This may or may not be the last weekend of the Alliance of American Football. Personally, I don’t think it will be, but there is so much up in the air right now that it’s impossible to be confident of anything. If this is the final week of the young upstart league—eight weeks into its 10-week inaugural season—then it will have ended with Johnny Manziel returning to the lineup of an American football team.
In just his second week on the roster, the former first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns opened the Memphis Express’ second drive yesterday as the after making some cameo appearances last week, taking on a bigger role in what looked to be a rotation plan.
Unfortunately for him, it didn’t last very long. He completed two of three pass attempts for 13 yards. He also rushed three times for 18 yards. But it was on that third throw that everything went wrong. Not only was the pass intercepted, he suffered a concussion in his attempt to make the tackle.
He exited the game and Brandon Silvers, who began the season as the Express’ third-string quarterback, played another good game, nearly leading them to an upset victory over the Orlando Apollos, the AAF team with the best record at 7-1 after yesterday’s game.
Silvers completed 30 of 49 attempts for 269 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His counterpart, Garrett Gilbert, completed 22 of 40 pass attempts for 310 yards for two touchdowns, but he was also intercepted twice. He led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, with both scores occurring past the five-minute mark, including an 18-yard score to former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson, who caught eight passes for 135 yards.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin has been one of the key players for the Apollo defense all season. Against the Express, he recorded a game-high nine tackles, including two for a loss of yardage, and had a pass defensed as well.
While that game was an exciting, high-scoring affair, the other game of the day was I believe the lowest-scoring yet in AAF history, with the Salt Lake Stallions upsetting the San Diego Fleet, 8-3. The two quarterbacks combined for zero touchdown passes to three interceptions and fewer than 300 passing yards.
Another former Steelers linebacker, Travis Feeney, led the Fleet in the game with seven tackles. He was the only former Steeler with a meaningful contribution in the game. Running back Terrell Watson did not get a carry, and he caught one pass for just one yard.