So, they meet again. This time, playoff seeding is on the line. We could very well see this match up in a few weeks come playoff time. When these two teams met three weeks ago, the Commanders dominated the Hotshots in the first half. But 17 fourth-quarter points from the Hotshots made the game interesting in the waning minutes. However, the Commanders pulled away in the end to pick up a 29 to 25 victory. Will the Hotshots stay a game ahead of the Fleet and move into a tie with the Commanders, or will the Commanders lock up a playoff spot? Here is the week eight preview of the San Antonio Commanders-Arizona Hotshots match up.
San Antonio Commanders-Arizona Hotshots: Week Eight Preview
The Arizona Hotshots are looking dangerous again on offense due to a strong, balanced attack. In their last two wins, the Hotshots are averaging around 30 minutes of possession time, and 184 yards rushing per game. Running backs Tim Cook and Jhurell Pressley are carrying the load for the Hotshots offense, allowing John Wolford to pick his spots. Wolford has 48 pass attempts the last two weeks, completing 64 percent of his passes. If Wolford throws fewer than 30 passes, the Hotshots are in a great position to win the game.
The Commanders running game has gone extinct. After Kenneth Farrow, II had a breakout game against the Iron a month ago, Farrow has yet to sniff more than 35 yards, including a season-low four yards in their win against the Stallions. The Commanders offensive line also had issues protecting quarterback Logan Woodside, who was sacked six times Saturday night against the Stallions. Woodside ended up leaving the game late in the fourth with a shoulder injury, and backup Marquise Williams threw a touchdown in his absence. Although the Commanders are on a four-game win streak, their offense will need to come alive to keep up with the potent Hotshots offense.
Both teams were excellent in forcing turnovers in their wins this past weekend. The Hotshots have forced two turnovers in each of their last two wins. Against the Fleet, the Hotshots were able to pick off two of Mike Bercovici‘s passes. Even though the Hotshots offense turned the ball over twice as well, the Hotshots defense being able to give the offense extra possessions shows the growth of this Hotshots defense.
The Commanders defense has been spectacular in forcing turnovers. Coming into their game against the Stallions, the Commanders were up to 12 turnovers in the previous three weeks. The Commanders only forced one against the Stallions, but the biggest play of the game came late in the fourth quarter for the defense. Defensive back De’Vante Bausby intercepted a game-tying two-point conversion and ran it back for two points for the Commanders. If the Commanders defense continues to make big plays in big moments, we’ll see the Commanders in the AAF Championship. Defense wins championships.
This game is not only important for the Commanders and Hotshots. With the Fleet waning, a Hotshots win and Fleet loss will make it difficult for the Fleet to make a late push. A Hotshots win also makes the battle for first place relevant again and puts added pressure on a seemingly unbeatable Commanders team at the moment. Whichever defense can generate the most turnovers in this game will be in the driver’s seat to win it.
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