1. Houston Roughnecks (5-0)
The Roughnecks have proven themselves as the cream of the XFL, and they’ve been able to deliver on both sides of the ball week in and week out. Though the game’s controversial ending has Seattle fans up in arms, Houston has consistently proven they’re the best team in this league.
The PJ Walker-Cam Phillips connection reignited this week for 10 catches, 122 yards and 2 scores, while Nick Holley and Sam Mobley both had big days in their own right. This Run N Shoot air attack is impossible to stop thus far, and James Butler has been a reliable threat to score on the ground, adding 2 TD’s of his own.
2. St. Louis BattleHawks (3-2)
Despite a lackluster day from the BattleHawks offense, they’re still easily the 2nd best team in this league. On their worst day as a unit so far, their fault was in not being able to finish drives, rather than committing egregious turnovers and completely falling apart.
Jordan Ta’amu didn’t throw any touchdowns, but he also didn’t turn over the ball. They couldn’t score on the ground, but Matt Jones and Christine Michael moved the ball well in their own rights. Their defense didn’t break against Tyree Jackson’s steady dual threat attack, and this unit just needs to regroup after a down week.
3. LA Wildcats (2-3)
Josh Johnson has proved himself to be a top-tier XFL quarterback since gaining the starting job. As a pure passer, he’s neck and neck with PJ Walker. With 1076 yards 11 TD’s to just 2 INT’s in just 4 starts, he’s well earned the league’s best passer rating of 106.3, and proved this week no situation is too steep for him to come back from.
It’s taken some work to get this unit into form, but Winston Moss has done a fine job of coaching up his guys, and all their efforts paid off in a 41-34 victory.
4. New York Guardians (3-2)
Luis Perez has solidified himself as New York’s starting passer, and has flashed great playmaking ability across two starts. He’s done a really good job avoiding pressure, moving around and getting the ball downfield, and is accented by a solid rushing attack. Darius Victor is the lead back, with Justin Stockton and Tim Cook bringing good speed and power respectively.
Their defense continues to regroup and has done well slowing down opponents with a bend-but-don’t-break mentality. With a new quarterback at the helm, this looks like a whole new team.
5. Dallas Renagades (2-3)
Landry Jones is out for another week, and the Renegades offensive approach with Phillip Nelsen didn’t work. They threw the ball 50 times with their backup QB on mostly designed short passes. With a pair of running backs that are more than capable of getting it done on the ground, they only handed it off to Artis-Payne and Dunbar 10 times total. The team has said that Hal Mumme’s untimely leg injury is an issue, so they’ve made a change in their coaching staff.
Mumme will now likely serve in an advisory role, while OL Coach Jeff Jagodzinski will take over as OC, and RB Coach Bobby Blizzard will call plays. These two will likely place more emphasis on the run, and this shifting of balance in the Dallas offense should serve them well.
6. D.C. Defenders (3-2)
The Defenders have stabilized with a slump-busting win against St. Louis. While the BattleHawks run game was alive and well, they were able to take opportunities away from this offense, and shut down Jordan Ta’amu.
Tyree Jackson came in for Cardale Jones early, and while his dual threat abilities helped move the offense along, he only contributed a total of 71 yards. They did have a lot of success in the run game, and Jhurell Pressley averaged 7.1 yards per carry on a 107 yard day, but they’ll need to stabilize their QB situation to recoup their early success.
Their defense also had a comeback performance, but they’ll have to do more to prove that the two straight blowouts they suffered this year were exceptions over rule.
7. Tampa Bay Vipers (1-4)
The Vipers have found some life on offense lately, but they’re still having a rough time finding victories. Taylor Cornelius appears to be their answer at QB, and has been able to move the ball well, Daniel Williams has emerged as a solid #1 option, and despite a down week De’Veon Smith and Jaques Patrick are two of the league’s most consistent performers at RB.
The Vipers have some good pieces, and they need to turn some of this positive offensive momentum into wins.
8. Seattle Dragons (1-4)
It’s hard to put the Dragons at last because they’ve been competitive in every loss and haven’t been blown out, but their record and production speaks for itself. BJ Daniels appears to be a better option than Silvers, and his dual threat skills kept Seattle alive against the XFL’s #1 ranked team in Houston.
They’ve done some things right, but literally just haven’t been able to finish games, and hopefully they can forge an identity around Daniels under center.
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