The Memphis Express are starving for their first win. In three weeks the team has struggled mightily at times to move the ball. This struggle was the difference between a near victory in week two and zero points in the first half of week three. Three weeks in, opposing teams have learned that Zac Stacy has carried most of the offensive production. They’re also very aware that Christian Hackenberg cannot be relied upon to move the chains. Their hunger for that first victory remains, as Memphis became the first team to reach the three-loss marker in the AAF. Fortunately, there is a promise for a better tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, Alliance of American Football fans, and Memphis Express fans rejoice, Zach Mettenberger has arrived!
Memphis Express Offense Transforms Under Zach Mettenberger
The Orlando Apollos struck early in week three and took a 9-0 lead into halftime. Their defensive gameplan was simple: bottle up Zac Stacy and let Hackenberg beat himself. He did exactly that, throwing an interception on his first pass attempt of the game. He’d throw one more before the half. He finished the first half, and subsequently the game, 8 of 14 for 88 scoreless yards and two picks.
It seemed as if most of the Express fanbase has been waiting for a change to be made. Head coach Mike Singletary finally pulled the plug on Hack and two different players came out to start the third quarter. Running back Sherman Badie, who only recently signed with the team, got his first carries of the season. He did well with his opportunities and has earned more work in the backfield.
Within three pass attempts, Zach Mettenberger accomplished something that Hackenberg couldn’t accomplish in 63 attempts.
He threw a touchdown.
It was the first passing touchdown for the Memphis Express. Mettenberger looked sharp, confident, and in full command of the offense. It wasn’t all positive as there were bad throws, big sacks for losses, and some timing issues. All in all, Mettenberger seemed unphased and continued to push the ball down the field. His second touchdown, a 40-yard bomb, came in the fourth quarter while again trying to mount a comeback.
Despite the 21-17 loss, Mettenberger made it a game and more importantly, gave fans some hope. He finished the half nine of 12 for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Mettenberger successfully got the receivers the ball and allowed them to make some plays. He looked comfortable in the pocket and when it collapsed. The Express limp home carrying an 0-3 record to start their inaugural season. This time, they do so with some hope. The hope that Mettenberger gets the reps as the number-one. The hope that Singletary sees that as of right now, Mettenberger provides the best chance of a that highly coveted first victory.
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