The Arlington Renegades look to snap a two-game losing streak on Saturday as they take on division rivals Orlando Guardians on the road.
Despite Taylor Swift being in town last weekend, the Renegades weren’t about to shake it off last Friday (“it” in this context being the loss to the San Antonio Brahmas the previous week…yes, a very bad pun). Arlington fell to the Seattle Sea Dragons 24-15 to move their record to 3-4 on the season, but still hold a second-place spot in the south division. The offense was able to produce over 300 yards for the first time this season, but the defense allowed 21 first-half points which doomed them.
Orlando heads into the game with a ton of confidence after winning their first game of the season last weekend to the previously undefeated DC Defenders 37-36. Quarterback Quinten Dormady has given the offense new life as the offense has scored over 30 points in a game twice in the last three games. Their defense still has much left to be desired as they also have allowed over 30 points in a game twice in the last three games.
Line: Guardians -1.5, O/U 42.5
Date/Location: Saturday, April 8th, 2023, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
Kickoff Time: 3:00 pm CST
Weather Forecast: 90 F, Partly Cloudy, Precipitation 20%, Humidity 51%, Wind 10 mph
Renegades Injury Report
Linebacker Bunmi Rotimi has seen a lot of playing time over the last few weeks with Edmond Robinson also being out with injuries. Rotimi did not finish Friday’s game due to the knee injury which has kept him out of practice all week. As of right now, he is the only player on the injury report who is ruled out of the Orlando Guardians game this weekend.
Offensive lineman Cameron Hunt was another player who got hurt in the Sea Dragons game as he did not practice much this week with a lower leg injury. Wide receiver Victor Bolden is dealing with his second injury since joining the team as he was limited this week with a shoulder injury. Both players are listed as questionable. Should Hunt be ruled out, it would be Brian Folkerts stepping in at the center. Bolden was listed as the backup on the depth chart this week behind JaVonta Payton.
Defense got some good news after Rotimi was ruled out of the game as three of their players were listed as probable and should play this weekend. Defensive backs Darren Evans (head) and Jordan Miller (quad) will be good to have back in the lineup and give depth to an already injury-prone position. Evans was one of the players that left Friday’s game as well with an injury. A sigh of relief can flow through Renegades’ fans as leading tackler Donald Payne should be good to go to play despite an ankle injury.
Renegades Depth Chart
Taking our eyes to the position fans care the most about, the quarterback position will have Luis Perez and Kevin Anderson gunning for the top position. Newly signed quarterback Kelly Bryant will be inactive according to Renegades head coach Bob Stoops. No official word has been announced on who will start at quarterback, but Perez appears to be in line to take the job Saturday.
The only other major change to the depth chart is at linebacker which seems to have been rotated around multiple times. Willie Taylor is in line to start at outside linebacker with the news of Rotimi being ruled out this week with an injury. Darnell Sankey is listed as one of the other starting inside linebackers after he was inactive for last week’s game against Seattle.
Key Storylines for Renegades
It should be clear and obvious by now that one of the top storylines for the Renegades is pretty much going to be about the quarterbacks. It’s a position that no one has yet to take and run with whether it’s Drew Plitt, Kyle Sloter, or Kevin Anderson. Luis Perez has been brought in to be the guy to help get the Renegades through the next three games and have a productive offense while doing it. With a playoff spot on the line, Perez’s experience and decision-making should be what the offense has needed.
Arlington’s defense had quite the letdown last week with Sea Dragons quarterback Ben DiNucci having a lot of success throwing the ball and using his legs to get over 50 yards rushing. This week, the defense is taking on one of the hottest offenses in the XFL in Orlando. Besides Dormady having success at quarterback, the playmakers Orlando has between Cody Latimer, Charleston Rambo, and Eli Rogers, Arlington’s secondary is going to get tested early and often. It’ll be on the big play-making safeties Will Hill and Joe Powell to create some turnovers for the defense.
No one could have predicted three weeks ago this would be a game that has playoff implications on the line for both teams. Orlando seemed good and out even two weeks ago but found new life thanks to Dormady’s play. Now there may be a chance that the Guardians will go 4-6 and make the playoffs in the south division. That’s a wild scenario that most people hope doesn’t come true.
The Renegades seem to finally have their offense trending in the right direction with over 300 yards and two touchdowns which are both something they have never done all season in a game. Perez should give him a glimpse of hope that the passing game should open up to new heights. It now all comes down to the playmakers stepping up on offense and co-offensive coordinators Jonathan Hayes and Chuck Long coming up with the perfect game plan.
Defensively, turnovers must be created by the Renegades. Orlando is prone to turnovers at bad moments with an example being two fumbles in the fourth quarter against DC. Plays like that are what have helped the Renegades win three games this season and it is what is needed for them to steal one on the road.
Despite Orlando being 1-6, this game can’t be taken lightly. The Guardians’ offense is red hot, and the Renegades are reeling with two straight losses. This is Arlington’s opportunity to bounce back and seal their fate for a playoff spot. It won’t be easy as the one key for the Renegades is they need to score quickly and often. A slow start for them could kiss their clear playoff road goodbye.
Prediction: Orlando Guardians 21, Arlington Renegades 16
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