The XFL returned to the highlight over the weekend, after the pandemic prematurely ended their first return marketing campaign. If the opening week was any indicator, the league rebooted by Dany Garcia and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is sure for achievement. Social media was abuzz with folks sounding off both concerning the gamers within the recreation or the inventive and enjoyable guidelines that made the sport extra thrilling.
There was a number of motion from the XFL over the weekend, so right here’s a roundup of the most important occasions from Week 1.
Arlington Renegades 22, Vegas Vipers 20
The opening recreation for the brand new XFL got here to an exhilarating conclusion, with the Arlington Renegades defeating the Vegas Vipers 22-20. Vegas jumped out to an 14-3 lead on the again of QB Luis Perez and former Minnesota Vikings WR Jeff Badet. Nevertheless, the Arlington protection helped lead the Renegades again for the victory. The Renegades sacked Perez 3 times and intercepted him twice, a kind of being returned for a landing.
Renegades QB Drew Plitt wasn’t spectacular, throwing for 172 yards and an interception, however he did assist information the Renegades down the sphere for a few scoring drives within the second half.
The Vipers had the possibility to transform on a two-point conversion to tie the sport on the finish, however Perez was sacked by Renegades defender TJ Barnes. Then, Vegas had the chance to transform on a 4th and 15 as a substitute of an onside kick (one of many XFL’s new guidelines, we’ll come again to this one later) however failed. Recreation over, and a win for the Renegades.
The Renegades picked up the win, however in the end they need to be extra constant on offense. The passing recreation sputtered for many drives they usually consistently put themselves behind the sticks. If the protection continues to play like they did towards Vegas, nevertheless, they’ll be an issue. For the Vipers, they solely ran for 1.7 yards per carry, forcing every part onto Perez’s shoulders. They need to be extra complementary on offense to carry leads like they’d at halftime.
Houston Roughnecks 33, Orlando Guardians 12
The Roughnecks are coached by NFL teaching legend/defensive mastermind Wade Phillips, and boy was that on show Saturday evening. The Roughnecks picked off each Orlando QBs for a complete of three interceptions and sacked each QBs for a complete of seven occasions, cruising to a 33-12 victory.
The Roughneck offense additionally performed nicely, regardless of turning the ball over twice. QB Brandon Silvers threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns (he additionally threw two interceptions), and the run recreation generated 4 yards per carry. It’s all concerning the protection in Houston, nevertheless, and if the offense can iron out the kinks, then they need to proceed to be one of many higher groups within the league.
St. Louis Battlehawks 18, San Antonio Brahmas 15
Should you needed your XFL second, whew boy you bought it. The Battlehawks got here again from being down 12 within the closing three minutes to win 18-15, in an exhilarating recreation that noticed St. Louis profit from the brand new and artistic guidelines the XFL has carried out.
Do not forget that 4th and 15 as a substitute of onside kick rule? Yeah the Battlehawks transformed on it to maintain the ball and go down the sphere to get the win.
Within the XFL: As a substitute of an onside kick, the trailing group can preserve possession with a 4th-and-15 play from its personal 25-yard line.
It simply labored for the St. Louis BattleHawks.
This was dropped at NFL house owners prior to now however did not get sufficient votes.pic.twitter.com/qNP5QukWMy
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 19, 2023
With a purpose to go from 15-3 to 15-12, the Battlehawks scored a TD, however then transformed on a three-point play to carry the sport inside three. Batthlehawks QB AJ McCarron went 11/14 with two TDs within the fourth quarter, together with this strike to WR Austin Proehl, sure, the son of Ricky Proehl.
A improbable second for McCarron, and for the Battlehawks as they get to 1-0.
DC Defenders 22, Seattle Sea Dragons 18
In what was in all probability essentially the most evenly contested and coached recreation of your complete weekend, the DC Defenders pulled out the victory over the Seattle Sea Dragons 22-18. The Sea Dragons would possibly’ve had former NFL gamers in QB Ben DiNucci and WR Josh Gordon, plus father of the Run and Shoot offense June Jones, however the Defenders had DC Gregg Williams, and fairly frankly he put DiNucci and the Sea Dragons offense in a blender. DiNucci threw two INTs and solely accomplished 33% of their third down makes an attempt within the loss.
On offense, the Defenders performed each QBs, Jordan Ta’amu and D’Eriq King. Whereas Ta’amu struggled within the passing division (8-19 for 68 yards and a choose), King stepped in and supplied juice along with his legs, forcing one other defender into the field. With King and RBs Abram Smith and Ryquell Armstead, plus that protection, the Defenders could possibly be one other sturdy group within the league. they only need to iron out that passing recreation.
After Week 1, right here’s how we rank all of the groups:
- Houston Roughnecks
- DC Defenders
- Arlington Renegades
- St. Louis Battlehawks
- Seattle Sea Dragons
- Vegas Vipers
- San Antonio Brahmas
- Orlando Guardians