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#XtraFootballSZN: XFL Week 6



The playoff push begins now! While no one can clinch the postseason in Week 6, we're officially over the hump in the 2023 XFL Regular Season, and almost every team must now make a decision on whether they will be contenders or pretenders. Let's check out a preview for each game from our House Crew, starting off with our pre-week 6 Power Rankings.


XFL Power Rankings-Week 6


Saturday at 1 PM- Seattle Sea Dragons vs. Orlando Guardians

Preview by Sam Basel


What else can be said about this matchup, aside from how the Sea Dragons must use it to continue their huge upward momentum swing into a potential playoff spot. After getting out a close win against the then-best team in the league (Houston), you could consider this a pseudo-bye for the Sea Dragons as long as they can keep the Guardians in check. Despite leading the league in passing yards, Seattle QB Ben DiNucci's TD-INT ratio has not looked too pretty this season at 9-7. His goal today should be working on his control and finding the right open man at the right time.


With St. Louis right above the Sea Dragons in the North Division standings, Seattle needs to maintain their winning pace in order to make the playoffs in a tight race by taking advantage of the weaker opponents on their schedule. Give me Seattle to win this one 28-14.


Betting Lines

ML: SEA (-390)|ORL (+320)

Spread: SEA -9.5

Total: 42.5 O (-120)|U (+100)


Saturday at 7 PM-St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Vegas Vipers

Preview by Jordan Laube


In our first meeting between these division rivals, the Vipers come into this one off their first dub of the year, while the Battlehawks look to prove that only the Defenders can stop them.


Battlehawks Top Week 5 Performers

Mike Rose (LB)- Rose generated the highest defensive grade for STL at 81.6, tallying 5 tackles and 3 stops on 35 total snaps. Additionally, his coverage grade of 78.8 despite seeing 0 targets proves that he blanketed his part of the field.


Mike Panasiuk (C)- Big Mike had a big day anchoring the middle of the Battlehawks OL, allowing 0 pressures on 42 pass block snaps while helping STL gain nearly 90 yards on the ground. He was the heart and soul up front for an interior unit that allowed just 1 pressure.


Battlehawks Key Factors

  1. AJ McCarron still must play like the best QB in this league by cutting down the turnover-worthy plays and not panicking under pressure.

  2. Feed Brian Hill. The STL RB has the 3rd most rush yards in the league and is the highest graded rusher so far this season.

  3. Hakeem Butler has been a weapon, ranking in the top 3 in yards, TDs, contested catches, and missed tackles forced. He must remain the primary target in this offense.

Vipers Top Week 5 Performers

Luis Perez (QB)- Perez does it again by grading out as the highest QB in Week 5 with a 74.9 pass rating. Perez went 20/28 last week, tallying 269 yards and 3 TDs without any turnover-worthy plays. He was pressured on 7 passes, and only had to scramble on 2 of them. He showed poise in the Vipers first win.


Rod Smith (RB)-While not the most efficient runner, Rod was effective as he totaled 62 yards and 2 TDs on 18 carries. 49 of those yards were gained after contact, contributing to a 78.7 rush grade, his highest mark of the season.


Vipers Key Factors

  1. Perez must keep his cool and must keep slinging the rock. He's tallied 552 passing yards and 5 TDs so far despite just 1 turnover-worthy play.

  2. The O-line must play sound, as they allowed a combined 37 pressures throughout the first 4 games of the season.

  3. This defense must focus up and not get torched like they did against the worst offense in the league; allowing 300+ yards through the air and 3 TDs on the ground is lackluster.

Betting Analysis/Final Take

Hammer the life out of the St. Louis money line and for them to cover the spread. That +100 at -3 is a lock since they should make easy work of the Vipers. To me, it's an easy way to win a free $2k. As far as the O/U, Vega and Orlando surprised me last week and had one of the highest scoring games this season. Besides games against the Defenders, the Battlehawks have played in relatively low scoring games, so I like the under here at 44.5.


The only team that has stopped the Battlehawks so far has been been the Defenders, but St. Louis has controlled the battle in every game they've played. The Vipers have shown that they can light up a scoreboard, but that was against the worst team in the league. I think the Battlehawks work the Vipers, giving us the first shutout of the season and a final score of 28-0 in favor of St. Louis.


