Arlington Renegades vs. Memphis Showboats | Week 7 Preview | Ajene Harris

Arlington Renegades vs. Memphis Showboats | Week 7 Preview

Week six of the UFL will kick off with what is a crucial matchup for two losing teams. The Arlington Renegades host the Memphis Showboats as the two will face off for the first time in franchise history.

Both of these teams are in a free fall. On one hand, the Arlington Renegades are 0-6, still unable to find a way to buy a win. They’ve now lost three games on last second field goal attempts.

Memphis has lost five straight. After a close win in week one against Houston, and a late lead blown against San Antonio – the Showboats have been blown out four games in a row.

The playoffs are just around the corner, and a loss here for either team essentially ends their UFL campaign. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in this one.

Quarterback Play

Luis Perez has been one of the top quarterbacks in the UFL, doing everything for a team that still can’t win a football game.

Luis has been quite accurate this season. The stability, leadership, and poise he’s brought to this organization is what has kept them within arms reach throughout the year. He’s completed over 65% of his pass attempts in 2024, leading the UFL with 1,330 passing yards. Against a Memphis defense that has struggled, expect another efficient day from Perez.

The quarterback situation in Memphis isn’t as clear cut. Case Cookus started again last week, but he didn’t have a very productive day. He also lost two fumbles, and has taken a step back this year when it comes to protecting the football.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see John DeFilippo give Troy Williams another opportunity to start. Williams played in week five against Michigan as the starter, but also had early turnover issues. Across the board, the quarterback play has not been ideal for the Showboats.

It’s difficult with the offensive line situation as well, as Memphis has not blocked well all year long. Jim Turner has to find a way to adjust, and will have to do so against an Arlington defense that has been improving as of late.

Standout Playmakers

The strength of these two teams are found in their wide receiver rooms. On Arlington’s side, they do feature some of the top receivers in the league.

Tyler Vaughns, Deontay Burnett, and Javonta Payton have all been putting up numbers throughout the year. Additionally, TE Sal Cannella has come alive lately, catching his first touchdown of the year this week against the Panthers.

Daewood Davis, Jonathan Adams, Vinny Papale, and Sage Surratt make up a core in Memphis that produces, despite the protection issues. Add in Diondre Overton and Dee Anderson, and it’s strange that this offense hasn’t been able to put up more points.

In fact, this weekend was the first time they got over 20 points this year – and it came in garbage time against Birmingham.

Where Arlington and Memphis stumble is on the ground. Neither running back room has put up impressive numbers this year. It helps that Devin Darrington just signed with the Renegades, but he’s likely not going to be active this weekend regardless.

Defensive Issues

The Arlington Renegades have not been able to get a stop throughout this entire season when they need it. Jay Hayes’ defense has regressed from a year ago, when they were the backbone of Arlington. This time around, they’ve been the key reason why this team can’t win games.

The Renegades are allowing 311 yards per game, and teams are scoring an average of 25.5 points per game against them. It’s a trend that has to stop at some point, and with the Showboats deep rooted issues up front, this could be the game.

Carnell Lake’s defense has been severely disappointing in 2024. They’ve allowed over 30 points in each of the last four games, not giving their offense much of a chance. The Showboats are dead last defensively, allowing 340 yards a game, with opponents scoring 28.5 points per game.

Memphis should be able to find a way to get after Perez since he isn’t as mobile as an Adrian Martinez, but Luis has also done an excellent job of beating the blitz this year. Lake will have his work cut out for him in this category.

Coaching Matchup

Memphis Showboats | John DeFilippo: Another week, another loss for John DeFilippo’s Showboats. John will have to hope he can avoid ending up as Bob Stoops’ first win of the year, as they’ll be facing off against a hungry Arlington team that believes they’re better than 0-6.

John DeFilippo commented this week to the media about the importance of this game, knowing how good Arlington can be:

“We talked to the team this morning, this is a really good football team especially on offense. They’re scoring a lot of points. They’re close to 20-plus points a game. I’m really impressed with their QB Perez. I talked to our defense and our team – nothing he does is flashy, but it’s just efficient. He has the three traits that you look for in quarterbacks: decision making, timing, and accuracy. I think he’s elite on all of those three levels…we have our hands full.”

Arlington Renegades | Bob Stoops: This Renegades team has very little discipline. They continue to shoot themselves in the foot with self inflicted wounds time and time again. Truthfully, these sorts of things are on the coaching staff. Losing the game last week because of a facemask, and then having 12 men on the field during the field goal attempt, is inexcusable. These are the reasons why Arlington is 0-6 – it isn’t necessarily a lack of talent.

Key Factors

  • Can Arlington find something positive on the ground? The Renegades have struggled to run the ball all year, and just lost Dae Dae Hunter for the year – someone who showed promise against Michigan. Memphis has allowed 570 rushing yards this year, so this could be an opening for Arlington to see some success.

  • Protect The Football: Memphis has turned the ball over early and often in almost every single loss. Last week, they had a couple of promising drives that resulted in turnovers. This cannot happen again. Arlington’s defense isn’t great, but they are opportunistic and capitalize on offensive mistakes. The Showboats will have to play a clean game if they want to win this one.

Final Thoughts

Heading into this matchup of two of the UFL’s worst, Arlington does feel like the favorite. They are back at home, and truthfully, shouldn’t be an 0-6 team. They’ve lost a plethora of matchups during the final seconds, whereas Memphis has been blown out by 15 or more points the last four weeks in a row.

Time will tell, but the numbers say that the Renegades will pick up their first win this weekend. It will all go down this Saturday, at 1pm ET on ESPN.

Full Roster Breakdowns: Arlington, Memphis

What are your thoughts on this upcoming matchup between the Arlington Renegades and Memphis Showboats? Which UFL players have to impress? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!