Birmingham Iron Become Second Team to Clinch Playoff Spot

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Iron Playoff
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 24: Quarterback Luis Perez  #12 of the Birmingham Iron throws a pass against DeMarquis Gates #58 of the Memphis Express during the third quarter of their Alliance of American Football game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/AAF/Getty Images)

The Eastern Conference playoffs are set. On Sunday, April 21, the Orlando Apollos and Birmingham Iron will clash for the third time this season. In fact, those two teams will meet in the season finale in Orlando, and likely meet again in Spectrum Stadium for the second week. The Birmingham defense leads the Birmingham Iron like they have all season in their playoff clinching win over the Atlanta Legends, 17-9.

Birmingham Iron Punch their Ticket to Postseason

Steady Running Game

Trent Richardson and the Iron offensive line deserve a ton of credit for their performance against the Legends. Richardson led the way with 83 yards on 18 carries, adding another rushing touchdown, extending his league leading 12 rushing touchdowns. It was not a pretty game by the Birmingham Iron, as they did not even netting 100 passing yards for the game.

The Legends running game continued to struggle in this game. Their offense could only muster up 56 rushing yards against the third bet rush defense in the Alliance, which isn’t surprising. Head coach Kevin Coyle and the Legends have not been able to run the ball consistently all season, and the story remained the same today.

Defense Wins Championships

The Iron defense comes through with another dominant performance just like they have all season. The Iron forced four total turnovers, including two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Beniquez Brown continues to pace the defense, adding three more tackles to rank him second in tackles this season. After struggling against the Memphis Express makeshift offense, the Iron defense locks back in and puts together a solid game, including forcing two turnovers in the final five minutes to seal the game. They were also able to get a fumble recovery on a punt to help set up their struggling offense.

The Legends continue to be the head scratching team of the league. Starting quarterback Matt Simms made no sense considering Simms has shown no sign of progression. It was obvious when Aaron Murray entered the game in the second half his confidence was shaken by the move to start Simms. In the end, both quarterbacks struggled, each throwing an interception and having a quarterback rating less than 60. Murray throwing an interception late pretty much summed up their season.

Last Word

This was not a surprise the Apollos and Iron will end up meeting in the playoffs. The Iron struggled for a few weeks after starting 3-1, but their defense has played too well to not propel this team to the playoffs. However, the Iron need to figure out who will start for the Iron at quarterback. Luis Perez has not been consistent all season, and Keith Price looked good down the stretch of this game. If Price can help the Iron offense score more than 20 points, they may have a chance to make it to the Championship.

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