team less than a week or to have much of a relationship built up with the Express receivers. So, when the team announced that Brandon Silvers would get the start, it came as no surprise.
But they also said Manziel would play.
He ended up coming in during the second quarter. Overall, he looked good. He didn’t try to force anything, didn’t make any serious mistakes, ran well (two carries for 20 yards), and looked good when he threw it, too (3-5 for 48 yards).
“It was great just getting back to football again,” Manziel said after the game (AAF). “This is what I’ve done my whole life. It was a great feeling.”
However, after the game Brandon Silvers had in his first start, Manziel may not see the field a whole lot going forward. Silvers ended up completing 24 of 35 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns—including one in overtime.
Singletary liked what he saw from Silvers so much that he told the media after the game that Silvers is the starting quarterback going forward.
“Right now, Brandon is our quarterback. I’m very excited about what Johnny does and what he brings to the team, but Brandon is our starting quarterback,” Singletary said after the game.
Memphis was down by 11 points, 25-14, with about nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But the Express defense held the Iron out of the endzone and off the scoreboard while Silvers led the team on an improbable comeback to send the game to overtime.
It was the first in Alliance of American Football history. But unlike the college or NFL game, the game could still end in a tie. In the AAF, each team gets one possession starting from the ten-yard line and they must go for a touchdown; no field goals.
If the score is still tied after both teams have a shot with the ball, the game ends in a tie.
When the Express defense shut down the Iron offense, the door was open for Memphis to score the upset—and they did. Silvers hit Daniel Williams on a ten-yard slant a couple plays later for the win.
Memphis won, 31-25.
Memphis remains alive for the playoffs with the win but will have to defeat the Orlando Apollos next week to stay alive. The Express gave Orlando a run for their money back in Week Three, but the Apollos ended up winning, 21-17.
Birmingham will try to bounce back when the Atlanta Legends come to town next Sunday. They also played back in Week Three, a game the Iron won, 28-12.