As the calendar turns to April, uncharted territory for the XFL, the league has shifted in its power structure. While the standings remained the same, the week was marked by top-heavy contenders faltering while bottom-feeders had their moment. Parity in a league of eight teams is difficult to accomplish, but week 7 proved that talent permeates across the XFL despite disappointing records for a handful of teams.
The Guardians’ Talents Shine
Orlando was the last remaining winless team in the league with seemingly no hope of overcoming the undefeated juggernaut DC Defenders. It would take a herculean effort on offense to overcome this deficit, and that’s exactly what happened. Quinten Dormady had the game of his life throwing for three touchdowns and running for three more. The offense continued to move despite sacks and potentially embarrassing miscues.
The Defenders were ultimately undone by their porous defense and their place kicker Matthew McCrane who missed two critical field goals in the 2nd half (though one was from 63 yards as time expired). The Guardians continue to be abysmal at post-touchdown conversion attempts, but the offense was so prolific that it didn’t matter how many they missed this time around. While the roster construction of Orlando can be questioned, their individual talent on offense had shown flashes through the first six weeks. Finally, it all came together as they slayed the mighty Defenders.
Quarterback Misfortune Continues to Plague San Antonio
With the offensive line issues persisting for the Brahmas, injuries continue to pile up at the most integral position on San Antonio. The quarterbacks have been dropping like flies and Kurt Benkert became the latest victim of poor pass protection. A chest injury limited Benkert and Jawon Pass was not able to do much in his absence. Jack Coan and Reid Sinnett have already become casualties in the team’s effort to find their offense.
A perpetually rudderless running game only adds to the offensive woes while the entire south division flounders. No team is mathematically out of the playoff race yet and the most potent offensive operation (Orlando) is in the basement. Defense may win you a championship, but an inability to score consistently will keep teams out of the dance all together.
Divisions Are Wide Open
One weekend can quickly change the landscape of a 10-week league in which teams are sprinting to the finish. Through the first half of the season it appeared that Houston was going to punch their ticket to the XFL Championship game as the south division’s representative. However a three game losing streak casts doubt on the Roughnecks’ championship aspirations. Offense has come at a premium for all of the Texas teams as they went a combined 0-3 over the weekend.
None of the teams scored more than 15 points as the south teams were spanked by the north division in a Texas-sized power outage. A clear divide has been established between the divisions as even a once potent Houston squad has faltered mightily. Meanwhile in the north the DC Defenders suddenly find themselves just one game ahead of the surging Sea Dragons and Battlehawks. Week 8’s Defenders at Seattle and Week 9’s Sea Dragons at St. Louis are critical junctures in the north division race. The Houston and DC home playoff games now are not as locked down as they appeared to be after week 5.
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