Week 3 of the XFL is now in the books. The big surprise was the game between the DC Defenders and the LA Wildcats. DC, which was considered a team likely to play for the XFL championship, was completely taken apart by the winless Wildcats 39-9. Other than that, the weekend was predictable.
The DC loss was a stunner for PU. His record after the third week of play and 12 games is now…..
10-2 picking the winners
10-2 against the spread.
With that, let’s take a look at Week 4 games.
L.A. Wildcats (-7) at New York Guardians
LA going to New York is a very interesting game. It all revolves around whether LA can continue to play like they did in Week 3.
LA’s defense throttled potential MVP Cardale Jones last week, forcing him to throw three interceptions. Cornerback Mike Stevens had two of the picks, two pass deflections and one sack to lead the Wildcat defense. If he can perform to this level against New York, then LA must be considered a contender the rest of the way.
Wildcat quarterback Josh Johnson appears to be fully healthy. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3. If he can play like this again, and the defense shines, the team is coming together at just the right time.
The Guardians are a different story. They performed great in Week 1, holding Tampa Bay to just 3 points. Week 2 the Guardians were shut out and in Week 3, scored only 9 points in a losing effort.
New York starting quarterback Matt McGloin found himself once again benched for the second game in a row. Replacement quarterbacks Marquise Williams and Luis Perez did not impress, though Perez finished 4 of 5 through the air for 39 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers.
The New York defense has only allowed 6 touchdowns all season, but that may reflect the quality of the teams that they are playing.
For the Guardians to win, they need the offense to show up for the game and a solid quarterback to emerge. Give this game to LA.
Prediction: LA wins and COVERS the spread.
Seattle Dragons (+12) at St. Louis BattleHawks
In another of those worst meets very good teams, the Dragons go to St Louis to meet a team that could very well win it all.
Seattle surprised everyone by leading last week 12-6 before being outscored 18-0 and losing in the second half. It was a surprise that the game was so close.
Dragon quarterback Brandon Silvers is completing 53 percent of his passes while averaging 170 yards per game. He has a 6-4 touchdown-interception ratio on the season, including at least one interception in every game. It may be time to test out the backup quarterback B.J. Daniels whose mobility could add some excitement and firepower to the Dragon offense. After all, what do they have to lose now?
St Louis is showing that they are one of the best teams in the league. They have lost only one game all season, to undefeated Houston in a close game.
Once again,St. Louis will be fielding a strong and effective rushing attack involving Matt Jones, Christine Michael and quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. Jones leads the XFL in rushing with 224 yards through three games.
There is only one way to call this game. St Louis runs away with it.
Prediction: St Louis wins and COVERS the spread.
Houston Roughnecks (-1) at Dallas Renegades
In one of the two good games of the week, the 3-0 Roughnecks meet up with the 2-1 Renegades. Both are quality teams that have a chance to win it all.
Houston has been dominant on offense this season. Quarterback and potential MVP P.J. Walker leads the league in passing yards (748) and passing touchdowns (10). His favorite target is league leading Cam Phillips who has 324 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Overall, Houston has scored 9 touchdowns in three games.
Walker is also a dual threat runner, with 87 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Dallas started the season with a loss, but with the return of starting quarterback in Landry Jones in Week 2, the Renegades have found their groove.
Jones has thrown for 305 yards and 274 yards in the last two weeks. He does need to be more discriminating in his passing, having thrown four interceptions in the same time period.
Running back Cameron Artis-Payne provides the ground threat with 185 yards rushing, second-most in the XFL.
As with most games in the XFL, it will be the defensive units that decide the winner. Houston’s defense is questionable, having given up a league leading 9 touchdowns. Dallas has given up 6 touchdowns. With the explosiveness of both teams offensively, both defenses will be severely tested.
This is a tough game to call. The one point spread is well deserved based upon the quality of the two teams. Either team can win, but it will be turnovers that ultimately decide the game.
Prediction: Houston wins and COVERS the spread.
DC Defenders (-1) at Tampa Bay Vipers
In the final game of the week, DC goes to Tampa Bay. At the start of last week, it would have been an easy game to call, the Defenders winning handily over the Vipers. But last Sunday night changed all of that. That was when LA totally destroyed DC.
DC just could do nothing against a team with the worst defense in the league. Quarterback Cardale Jones finished 13 of 26 for 103 yards, no scores and four interceptions. The defense was just as bad, giving up 39 points, the most scored in a single game by any team this season.
The Vipers were also presenting their own set of surprises in playing the Houston Roughnecks. Though losing in the end, the Vipers played Houston close.
Third-string quarterback Taylor Cornelius got into the game and scored two touchdowns. But his passing was lackluster with a 52 completion percentage and one interception.
Quarterback/running back Quinton Flowers once again made a limited showing. Tampa Bay keeps running him in and out on plays, giving the talented player little playing time to show how good he can be. At some point, Coach Marc Trestman will have to start making full use of the talented Flowers.
This game could go either way. It all depends upon whether DC can recover from last week’s devastating loss, and whether Tampa Bay decides to make more effective use of Flowers.
Prediction: DC wins and COVERS the spread.
Well, that is it from this end. The XFL is proving to be a worthy spring time football league, much more promising than those leagues that came before, excluding the old AFL that was merged into the NFL.
The unique Kickoff changes have improved the play. No longer will major injuries from high speed collisions be likely. Nor muffed punts in general. Perhaps the NFL should adopt the new Kickoff style to put some critics at bay.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the games. At least two of them should be good fun to watch.And remember…
LIFE IS GOOD!