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The Verdict: Gunners @ Monarchs

Updated: May 26, 2022

Week 11 Saturday 20:00 ET

These 2 divisional rivals face off for the first time this season. And the 7-2 London Monarchs will be hoping they can end the Houston Gunners undefeated start to the season.

The Gunners are simply brilliant when it comes to fundamental football. They are 1st in the conference stopping the run, only allowing 72 yards per game and they are 2nd on offence averaging 155 YPG. A huge story going into this game is that Ronnie Nickens is out after picking up an injury in training. He has proven to be a success story this year for Houston. They will have to rely on Ray Jr today.

What makes it even more of challenge is that when you look at the Monarchs, the thing they have done best this season is shutdown the run. They only allow 85 yards per game average. Linebacker Kenny Summer is the central figure in that front 7 and has been playing really well this season. He is an all round field general leading the team in tackles but also has 2 snatchies and a forced fumble to his name.

So this will probably be a day where the Gunners will be relying on Ja’Bre Jackson to win them the game throwing the rock. He has been very good this season. In the last 5 weeks he has 13 touchdowns and just 1 interception. What I really like about the speedy veteran is that he doesn’t take many sacks. He will once again need to be elusive in the pocket because London have a very dangerous defensive end in Lincoln Matthews who is having a really productive season with this team, he has 9 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. And in the secondary the Monarchs have corner Brandon McCullough who has an impressive 4 picks on the season.

On the other side we already know the Monarchs are probably going to be forced to throw the ball to win too. Tight end Dexter Roy has been one of the best performers in the league this season. He is the key to helping the Monarchs march down the field and sustaining drives. But one thing that might have to change today for London and is that when they get into the red zone they might not be able to run the ball into the endzone as much as they normally do. So this will be an interesting angle to watch out for.

The Gunners are a solid and well coached defense. They all contribute to the success but a special mention to corner Tavares Gholston who moves around a lot. He actually leads the team in tackles, as well as getting 2 snatchies this year. Defensive lineman Bejay Echols and Dwayne Costin will be looking to reach the quarterback as usual and add to their sack totals.

Thank you to Cameron Reed for the head to head record:

History of Gunners vs. Monarchs

**Gunners 34, Monarchs 14 (S5 W8)

Monarchs 13, Gunners 40 (S5 W14)

Gunners 14, Monarchs 31 (S6 W11)

Monarchs 41, Gunners 7 (S6 W13)**

The Verdict:

I think Dexter Roy is a mismatch for this Houston defense and will be a huge weapon for London tonight putting them in enough scoring positions even if they come away with more field goals than touchdowns. The Gunners with the big injury loss will find it hard work tonight and any early momentum for the Monarchs might be hard to reverse especially when they lack a speed advantage on the outside.

Gunners 23 vs 26 Monarchs

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