Atlanta: Running back Denard Robinson carries the ball against Birmingham's Ryan White during the first half of an Alliance of American Football game March 31, 2019, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.
Photo: Butch Dill/Getty Images
Photo: Butch Dill/Getty Images

Loss takes Atlanta Legends out of playoff contention

Atlanta Legends’ playoff hopes are dead.

The Birmingham Iron held off the Legends, 17-9, Sunday to clinch a second seed playoff berth in the AAF Eastern Conference.

The Legends’ defense held the Iron to under 200 offensive yards, but it was Atlanta’s special teams play that ultimately kept them from earning a victory.

The mistakes began in the first quarter when returner Dwayne Hollis muffed two punts Atlanta eventually recovered. Hollis fumbled again in the second quarter — attempting to stretch out a return — which led to a Birmingham rushing score by Trent Richardson. It was the game’s only touchdown.

Atlanta’s offense, which struggled to convert on third down, wasn’t much better. 

The Legends’ lone offensive spark was a 49-yard catch and run by receiver Justin Thomas. Legends kicker Younghoe Koo remained perfect on the season, scoring all their points on field goals from 31, 33, and 35 yards. 

Quarterback Matt Simms was benched in the second half for Aaron Murray, who surpassed the 1,000-yard passing mark on the season.

Atlanta (2-6) has two games remaining in the American Alliance of Football inaugural season. The Legends host Salt Lake at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7, for their final home game at Georgia State Stadium. They finish the season at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Memphis.  

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