Where They Stand: Nashville (2-12 in 2015, T-4th in South); Atlanta (10-4 in 2015, 3rd in South)
Last Matchup: Atlanta got the best of the NightWatch 4 times in 2015, including a tight 25-21 victory in Nashville on June 14th. Can the retooled Nashville offense show not only that it can [out]do the Hustle but finish as well?
For Nashville, it will be interesting to see how new captains Tyler Conger and Craig Stewart handle the mantle of leadership. Last year’s team let slip multiple games in the second half or final minutes. Will this year’s team be able to close out at the end of games?
Atlanta's heart and soul continues to be Robert Runner, the team's MVP from a season ago. Will he be able to scorch defenses in 2016 the way he did in 2015? How will he fare against a Nashville team that he gave fits to last year?
Key Matchup[s]: Matt Smith vs NightWatch D
Smith scored the 2nd most goals in the AUL last year (66) and will be expected to be a force again this year. Nashville has a defense returning some starters (Frank Strasser, Javier Ortiz) and adding some new blood (Stewart). It will be interesting to see how the new amalgam matches up against one of the AUDL's best players.
Quote Du Jour: “[G]uarding Robert Runner is always a joy and a challenge… [but] we’re going to be the team no one wants to play this year.” -NightWatch Captain Craig Stewart