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AAFL Week 5: San Antonio Commanders at Arizona Hotshots Game Preview and Prediction

After dropping a pair of games, the San Antonio Commanders evened up their record by handing the Birmingham Iron their first loss of the season in Week 4. The game wasn’t exactly a barn burner but the defenses played quite well. A key interception led to a Trey Williams touchdown run and the Commanders never looked back despite giving up a late score. Meanwhile, the Hotshots handed the Atlanta Legends their first win of the season and have now lost two straight. Arizona’s defense did a pretty good job but John Wolford and the offense just couldn’t get it going and looked sloppy for the most part. Date: Sunday, March 10 at 8 PM ET Live From Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe

San Antonio’s passing game has had its moments but it has been plagued by inconsistency. Running back Kenneth Farrow II is second in the league with 280 rushing yards and he is coming off a strong Week 4 performance. One thing that San Antonio has going for them is their league-leading 44.6% third down conversion rate which has helped them become the league leaders in time of possession. Still, untimely turnovers have ended many drives and kept points off the board. They also take a lot of penalties. In other words, they have been their own worst enemy.

On the other hand, they have been able to make some big plays on defense. De’Vaunte Bausby, Orion Stewart and Zack Sanchez each have a pair of interceptions while Shaan Washington has been putting incredible pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They still need to do a better job as they rank in the lower half when it comes to giving up points.

As for the Hotshots, their Week 4 loss to the Legends is troubling. On paper, Arizona looked like one of the league’s best at the start of the season but their last two games have exposed a lot of vulnerabilities on both sides of the ball. Quarterback John Wolford started the season with a couple of good performances but he’s tapered off and Jhurrell Pressley has been picking up the slack. Rashad Ross continues to be a big threat but San Antonio has a few good coverage guys that should be able to make it tough for Wolford to find him open. Look for Jhurrell Pressley to carry the load.

Generally speaking, Arizona’s defense has been a group effort. None of their players have been standouts in any defensive categories but they are still only giving up 19.25 points per game. They will need to slow down San Antonio’s offense especially on third downs which might be tough for a team that gives up the most yardage per game. Winning the turnover battle will also go a long way.

Prediction

The Commanders are far from being an offensive juggernaut as shown by their last two games in which they have scored 11 and 12 points. The Hotshots have a significantly better passing game but it hasn’t shown lately. The Hotshots are favored by 2.5 points and they should be able to beat that spread and get back on track in front of their home crowd.

The Pick: Arizona -2.5

The Total

One of the things that makes the 40-point total such a tough number is that nobody really knows how effective Arizona’s potentially lethal passing game will click. If it does then there is a good chance that we will see 40 points. However, they will have their hands full against San Antonio’s defense and this one has a better chance of being low scoring.

The Pick: Under 40

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