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Extra Football Fridays: XFL Week 2

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Welcome back to Extra Football Fridays, House Enterprise's running coverage of every Spring and Summer Football league outside of the NFL! While still too early to get the best idea of who stands where, Week 1 of the revived XFL did not disappoint, and after the Battlehawks' stunning comeback win over the Sea Dragons, Week 2 is off to a great start!

Before we break down our thoughts on the remaining three games this week, let's see how our crew ranks all 8 teams following Week 1.

XFL Power Rankings- Pre-Week 2

Thursday Recap- Battlehawks 20, Sea Dragons 18

By Sam Basel

While a 2-0 start to a football season is not much for fans to gawk at, Thursday night's comeback win against Seattle simply means more to a team like the Battlehawks. For a brand new team, composed of people who have only been playing with each other for a few weeks, to have St. Louis' late-game poise on both sides of the ball is pretty special.

Halfway through the 4th quarter, Seattle held onto a 12-11 lead as both defenses executed brilliant stops to keep this one at a relative stalemate. For Seattle, their possessions were marred by failures to convert, tough conversion line stops, and a Ben DiNucci fumble for the second week in a row. With just over 7 minutes left to play, AJ McCarron found Hakeem Butler for a stunning 44-yd TD. Despite forcing the Sea Dragons to turn the ball over on downs on the next drive, the Battlehawks were unable to extend their lead with a field goal, giving DiNucci an opportunity to launch a perfect bomb to Jordan Veasy in the end zone to take an 18-17 lead. With just 1:21 left to play, McCarron and his Battlehawks were able to get within field goal range from their own 24-yard line. Following a game winner from kicker Donald Hageman as the clock expired, the Battlehawks rushed the field to celebrate their (likely very brief status) as the only XFL team with two wins.

Perfectly encapsulating this moment was AJ McCarron, who had this to say following the win:

Week 2 Previews

Saturday at 7 PM- DC Defenders at Vegas Vipers

Preview by James Mas

The opening week of the XFL season gave us plenty of both entertaining and close games. The Vegas Vipers and DC Defenders were key performers in two of these matchups. While the Defenders narrowly escaped the Seattle Sea Dragons in a 22-18 victory, the Vipers had the opposite result, dropping a close one to the Arlington Renegades 22-20. In this Week 2 matchup, the Defenders look to keep up their winning ways, while the Vipers will be eyeing an opportunity to right the ship.

Despite their victory, the Defenders looked very inefficient on offense. Jordan Ta’amu only completed 42% of his passes with no touchdowns thrown and one interception. Although Ta’amu managed to score with his legs, the team only managed to average 2.5 yards on the ground. With their leading receiver, Lucky Jackson, going for 25 yards on 4 catches, the Defenders will need to fix their offense quickly if they’re going to compete with the likes of Houston.The Vipers, on the other hand, had a very promising game from veteran journeyman quarterback Luis Perez. With Perez completing 61% of his passes, going for just under 250 yards and 3 touchdowns thrown, Vegas looks to have a promising offense through the air. If they can somehow mix in a running game to take some of the pressure of Perez, look out for the Vipers to be a contender down the stretch.

Sunday at 4 PM-San Antonio Brahmas at Orlando Guardians

Preview by Will Tondo

Well, that last one stunk. The Brahmas were playing solid football up until the final two minutes, then the wheels fell off. After allowing just three points the whole game, it was not until the final 90 seconds that15 points fell on their lap. The defensive collapse and the offensive lack of points made things dim for San Antonio, but the only way is up, and they’ll have an easier matchup this week against Orlando.

One thing is certain, San Antonio can draw a crowd. Media reports show that the Brahmas game at the Alamodome garnered an attendance of 24,245 — a number nearly double the first-week attendance of other teams.

The Guardians are looking for a bounce back week too, after having the worst opener amongst the entire league. Paxton Lynch was benched and they allowed 33 points to Houston. The Guardians showed some promise in the run game, and had solid options in the receiver department, but a question mark at quarterback might spell them some trouble.

Don’t expect a high scoring matchup, as both teams failed to score more than 20 points. If San Antonio adapts from their late defensive mistakes and Jack Coan can pick apart Orlando’s secondary, this should be a lock for the Brahmas to collect their first win.

Also, could this be an XFL rivalry? Here's a little history lesson for you; The Brahmas took over the New York Guardians team slot for the league, while Orlando gained access to the name.

· San Antonio ML (-165)

· San Antonio -3.5 (+100)

· Under 38.5 (-110)

Sunday at 7 PM- Arlington Renegades at Houston Roughnecks

Preview by Jordan Laube

With both teams coming into this week at 1-0, this week's matchup should be an excellent showcase of the unique strengths that allowed both squads to earn a season-opening victory. The Renegades struggled heavily offensively, while the Roughnecks were dominant in all three phases of the game.

Renegades Top Week 1 Performers:

Jamal Carter – Cornerback: Carter forced and recovered a key fumble in the second half against Vegas to give the Renegades some big defensive momentum. Arlington would then go to to record to pick sixes to completely swing the game in their favor, giving the Renegades the lead and the win.

Dre Plitt-QB: Despite throwing an interception, Plitt played relatively sound and made some big time throws in the second half. He posted a 76% completion rate and converted 9 first downs through the air.

Renegades Key Factors:

  1. The secondary needs to lock in, as the Roughnecks offense has a lot of weapons that can produce big yardage.

  2. Drew Plitt needs to carry his momentum over from Week 1, while also being more willing to take sacks instead of trying to make plays under pressure.

  3. The run games needs to be a bigger factor. They showed real flashes of hard nose running and edge speed at times last week.

Roughnecks Top Week 1 Performers:

Max Borghi-Running Back: I'm not gonna call him the CMC of this league yet, but boy, was he a huge factor in opening up this offense. He totaled 74 yards and a TD on just 12 touches, showing that he could through and around defenders en route to a big XFL debut.

Deontay Burnett-Wide Receiver: In last week's preview, I noted Deontay would be a key player on this roster, and that showed all throughout Week 1. He hauled in 8 of 12 targets for 90 yards, including a TD on a contested one handed catch.

Roughnecks Key Factors:

  1. Despite the mistakes, this offense must play with the same intensity and aggressiveness from last week to put the Roughnecks away early.

  2. The defense should be able to force continuous pressure, as the Renegades O-line looked lost last week.

  3. If Travell Harris can be just as involved throughout the game as he was in the first half last week, this offense might be nearly unstoppable for the rest of the season.

Betting Lines:

Moneyline: ARL (+160) | HOU: (-190)

Spread: ARL: +3.5 (-105) | HOU: -3.5 (-115)

Total: 39.5 - Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)

If the Renegades can’t get out to a fast start offensively, this game should be in the bag for the Renegades. Houston is the team to beat in the XFL this year, and they won’t be beat anytime soon. Give me Houston at -3.5 and the over at 39.5 (-115 each).

Final Take

The Renegades defense can give the Roughnecks offense a tough time, but it won’t last for long. With four solid pass catchers coming from all parts of the field, to the versatile run game, I don’t see Arlington stopping Houston. Defensively, Houston was by far the most productive group from Week 1 as they recorded 7 sacks, a fumble recovery, and 3 INTs. Houston wins in a landslide: 37-16.


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