Betting Lines

ML: STL (-165)|VEG (+140)

Spread: STL -3

Total: 45 O(-110)|U(-110)


Sunday at 3 PM-San Antonio Brahmas vs. Arlington Renegades

Preview by Will Tondo


Yes, you read that right. Back-to-back weeks of Brahmas vs. Renegades football. I had to take a second look at the schedule, because I honestly thought it was a mistake. It’s a wild move by the XFL, and I wish it was a better matchup. Last week might have been the worst XFL game I have ever watched. It wasn't awful play, it was just mediocre and boring, as Arlington snuck by in a 12-10 win.


Taylor Russolino kicked two field goals and De’Veon Smith rushed for Arlington’s sole touchdown. The Brahmas showed some promise, most notably an interception by Tenny Adewusi and 11 total tackles by Jordan Williams, but their offense couldn’t get the job done. Quarterback Jack Coan got relegated to the bench, after two interceptions and a fumble. Jacques Patrick led all rushers with a mere 26 yards. Kalen Ballage, who is a running back, led all receivers with 42 yards. It was mediocre-to-subpar play by San Antonio.


Since both teams have lackluster offenses, but solid defensive playmakers, I expect the same result, but just give me the Brahmas win and cover.


Betting Lines

ML: SAN (+135)|ARL (-155)

Spread: ARL -3

Total: 33.5- Over (-110)|Under (-110)


Monday at 7 PM-Houston Roughnecks vs. DC Defenders

Preview by James Mas


Week 6 of the XFL has finally brought us the heavyweight matchup we've been waiting for, as the 5-0 DC Defenders face off against the 4-1 Houston Roughnecks. The runaway two best teams in the league, and the root of much debate within the House Enterprise Crew, will finally get their chance to trade blows and find out who truly is the best team in the league.


Last week, the Defenders took down the Battlehawks for the second this season by a score of 28-20. Running back Abram Smith must have read my piece about benching him last week, because the former Baylor back EXPLODED for 218 yards on 23 carries last week, finding the end zone 3 times. This showing came at the perfect time, as Jordan Ta'amu was more or less pedestrian from the pocket, 12 for 18 with a measly 90 yards. Is Abram Smith here to stay? Only time will tell.


As for Houston, the Roughnecks suffered their first loss of the season last week at the hands of the Sea Dragons and TikTok trend legend Ben DiNucci. Houston was effective on defense, forcing the Italian Stallion to turn the ball over 3 times through the air, but the Roughnecks offense was unable to get anything going all game. Houston must bounce back tremendously well if they're to put a stop to the Defenders' win streak.


Defenders Keys to the Game

  1. Back to Abram- I would like to issue a formal apology to Abram Smith. Last week, I said that the Defenders should lean on a new RB1 due to a recent string of mediocre games from him. As a humble amateur journalist, I can only assume Mr. Smith read our House Enterprise article and took my words to heart. Never again will I doubt him.

  2. Transition to King-It wouldn't be an overreaction to say that Jordan Ta'amu has been less than impressive this year. I would equate his offensive production to how Chase Daniel is in the NFL. It's tough to try and switch things up mid-season, especially during a win streak, but D'Eriq King has shown that he is a much more versatile player.

  3. Force turnovers-On his own, Brandon Silvers threw 1 interception and had 2 fumbles, 1 of which was lost. If the Defenders can generate similar pressure to what they had in the last game, I would imagine Silvers would have an identical output, if not worse.

Roughnecks Keys to the Game

  1. Contain the run-I've said it already, but I'll say it again; Abram Smith had a GAME last week. If this is what we can learn to expect from him now, Houston will have their hands full. The Roughnecks did a good job of stopping the run last week, and must do so again.

  2. Establish their own run-Although the Roughnecks were able to contain the run last week, they were unable to establish their own run on offense. Houston may be relying too heavily on Silvers, and might want to establish a better balance of play calling, at least earlier on in the game.

  3. Force Ta'amu to make mistakes-As I stated previously, Ta'amu is pretty mid. He's someone that can easily be tricked into making unforced errors by the defense. The major key to winning this game will be winning the turnover battle.

Prediction

I'm sticking to what I know best here, and taking the Defenders once again. I do this this will be a close game, however. 26-22 in favor of DC.


Betting Lines

ML: DC(-145) - HOU(+120)

Spread: DC -2.5

Total: 42 O (-110)|U(-110)

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