Thu, Jun 16, 2022
While the Chicago Blitz and Kansas City Force played what will surely go down as one of the X League’s most memorable games, it was the Los Angeles vs Austin match-up that most circled when the 2022 schedule was released. Austin and LA were both projected highly across various pre-season power rankings, as Austin posted the No.1 pole position while LA has been ranked as high as No.2.
Austin’s high-ranking is primarily due to fact that its QB1 is perhaps the most well-rounded signal-caller in the X League, Michelle Angel can not only beat you with her arm-strength and mobility, but perhaps most importantly, with her mental grasp of the game. Angel is a gym-rat and absolute student of the game, as a result her skillset has grown to position her as perhaps the most talented female Quarterback in the world. What will make Austin tough to handle this season will be its air-attack, when Angel looks to light up scoreboards, she will target WR1 Kassandra Bills. The 5’6 wide receiver is an absolute home-run threat every time she lines up. A curious development in the backfield for Austin as longtime/penciled in starter at running back Rachel Washington seems to have been replaced by Mandy Pena of Kennedy, Texas.
Defensively, Austin has a three-headed monster to watch in strong safety Kris Daniels who is a freak of an athlete and an ball-hawk. Whitney Palmer at middle linebacker is one of the more physical front line athletes in the X League while safety Ana Garza solidifies a solid secondary. The question will be Austin’s defensive frontline which does not scare anyone on paper and can be exposed.
Los Angeles comes in with an untested starting QB1 in Marissa Lopez, lining up next to her sister Miriah Lopez who gets all the headlines until the former landed the starting Quarterback duties. Lopez seems to have a good not great grasp of the offense and is under-rated in terms of her results, Lopez has not faced a live-action rush which could shake the confidence of the Young Gun. Look for head coach Rory Dairy to lean on his run-game to take some of the pressure of Lopez, that run-game will be led by Miriah Lopez, the most explosive weapon in LA arsenal. If Lopez has time in the pocket an X factor will be WR Nina Claud, one of the fastest athletes in the X League.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Black Storm are lining up untested athletes with little to no experience in tackle football, outside of TJ Anderson.
Keys to Winning: Los Angeles has to rely on its run-game and hope for a competitive game going into the 4th Quarter. Austin will need to expose a suspect LA defense early, primarily through the air.