Week 2 in the XFL is upon us, with each team hoping to build on their debut performances from a week ago. That sentiment applies to no two teams better than the San Antonio Brahmas and Orlando Guardians.
The Guardians don’t have a ton of expectations this season. Many have them as one of the worst teams in the XFL, and suffered a 21-point loss at the hands of the Houston Roughnecks in Week 1. There is nowhere for them to go but up.
The Brahmas, however, showed a lot of promise against the St. Louis BattleHawks. San Antonio controlled possession for a vast majority of the game. Their defense also played well, sacking BattleHawks quarterback AJ McCarron five times in the contest.
However, things fell apart at the end. McCarron led an incredible effort in the last three minutes as the BattleHawks scored 15 points to win 18-15.
Both teams had their share of things they wanted back in Week 1. And both will want to come out of their Week 2 matchup with a victory. Let’s take a deep dive into this matchup between the San Antonio Brahmas and the Orlando Guardians.
San Antonio Brahmas (0-1) at Orlando Guardians (0-1)
Kickoff: Sunday, February 25, 4 PM ET
Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Unlike last week at home, the Brahmas will have to consider the weather this week against Orlando. Thankfully, it looks like we will see a perfect day for XFL football.
Current forecasts indicate the high temperature in Orlando will be 88 degrees. The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with a west-north-westerly wind around 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Betting Odds Per DraftKings
Spread: San Antonio Brahmas -3
Moneyline: Brahmas -170, Guardians +145
San Antonio Brahmas Depth Chart
San Antonio Brahmas Injury Report
Orlando Guardians Depth Chart
Orlando Guardians Injury Report
Brahmas Three Keys To Game
Offensive Line: The Brahmas offensive line did not perform well in Week 1 against St. Louis. Quarterback Jack Coan was only sacked twice, but had defenders in his face all day. The team is dealing with injuries along that front. Offensive tackle Derrick Kelly missed the game with a leg injury. And the team lost both Norman Price and Willie Wright to injury mid-game. There’s a chance San Antonio could be without all three against Orlando. If the Brahmas have any desire to win this game, this unit will have to step up.
Running backs: The Brahmas have two legitimate NFL running backs in Kalen Ballage and Jacques Patrick in their backfield. The duo showed their worth against the BattleHawks, and they will likely be a big component of the offense in Week 2. Offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo clearly wants to run the ball down the throats of their opposition, and Ballage proved he could handle the workload. Orlando will need to find some way to stop this two-headed attack out of the backfield, or else they could be in a load of trouble.
Level of Aggression: The Brahmas were conservative against the BattleHawks. They ran the ball a lot and called their fair share of designed screen plays, especially when targeting Landen Akers. San Antonio also tried wasting time off the clock with over 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. With the way the game ended against St. Louis, one has to wonder if the Brahmas try to play a bit more aggressively. Especially given the loss of Akers, who was placed on the reserved/injured list midweek. The Brahmas receiver came up limping after a block with a little less than seven minutes left in the fourth in Week 1.
Will the Brahmas stick to their more conservative playcalling, or will we see a few more shots down the field against the Guardians? It’s something to watch on Sunday.
San Antonio Brahmas (0-1) at Orlando Guardians (0-1) Prediction
This has all the makings of a “get right” game for the Brahmas. However, in the same vein, this has all the markings of a trap game for San Antonio. The team cannot afford to take this game too lightly.
However, the Brahmas should come out of this game with a win. San Antonio had their struggles along the offensive line in Week 1, but Orlando’s played worse. They allowed seven (!) sacks to the Houston Roughnecks in that 21-point loss last Saturday. San Antonio sacked AJ McCarron five times last Sunday, and should have no issues getting to Paxton Lynch this week.
The Brahmas offense is going to be the deciding factor in this game. They moved the ball well against the BattleHawks, but couldn’t find the endzone in a lot of their drives. San Antonio completely dominated possession against St. Louis as well. If the team can replicate this, they will control the game.
Realistically, the team is going to have some issues offensively. They are without Akers and Wright, who was also placed on the reserve/injured list. They could be down another two starting offensive linemen, as well. There will be hiccups for the Brahmas in this game. However, despite whatever issues they will face, expect San Antonio to get their first win in franchise history.
Prediction: San Antonio Brahmas 18, Orlando Guardians 10
Featured Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell/XFL
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