With a playoff spot on the line, the Arlington Renegades prepare for a season finale against their Texas Showdown rivals the Houston Roughnecks.
Last week was one of the toughest games of the season for the Renegades, but one that was important to a team that needed some momentum. They managed to come from 17 points behind to tie the game with five seconds left in the fourth quarter and force overtime. Unfortunately for Arlington, they could not score in the overtime which resulted in a 28-26 loss to the top XFL team DC Defenders.
Where does that leave the Renegades for the playoffs? They need to beat their week ten opponents the Houston Roughnecks to have no questions at all about getting in. Another scenario is the San Antonio Bahmas losing to the DC Defenders Saturday as that would automatically get them in as well. The worst-case scenario is if San Antonio wins and Arlington loses, the Renegades are out of the playoff picture. So to keep things simple: win and in.
Line: Renegades -1, O/U 42
Date/Location: Sunday, April 23rd, 2023, at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Kickoff Time: 2:00 PM CST
Weather Forecast: Rain, 55 Degrees, 76% Humidity, 78% Precipitation
Renegades Injury Report
The biggest name on the injury report this week is running back De’Veon Smith. He has been banged up throughout the last two games as this might be the week, they are trying to give him more rest to prepare for the game. His status is unclear as of the release of the article, but there should be some optimism that he can play on Sunday.
Other key injuries on the list are once against wide receiver Victor Bolden who is injured and newly signed defensive back Javaris Davis. Bolden has rarely been active for a game this season as he has seen limited action dealing with injuries most of his time as a Renegade. Davis’ injury will be one to keep an eye on as the secondary has had trouble staying healthy this season with three of them being placed on IR.
Renegades Depth Chart
Very few to no changes to the depth chart this week as the two to watch out for are the running back and receiver positions. Should Smith be ruled out, it will be the Leddie Brown show. Even if Smith is healthy, fans could see Leddie Brown still be the lead back this weekend.
At the receiver position, should Bolden be ruled out of the game, that would leave LuJuan Winningham as the backup at both outside receiver positions. Winningham has proven to be the big-play receiver for Arlington when they needed it so not a major drop for the team there.
Key Storylines for Renegades
Questions about the offense have seemed to fade away which is a relief for all fans and the team itself thanks to the play of quarterback Luis Perez. Now it’s about if they can stay consistent as they face one of the top passes rushing defenses in the league. Arlington’s offensive line has seen great improvement from game one to last week. The focus will be the tackles Garrett McGhin and George Moore if they can handle the quick and elusive defensive ends Houston has. Big matchup to watch throughout the game.
With all the injuries to the secondary that has been talked about throughout the season, it’s not the corners and safeties that need to be on their toes. It’ll be the front seven for Arlington as Houston has found new life running the football. Roughneck running backs Max Borghi and Brycen Alleyne have been dynamic in the backfield for Houston. Renegades defensive tackle T.J. Barnes has been among the best defensive lineman in the league against the run and he will be much needed Sunday.
Renegades head coach Bob Stoops has spoken about not being focused on what other teams do and only focusing on winning. Quarterback Luis Perez also spoke on the urgency the team feels in practice to win no matter the outcome of the San Antonio game. The only thing that matters to this football team is beating the top south division team Houston to bring that momentum to a potential playoff game against them.
Houston is not the same team Arlington played in week two when they lost 23-14. This offensive is not as explosive, but this defense is still solid. Arlington still has a big challenge ahead of them with more pressure on them to win. In reality, Coach Stoops is absolutely right, the only thing that matters is winning this game. The question is whether the team can take that momentum of the last two weeks and apply it against the Roughnecks.
Prediction: Arlington Renegades 23, Houston Roughnecks 22
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