Week Five of the Alliance of American Football gave us what was supposed to be a “best of the worst” matchup — Atlanta Legends vs Memphis Express. Both of them 1-3 coming in. Despite that, we got a surprisingly entertaining game which saw the Legends win their second straight 23-20 on a late field goal.
Atlanta Legends vs Memphis Express AAF Week Five Recap: Legends Knock Off Express, 23-20
The game started out in typical Atlanta fashion with the Legends scoring first with a Younghoe Koo field goal. But then disaster struck on a fumbled halfback exchange, and the Express scored with Zac Stacy. However, instead of falling apart, the Legends struck back with a touchdown of their own and the game went back and forth.
After remaining tied at 20 each in the fourth quarter for a while, the Express were driving late. But with over three minutes to go, a pass from Zach Mettenberger was tipped and intercepted. The Legends drove the ball down the field from there, and won the game on a last-second field goal from Koo.
The fact that Matt Simms was ever the starter for the Legends is looking more and more confusing by the day. Aaron Murray played quite well in his first actual start, going 27-for-43, 306 yards and a touchdown. Tarean Folston was also a standout, as he rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and also caught the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter from Murray. Seantavius Jones led the team in receiving with five catches for 89 yards.
For the Express, their biggest standout was Stacy who was sort of back to form today. He only had 41 yards on 13 carries, but he still had two touchdowns and also had 45 receiving yards. He and Terrence Magee were the only players to have more than one catch — they brought in two each. Mettenberger didn’t play badly, but it was still not his best day; the fact that he got hit a lot didn’t help. He finished 9-for-17, 181 yards and one interception. He did get a quarterback sneak touchdown, though.
On the Legends defense, the best day probably came from Tyson Graham Jr, who brought in the game-changing interception, forced a fumble and was also tied for the team lead on tackles with Jeff Luc (both had four each). Dylan Donahue led the team in sacks with one and a half, and he also recovered the fumble that Graham forced.
For the Express, DeMarquis Gates was one of their standouts again, as he had five tackles including one for a loss, plus a fumble recovery that helped the Express get their first points of the game. Unfortunately, he got injured late in the game. Drew Jackson led the team in tackles overall with nine. Corey Vereen led the team in sacks with two.
Not too long ago, the Atlanta Legends were treated as the cellar dwellers of this league and rightfully so. But now that they’ve won two straight and gotten their quarterback situation straightened out, the Express and the Salt Lake Stallions get to share the cellar in the AAF, both with 1-4 records. Next week those two will actually get to play each other for another “best of the worst” matchup. Meanwhile, the Legends will play the San Antonio Commanders next.
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