New York Guardians (1-1) vs St. Louis Battlehawks (1-1)
Sunday February 23 3pm EST @ The Dome at America’s Center
Odds: St. Louis Battlehawks -9.5 (danduel.com)
Football Comes Back to St. Louis
St. Louis will be playing in a sell-out of the original allotment of seats they offered as the Battlehawks make their home debut. Both teams enter the game with identical 1-1 records and both come in losing their last game. However, the way they lost is the difference in the current betting line. As the Battlehawks were nipped on the road in a tight game, while the Guardians got shut out with a terrible offensive performance in DC.
Ben Heeney (56) vs Jordan Ta’Amu (10)
Ben Heeney is the talented middle linebacker for a Guardian defense that has only allowed 3 touchdowns in the first 2 games. He will need to contain Ta’Amu and limit the Battlehawk QB on his scrambles. Ta’Amu has been impressive with his feet and his accuracy so far and looks to build on that at home., It is Ta’Amu’s play that has the Battlehawk fans so confident.
Dravon Askew-Henry (22) vs De’Mornay Pierson-El(15)
Askew-Henry has been playing as a slot cover guy more than a safety and he would be locked up with one of the best slot receivers in the league in Pierson-El. This is the matchup to keep an eye on If Pierson-El can take advantage of this one on one, it can be a long day for the Guardians.
Bunmi Rotimi (58) vs Andrew McDonald (69)
Rotimi has been a dangerous pass rusher for the Guardians in the first two games and is looking like one of the top pressure guys in the league. Jake Camps was the starting LT for ST Louis, but he is on IR now after a leg injury late in the Houston game. This will leave backup Andrew McDonald with the job of handling Rotimi. If Rotimi can cause disruption it can impact the Battlehawk passing attack.
New York Guardians
The WR corp is still beat up as Tanner Gentry and Deangelo Yancey cannot return for at least 1 more week. Joe Horn, Jr did not practice Thursday and is starting to look like he will miss the game as well. OLB Garrett Dooley is also out with a leg injury for the Guardians. OG Garrett Brumfield is also in danger of missing his second straight week with a head injury. In the good news, C Ian Silberman did begin practicing and has a shot at returning this week. Darius Victor who had a vicious head injury last week is also hopeful to return this week.
Home Team Name
OT Jake Campos is on IR now with a leg injury. RB Matt Jones has a knee injury and did not practice yet this week and looks like he may not be able to go.
For the Battlehawks Pierson-EL has what looks to be a favorable matchup, if he draws Askew-Henry in the slot. Christine Michael will be getting a lot of work if Matt Jones cannot go, as it looks right now. With all the injury problems the Guardians have at WR, Mekale McKay will figure to be even more important as the go to receiver threat this week. TE Jake Powell has been seeing some chances and may get more looks for the Guardians who will need a TE to step up as a target this week.
The Guardians will look to play with a real chip on their shoulder following the debacle in DC. QB Matt McGloin will look to shut critics down and may look to try a more quick hit offense with the TE and RB out of the backfield which can get him into a better groove early. Look for the crowd to be very loud and have the Battlehawks feeding off that energy. The side that can force the most turnovers will likely win. After the week they had last week, it is imperative for the New York team to get off to a good start and build confidence to wipe away last week’s horror show or they may face collapse.
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