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2025 CFA - OSN GOTW for Week 11: Iowa @ Chicago
Renegades @ Wolves
#1
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The 2 Hottest Teams in the Continental Square Off


Iowa @ Chicago
Chicago has control of the young series, with a 2-1 all-time record.

What to Know
This could easily be a preview of the Continental Championship game. Both teams are riding a 5 game win streak, and are the top 2 in both total and passing defenses. Their offenses dominate in completely opposite ways, Chicago #1 in rushing yards, and Iowa #2 in passing yards.

Keys To The Game

Chicago QB Lloyd Robinson leads the offense in his 2nd year starting after being the final 1st round selection after the Wolves championship run in 2022. He’s posting fair numbers for this season considering how little the team throws, still developing on an offense that is able to let him grow into his role at his own pace while the running game commands all the attention. He currently owns a 12:6 TD:INT ratio. The spotlight here however is the running game. Featuring a highly effective committee approach with 3 RBs, Jesse Graham, Gordon Joiner, and Charles Williams, all of whom are averaging at least 4.6 ypc. Williams, the lead back, is in great position to set career highs in yards and possibly TDs. The team collectively leads the league in team rushing by 250 yards over the #2 team and leads the league in a conventional rushing offense (Sorry Garrett lol) with a 4.6 team ypc avg. This obviously isn’t possible without an elite O-line, who rank 4th in team pancakes and 7th in sacks allowed. Problem is, there are 2 major injuries up front in T Jed Lombardo (Q) and C Wayne Baumann (OUT) which will make things difficult.
 
The Renegades defense will need to keep attacking the LOS in this one if they want to have a chance to slow down this rushing attack. They’ll have to rely on a fairly young D-line to handle the onslaught in the trenches (just 1/7 D-linemen is older than 26). They could have some difficulty with this, as just one of their starting D-linemen tips the scales at 300 lbs. On top of that is they are currently T-28th in TFLs and are not the strongest unit up front. They do have an extremely impressive LB unit to help up front though, headlined by DE turned LB Frank Johnson. Johnson currently has 12 sacks on the year, and owns a 93 speed rating, which for a 6’4” 290 lb. man is rather terrifying to be honest. LB Eric Lively probably has the best hands for a natural LB in the CFA with a hands rating of 98. Now if Robinson is going to pass, the Iowa secondary is equipped to handle the speed of Chicago’s receivers. Iowa also applies effective pressure on the QB, currently ranking T-8th in sacks on the year.

To flip the script, 8th year career Renegade QB Michael Chase is on pace to log the best year of his career. He’s playing the most efficeint ball of his career with a 101.6 QBR, 3rd in the CFA and getting sacked at his lowest rate in 5 years. He enters with a 15:5 TD:INT ratio and is averaging 329 yards/game. It helps that he has one of the fastest WR groups in the CFA. 2nd year man and former 20th overall selection WR Kerry Banks is not interested in hearing about any sophomore slump, instead he is charging for the Renegade record books certainly in TDs and quite possibly in yards. Through 10 games, he has 30 catches of at least 20 yards. As already mentioned, the Iowa O-line is no slouch either, keeping QB Chase upright and ranking 8th in pancakes and T-9th in sacks allowed. 8th year T Tommy Stubbs is having an elite year, as he has many times in the recent past (pro bowl selections in ’20, ’22, & ’23), currently with the 2nd highest number of pancakes (54) without allowing any sacks as of yet.

The Chicago D will need to apply consistent pressure if it wants to slow down this passing attack of Iowa. Chicago actually is fairly decent at getting to the quarterback, I suspect their numbers across the board would be higher if their rushing offense weren’t on the field so much devouring the clock. As it is, the D-line is headed in the middle by 2nd year nose tackle and former 6th overall pick just a couple years ago, LeRoy Mount. Mount is having a successful sophomore campaign as well clogging up the middle of the LOS. Speedy DE Damien Israel in his first year as a full time starter is doing very well, already matching his 7 sacks from last year. The 2nd level of the defense is headed by LBs Kyle Horan and Russell Dias. Dias is having one of his most successful years yet, as the 26 is establishing himself as a dual threat rushing the passer and dropping back to play the pass, currently with 9 sacks and 12 passes batted down. The secondary matchups will be key for the Wolves success in this one. There is a large hole in the Chicago defense this week as CB Ernest Riley, the 2nd fastest player in this secondary is going to miss the game. This could force some less ideal matchups onto the field against the speedy Iowa WRs. Speedster CB Shawn Mills should be able to keep up with WR Banks at the least. They do have effective help over the top with rookie safety Anthony Ortiz who has 2 INTs on the year.

Injuries of Note
CHI
T Jed Lombardo - Bruised Jaw (Questionable)
CB Ernest Riley - Ruptured Disc (OUT)
C Wayne Baumann - Torn MCL (OUT)

IA
NONE

Prediction
This should be a great contest all in all. Unfortunately right now, I think Chicago has some major matchup issues due to injuries. This one should still be tight to the end however. I’m not so sure I would have been picking Chicago regardless. Iowa has something special going on in the franchise right now, and has been that way since something magically clicked midway last season and went on a tear to force themselves in the playoffs. It’s clear they are a different team recently and they have the juice right now.

Renegades - 30
Wolves - 24

-The Ferret
rowen3 and vgorilla80 like this post
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#2
Excellent job Dave, great write-up.
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Portland Bleeds Reaver Red!
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#3
WOW! Incredible work Dave! Well done dude!
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