After suffering a tough home loss and changes at quarterback, the Arlington Renegades prepare a Friday night showdown against the Seattle Sea Dragons.
The Renegades are coming off a performance that once again was mixed with great defense and less-than-stellar offense. After the defense allowed less than 200 yards in the game, Kyle Sloter and Drew Plitt couldn’t do much to quarterback the Renegades to scoring drives with just nine points. Arlington suffered their third loss of the season losing to the San Antonio Brahmas 15-9 in front of a season-high 12,368 fans in Choctaw Stadium.
The weeks of the offense struggling led to two major moves by the Renegades with the first Sloter being released from the team Monday. On Tuesday, Arlington made a trade with the Vegas Vipers to acquire Luis Perez to bring in new blood at quarterback. Plitt will hold the starting quarterback job for now for Arlington.
Their opponents this week, the Seattle Sea Dragons, are on a bit of a hot streak winning four straight games after beating the Orlando Guardians 26-19 in week six. The Sea Dragons currently hold a 4-2 record and are tied for second in the north division with the St. Louis Battlehawks. They have one of the best offenses in the league led by quarterback Ben DiNucci who leads the XFL in passing yards. Seattle is a team to not be messed with as they are on the second-longest winning streak in the XFL behind the DC Defenders.
Line: Sea Dragons -4.5, O/U 37.5
Date/Location: Friday, March 31st, 2023, at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Kickoff Time: 6:00 pm CST
Weather Forecast: 80 F, Sunny, Humidity 16%, Wind 16 mph
Renegades Injury Report
From previous weeks, this injury report from the Arlington Renegades looks better than it has been. The only concern for Arlington is defensive back Jordan Miller who is dealing with a quad injury that had him limited in practice Tuesday but kept him out of Wednesday’s practice. Miller is listed as questionable for the game Friday night.
For the first time this season, linebacker Bunmi Rotimi showed up on the report as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. Rotimi was a limited participant in practice Wednesday but is listed as probable for the game. Most likely, he was limited to protect him from further injury while still getting him reps. With the injuries to linebacker, he has played a bigger role at the position and looks to be good to go to backup Edmond Robinson on Friday.
Renegades Depth Chart
Quarterback is always the position to look at as Drew Plitt will be the starting quarterback for the Renegades on Friday night. Kevin Anderson will be active for the game and serve as Plitt’s backup for the contest. Renegades head coach Bob Stoops told the media Wednesday that newly acquired Luis Perez will most likely not be ready to play Friday so he either serves as a third-string or more likely will be inactive for the game.
The big news for the offensive line is starting left guard Jake Stetz is back and will be taking over his starting spot for the first time in several weeks. Brian Folkerts has been filling the role in Stetz’s absence. Folkerts had some tough moments on Sunday after receiving a personal foul penalty in the loss against San Antonio. Stetz should bring some stability back to the offensive line.
The receiver position continues to have a lot of movement as JaVonta Payton is back as the starter at receiver along with Tyler Vaughns and Brandon Arconado. There should be an increased role for Victor Bolden as this is his second game with the team. Watch out for LuJuan Winningham to play more after his spectacular touchdown catch last week.
Key Storylines for Renegades
Again, broken record here, but the quarterback position leads the storyline section of this article. Drew Plitt is making his third start of the season after going 1-1 in his first two starts earlier in the season. The biggest storyline is how long of a leash Plitt has before Kevin Anderson could jump in and get some playing time especially since Anderson has been inactive for the season. With Perez chomping at the bits to play, this could be Plitt’s last shot at earning the starting job so this is the most important start of his professional career.
The defense is getting a bigger challenge as they face the number one passing offense in the XFL. Their secondary is going to be key against a fast, athletic receiving core in Seattle. Seattle receiver Jahcour Pearson is the best receiver in the XFL as well as Josh Gordon and Blake Jackson have made this unit dangerous. De’Vante Bausby and Shakur Brown are going to have their biggest challenge since week two against the Houston Roughnecks. They will be tested early and often so they will need to have their best game if the team has any chance of winning.
Renegades-Sea Dragons Preview
Seattle turns the ball over more than any other team in the XFL. A major advantage for Arlington is that they are second in the league in creating turnovers on defense. The key to winning this game for the Renegades is to force Seattle quarterback Ben DiNucci into bad decisions and create turnovers. That part at least seems like it is plausible.
The part that is much more needed that seems tougher to do is the offense to finish the drive with touchdowns and not punts/field goals. No team has scored fewer offensive touchdowns this season than the Arlington Renegades. Co-offensive coordinators Jonathan Hayes and Chuck Long have to get creative and set Plitt up for success.
Seattle might turn the ball over multiple times, but they will score over 20 points. The Renegades haven’t done that since week one. Without a productive offense in place, Arlington could be in for a very long Friday night.
Prediction: Seattle Sea Dragons 25, Arlington Renegades 13
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