What felt like an eternity for XFL fans became a reality with the league releasing its schedule for the 2023 season.
The XFL made the announcement on Twitter Thursday posting the schedule of all eight teams during the ten-week regular season and two-week playoffs. Their release of the schedule includes the broadcast schedule of where fans can watch each game on the ESPN networks, ABC, or FX.
Fans in Arlington now have a better idea of who the Renegades will be playing and when they will be playing them. Taking a closer look at the schedule, it appears to be a pretty well-balanced schedule compared to other teams as it should be an advantage for the Renegades.
Arlington Renegades 2023 Schedule Overview
Week 1: Home Vs. Vegas Vipers, Saturday, February 18th at 2:00 pm CST on ABC
A major upside with this game is they will be in front of the home crowd at Choctaw Stadium which should be anticipated to be a good number of fans at the game. Back in 2020, the league saw over 17,000 fans pack the same ballpark for the game. The league will be hoping for more of the same this time around.
The tough part is they are potentially facing one of the best offenses in the XFL. Whether Luis Perez or Bryan Scott starts, they will have good weapons around them including Martavis Bryant who was their top draft pick in the XFL Draft. Not to mention running back Matt Jones is back after being one of the leading rushers in the 2020 XFL for the BattleHawks.
Week 2: Road Vs. Houston Roughnecks, Sunday, February 26th at 6:00 PM CST on ESPN2
The last time these two teams met, a Flynn Nagel fumble at the one-yard line late in the fourth quarter cost the Renegades what would have been a momentum-swinging win. Many saw it as one of the best games of the 2020 XFL season. It had the makings of a true rivalry in the making before the season was suspended.
This Wade Phillips-led Houston team is a different-looking team from what June Jones had in 2020. The defense will be the name of the game as the Renegades will be challenged against one of the strongest defensive lines in the league. The Roughnecks will have a battle at quarterback between Brandon Silvers, Cole McDonald, and Kaleb Eleby. Unpredictability is the name of this game.
Week 3: Home Vs. Orlando Guardians, Sunday, March 5th at 3:00 PM CST on FX
On paper, the Arlington secondary could have their hands full against this receiving core for the Guardians. The group has Eli Rogers, Cody Latimer, Andrew Jamiel, and Charleston Rambo to name a few. This is a deep group that has plenty of weapons to spread the Renegades’ secondary thin.
Orlando Guardians head coach Terrell Buckley, being a former defensive back, has great knowledge of the defense. Similar to coach Phillips, coach Buckley will have this defense ready to go. Orlando’s defensive unit should be ready for what could be a strong rushing attack for the Renegades.
Week 4: Road Vs. St. Louis BattleHawks, Sunday, March 12th at 3:00 PM CST on ESPN2
This game will not be easy for Arlington for one reason only: home-field advantage. It will be the BattleHawks’ first home game of the season. The anticipation is this will be a packed house that could potentially see 25,000 to 30,000 fans in the stands. Arlington won’t be the only team that struggles to play in St. Louis, but they might get the worst of it since it is their first home game.
St. Louis BattleHawks head coach Anthony Becht will be leaning heavily on receiver Austin Proehl to be their top receiver potentially in the slot after his prior success with Seattle in the 2020 XFL season. One interesting piece to St. Louis will be whether former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron or The Spring League standout Ryan Willis will win the starting job.
Week 5: Road Vs. San Antonio Brahmas, Sunday, March 19th at 9:00 PM CST on ESPN2
This is a critical two-game matchup against San Antonio. In their first matchup together, the Renegades are the ones that will have to travel for the game which could spell trouble for Arlington. Previously, the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF saw well over 20,000 fans a game pack the Alamodome. A second straight game where the Renegades will be facing a tough crowd that will be rowdy and loud.
The Brahmas have talent on offense as teams could see a heavy dose of running backs Jacques Patrick and Kalen Ballage carrying the rock out of the backfield. Receiver Jalen Tolliver could end up being their top target in the passing game. Regardless of who is on the field, Arlington has to find a way to steal a road win between St. Louis and San Antonio.
Week 6: Home Vs. San Antonio Brahmas, Sunday, March 26th at 2:00 PM CST on ABC
Round two of one of the three different “Texas Showdowns” will see the Renegades back home in front of the Arlington fan base. Both teams will have an advantage in the sense that they are already who they are and what to prepare for since they just played each other. Expect this game to be the tighter of the two matchups.
One other lingering thought about this game comes down to the impact it has on the playoffs. With the two teams being division rivals, winning both games against San Antonio becomes imperative for Arlington. Should the Renegades lose both games to the Brahmas, they must win out to earn a playoff spot. This stretch of the season could make or break the Renegades’ season.
Week 7: Home Vs. Seattle Sea Dragons, Friday, March 31st at 6:00 PM CST on FX
A major advantage for Arlington to be home for a second straight week as they would have completed their tough three-game stretch of tough matchups. While Seattle is not a team to sleep on, this should be the point of the season where the Renegades are hitting their stride and reaching their full potential offensively and defensively. If they had traveled to Seattle, it would have been a significant challenge to play in front of another tough home crowd. A win in the schedule for Arlington.
Receiver Josh Gordon is expected to make an immediate impact in the passing game for Seattle based on his success in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns. The quarterback battle between Ben DiNucci and Brian Lewerke will be a fun training camp story to watch prior to the season. Every game is important in the XFL, but this one will be big as they will be in the second half of their season.
Week 8: Road Vs. Orlando Guardians, Saturday, April 8th at 3:00 PM CST on ESPN
This will be the start of another two-game road trip for the Renegades as they travel to the east coast for a couple of games. It’s a rematch of their week three matchup as this time the Renegades travel to Orlando. Arlington will be facing a very different team as the Guardians should be at full force and comfortable in their systems.
Every divisional matchup is important especially when teams are trying to fight for two playoff spots out of four. As mentioned above, Orlando should have a solid defense to help support them. This will come down to how long Arlington can hold on to the football for and establish a strong running game.
Week 9: Road Vs. DC Defenders, Sunday, April 16th at 11:00 AM CST on ESPN
In the second game of a tough east coast road trip, Arlington will be challenged by the DC Defenders in front of what has been a tough home crowd. DC Defenders head coach Reggie Barlow has put together a talented offense with a loaded secondary. On paper, this appears to be one of the toughest games of the season for the Renegades.
With the news of quarterback Jordan Ta’amu coming to DC, this game instantly becomes tougher of a game especially with it being in Washington D.C. The Defenders have talent in the backfield with Abram Smith, Artavis Pierce, Ryquell Armstead, and Pooka Williams. Not only there, but with receivers K.D. Cannon, Simmie Cobbs, and Jazz Ferguson at receiver, Ta’amu should have no problems moving the ball down the field which could be a major problem for a veteran Renegades secondary.
Week 10: Home Vs. Houston Roughnecks, Sunday, April 23rd at 2:00 PM CST on ESPN
The league knew what they were doing when it decided to pin these two teams together for the season finale. Back in 2020, they called it the “Texas Showdown” and there is a hunch that it will be more of the same in this last week of the season. This game should have playoff implications for either one of the teams or both.
One question lies in whether the scary offensive line of the Renegades can hold up against an equally good defensive line. This game will lie on the shoulders of whoever the quarterback will be for Arlington. Points will be hard to come by so the time of possession is the key to pulling off a win at home in front of the Choctaw Stadium crowd.
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