Before the XFL signed its first player, XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck emphasized the need for quality quarterback play in the new league. The XFL first signed former Pittsburgh Steeler QB Landry Jones, followed by announcing who their Tier 1 QB’s were and what teams they were assigned too.
1. PJ Walker – Houston
The consensus XFL MVP who just signed a two year $1.565 million contract with the Carolina Panthers. He finished the season with 15 touchdowns, 1338 passing yards, and a QB rating of 104.4. Along with 99 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown. He started the first three games of the season on fire and only had one so-so game. That was the Texas Throwdown game vs. the Dallas Renegades in Week 4.
2. Josh Johnson – Los Angeles
After missing the first game of the season, Johnson was making a run at PJ Walker in XFL MVP talk. He finished the season with 11 touchdowns, 1076 passing yards, and a QB rating of 106.3. Along with 30 yards rushing. After his first game in the XFL against the Dallas Renegades, Johnson kept getting better each week.
3. Jordan Ta’Amu – St. Louis
Ta’Amu was the youngest of the starting XFL QB’s. He, like PJ Walker, signed a one year deal with the defending Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs. He finished the season with five touchdowns, 1050 passing yards, and a QB rating of 101.3. Along with 217 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown. The young QB average a 72% completion percentage, and his running ability kept drives alive throughout the season.
4. Landry Jones – Dallas
Jones, one of the biggest names, signed to the XFL and was atop many preseason XFL QB ranking lists. However, injuries slowed him down all season long. He finished the season with five touchdowns, 784 passing yards, and a QB rating of 77.2. Jones missed two of the five games in the 2020 season.
Jones always started the first half slow and then got going in the second half. Playing in only three games, he tied for the league lead in interceptions with 7. A leg injury sidelined him indefinitely after the Week 4 game against the Houston Roughnecks.
5. Taylor Cornelius – Tampa Bay
Cornelius was a name on no one’s QB preseason list. Aaron Murry was supposed to be the guy in Tampa, but after a lackluster Week 1 and injuries, Cornelius took over. He finished the season with four touchdowns, 858 passing yards, and a QB rating of 74.5. His ground game was strong, with 114 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns.
Cornelius did not get a chance to command the Vipers till Week 3 against Houston. His final two games of the season included a win against the DC Defenders.
6. Luis Perez – New York
Perez took over for an ineffective Matt McGloin in Week 3 against the St. Louis BattleHawks. In his two games as a starter, he finished the season with three touchdowns, 418 passing yards, and a QB rating of 92.1. As a starter, he was 2 and 0 with wins against LA and Dallas.
7. Cardale Jones – DC
After a strong first two games of the season, and chants of MVP at DC Defenders home games, Jones play fell off a cliff. After throwing two touchdowns in each of his first two games, here never threw another one, only interceptions. He finished the season with four touchdowns, 674 passing yards, and a QB rating of 57.9. Along with 61 yards rushing.
After starting the first two games of the XFL season with a QB rating of 116.7 and 90.4, and look like one of the top QB’s in the XFL. His last two games as a starter were 20.7 and a 30.9 QB rating. Jones got benched in Week 5 versus the St. Louis Battlehawks.
8. BJ Daniels – Seattle
Daniels did not see the field until Week 4 against the St. Louis BattleHawks. He finished the season with one touchdown, 214 passing yards, and a QB rating of 74.6. Along with 94 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. After two strong games, he solidified himself as the starter in place of Brandon Silvers.
What could have been if we had five more weeks of XFL football? Would Josh Johnson have taken the top spot as XFL MVP, would Cardale Jones get out of his slump and return to his early-season MVP form.
Given the opportunity, would Taylor Cornelius and BJ Daniels lead their teams to the playoffs? We will never know, but we do know the XFL will be back next season in 2021. If most of these players stick around for year two, it will be fun to see how well they do with a season of XFL playing time already under their belts.
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