Week 9 Monday 18:00 ET
It’s going to be fascinating to see the Cougars after their bye week. During which Chicago did excellent work finalizing a plethora of new contracts that makes the future of this franchise look very bright indeed. With morale boosted around the city now, as they take back to the field I’m sure fans are hoping to see some improved play from their franchise QB Gino Gannon. Voted 2nd best QB in the ARC for season 6 where he threw 25 TD’s and only 3 INT’s, with an amazing QB rating of 115 the 2nd year star is having a shockingly stark season so far. He has thrown the least amount of touchdowns among starting QB’s in the entire RFL with just 6 so far. And with 9 INT’s on the season he’s had more games where he throws a higher amount of picks than touchdowns.
The biggest change to the offense this year is how they have decided to use their QB. Cougars dominated teams on the ground last year and Gannon (then rookie) led the team in rushing on the season with 993 yards and 10 rushing TD’s. This season the Cougars have opted to keep their QB out of harms way and are instead using an efficient 2 pronged attack from backs Denard Locker and Marcus Knight. It is certainly an offense with a new identity, and after parting ways with their number one wide receiver London Lyons, it has been difficult to get production consistently so far. To put the passing game woes into perspective their leading receiver and new number one guy Kentavious Henderson (423) has less yards than the Voyagers 3rd highest receiver Zay Wright (555). And the new ground attack is statistically average in the league so far.
The cougars do still continue to play solid defense, something you associate Coach Roby with. Ranked 12th in the RFL last season they look to have improved their level this campaign, especially with the tough spots they have been put in. The rookie Chris Paulk a nice addition to that secondary. They are going to need their stars Ed Ritter (LE) and Keoni Jones (CB) to have a big game tonight vs arguably the best Offense in the league this year.
Sound the Air Raid sirens in Chicago tonight as incoming veteran QB Glenn Haye and the Voyagers enter. They have been so impressive and exciting to watch this season. They are tough to slow down because they force you to respect the run fully. Whilst not the most explosive back in the league they hand the ball off to their promoted lead back Gunner Whitt many times each game. And Glenn Haye is frankly playing some incredible ball. Multiple games this season he’s just been unstoppable. Coming into this week popular tight end Nacho Cheeze led the ARC in total receptions. The RFL is fortunate to boast some exceptional players at the tight end position and Nacho Cheeze is among the very best.
On defense Coach Baker has used strong safety Derron Jameson very well in what is a stout defensive operation vs the run. With Houston’s offense forcing teams to pass a lot you can expect to hear the bell once or twice tonight when it’s time to go to church, as DaJuan Church looks to add to his impressive 8 sacks on the season.
On what we have seen so far this season it’s hard to see the Cougars match the Voyagers’ offense. Perhaps we will see some changes but they might need a big play or 2 on defense to compete until the end in this one.
Voyagers 30 vs 24 Cougars