Houston Roughnecks (3-0)
The Roughnecks remain undefeated, and continue to prove their dominance in the XFL. The PJ Walker-Cam Phillips connection is astounding, and the pair have linked up for 3 TD’s in each of the past two games. James Butler is establishing his role as the lead back, and the other receivers in this offense have room to pump up their targets.
Houston has an aggressive defense that leads the league with 10 sacks, and they’ve done a great job at putting pressure on QB’s from across the line. As a unit they take control of the game at times, but need to stabilize their garbage time performances to prevent late game comebacks.
St. Louis BattleHawks (2-1)
After shutting down the New York Guardians, the BattleHawks have looked sharp in all phases of the game. Whether it’s Jordan Ta’amu making plays or Matt Jones pounding the rock, this team has found ways to move the ball regardless of what the defense gives them. Ta’amu is just 22, but he’s already proving that he can ball in the pros, whether he’s sending it deep or picking up yards on the ground.
The defense despite losing to PJ Walker and the Roughnecks, has looked solid thus far. They can turn up the heat, and are 2nd in sacks with 8. Terrence Garvin and Dexter McCoil are locking down the middle of the field, with Will Hill and Kenny Robinson patrolling the back end. A lot of great pieces here, and they’re already meshing well.
They also might have the best ST unit in the league. With the league’s first return TD under their belt, they also have K Taylor Russolino and P Marquette King performing at high levels.
3. D.C. Defenders (2-1)
It was a rough outing for the Defenders on Sunday vs the Wildcats, but they are still one of the teams to beat in this league. Cardale Jones looked off tempo all day in a 4 INT performance, but that’s just one bad day. Pep Hamilton is still one of the league’s best offensive minds, and it’s reckless to say they’ve completely fallen from grace after a 39-9 loss.
Josh Johnson picked apart their defense, but they’re a talented bunch who are primed for a comeback performance against the Vipers next week. Rahim Moore Sr. is one of the best playmaking safeties in this league and Jameer Thurman is a leader at LB, but they’ll need to amp up the pass rush, with only 3 sacks thus far.
4. Dallas Renegades (2-1)
The Renegades are starting to find their stride under Landry Jones. He and Donald Parham are connecting all over the field, and the latter had 101 yards and two scores this week. The 6’8″ TE is going to be almost impossible to cover in the red zone, and he’s displayed great speed and athleticism to make plays.
Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar have formed an effective one-two punch, and are counted on as both rushers and receivers. If the Renegades can get their WR’s more incorporated in their offense, they’ll be unstoppable.
The Defense has made stops when necessary, and the same LA Offense that shredded D.C. for 39 points only put up 18 against Dallas. Asantay Brown has emerged as a leader at LB but they need pass rushers and ball hawks to emerge and start making plays. The unit has just 5 sacks and 1 pick on the season.
5. LA Wildcats (1-2)
I don’t believe the Wildcats stunning victory over the Defenders was a fluke, and they dominated once they got rolling. However, we’ll need to see more consistent performances because their offense struggled mightily in the first two weeks. It’s looking like Josh Johnson is fully up to speed and firing on all cylinders, and only time will tell if he can build on such a great showing.
6. Seattle Dragons (1-2)
The Dragons have done a lot of things well, but they’ve struggled to finish games. Brandon Silvers isn’t a bad quarterback by any means, but hasn’t proven that he can be counted on in big moments. Fans are calling for backup B.J. Daniels, who may bring some life to an underperforming offense.
Seattle has some incredible individual talent on the defense, and I think LB Steven Johnson could contend for DPOY, with 32 tackles in the first three weeks. Marcel Frazier is an extremely disruptive player with game breaking potential at DE, but they need to translate individual performances into stops as a unit. DC put up 31 points on them, and Dallas had 24.
7. New York Guardians (1-2)
People have been quick to declare them the worst team in the league, but this is still the team that thoroughly beat Tampa Bay week one. Matt McGloin has completely fallen off a cliff in the past two weeks, but they got some momentum going late with a strong run game and Luis Perez. If Perez gets the nod moving forward, I have hope for this offense.
The defense has had two rough back to back performances, giving up 27 and 29 points the past two weeks after limiting Tampa Bay to just 3. Ben Heeney and Bunmi Rotini are solid options at LB, and could lead this unit back to prominence.
8. Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3)
Sure the Vipers found some success in yesterday’s loss and rallied for 27 points. Sure, their ground game is good, and they put up a lot of yards on offense. There are signs for hope in Tampa Bay, but positional instability at QB is going to hurt them if they cant find their guy.
Taylor Cornelius threw the team’s sole passing TD this week, but Marc Trestman wants to work Aaron Murray back into the lineup. Quinton Flowers injects some life into the offense as a dual threat, but hasn’t proved himself a reliable passer. They could very well find themselves looking elsewhere for talent if Murray struggles again, and its a shame. This offense has so many talented players, from De’Veon Smith at RB, to Nick Truesdell at TE and Daniel Williams at WR. They have weapons, but nothing is going to happen until the QB clicks.
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