Arlington Renegades vs. San Antonio Brahmas | Week 5 Preview

Arlington Renegades vs. San Antonio Brahmas | Week 5 Preview

After a torturously long wait for the return of spring football, it’s difficult to believe that we’re reaching the halfway mark of the regular season. For these Week 5 adversaries, the contrast between their respective campaigns cannot be overstated. The San Antonio Brahmas, whose 2023 season was mired by setback after setback, is not only 3-1, but vying for the division lead and their franchise’s first postseason appearance.

Arlington, whose 2023 Cinderella story to become the first (and last) champions of the modern XFL shocked the world, has had a miserable 2024. Heading into Week 5 last place in their division and the only team in the UFL to remain winless, Arlington’s title defense is already on life support. The Renegades, however, have proven themselves to be a team of surprises.

San Antonio Brahmas

For San Antonio, the turnaround has been downright dramatic. Last year’s XFL saw the Brahmas bounce between quarterbacks Jack Coan and Reid Sinnett, bring in Kurt Benkert to replace both of them, just to return to Coan by the end of the season. The offense put up a number of lackluster performances, scoring 15 points in a game being a luxury instead of the standard.

These days seem long gone under the new leadership of Wade Phillips and A.J. Smith. The roster has received an influx of new talent, including the dynamic Cody Latimer, Jontre Kirklin, and straight out of the NFL, Marquez Stevenson. Under the helm of quarterback Chase Garbers and now Quinten Dormady, the former having suffered a season ending injury, the Brahmas have scored a minimum of 19 points every game and are cruising.

Alongside the offense, the Brahmas’ defense put on an absolute clinic in Week 4, recording six sacks at the expense of the Michigan Panthers. Indeed, with the exception of their game against the Battlehawks, the Brahmas defense has been one of the best in the league, placing second in sacks, interceptions, and tied for first in forced fumbles.

It’s evident just watching these guys: this team is hungry, and they’re positioned to take their momentum straight into the playoffs.

Arlington Renegades

Where the Brahmas are hungry for the playoffs, the Renegades are simply starving for their first win. Despite being 0-4, the Renegades have been competitive, keeping their last three games within one score. Renegades quarterback Luis Perez leads the league in passing yards and has led his team to the fifth most points scored in the UFL. Of course, being competitive is hardly worth anything when you’re winless going into Week 5.

For all of Perez’s highlights and stats, he’s thrown a pair of ugly interceptions and has gotten strip sacked in some really key moments to the detriment of his team. The fumbles could well be attributed to poor performance from the offensive line, however, as Perez has already been sacked seven times through four games of the season.

It also doesn’t help that the defense has been akin to Swiss cheese more often than not, already giving up 100 points, 17 of those being against the formerly winless Houston Roughnecks. With a seemingly secure lead in the waning minutes of Week 3, the Renegades’ defense snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory by allowing the beleaguered Defenders to score 11 points in the last minute of the game to steal their second win of the season.

Even special teams have caused their share of problems, with now-former kicker Taylor Russolino missing a critical, go-ahead field goal in Week 2 against St. Louis. To say that this has been a nightmare season would be an understatement.

Bad Blood?

Brahmas Offensive Coordinator A.J. Smith – who was with the Houston Roughnecks last year – has some business to settle. He was displeased with the way things went down in the postseason, and did not hold back when asked about this upcoming game. Clearly, Smith is ready to get back at Arlington:

“I can’t wait to play Arlington. I’ve had this game circled since they released the schedule. I could care less they’re 0-4, this is still my Super Bowl because of the crap they pulled in the playoffs last year. The fact that we have the opportunity to make them go 0-5 makes it even sweeter. I’ve played this Defensive Coordinator five times going back to 2020, nothing that they do worries me. We’re going after Donald Payne, and we can’t wait.”

Folks, grab your popcorn and tune in to enjoy what should be a rather entertaining battle down in Texas.

Final Thoughts

Realistically, if Arlington wants any chance to maintain their title defense, if it’s even still possible, they absolutely need a win this week. It’s been a tough road for the Renegades, and unfortunately for them, it’s not getting any easier. The Brahmas are hot right now, and the Renegades are not.

For this reason, I’m predicting an easy win for San Antonio—their hype train stays rolling.

Prediction: 27-9 San Antonio

That being said, this is the same Renegades team that I predicted would get crushed by the Roughnecks in the semi-finals and later insisted had no chance to beat the Defenders in the Championship. This team has proven me dead wrong. Twice. Renegades head coach Bob Stoops didn’t give up on his team last year, and it’s safe to say that he’ll be giving it his all in Week 5. Hopefully we get the best out of both sides.

Full Roster Breakdowns: Arlington, San Antonio

What are your thoughts on this game between the San Antonio Brahmas and Arlington Renegades? Which UFL players will impress? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!