Memphis Showboats vs. DC Defenders | Week 9 Preview | Daewood Davis

Memphis Showboats vs. DC Defenders | Week 9 Preview

Week nine delivers a pair of cross conference matchups this week, finishing off with the DC Defenders (3-5) visiting the Memphis Showboats (1-7). This is the first time these two teams have faced off. Both teams have been mathematically eliminated from the UFL playoffs, so this game will most likely be an evaluation for players and coaches from each team.

The Defenders were eliminated last weekend, mainly due to their loss last week to the St. Louis Battlehawks, 26-21.

Meanwhile, the Showboats lost their seventh straight game last week to the Michigan Panthers, 24-18.

Quarterback Play

The Showboats are once again without Case Cookus this week, as he was limited throughout the week at practice with a chest injury. That means Troy Williams will start his third game of the season for Memphis. This season, Williams is 54/99 (54.5%) for 576 yards, along with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

Williams is also a threat with his legs, racking up 74 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts this season.

It appears Jordan Ta’amu will finish the season as starter of all ten regular season games for the second consecutive season. Heading into his ninth start of the year this week, Ta’amu currently leads the UFL in interceptions (7), and ranks third in passing with 123/222 (55.4%) for 1,390 yards.

Without a consistent running game this season for DC, it’s been tough finding a balance for a Fred Kaiss led offense that led the XFL in rushing last season by a wide margin.

Standout Playmakers

Memphis Showboats

Daewood Davis has consistently been the best player on the Showboats roster this season. The lengthy 6’2 wideout from Western Kentucky is second in the UFL in receiving and for good reason. Davis currently has 38 receptions for 443 yards, and five touchdowns (tied for UFL lead).

Behind Davis, Jonathan Adams is another long target that can be a comfort spot for any struggling quarterback. Many expected Adams to be the number one target for the Showboats offense this season, but Davis took his opportunity and ran with it.

Spring league veteran, Darius Victor, is the starting running back for Memphis and has held that spot all season for HC John DeFilippo’s offense. Victor has been slightly underwhelming this season in comparison to his previous years, but he currently ranks ninth in the league in rushing with 239 yards and a touchdown on 82 carries.

DC Defenders

The overhaul of playmakers for DC has been astounding to watch unfold over the past year. It all started with players being invited to camps following the season’s end, including wide receivers Lucky Jackson and Chris Blair who later earned NFL contracts. Fast forward to UFL training camp in March, the team’s soul is ripped out when running back Abram Smith goes down with a torn ACL. Now to the present day, we find out just over a week ago the team’s leading receiver Kelvin Harmon will miss the rest of the UFL season with a hamstring injury. These are factors that must be discussed when analyzing the Defenders 2024 season.

With a league like the UFL, there is always a next man up mentality no matter the situation. With that, comes opportunities for guys like Ty Scott who has been an electrifying find by GM Von Hutchins. Scott, in very limited action this season, has managed to climb his way up the Defenders depth chart and now sits 12th in the league in receiving with 17 receptions for 331 yards, and three touchdowns. Scott’s yards per reception is league best with an average of 19.5 yards (min. 10 catches).

Injury Report

Memphis Showboats Inactives:

#16 WR Diondre Overton
#45 ILB Malik Lawal
#48 OLB Terrill Hanks
#55 G Terronne Prescod
#64 T Marcus Tatum
#90 DL Dillon Faamatau
#97 DL Connor Christian

DC Defenders Inactives:

#15 CB Michael Joseph
#33 DE Trent Harris
#39 S Santos Ramirez
#56 T David Satkowski
#59 T William Barnes
#82 WR Monroe Young
#87 TE Ben Bresnahan

Final Thoughts

The Defenders have clearly started their approach to next season already, adding multiple undrafted 2024 NFL Draft prospects in the last two weeks. It’ll be interesting to see if that same approach translates to the field on Sunday with a refreshed method on both offense and defense.

For Memphis, the two main factors to monitor this weekend will be the continued development of the offensive line and does the team have their 2025 starting quarterback on the roster right now? Troy Williams and Josh Love will be the two suiting up on the active roster. Bet on both quarterbacks playing on Sunday.

This might be one of the only week’s you see a score prediction from me. But this feels like a game to try new things, on and off the field. Defenders march into Memphis and snag a win, 27-20.

The Memphis Showboats will host the DC Defenders at 2:30pm ET this Sunday, on FOX.

Full Roster Breakdowns: DC, Memphis

What are your thoughts on this upcoming matchup between the Memphis Showboats and DC Defenders? Which UFL players do you expect will impress? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

Fubo