With week six in the books for the XFL, there was a little bit of everything with the offense, defense, and special teams players stepping up.
The quality of the play is starting to show in the biggest moments for the XFL as the league had two ABC games for fans to watch. Those games showcased great defensive plays and special teams all around. Monday night’s shootout between Houston and DC showcased more offensive stars for each team. With a mixed bag of everything, fans have a lot to look forward to with three more weeks left in the season.
Week 6 Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week: A.J. McCarron, QB, St. Louis Battlehawks (23-29, 236 passing yards, three touchdowns, four carries, 18 rushing yards)
Stop the press if fans have heard this before: A.J. McCarron has a great game. It should be safe to say at this point in the season that McCarron is the most consistent quarterback in the XFL and has proven it week after week. No turnovers this past week for McCarron in St. Louis’ 29-6 shellacking of Vegas. He threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns as well as completing 79 percent of his passes in the win.
The DC-Houston featured a ton of firepower from the offenses with no real defense to help stop them. It would have been easy to pick from one of those players, but McCarron has been consistent and clearly is the most valuable player on the Battlehawks. Without his play and leadership, St. Louis would not be where they are with a 4-2 record this season. It’s time to pay the man his credit: McCarron is a front-runner for MVP of the XFL.
Honorable Mentions: Cole McDonald, QB, Houston Roughnecks (8-11, 194 passing yards, one touchdown, six carries, 37 rushing yards, one touchdown)
Jordan Ta’amu, QB, DC Defenders (19-31, 245 yards, two touchdowns)
Abram Smith, RB, DC Defenders (19 carries, 95 yards, one touchdown, two catches, ten yards)
Lucky Jackson, WR, DC Defenders (five catches, 137 yards, one touchdown)
Darrius Shepherd, WR, St. Louis Battlehawks (seven catches, 79 yards, two touchdowns)
Defensive Player of the Week: Jordan Williams, LB, San Antonio Brahmas (14 tackles, three tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one touchdown)
Everyone knew the San Antonio-Arlington game was going to be a battle of two great defenses and two struggling offenses. That vision was a reality as the Brahmas won 15-9 over the Renegades. The two biggest reasons for the win were John Parker Romo’s three field goals and the defense’s scoop and score in the first half. Who was the recipient of that scoop and score? That would be Jordan Williams.
Yes, Delontae Scott is the one that caused the fumble which set up Williams with the easy touchdown, but Williams did so much more than that. Williams was all over the field with a team-high 14 tackles and three tackles for a loss. There weren’t many plays where fans didn’t see Williams wrapping up a Renegades offensive player. He was special and deserves credit for helping the Brahmas win despite their starting quarterback and running back being out.
Honorable Mentions: Delontae Scott, LB, San Antonio Brahmas (seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble)
Donald Payne, LB, Arlington Renegades (ten tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception)
Santos Ramirez, DB, DC Defenders (three tackles, 0.5 sacks, one interception, one touchdown)
Pita Taumoepenu, LB, Vegas Vipers (two tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss)
Lavert Hill, DB, St. Louis Battlehawks (two tackles, one tackle for loss, two interceptions)
Special Teams Player of the Week: Kelvin McKnight, WR/Returner, Seattle Sea Dragons (three punt returns, 71 yards, 23.7 average, 49 long, five kick returns, 133 yards, 26.6 average, 45 long)
St. Louis’ Darrius Shepherd has been the poster child for great returners for the XFL this year. Seattle’s Kelvin McKnight put him to shame with multiple great returns in the Sea Dragons’ 26-19 win over Orlando. Seattle’s offense struggled to produce yards as Orlando outgained them 391 to 252. The real question should be, “Did Seattle struggle offensively or did they get set up with success?”
Let’s break it down: the first great return by McKnight came in the first quarter where he took a punt 49 yards to Orlando’s territory. That drive ended with a Dominik Eberle field goal. The second great return came in the second quarter where McKnight took the kickoff 45 yards and with a 15-yard penalty put Seattle at Orlando’s 23-yard line. That drive also ended with an Eberle field goal.
The rest of the game would consist of 33, 20, and 24 yards with Orlando punter Mac Brown keeping the ball away from him. Those great returns set up Seattle with good field positions. McKnight was lightning in a bottle and now has the league on notice that he is a step or two away from busting loose a long return for a touchdown in the upcoming weeks.
Honorable Mentions: Dominik Eberle, K, Seattle Sea Dragons (4-4 field goals, 54 long)
Mac Brown, P, Orlando Guardians (five punts, 241 yards, 48.2 average)
John Parker Romo, K, San Antonio Brahmas (3-3 field goals, 46 long)
Brad Wing, P, San Antonio Brahmas (seven punts, 346 yards, 49.4 average)
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