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XFL Week 3 Preview: Houston Roughnecks @ Tampa Bay Vipers

Houston Roughnecks (2-0) vs Tampa Bay Vipers (0-2)
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 2:00 pm EST @ Raymond James Stadium
Odds: Houston Roughnecks –6.5 ( )

Tampa Bay Looks to Capture First Win at Home Against The Red Hot Roughnecks

The Roughnecks enter this week 3 matchup with 68 total points under their belt and look to keep their undefeated season alive. The Vipers, on the other hand, have only scored 12 points in their first 2 games and look to turn their lackluster offense around.

Key Matchups (3x)

P.J. Walker (11) vs Vipers Defence

Walker is arguably the best offensive player in the league right now. Throwing 7 touchdowns in 2 weeks is no small task but Tampa has a defense that could prove a challenge. They have only allowed an average of 136.5 passing yards in the past 2 weeks with an average completion percentage of 45.5%.

James Butler (28) vs Jacques Patrick (29)

Butler has become the primary ball carrier for the Roughnecks. While he has only averaged 8 total touches in the first two games on the ground he makes the most of his opportunities. He has a total of 3 offensive touchdowns, 2 on the ground and one through the air. Patrick has helped provide life to a stagnate Tampa Bay offense. He averages 4.6 yards per carry. Expect Tampa Bay to lean heavy on the run game.

Khalil Lewis (1) vs SJ Green (1)

With Cam Phillips not participating in practice due to an ankle injury, it looks like Lewis will be Walker’s favorite target. Lewis has been targeted at least 6 times in the past 2 games and has the speed to break a game wide open. SJ Green looks to make his XFL debut this Saturday. The 8x CFL East All-Star recorded over 10,000 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns in his 12 year CFL career. Green could be the needed addition to stop the offensive struggles with Tampa Bay.

Injury Report

Houston Roughnecks

LB           DeMarquis Gates             Did not participate (Knee)           

RB           De’Angelo Henderson   Did not participate (Shoulder)

WR         Cam Phillips                        Did not participate (Ankle)                          

LB           Edmond Robinson           Did not participate (Hamstring)

OL           Demetrius Rhaney          Limited participation (Abdominal)           

OL           Marquez Tucker              Limited participation (Knee)

Tampa Bay Vipers

QB          Aaron Murray         Did not participate (Foot)       

TE          Nick Truesdell          Did not participate (Knee)                      

DT           Ricky Walker           Did not participate (Ankle)     

CB           Jalen Collins             Limited participation (Ankle)                 

G             Jared Foster            Limited participation (Ankle) 

DT           Nikita Whitlock       Limited participation (Arm)    

DE           Deiontrez Mount   Limited participation (Thigh)                

C             Jordan McCray       Limited participation (Knee)  

OT          Martez Ivey             Limited participation (Thigh)

Fantasy Preview

P.J. Walker must be considered when talking about fantasy. The man can get it done through the air and on the ground. His ability to extend the play makes him a great start. If Dan Willams for Tampa Bay is given the same opportunity as he was given in week 1, It could really help out his fantasy owners. Sammie Coates has not been the man we thought he was going to be. He has only caught 3 passes for 34 yards this season. I expect the struggles to continue for him in this game as well.

Preview Summary

Houston looks better on paper and on film. Their team is better as a whole. If the Vipers get some decent Quarterback play out of whoever they decide to start, then maybe…just maybe they win this game. SJ Green is a much-needed addition to the Tampa Bay offense and helps their chances. Hopefully, Tampa Bay gets him involved early and establishes a good rhythm. Expect the Roughnecks to come out early with a heavy pass attack. The Vipers will try to set the tone with their running game.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Charles

    February 21, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    The Vipers finally play at home. They have outgained their opponents in the first 2 games but still haven’t seen the endzone. They must find answers at QB. As they look for those answers, the league’s best team comes to visit. Tampa Bay should look better but the Houston Roughnecks will go 3-0.

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