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#XtraFootballSZN Gets Real! The XFL Playoffs Begin Today!

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

Image: The Seattle Times

The XFL Postseason is here! With 4 teams left to pay 3 games over the next 3 weeks, let's each semifinal team, and 3 reasons why they should make the Championship Game.

XFL Divisional Championships

Saturday at 7-Arlington Renegades vs. Houston Roughnecks

Sunday at 3 PM-Seattle Sea Dragons vs. DC Defenders

Renegades-3 Reasons Why They'll Beat Houston

by Will Tondo

1. It's Hard To Beat A Team Three Times

Houston took care of business this season against Arlington, but can they do it for a third time? You have to feel good as a Houston fan, but this saying wouldn't exist without a little truth behind it.

2. Luis Perez has improved the Renegades Air Raid

Since getting traded to Arlington from the Vipers, Perez has helped the Renegades recreate their offense. In 3 games, he's averaged over 243 yards, which is nearly a hundred more than what Drew Plitt or Kevin Anderson produced. If he can create scenarios for De'Veon Smith to score, who has been a phenomenal red zone option, or Lujuan Winningham to continue his spectacular season, then the Renegades can win this game and propel themselves to the Championship.

3. Defense Wins Championships

Without their defense creating opportunities, Arlington would have had no chance of making the playoffs. This team is a turnover machine. They lead the XFL with 10 forced fumbles and 13 interceptions, plus 9 fumble recoveries and 2 pick-sixes. The Roughnecks have an excellent tackling defense, but if they can win the turnover battle, they will be in a good position.

Roughnecks-3 Reasons Why They'll Beat Arlington

by Sam Basel

1. Make One Less Mistake

It's no surprise that defense is the defining factor in this matchup. Heading into the playoffs, Houston leads the league in defensive touchdowns with 5, but has thrown 11 interceptions. Those 11 picks are not the most in the XFL, but enough to make it clear to Arlington that Houston's pass game is not impervious. As long as Houston can keep it clean on offense, they'll have a big leg up on the Renegades.

2. Feed Max Borghi

Despite dealing with a knee injury earlier this season, Borghi and the Roughnecks ground game is no doubt the centerpiece of Houston's offense. With comparable pass games between the two teams, holding a considerable rushing advantage could be huge.

3. Get Deontay Burnett

While Borghi has carried the brunt of the offense this season. Houston has plenty of receivers ready to make an explosive play given the right opportunity. The USC alumnus has racked up 378 yards and 6 TDs so far this season, including a phenomenal score against the Guardians in Week 1.

Sea Dragons-3 Reasons Why They'll Beat DC

by Sam Basel

1. Seattle's Got Unfinished Business

In Week 1, Seattle fell to the Defenders 22-18 after recovering a goal line fumble. In Week 8, the Sea Dragons had a 5-game win streak snapped by DC in a 34-33 loss. Despite the Defenders dominance around the league, Seattle has proved they can get the W as long as they play a clean game on offense.

2. Ben DiNucci

The only 2,500-yard passer this season, Ben DiNucci has proven time and time again that he can put up serious yardage against the toughest defenses in the league. His bond with Jahcour Pearson this season has been like no other in the league. After putting up at least 20 points every week since Week 6, Seattle has a real shot to advance as long as they can turn this game into a shootout.

3. Forcing DC Mistakes

DC is good, but not invincible. Since a 37-36 loss to the Guardians in Week 7, the Defenders won each of their last 3 games by no more than 2 points. Late game heroics from Seattle could spell doom to this year's Championship favorites.

Defenders-3 Reasons Why They'll Beat Seattle

by James Mas

1. Jordan Ta’amu

I was a bonafide Jordan Ta’amu hater for most of the season. His play for the first half of the year was the definition of mediocre. However, he really turned it around towards the end. A majority of his touchdowns came in the later half of the year, and his improved play solidified the Defenders as the #1 overall team. If they win the championship, it’ll be because of him.

2. Rushing Attack

The Defenders led the league in rushing yards this season by a mile. They are going to attack you with their running game, and you can only hope to stop them. Not only is Abram Smith a beast, but the incorporation of D’Eriq King into the offense as a runner has really opened up the offense.

3. Redemption for 2020

We all remember the tragic end to the XFL season in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that lost season, the Defenders were cooking. Cardale Jones, Eli Rogers, and PFT Commenter were on fire before the season was unjustly taken away from them. If I’m the Defenders, I’m hungry to capture what was taken away from us.


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