Orlando Predators Mid-Season Check-In

The Predators are one of the big names in the land of Arena Football. They were an expansion team for the AFL all the way back in 1991, keeping up steady operations since their inception. The name garners respect as one of the forefather teams, and they have a good football tradition. Last year, in the NAL, their stacked roster fell well below expectations. The season thus far has been played a lot closer to the traditional brand of Predators football. 

The Predators Thus Far

The Predators currently have a 3-2 record and sit at 4th in the standings. Their two losses came in the first two weeks of the season. Week 1 was a bitter loss in Albany, where the Firebirds pulled out their first spectacular comeback of the season. The first game of the new AFL was an overtime thriller, and although Orlando played a perfect first half, Albany was able to dish out a beating in the second half and overtime. 

The second loss would come at home against the West Texas Desert Hawks. That first matchup vs. West Texas was marked by offensive inability. The Preds were shutout through the entire first half, scoring their first points midway through the third. Since that loss, the Orlando offense has not let that happen again.

Don’t forget to check out new merch in the AFL Shop!

The Predators got a forfeit win the next week and went to West Texas for a rematch the following week. The Predator offense reignited after their short hiatus and scored 50 points, holding the Desert Hawks to 39. There was no main man in that game. Everybody touched the ball, and lots of players contributed to the score. Then came the game against the Nashville Kats, where offensive production stayed strong, scoring 69 points. The defense took a bit of a backseat in that one, giving up 62. 

The Future for Orlando

The Predators have back-to-back bye weeks, which will be difficult going into their matchup against the Firebirds on June 15. Albany took down the Preds in what is possibly the game of the year, so the chip is on their shoulder. It will be tough being without game reps for so long and then facing the first-ranked team in the league. 

Not only that, but they have to play them a second time for the final game of the season. It is almost poetic. The Predators could rise or fall in the coming weeks, and it comes down to the team that showed them up at the very beginning. 

In between those matchups, the Preds travel to Wichita to take on the Regulators. Conservatively speaking, this should be a win for the Predators. The Regulators are 1-4, with their only win coming against the Storm. 

Additionally, their losses have not even been competitive; they have been outscored by their opponents by nearly double. A loss in this game would be unacceptable for the Predators in any case. 

Key Players

Drew Powell – QB

Powell is one of the best indoor quarterbacks of the last 20 years. He is efficient in both the pass and run game, with accolades to back it up. He has three MVPs, a league championship, and several OPOYs. He has lived up to expectations in his first year in Arena Football. He has delivered from both the ground and the air, leading the offense down the field on almost every drive.

Clarence “CJ” Williams – WR/DB

CJ Williams has been one of the top receivers all season. He has had a good career in several seasons in Orlando, becoming a fan favorite. The fans’ love for him is also fueled by the role he plays in the offense. 

Josh Jenkins – DB/WR

Josh Jenkins is a tenured Orlando Predator who came into this season at the healthiest he has been in a few years. Mainly on defense, he takes the role of guarding the top receivers on any given roster. However, an injury early on has derailed his season. He should be back soon for the Predators, and that will give them another defensive playmaker to stifle opposing offenses.

He says that is because it is a high-risk, one-on-one position. He was locked into a particularly exciting battle with Darius Prince in Week 1 versus the Firebirds. Prince was able to sneak one touchdown through Jenkins, but for anyone guarding Prince, that is ironclad defense. Their rematches in games two and three, if Jenkins can get back healthy, will be great.

Freddie Booth-Lloyd – LINE

Freddie Booth-Lloyd commands respect on both sides of the ball. He excels on defense, pulling off a couple of multi-sack games for the Preds. He is a big name in indoor football and one of the best pass rushers in the AFL.

Leave a comment

Contact Us

[email protected]

Feedback | Insight | Info | Inquiry | Partnership

Sign up to be an AFL Insider. Get the latest updates, game day recaps and news directly to you!