It’s Week 5 Hotshots fans and we are now 2-3 after a very tough loss on the road in Atlanta last week to the Atlanta Legends. In this evening’s game preview, we will be looking at the upcoming Saturday’s evening game on the road against the undefeated Orlando Apollos.
As this is the inaugural season of the AAF and the Arizona Hotshots, I wanted to introduce some players to you that I feel will impact on our upcoming season. I call it my Big 3 Hotshots of the Week. Enjoy!
Position/Number: Wide Receiver, #18
College: New Mexico (2012-2015)
Hometown: Anthem, Arizona
Pro Football Experience: Arizona Cardinals (2016-2017) Mostly practice squad play and no regular season reps. New York Giants (2017-2018) Practice squad play, appeared in one game regular season as a Giant.
College Stats/Awards: 31 receptions, 395 yards, 2 TD in his career as a Lobo. The potential was high, but the Lobosrun a very run-heavy offense so Bundy’s talents were not used up to par. Ran a very good pro day, which is what got him NFL looks mostly.
Why Bundy is an asset for the Hotshots:
- On the fantasy value in the AAF, his $ has gone up each week. Bundy didn’t get his full shot at New Mexico or the NFL, so he is using the AAF to get him that stardom. Has taken pressure off a Rashad Ross, giving Wolford a good #2 option. We just need to get him in the end zone!
Position/Number: Punter #ForTheBrand, #9
College: UCLA (2009-2012)
Hometown: Glendale, Arizona
Pro Football Experience: Minnesota Vikings (2013-2016), Indianapolis Colts (2017), Detroit Lions (2017), San Francisco 49ers (2018) in the NFL: 317 punts, 13,757 punt yards, avg of 43.4 per punt, 112 punts inside 20 in the NFL.
College Stats/Honors: First Team All Pac-12 (2012) Lead the Pac-12 in 2010 in punt avg. (45.8)
Why Locke is an asset for the Hotshots:
- Ranked the #4th best punter in the AAF, you can’t sleep on a punter that hits dingers like Locke. His longest punt has been over 53 yards in 80% of his games in the AAF. It’s hard to kick in a desert climate.
Position: Defensive Tackle, #95
College: Georgia (2015-2017)
Hometown: Albany, Georgia
Pro Football Experience: Went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. Was signed by the Cleveland Browns prior the NFL Draft, but was cut before the preseason.
College Stats/Honors: 57 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 3 PD. Was a highly touted recruit out of Albany, GA. Was ranked the best freshman in the country at defensive end at UGA. (2015) Former 5-star recruit.
Why Thompson is an asset to the Hotshots:
- Thompson has shown great consistency at Defensive Tackle, which is the position has had to transition to from Defensive End at Georgia. Was given a 90.4% ranking from Pro Football Focus in week 1, and on paper has improved since his first AAF game. Thompson has something to prove in the AAF, as he was a 5-star recruit and one of the best recruits to come to the Bulldogs ever. He has the motor to put in work.
Hotshots Game Preview, Week 6
Last Game: The Orlando Apollos went into Birmingham and got a lopsided win 31-14 over the Iron, and made their starting quarterback, Luis Perez ride the bench behind the new probable starter, Keith Price.
Projected AAF Rankings: If there is an AAF blogger that has the Apollos anything lower than 1st in the power rankings, they should not be writing about the AAF. Orlando has been the best team in the AAF thus far, hands down.
Betting Lines: Orlando Apollos -9, and an Over/Under of 43.5 points
About the Orlando Apollos:
- The “Ole Ball Coach” Steve Spurrier is the head coach of the Apollos. Has been the head coach of Duke (1987-1989), Florida (1990-2001), Washington Redskins (2002-2003), South Carolina (2005-2015). Winner of one National Championship at Florida (1996)
- Garrett Gilbert has shown he could be back to the NFL after this season. The former Longhorn/Mustang has been the best QB in the AAF, and I have my regrets of not seeing more in him in the AAF before week 1.
- With the best QB comes the best wide receiver in Charles Johnson. This former Packer/Viking is a league leader in yards in the AAF and has shown his consistency week by week. Will he get an NFL shot again? Some may say he’s past his NFL prime as a receiver, but who knows.
- In the top 5 in INTs, you will see two Apollos in Keith Reaser and Terence Garvin (3 INT each). What does that tell you? The Apollos are the best all-around team in the AAF. This team just beat a Birmingham team that was undefeated and everyone wouldn’t shut up about Trent Richardson, now they will (maybe).
- The Apollos are also excellent at applying pressure with the help of Earl Okine. 4 sacks this year, and 10 QB hits (more than 1 in every game). Let’s hope Wolford doesn’t pay the price this week on the road against the AAF’s best team.
Betting Numbers Picks/Game Summary:
- With the fire of this Apollos team this season, I see the -9 for the Orlando Apollos as the biggest lock of the week. On the points side, I see this game going under as this game might be lopsided. This is our momentum game, being losers of the last three we need a rebound win on the road, as tough as it may be. John Wolford is going against the best defense he’s ever seen and cannot turn the ball over at all. Rashad Ross has been the star of this team, but we need the running game of Stockton and Pressley to give Wolford a plan B on offense.