The Alliance of American Football gives fans two of their favorite things. For those who were not ready for football season to be done and over with—well, now there is more. It may not be great football, but it is better than the preseason and certainly better than no football.
As for the second thing—redemption stories. People love a good comeback story whether it’s a return from injury or early career struggles. We like to hear about the guy who struggled hard out of the gate, rededicated himself to his craft, and then came back and excelled.
Sunday’s AAF game between the Birmingham Iron and Memphis Express had two such stories—Iron running back Trent Richardson and Express quarterback Christian Hackenberg. While Richardson did contribute to his team’s 26-0 win over the Express, neither player was very impressive.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 10, 2019
Richardson did score a pair of touchdowns in the second half; one was a nice four-yard run and the other five-yard one. But otherwise, he was unimpressive carrying the ball 23 times for just 58 yards. It is safe to say he is going to have to do much better if he is going to generate any interest in the NFL.
Hackenberg’s day certainly wasn’t any better. The former Jets quarterback completed just ten of 23 pass attempts for 87 yards and an interception. With a debut like that, it will be interesting to see if he gets a second start or if Zach Mettenberger gets a shot next week.
However, to be fair to both, neither got much help from their offensive line, and the situation they are in is not conducive for immediate success. Offenses take a lot longer to gel and become smooth, efficient machines. Defenses, on the other hand, can look great simply because they have players athletic enough to make plays.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 10, 2019
Birmingham’s defense certainly looked good throughout the game, and the Memphis defense didn’t do too bad either despite the score. When Birmingham scored its first touchdown early in the fourth, the score was only 9-0.
So, in time, maybe both players will look a lot better. Richardson will get his shot when the Salt Lake Stallions visit Birmingham next Saturday. If Hackenberg gets the start, Memphis will host Arizona Saturday afternoon.