Commanders vs Fleet rematch: Who wins this time around?
For all the scares and jokes that people were making last week with the ‘noise’ of the AAF struggling only in Week 2, all seems like it is settled now. I think we can all thank the Carolina Hurricanes majority owner, Tom Dundon.
It looked very possible that the AAF would crumble after failing to send out game checks for Week 2 without Dundon’s $250 million investment. Luckily for Dundon, he liked what he saw in Week 1 and the first meeting between the San Antonio Commanders and the San Diego Fleet was one of those reasons.
Fans got together and packed the Alamodome with nothing but fun and positive vibes. The fact that the NFL season just wrapped up a few weeks ago, proves that football fans will never get tired of the game.
While the league is still in its newborn days, ticket sales have not been a problem for these eight teams. San Antonio being one of the top cities in ticket sales. So while we’re still figuring out who these teams are early in the season, let’s look at what transcended in Week 1 and what we could expect in this quick turn around matchup.
While the Commanders fans were all on their feet for the opening snap, Ja’Quan Gardner was quick to hype up his team with a 25-yard rush on his first run. However, Gardner wouldn’t see much action in the rest of the game.
The Fleet’s offense, in general, looked lost. They couldn’t get into a rhythm and the offensive line didn’t help when they allowed quarterback Mike Bercovici to get sacked five times in the first half. One of those sacks ended up being a highlight reel with Bercovici getting completely lit up.
Not only was Bercovici having a bad opening day behind a crummy line, but it also didn’t help that he threw two interceptions in a crucial game that was close all the way until the end. After his second pick, he was benched for Phillip Nelson.
Nelson did look like the better player, but he wasn’t capable of overpowering the Commanders defense. Nelson also had an interception, but the pass catchers were still able to shine. Gavin Escobar, Brian Brown and Dontez Ford were all able to produce on a sloppy day of offense.
Defensive was the talk of the night for both teams. Currently, the Fleet rank second in the AAF for points allowed. Damontre Moore quickly got a sack early in the game and Ryan Moeller was able to get the tips of his fingers on what could’ve been an interception, only to see it ruled incomplete.
Ron Brooks also made his presence felt by snatching an interception in the end zone. In the end, the defense did what was supposed to be done, but they got gassed late in the game when it really mattered and they couldn’t get any help from their offense.
For the Commanders in their first meeting with the Fleet, it was an offensive nightmare for them as well. Logan Woodside threw two interceptions, but he was able to turn things around finishing the game with 255 passing yards. Compared to Bercovici, Woodside was the more mobile quarterback being able to escape pass rushers coming his way.
Greg Ward Jr. had nine targets but caught five balls for 65 yards. Alonzo Moore was a speedy receiver who finished with 78 yards, but half of those yards came on one huge play. It was a 46-yard bomb, but it just fell shy of the goal line.
Woodside’s favorite target of the night was Mekale McKay. McKay had a whopping 12 targets in the game but was only to connect on five of those passes. He still finished the game with 80-yards, which was the most by any receiver on both teams. With a performance like that, McKay earned the nickname “Big play McKay”.
The Commanders defense was the talk of the game for San Antonio. In the end result, the Commanders were only able to put up 15 points compared to the Fleet’s six points, but the defense was the reason why the Commanders came out victorious in Week 1.
The defense racked up six sacks and made this a long game for both Bercovici and Nelson. Shaun Washington had two sacks and his partner Winston Craig also got in on the action as well, recording a few sacks for himself.
Orion Steward and De’Vaunte Bausby we’re responsible for both of Bercovici’s interceptions, but it was the interception by Zach Sanchez that clinched the game-winning pick off of Nelson in the end zone that wrapped up this exciting game.
What to expect in Week 3
Both teams have had nothing but good things to say about one another. To be fair it’s still early in the season, and I’m sure well get to that trash talking by rival teams in the future. San Diego Fleet players and members of the coaching staff acknowledged how the Commanders were very well coached.
The Fleet also know that this time around they will have to do a better job offensively to give the San Antonio pass rushers the attention that they need, or else it could be another long game for Nelson and his offensive line.
In Week 2 both teams trended in a different direction. For the Commanders, they had the dome rocking with nearly 30,000 fans in attendance. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to survive the shootout and ultimately fell to the undefeated Orlando Apollos, 37-29.
On the other hand, the Fleet were able to prove why no team should be overlooked as they were able to steamroll the Atlanta Legends, 24-12. If we learned anything about both teams, it’s that they were no strangers to the end zone after their Week 1 meetings.
The Fleet fan base should be excited to hopefully see their team get revenge on their Western rivals. You’ve got to be a bit worried if you’re the Commanders. A tough loss at home is hard to overcome on the road, especially against a team that will know what to differently this time around.
All of the teams in the AAF have visited San Antonio for training camp early on. This will literally be the Commanders first time on the road, and I’m not sure how they will handle it on their first road game with a team that can’t wait to get revenge.
I expect a low scoring first half, but just like their first meeting, I can see the second half heating up with drama on both sides. I’ve got the Commander by a field goal here. I know most betting sites have the Fleet as the -2.5 favorite at home, but I just like what I’ve seen from the Commanders offense a bit more than what San Diego has shown us on offense.
Commanders 24 Fleet 21