Happy XFL Weekend! So much to take in during the Week 1 performances displayed between all 8 XFL teams. The production quality was (chef voilà kiss) amazing. The player production on the field was simply fantastic and the game itself was truly played at a breakneck pace, with no lull in the action. I loved the change in special teams play, and the ability to hear the play calls from the coaches was great addition as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the DC Defenders versus Seattle Dragons game. It was the perfect match up to kickoff the season between two great quarterbacks and some phenomenal defensive play. Not going to lie though, the DC Defenders QB, Cardale Jones, proved why he was a key piece to the Ohio State Buckeye’s success in 2015. His nickname is “12 Gauge” and boy, did he highlight that lethal arm. During the broadcast, you could literally hear fans chanting MVP, and deeming Jones the face of the league. I do believe Jones is going to have a successful career in the XFL for sure, but it is only week one, so we’ll see if Cardale and the rest of the DC Defenders can maintain their stellar start.
I do want to jump over to the Houston Roughnecks versus LA Wildcats game because I personally wanted to see Houston Roughnecks starting QB, P.J. Walker. I recently wrote an article on P.J. Walker’s potential, and how he would quickly become a star in XFL because of how talented he was as an undersized quarterback. P.J.’s performance during Week 1 did not disappoint. Walker was 23 of 39 for 272 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. I know I am focusing a lot on quarterback play, but in my opinion, the XFL Week 1 results are showing that this is quickly becoming a passing league. At the time of writing this, the Tampa Bay Vipers have been the only team to top 100 yards rushing, and they were playing from behind for most of their game against the New York Guardians. Tampa Bay’s loss really surprised me, because while the Vipers began to gain momentum with the run by inserting second string QB Brandon Flowers, they quickly went away from the run packages to continue the passing game.
It is clear that the key match up for this XFL Week 1 weekend is between the Dallas Renegades and the St. Louis Battlehawks. This is the only game that will be on ESPN this weekend, which I feel says a lot about the XFL’s approach with their key games. You have a legendary coach in Bob Stoops matched with the highly anticipated QB play of Landry Jones. Now, from what I have been hearing, Jones was not expected to play week 1 because of an injury sustained in training camp, but some are saying Jones may still potentially play. The Renegades also have a high flying offense with the Air Raid concept that is set to put up a lot of points. A lot of anticipation around this game, but the Dallas Renegades have only been gaining the most attention from what I have seen. I do think the Battlehawks can surprise some people during the match up, but we’ll have to wait to see. Because of all the hype, I wanted to wait to write on this game, since I am sure we all expect this broadcast to be great.
All in all, I am super excited for XFL Week 2. With some of the poor QB outings that we have seen from the L.A. Wildcats and the Tampa Bay Vipers, I am curious to see how many shifts are made at the position. Also, I hope we start to see an uptick in the running game, while I don’t see a problem in chucking the ball all over the field, it would still be great to see some of the running backs get established as well. Overall no complaints from me guys, I look forward to the weeks to come.
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