Hello Football Fans! The first week of the XFL league play is now in the books. Some takeaways from the games.
- The games actually featured good play from most teams.
- The new rules especially kickoff returns, took a bit of getting used to, but were good for the game.
- The games went faster than NFL games, as intended.
- The lack of big name players did not diminish from the games.
- TV ratings were more than acceptable.
- People did go to watch the games in person.
It remains to be seen whether TV ratings will continue into the second week, but it certainly was a good start.
The only real surprise was the Dallas Renegades losing the first week. It was believed that they had the most talent of any team, but to be fair, they were missing their starting quarterback due to injury.
The New York Guardians winning could also be considered a surprise. They went in as underdogs, but won with little problem.
PU did well in predictions for Week 1. The score:
3 – 1 picking the winning team.
3-1 against the spread.
Picked the Guardians in the upset.
Only screw up was picking Dallas for the win. So with that, let’s take a look at this week’s games.
New York Guardians at D.C. Defenders
Spread: Guardians +5 (-110), Defenders -5 (-110)
First off, this is a game between two undefeated teams, but since this is only Week 2, that is not saying much at all.
Cardale Jones performed quite well in the first week with a PFF grade of 90.8, highest among all quarterbacks. He went 16 for 26 in passing for 235 yards, 2 touchdowns and no turnovers.
The defensive for the Defenders was questionable. Rahim Moore and Bradley Sylve each came up with interceptions with Sylve getting a Pick 6. Special teams got in on the action with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.
Still, the Defenders gave up three touchdowns on defense against Seattle, so there is work to be done there.
New York was the surprise of the league. The Guardians scored three touchdowns while allowing none. Offensively Matt McGloin had the fewest passing yards in the league for the week and running back Darius Victor finished with just 32 rushing yards.
Not a good start for New York offensively, it will be up to the defense to keep them in the game against the Defenders. If they can contain Cardale Jones, then they have a chance at winning.
Prediction: Defenders win and COVER the spread.
Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons
Spread: Vipers -2.5 (-115), Dragons +2.5 (-105)
Both teams began their season with losses. Now one team can get in the win column and the other faces a long road back with a second loss.
Seattle’s offense looked decent against the Defenders, scoring three touchdowns. Where the Dragons lost were two interceptions, one a Pick 6, one fumble plus a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. Otherwise, the defense only gave up two touchdowns. Reduce the turnovers and Seattle will be tougher to beat.
The Vipers just played ugly last week had an ugly overall game last week. They were shut out while allowing 3 touchdowns. Quarterback Aaron Murray was Backup QB Quinton Flowers, who is also listed on the roster as a running back performed better for the Vipers, but for some unknown reason, they kept going back to Murray.
Overall, Seattle looked far better than Tampa Bay in Week 1. Curtail the turnovers and they should have the win.
Prediction: Seattle wins and COVERS the spread.
Dallas Renegades at L.A. Wildcats
Spread: Renegades -4.5 (-110), Wildcats +4.5 (-110)
In a matchup of two other teams suffering ugly losses in Week 1, Dallas goes to Los Angeles.
Dallas was thought to have the most talent in the league. But without starting quarterback Landry Jones available, the Renegades were unable to get into the end zone and settled for three field goals all day long.
The Renegade defense performed much better, allowing only two touchdowns all game. If they keep up this play and Jones can start in Week 2, they could pick up their first win.
L.A. also started the season without their starting quarterback, Josh Johnson. He was active for last week, but the Wildcats wisely held him back for another week to heal up.
The Wildcats had the opposite problems of Dallas. Their defense was the culprit, giving up 5 touchdowns. This led to the firing of Defensive Coordinator Pepper Johnson, but he may not have time to fix the defense in time for this game.
Give this game to Dallas
Prediction: Dallas wins and COVERS the spread.
St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks
Spread: BattleHawks +7.5 (-105), Roughnecks -7.5 (-115)
In the final game of the week, St Louis goes to Houston as 7.5 point underdogs.
Both teams won their opening games to start the season. St Louis did it the old NFL way, pounding the ball down their opponents throat. Running back Matt Jones led all rushers with 85 yards on 21 carries. Backup RB Keith Ford ran for 26 yards on four carries. Even quarterback Jordan Ta’amu got in on the act placing third among all rushers with 77 yards on 9 carries.
The BattleHawks’ defense was just as impressive, allowing no touchdowns against title-favorite Dallas in Week 1. Look for this one two three punch to continue, tough defense, strong offense and clock time dominance.
Houston is now considered to be the new title favorites based upon last week’s performance.
The passing offense is curious, listing four receivers as starters and with no tight ends on the roster. This was an effective tactic in Week 1 where quarterback P.J. Walker finished with four touchdowns on 272 yards passing.
This game will feature a passing offense versus a running offense and should be entertaining to watch.
Prediction: Houston wins and COVERS the spread.
Week 2 will be solid entertainment with all four games. Once again, it is difficult to tell what will really happen. Don’t be surprised if St Louis actually wins. They could pull it out if they can keep Houston off the field.
Have a great weekend! See you next week with a review of Week 3 games. And remember…..
LIFE IS GOOD!