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XFL vs NFL – The Key Differences

The second reboot of the XFL season on Feb 8, 2020, saw a showdown of two games – Los Angeles Wildcats v Houston Roughnecks and Seattle Dragons v DC Defenders. This was the second attempt of WWE CEO, Vince McMahon, to try to create an alternative football league and provide a platform for players to watch some more football action after the NFL season. Draftkings Sportsbook promo code provides punters an option to be a part of this action including other sports markets that players can place wagers on. If you want to get up to date sports news, go to

Additionally, if you are interested in betting on XFL, NFL, among other sports leagues you could also have a look at, to learn more about bonuses and live streaming options. However, while the XFL second reboot did not go as planned majorly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that saw the cancelation of the league, what happened between Feb 8 – March 8 was a little different from NFL. Some XFL rules were different from the NFL rules and according to Oliver Luck, XFL commissioner, this was down to the fans wanting a game with ‘more pace and excitement.’ Here are the key differences between XFL and NFL;

  • Play Clock

While XFL games play under three hours, there is the same amount of plays as those in the NFL. However, the key difference comes on the play clock where for XFL, there will be a 25-second play clock beginning after the ball for the next play is spotted. The NFL has its play clock set at 40 seconds.

  • Running Clock

The XFL is set such that the clock runs until there is a two-minute warning or a timeout. This strikes a major difference with the NFL where various actions cannot stop the clock. This includes the first downs. The difference is in line with the XFL focus on providing a faster game compared to the NFL.

  • Timeouts

To further enhance the pace of the game, XFL games will only have two timeouts per half for each team. This is different from the NFL that sees each team receive three timeouts per half.

  • Forward Passes

NFL games see a single forward pass made on each play. This is different from the XFL games that allow two forward passes to be made on each play. However, this will come with a condition. The first forward pass made must be caught behind the line of scrimmage. Only then can a second forward pass be made.

  • Kickoffs

You will also notice major differences in the XFL and NFL kickoffs. To make the XFL kickoffs safer and at the same time increase the returns to players, the differences will be noted on where the teams start, when to move the ball, who can move it, and the touchbacks.

  • Overtime Penalties

The penalties earned during overtime at any XFL game will cost the teams but with the NFL games, there is no effect on when the penalties can be won.

  • Catches

The NFL rules a catch when the player has both of the feet in bounds. With the XFL, the catch can be ruled when one portion of the body or one foot makes contact with the field.

  • Point after Plays

The XFL differs from the NFL here. No kicked extra points are awarded at the XFL as opposed to the NFL. What’s there is that the XFL teams will earn points depending on where they make a play from as follows;

  • Play from the 2-yard line – 1 pt.
  • Play from the 5-yard line – 2 pts.
  • Play from the 10-yard line – 3 pts.

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Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of XFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL coverage since its 2018 revival. Launching XFL News Hub soon after the league's return announcement, Mark has established the platform as a primary source for comprehensive XFL updates. Renowned for his in-depth knowledge and commitment to sports journalism, Mark actively engages the XFL community, welcoming interactions at

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