With playoff spots on the line, XFL teams had to put on a show offensively to ensure they got enough points to get into the postseason and many teams didn’t disappoint.
Fans saw teams like Seattle and St. Louis who were forced to put up big numbers on offense to ensure their spots in the playoffs. To say there was firepower on offense, defense, and special teams is an understatement as many players stepped up. Week ten of the XFL season could go down as one of the best offensive performances of the season.
XFL 2023 Week 10 Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week: A.J. McCarron, QB, St. Louis Battlehawks (28-35, 420 yards, six touchdowns)
While it’s a bittersweet performance for a quarterback who has been stellar all season, a salute to the man who gave it his all to win on Saturday. A.J. McCarron not only probably had the best game of his career but had the best performance of any quarterback in the XFL in the league’s history. While St. Louis ended up not making the playoffs, McCarron led the Battlehawks to another XFL record 53 points in their win over the Orlando Guardians.
McCarron finished the game completing 80 percent of his passes, 420 yards, and six touchdowns. He broke the XFL record for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a game. It’s one that will go down in the history books, but history will not be as kind to the Battlehawks without a postseason appearance for the team. A moment has to be taken thought to acknowledge the game and season McCarron had as this cemented his place as an MVP candidate for the XFL.
Jordan Ta’amu, QB, DC Defenders (15-22. 271 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, one interception, eight carries, 45 rushing yards, one touchdown)
Ben DiNucci, QB, Seattle Sea Dragons (26-41 339 passing yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions, four carries, 41 rushing yards, one touchdown)
Jeremy Cox, RB, Houston Roughnecks (21 carries, 120 yards, one touchdown)
Hakeem Butler, WR, St. Louis Battlehawks (nine catches, 164 yards, two touchdowns)
Defensive Player of the Week: Tavante Beckett. LB, Houston Roughnecks (six tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception, one touchdown)
Despite playing backups on some parts of the team, the Houston Roughnecks flexed their muscles defensively against the Arlington Renegades allowing zero second-half points in their 25-9 win on the road. The rushing attack of the offense played a part in it, but the defense was just as good if not better than the offense. Linebacker Tavante Beckett has been one of the most consistent players on that defense making plays all season for the Roughnecks.
Beckett finished with six tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a game-clinching interception returned for a touchdown in the second half. All season Beckett has played at a high level staying on the field healthy and making big-time plays for Houston. Despite the game being what some have called “meaningless”, Beckett showed off his skills and looks poised to make a presence in their playoff matchup with the Renegades on Saturday.
Brandon Sebastian, DB, St. Louis Battlehawks (six tackles & two interceptions)
LaCale London, DL, St. Louis Battlehawks (five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss)
Trevon Mason, DL, Houston Roughnecks (four tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble)
Jordan Williams, LB, San Antonio Brahmas (seven tackles & one interception)
Lavert Hill, DL, St. Louis Battlehawks (eight tackles & three tackles for loss)
Special Teams Player of the Week: Pooka Williams, Returner, DC Defenders (six returns, 182 yards, 30.3 average, 79 long)
The DC-San Antonio game had big playoff implications as the Brahmas were looking to get themselves into the playoffs by winning and Arlington losing. DC had nothing to play for but just momentum going into the postseason. Their special teams came up big for the Defenders and got some help from a player who has been inactive for a good portion of the season.
Running back Pooka Williams has not been able to step on the field as much on offense but found a way to get on with special teams. Lining up as a returner on kickoff, Williams made one of the biggest plays of the game in the first quarter as on his second return, he took it back 79 yards to the Brahmas 30-yard line. That led to a Matthew McCrane field goal to increase their lead. If that return doesn’t happen, who knows if those points get put on the board at all. With the game ending by one point, the importance of that play grows bigger with DC pulling out a close win.
Brad Wing, P, San Antonio Brahmas (three punts, 147 yards, 49 average)
Mac Brown, P, Orlando Guardians (two punts, 106 yards, 53 average, 84-yard touchdown pass)
Michael Carrizosa, P, Vegas Vipers (eight punts, 363 yards, 45.4 average)
Taylor Russolino, K, Arlington Renegades (3-3 field goals, 56 long)
Matthew McCrane, K, DC Defenders (2-2 field goals, 49 long)
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