After coming off a tough 23-14 loss on the road against the Houston Roughnecks, the Arlington Renegades are back home Sunday to face off against the Orlando Guardians.
Not a lot went right for the Renegades on offense Sunday as they had a total of 125 yards and three turnovers in the loss. All three turnovers came from quarterback Drew Plitt who threw two interceptions and one fumble. The rushing attack did not help average just over two yards a carry and rushed for just 43 yards on 19 carries.
On the flip side, the defense played pretty well as they forced three fumbles with two of them from the special teams. Houston’s quarterback Brandon Silvers was held to a 50 percent completion percentage and their running game averaged less than three yards a carry. One aspect of their game they struggled with is containing quarterback Cole McDonald on RPO plays as he ran for 39 yards on seven carries.
The loss put the Renegades at 1-1 on the season and forced a change at quarterback due to the poor performance of their offense. Arlington is set to take on the Orlando Guardians who are 0-2 on the season. They have been the worst scoring offense and scoring defense in the league allowing 63 points and scoring just 24 points through two games. The team has been plagued by poor play, miscommunication, and drama from the beginning of the year. This is a game where Arlington is seen as the favorite and should be able to handle it from the first snap.
Line: Renegades -8.5, O/U 38
Date/Location: Sunday, March 5th, 2023 at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Kickoff Time: 4:00 PM EST
Weather Forecast: Sunny, 77 F, Wind 16 mph, 10% chance of precipitation, humidity 49%
Renegades Injury Report
The only injury concerns this week for Arlington are tight end Alex Ellis and defensive lineman Tomasi Laulile. Ellis is dealing with a shoulder injury and had not practiced this week. He has been listed as a fourth string on the depth chart as the team hasn’t seen much action from him.
Laulile is listed as a backup defensive end on the depth chart but is considered a key player in the rotation of the defensive line. Back in week one, he had an interception returned for a touchdown that sparked the 11-point come back to give the Renegades their 22-20 win over the Vegas Vipers. He added a tackle in the win but did not record any stats in week two’s loss to the Houston Roughnecks.
Renegades Depth Chart
Obviously, all eyes are focused on the quarterback position as fans have learned that Kyle Sloter will be the starting quarterback over Drew Plitt. The backup job will be held by Plitt while Kevin Anderson will serve as the third string. Some new additions to the offensive depth include receiver Caleb Vander Esch and offensive lineman Darta Lee who were recently brought onto the team.
With linebacker Aaron Adeoye placed on the reserve list, Edmond Robinson is in line to make his first start of the season at outside linebacker. Recently signed linebacker Bunmi Rotimi will be backing Robinson up. Outside of that move, the defense appears to be intact from last week.
Key Storylines for Renegades
One story that has all Renegades fans excited is seeing the quarterback change with Sloter getting his first start of the season. After his success in the NFL and USFL, this should prove to be a positive for Arlington. Facing one of the worst pass defenses in the XFL, Sloter could be in for a big day in the passing game as he tries to get the offense back on track.
The Renegades’ rush defense will be challenged as they face the third-best rushing team in the XFL in the Guardians. Orlando running backs Jah-Maine Martin and Kelvin Taylor are both in the top ten in the league in rushing yards as they combine for 146 yards and both average more than 4.5 yards per carry. It’ll be on the front seven of Arlington to step up and prevent them from big runs.
In the nicest way possible, a loss to Orlando would be a massive disaster for an Arlington team that has high expectations going into the season. Things aren’t perfect for the Renegades as they look for their identity offensively, but that doesn’t compare to the number of issues Orlando is facing. Multiple players have come and gone for the Guardians and it may not be the end of the changes.
The Renegades need to get the offense up to speed to where the talent level is and Sloter will play a big factor in that. Sloter and tight end Sal Cannella’s connection is back and should get fans plenty excited about the team coming onto the field. With a tough two-game road trip to St. Louis and San Antonio coming, the Renegades must win this game to stay on pace in the south division.
Prediction: Arlington Renegades 26, Orlando Guardians 17
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