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Empire hosts Valor, VSiN perspective

ON BEHALF OF VSiNĀ 

By Jonathan Von Tobel

Washington @ Albany (-3.5, 98.5)

The biggest question in this contest is how Washington will react to the loss of quarterback Nick Davila for the remainder of the season with a neck injury. Davila was injured in the Valor’s 67-51 loss to the Soul over the weekend. If Davila had played, I think the argument could have been made for Albany to be favored. Against the Soul, Davila was pressured on almost every play it seemed, and it was part of the reason the Valor fell into such a big hole early. This Albany team comes off of a monster performance in which it harassed Randy Hippeard almost every second of its contest against the Brigade. Washington will have to fix the quarterback protection and mental mistakes if it wants grab that first win of the season.

As for Albany, after a week off, the team looked much improved in Week 3, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The addition of wide receiver Joe Hills worked wonders, as he pulled in four scores in his Empire debut and won offensive player of the game. However, nothing was more impressive than the front line of Albany, which not only hounded Hippeard, but forced the offensive line of Baltimore into some penalties that came from the frustration of being beat snap after snap. Look for the Empire defensive front to have another big day against the Valor offense.

Albany was thought to be a better expansion team than most due to the makeup of its roster. While that theory did not play out in Week 1, the unit definitely looked improved in its loss to Baltimore last weekend. Against arguably the worst defense in the AFL, an improved offense should have another big day, while the defensive line should be licking its lips in the trenches.

Von Tobel’s Pick: Albany, Over

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