Orlando Guardians 2023 XFL Season Recap

Orlando Guardians 2023 XFL Season Recap

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It was a season to forget for Terrell Buckley and the Orlando Guardians who proved to be the whipping boy of the league evidenced by amassing just one win through 10 played games. However, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the W/L record indicates with some nice stories written that the franchise can build upon if it does in fact return for the 2024 XFL betting season. QB Quinten Dormady took over the reins of the offense midway through the year and didn’t relinquish them. Former NFL tight end Cody Latimer definitely let it be known that he has plenty of gas remaining in the tank to possibly make a return to the pros. Then there was the growth seen from both Charleston Rambo and Eli Rogers who will likely spearhead the Guardians offense next season. All said, there’s room for enormous improvement on the defensive side of the ball where Orlando was nothing if not a running joke all season long. Pieces are there for the Guardians to become a player in the XFL South next season. It’s up to the front office to make that happen!

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Orlando Guardians 2023 Season Recap

Linemakers had no belief in the Guardians from the outset. They lined Orlando +850 choices to win the XFL Championship initially, but they quickly offered up a 12-1 return even before taking the field to run with the Houston Roughnecks in the season opener. Before their odds were taken off the board in Week 6, the Guardians clocked in at 100-1! As stated before, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Orlando. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Of the six teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs, only the St. Louis Battlehawks sported a better record against the closing XFL odds. Their 4-5-1 ATS showing tied with the Brahmas and the Guardians proved to be the only team to defeat the D.C. Defenders in the regular season and did so as 10-point home dogs. Over bettors likely won’t ever forget about the cash cow that proved to be the 2023 Guardians with Orlando playing to high scorers nine times. It was as easy as set it and forget it!

Only the aforementioned Defenders and Seattle Sea Dragons averaged more yards per game than the Guardians who went for just short of 322 yards per game (No. 3). It ran a pretty balanced attack with 89.6 yards accrued on the ground (No. 5) and 232.2 yards tallied through the air (No. 2). Dormady ended up throwing for over 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns in only seven starts. If the coaching staff came to the early conclusion that he was the guy and that weird conspiracy theory over him giving plays to the Roughnecks heading into Week 1 didn’t occur, Dormady arguably could’ve been the XFL’s passing yards leader. He had some exceptional targets to get the pigskin to with Latimer’s 593 yards ranked No. 3 in receiving yardage behind Hakeem Butler and Jahcour Pearson. The Guardians also boasted a fantastic 1-2 punch in the backfield with Devin Darrington and Jah-Maine Martin combining for 552 yards and 5 TD. The offense would’ve likely been even more explosive had it fielded a league average offensive line. It proved to be anything but in allowing a league-worst 37 sacks. That’s an area the front office must shore up in the offseason!

Another area that will need to be rectified comes on the other side of the ball where Orlando was a complete and utter joke. Opposing offenses salivated at the prospect of running up against Orlando’s stop unit every passing week with it ranking out in the back half of all the most pertinent defensive stat categories. The Guardians served up 97.2 yards per game on the ground (No. 6) at 4.1 yards per carry (No. 6), and backed that up with a pass defense that surrendered 242.2 yards per game (No. 7) and an XFL-worst 8.23 yards per attempt. If you can believe it, only D.C. sported a worse pass defense over the course of the regular season. Adding even more insult to injury was the three total interceptions the secondary reeled in. For comparison’s sake, that same Defenders defense picked opposing quarterbacks off nine times! Making the job of the pass defense that much harder was an invisible pressure rate that saw Orlando drop opposing quarterbacks a grand total of 14 times. That’s just over one per game which paints a clear picture as to why this team was the best over bet possibly in the history of sports betting! My recommendation for next year would be to scrap the whole unit and start from scratch for 2024.

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2023 Orlando Guardians Season Schedule

1 at Houston Roughnecks L 12-33 0-1
2 vs. San Antonio Brahmas L 12-30 0-2
3 at Arlington Renegades L 9-10 0-3
4 vs. Houston Roughnecks L 16-44 0-4
5 at Vegas Vipers L 32-35 0-5
6 vs. Seattle Sea Dragons L 19-26 0-6
7 vs. D.C. Defenders W 37-36 1-6
8 vs. Arlington Renegades L 16-18 1-7
9 at San Antonio Brahmas L 23-25 1-8
10 at St. Louis BattleHawks L 28-53 1-9

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