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Arlington Renegades

What Went Wrong In Renegades’ 24-11 Loss To Battlehawks

Another tough road game for the Arlington Renegades resulted in a 24-11 loss to the St. Louis Battlehawks.

This was unprecedented for the Renegades as they had to deal with an XFL record 38,310 fans in the stands cheering against them. The atmosphere was loud making things hard for Arlington as it felt like the chips were stacked against them from kickoff. No one can deny that the crowd played a major role in the game as momentum felt like it was always on St. Louis’ side.

It was another week of the offense struggling to produce much for the Renegades as they recorded 240 total yards of offense. Their four turnovers played a major role in the loss as quarterback Kyle Sloter had three interceptions and one fumble lost in the game. To top it off, the running game for Arlington had 15 carries for 49 yards with De’Veon Smith being the leading rusher with nine carries for 24 yards and the lone touchdown.

The Renegades’ defense did a good job for the most part forcing four punts and an interception in the game. Outside of that, they struggled to get to A.J. McCarron as they recorded a goose egg on sacks and only had two tackles for loss. St. Louis had a solid running game going and McCarron picked apart the defense with only seven incompletions on 27 pass attempts.

Arlington’s loss puts them now at 2-2 on the season with a two-game series coming up against the San Antonio Brahmas. The Renegades are two games behind Houston for first place in the South Division. They currently sit in second place and one game ahead of San Antonio who sits at 1-3.

Why The Renegades Lost to the Battlehawks

Offense: Sloter Turnovers, Dropped Passes, Lack of Rushing Attack

It’s easy to first point the finger at Kyle Sloter who threw three interceptions and fumbled once as the reason the Renegades lost. Sloter had 16 incompletions and struggled to get the offense moving during the game. He did miss some passes with his inaccuracy, but something to keep in mind was the dropped passes by his receivers.

Brandon Arconado and Caleb Vander Esch had some easy drop passes that could have led to first downs in the game. In general, the receivers did not do much to help Sloter out as they felt out of sync throughout the game. The passing game had some nice plays made, but it wasn’t enough for them to have the type of performance they needed.

It doesn’t help with the running game not being able to do much with their opportunities. Smith once again was averaging around two yards a carry and never really made big runs. The offensive line has struggled to open any running lanes for the backs to establish any kind of big gains. It continues to be the biggest flaw of this offense with no running game supporting the passing game.

Defense: Injuries Are Starting to Catch Up, Front Seven Struggled

It’s a shame because it’s not that the Renegades’ defense didn’t play well, but they didn’t make enough plays to make it more competitive. The unfortunate aspect of Arlington relies on the defense to make big plays to set up the offense with great field position and momentum. With only one turnover and no sacks in the game, that isn’t a recipe for success.

Josh Hawkins’ absence was noticeable as while the defense didn’t allow a lot of big pass plays, they were letting St. Louis complete easy passes throughout the game. McCarron completed 74 percent of his passes with not a lot of pressure on his face. The biggest slip-up was the McCarron touchdown pass to Darius Shepherd before halftime where it appeared there was broken coverage in the secondary.

Not everything can be on the secondary as the front seven struggled to stop the run and once again, zero sacks on McCarron is not good. The Battlehawks average almost four yards a carry with Brian Hill doing most of the damage with 89 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. It didn’t matter what Arlington brought to St. Louis as they were ready to move the ball down the field while controlling the time of possession.

Final Analysis

It isn’t clear if changes are on the horizon for Arlington as we have seen hints of changes with other teams. The Renegades’ offense is struggling as they are statistically among the worst in the league in every category with little improvement being shown. Coach Bob Stoops needs somebody to step up for the team to get them back on track.

The next two games are the most critical for Arlington as they face division rivals San Antonio Brahmas. If there is any consolation, San Antonio has been struggling themselves as they are off to a 1-3 start on the season with the offense also struggling to get anything going. The matchup is going to be a toss-up for either team, but whoever’s offense can step up will win the two games. If Arlington loses both games, it makes their road to the playoffs that much harder.

Final Renegades Stats

Team Stats

Renegades Offensive Stats

Renegades Defensive Stats

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Anthony Miller is a credential reporter and writer for XFL NewsHub. Anthony writes about the NFL, specifically the Philadelphia Eagles. Follow Anthony on Twitter @ByAnthonyMiller.

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