This weekend, the Valor (4-3) return to Capital One Arena for their first home game in nearly a month, hosting the Albany Empire (6-1) on Saturday, June 15 at 7 p.m. It will be the teams’ first meeting in Washington, D.C. this season. The Valor are coming off a 10-point win in Philadelphia while the Empire look to bounce back from a loss to Baltimore, their first defeat of the season.
VALOR PLAYER TO WATCH:
WR Douglas McNeil III
– McNeil III is coming off his third consecutive game with 2+ receiving touchdowns and has totaled 10 touchdowns in just four games played, leading the league with 2.5 receiving touchdowns per game. In his last outing against Albany, the Bowie State alumnus set season highs in receptions (5), receiving yards (124) and receiving touchdowns (4).
EMPIRE PLAYER TO WATCH:
WR Quentin Sims
– Last weekend against Baltimore, Sims set season highs with eight receptions and 146 receiving yards to go along with a pair of touchdowns. In Week 6, Albany’s last meeting with Washington, Sims caught four touchdowns, earning Offensive Player of the Game. Sims is currently tied for second in the league with 14 receiving touchdowns this season, trailing on his teammate, Malachi Jones.
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Valor QB Arvell Nelson vs. Empire DL
– Nelson leads the Valor offense and enters Week 8 having scored 5+ touchdowns in five of Washington’s seven games this season, including eight passing touchdowns in Week 1 and seven in Weeks 6 and 7. Nelson’s 41 total touchdowns (32 passing, nine rushing) account for all but one of Washington’s offensive touchdowns this season. Attempting to pressure Nelson will be the Albany defensive line, which ranks first in the league in tackles for loss (20), sacks (9) and fumble recoveries (3). Albany Defensive lineman Joe Sykes currently leads the AFL with 4.5 sacks this season.
Saturday night’s game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN3.