Landry Jones makes his anticipated first start in the XFL as he had an up and down performance. It didn’t matter as Jones was able to lead the Dallas Renegades to a 25-18 win over the LA Wildcats.
The Dallas Renegades got the ball on the opening possession as Landry Jones almost threw an interception on just his second pass. Both teams didn’t score on their first drives. Jones got a heavy dose of reality as he threw an interception on his second possession of the game.
LA responded by Elijah Hood fumbling inside the Dallas ten as the Renegades recovered the ball to start the second quarter. The Renegades didn’t fair much better as tight end Sean Price fumbled on their offensive possession as LA recovered. After trading multiple possessions, LA kicker Nick Novak converted on a 47-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. Jones had a strong next drive as they ran the two-minute drill. He got them to the eight-yard line, but penalties pushed them back and forced an Austin MacGinnis field goal. The three points tied the game at 3-3 going into the half.
While Landry Jones’s performance was up and down, LA quarterback Josh Johnson looked good throughout the game. He helped lead the team on a nice opening possession of the third quarter. Unfortunately for LA, Novak missed a 50-yard field goal to put the Renegades in good field position. Four plays later, Jones threw his second interception of the game and killed another offensive drive for the Renegades. The turnovers continued as Johnson fumbled on the next drive for LA as it was recovered by the Renegades inside the ten-yard line. Dallas closed out the quarter with a MacGinnis field goal to make it 6-3 after three quarters.
A big pass interference penalty on the Renegades helped LA move down the field for a six-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Nelson Spruce. Their unsuccessful one point attempt made the LA Wildcats lead 9-6 over the Renegades. Dallas responded by turning to the running game that led to Cameron Artis-Payne scoring the team’s first touchdown from 21 yards out. Artis-Payne gets the one-point conversion to make the Dallas lead 13-9. LA was forced to punt and Flynn Nagel made them pay as he returned the ball to the LA 35 yard line. Once again, Dallas takes advantage and Jones gets his first XFL touchdown as he hits Donald Parham in the flats for three yards. The missed conversion made the score 19-9.
The comeback began quickly as LA returned the kickoff into Dallas’ territory. Johnson showed off his great accuracy as he hit Spruce on a 44-yard touchdown. LA made history as they are the first team to convert a three-point play as Dallas led by only one at 19-18. Dallas once again turns to the running game on the next drive as Artis-Payne gets his second score of the game as Dallas increased their lead to 25-18. LA ends the game by going four and out as Dallas wins their first game of the season 25-18.
The first half was up and down for Landry Jones as he was accurate, but some bad passes led to turnovers. Dallas played sloppy in the first three-quarters of the game. Playcalling was called into question as Hal Mumme was keeping it conservative for most of the game. The offensive line had trouble with pass protection with a lot of pressure on Jones. Cameron Artis-Payne went from zero yards rushing last week to 99 yards Sunday.
Defense kept a lot of passes in front of them but did allow big plays in the fourth quarter to keep LA in the game. Two key pass interference penalties moved LA deep into Dallas territory. The defense did come up clutch on the last drive by providing great pressure on Johnson as LA couldn’t do much on offense. It wasn’t a perfect game by the defense, but they made the big plays when it mattered the most.
The quarterback play was much improved in week two as Josh Johnson looks to be one of the top quarterbacks in the XFL. He was efficient with his passes but was more of a pocket passer than what football fans have been accustomed to with Johnson. Nelson Spruce continues to be one of the top receivers in the league with two touchdowns in the game. The running game was once again inconsistent and didn’t provide much help to the offense.
LA’s defense looked great through three quarters. The defensive line put a lot of pressure on Landry Jones and shut down the running game. LA’s fourth quarter was a different story. They struggled to contain Cameron Artis-Payne as Dallas ran all over the defense. Dallas racked up 19 points in the fourth quarter and made life miserable for the front seven. There is promise in this team after a drama-filled week, but the Wildcats might have beat themselves in the loss.
- Landry Jones (Passing): 28-40, 305 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions
- Cameron Artis-Payne (Rushing): 14 carries, 99 yards, two touchdowns
- Donald Parham (Receiving): five catches, 76 yards, one touchdown
- Josh Johnson (Passing): 18-34, 196 yards, two touchdowns
- Elijah Hood (Rushing): 10 carries, 31 yards
- Nelson Spruce (Receiving): six catches, 89 yards, two touchdowns
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