Another week in the XFL has completed with some surprises that fans saw. The LA Wildcats pulled off a major upset at home against the DC Defenders. A little under 30,000 fans packed the dome in St. Louis to see a professional football team play there for the first time in five years. Tampa Bay’s offense came alive as they almost beat the Houston Roughnecks at home. Dallas came up big on the road to beat the Dragons in Seattle. Safe to say there is movement in the power rankings.
8. New York Guardians (1-2, previous XFL ranking: 6)
This team has taken quite a tumble from where the expectations were at the beginning of the season. New York was expected to be one of the favorites in the East to make the XFL Title game. Matt McGloin’s performance has put a damper on those dreams for now. The Guardians played three different quarterbacks with Luis Perez the only one showing signs of life despite that happening in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the team couldn’t stop the run and Jordan Ta’amu played well passing the ball. Coach Kevin Gilbride told Mekale McKay on the sidelines that he needs him to be the leader of this team. They’ll need more than that to bounce back against LA.
7. Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3, previous XFL ranking: 8)
The criticism of coach Marc Trestman’s quarterback rotation continued this weekend. While both Quinton Flowers and Taylor Cornelius played better, Flowers gave them the added weapon the team needed. Cornelius proved to be the better passer so Trestman went with him in the second half. The offense made a major step forward as they looked better. Where the team needs help is defense. Too many big plays were allowed that cost them the game. If they can get key defensive starters back like Jalen Collins and Ricky Walker back, they may have a chance to win their first game next week.
6. Seattle Dragons (1-2, previous XFL ranking: 5)
Brandon Silvers’ inconsistency is something that is left to be desired by Jim Zorn and company. The first half went well for the Dragons overall. Landry Jones was rattled by the defense as they forced two interceptions in the game. The Dragons as a whole fell apart in the second half. Dallas’s offense drove down the field easily as the Dragons allowed a big touchdown pass by tight end Donald Parham that put the nail in the coffin. Offensively, the team only gain first downs on two drives in the second half. That is not going to work for a team that relies on their rushing game to come up big.
5. LA Wildcats (1-2, previous XFL ranking: 7)
Josh Johnson took another step forward as he has now entered the conversation for MVP of the XFL. Johnson was flawless throwing for three touchdowns in the win against DC. Martez Carter stepped in for the injured Elijah Hood and might have taken the running back job away from him. Carter ran for two scores while catching another to help the offense. A week where Rashad Ross was looking for revenge after being traded away from LA, his trade counterpart Tre McBride got the last laugh. McBride caught for over 100 yards and two scores. Not to mention the defense created four turnovers and sacked Cardale Jones three times. The Wildcats pulled off the biggest upset of the XFL season.
4. DC Defenders (2-1, previous XFL ranking: 1)
A stunner in LA as DC lost by 30 points to the winless LA Wildcats in Carson, California. Cardale Jones suffered his first loss as a starter in college or the pros as he threw four interceptions. Too many forced passes doomed Jones as he never recovered before being benched. On a positive side, the rushing attack in DC was impressive as they ran for exactly 200 yards in the game. The defense did not fare better as Josh Johnson had a field day with 278 yards passing and three scores. DC was able to stop the running for most of the game, but the secondary now has questions despite originally being the strength of this defense.
3. Dallas Renegades (2-1, previous XFL ranking: 4)
Landry Jones had a second straight game with multiple interceptions but bounced back nicely with three touchdowns in the win. Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar were the favorite weapons on offense as they combined for 31 touches and 189 total yards. Expect more of that throughout the season. Donald Parham became one of the top receivers in the league as he went for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The defense got off to a slow start but completely shut down the Dragons offense in the second half. The Renegades have proven to be a team that gets off to a slow start but can bounce back and is tough to beat in the second half of games.
2. St. Louis BattleHawks (2-1, previous XFL ranking: 3)
What a debut it was for the BattleHawks as they played their first game of the season in St. Louis. They didn’t have to do much offensively as the rushing attack led the way between Matt Jones and Christine Michael. The defense provided a ton of pressure on Matt McGloin and New York was never able to get anything going until the fourth quarter. All the over 29,000 fans in attendance for the game proved to be the biggest factor in the win. The crowd will only get bigger and louder as the BattleHawks might have an argument for being the best home-field advantage in the XFL.
1. Houston Roughnecks (3-0, previous XFL ranking: 2)
The offense continues to be a sight to see. PJ Walker and Cam Phillips are the best quarterback-receiver combo in the league. Phillips had another three-touchdown game and Walker threw for over 300 yards in the tough-earned win. James Butler had his best game of the season on the ground with 72 yards rushing on just seven carries. The defense continues to be average at best as Tampa Bay racked up 365 total yards. While the team is prone to allowing big plays, the offense looks like they can’t be stopped. It’s now safe to say that Houston is the best team in the XFL and it may not be close.
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