XFL Week 2: NY Guardians-DC Defenders Preview


XFL Week 2 kicks off Saturday afternoon at 2 pm ET on ABC. The New York Guardians (1-0) head to the Audi Field to take on the DC Defenders (1-0). The Guardians and Defenders are each looking to stay undefeated, as they both won their first game last week.

The DC Defenders earned the first victory of the league, defeating the Seattle Dragons last Saturday afternoon 31-19. The Guardians defeated the Tampa Bay Vipers last Sunday 23-3 after a dominant performance from their defense.

Date & Time: Saturday, February 15, 2 pm ET

Location: Audi Field, Washington D.C.

TV Broadcast: ABC

Betting Line: Defenders -6.5, Over/Under 47.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Weather: High 30’s, Winds 10 mph.

Key Matchups:

Defenders QB Cardale Jones vs. Guardians Defensive Front: Defenders star quarterback Cardale Jones is considered one of the faces of the XFL. He backed up the hype last week against Seattle, throwing for 235 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Jones had great chemistry with his starting receivers Eli Rogers and Rashad Ross. Rogers caught six passes for 73 yards, and Ross caught two passes for 52 yards with a touchdown catch. Jones will look to continue his hot start against the Guardians’ defense. 

The Guardians’ defense is coming off a dominant victory over the Vipers. Their pass rush disrupted Vipers quarterback Aaron Murray all game. Last game their defensive efforts were led by; defensive end Bunmi Rotimi (nine tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss), defensive tackle Will Sutton (2 sacks, five tackles), LB Ben Heeney (nine tackles, one tackle for loss).

Guardians QB Matt McGloin vs. DC Secondary: Last week, the Guardians made their passing offense a point of emphasis. Matt McGloin threw 52 pass attempts, but only had one touchdown pass. He definitely will attempt to increase his total this game against the Defenders. The Defenders secondary played exceptionally well against the Dragons last game, intercepting Dragons QB Brandon Silvers twice. They were led by defensive backs Elijah Campbell, Rahim Moore, Bradley Sylve, and Des Lawrence.

GuardiansInjury Report: Two of the Guardians three starting interior offensive linemen are ruled OUT for Saturday’s game; C Ian Silberman and G Garrett Brumfield. Fortunately, replacements Damien Mama and Avery Young each have NFL experience and are more than capable of stepping in. 

Defenders GuardiansInjury Report: Former Penn State wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins will make his debut after missing the last game. Thompkins is listed as a starter over Week 1 stars, Eli Rogers and Rashad Ross. It will be interesting to see if his return affects their target share.

Conclusion: The Defenders offense looked extremely sharp last week, and there doesn’t appear to be much that will slow it down. The Guardians defensive front controlled the entire game last week against the Vipers, but the Defenders have a much stronger line. 

The Guardians are facing some injury concerns at their interior offensive front. The Defenders defensive front led by Elijah Qualls and Jay Bromley should create a lot of havoc against New York. Expect Cardale Jones to have another solid game. The Defenders will look to start establishing a run game behind running backs Jhurell Pressley and Donnel Pumphrey.

Final Score Prediction: Defenders defeat Guardians 30-19.

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