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XFL MID-SEASON BREAKDOWN & PREDICTIONS

XFL MID-SEASON BREAKDOWN & PREDICTIONS

WEST

Final Projected Standings

  1. Houston Roughnecks 8-2
  2. Los Angeles Wildcats 6-4
  3. Dallas Renegades 3-7
  4. Seattle Dragons 2-8

Houston Roughnecks 8-2

The Roughnecks are quite clearly the best team in the league and have a complete team on both sides of the ball. Houston is the best passing team in the XFL, and although they don’t run very much, they are very efficient when they do run the ball. Their best weapon has been their defense who generates more pressure than any other team which they have converted into the most sack in the league at fifteen. This team has the best quarterback in PJ Walker and the best receiver in Cam Phillips and the combination has been deadly. This will continue to be the case throughout the rest of the season. While running back James Butler is still sixth in the league in rushing yards while averaging 4.8 yards per rush. He could easily lead the league, in my eyes, if he was on a more balanced team. I don’t believe Houston will go undefeated because it’s so rare anyway, but they are the likeliest team to win the XFL Championship at this point. The Roughnecks have proven that they can win no matter the circumstances and will do plenty of that through the rest of the season.

Opponent Score Record
@ New York 27-20 W 6-0
Vs DC 10-31 W 7-0
@ Los Angeles 38-45 L 7-1
Vs Dallas 7-38 W 8-1
@ Seattle 18-21 L 8-2

The Roughnecks will extend their winning streak to seven, but will fall for the first time on the road against Los Angeles. They will lose their final game because, after beating Dallas, they will have the West clinched and not play as many starters in the final week.

Los Angeles Wildcats 6-4

At 2-3 in the West, Los Angeles has looked like the second best team in the West with Josh Johnson’s veteran leadership providing much needed relief. It has taken them a few weeks to really get the rust off and find consistency, but looked like they have it figured out after week five. The Wildcats have a solid group of receivers even with Nelson Spruce injured the last few weeks. A different guy seems to step up every game rather than just one person dominating every week which makes the offense much harder to game plan for. Josh Johnson has completed passes to thirteen different receivers to this point of the season and have four receivers in the top twenty five receivers in yardage gained. Their defense has been pretty bad all season but have been able to generate sacks and turnovers, just like Houston, and gives me a higher belief in them as a team. Even if their defense has given up the most points and second most yards. I think this offense will be flying up and down the field for the rest of the season and earn the second seed in the West.

Opponent Score Record
@ Seattle 38-14 W 3-3
@ Saint Louis 27-30 L 3-4
Vs Houston 38-45 W 4-4
Vs Seattle 18-42 W 5-4
@ Dallas 29-21 W 6-4

Playing Seattle twice in the final five games should provide Los Angeles with two more wins along with an upset of Houston at Home in week eight. Josh Johnson is going to play great and make a push for XFL MVP

Dallas Renegades 3-7

The Renegades season clearly ended two weeks ago when Landry Jones blew out his knee, again, likely ending his season as well. Phillip Nelson played very good in week one completing 78% of his passes, but lacked any big plays and the team loss. In his second start, he looked much, much worse. Going forward with Nelson looks as if it will be the end of the Dallas season. He will likely get better with more experience, but it will be too late before he finds his footing. Kurt Warners are like the lottery and nothing Nelson has shown has proven that he will start dominating. He doesn’t have a big enough arm so if Dallas wants to win throughout the rest of the season they may want to commit to the run. This will be especially difficult considering this team has run an air raid all season, but Stoops’ teams were known more for running than passing for most of his career at Oklahoma. So if anyone can do it, it’s him. I just don’t like the Renegades chances going down the stretch with an unproven guy in the position of quarterback.

Opponent Score Record
@ DC 12-24 L 2-4
@ Tampa Bay 10-27 L 2-5
Vs Seattle 15-17 W 3-5
@ Houston 7-38 L 3-6
Vs Los Angeles 29-21 L 3-7

Dallas will lose four of their final five games with the only win coming at home against the Seattle Dragons. The Renegades are going to struggle to score points the rest of the way without Landry Jones and better luck next year.

Seattle Dragons 2-8

The Seattle Dragons lost their season when they decided that Brandon Silvers was a professional starting quarterback before the season even started. At least for me, when I compared the two quarterbacks with what they did in college as well as their pro day stats and watching film, it was clear that BJ Daniels has the higher upside. Silvers is a classic pocket passes, but doesn’t have the frame that a Rothelisberger or Cam Newton has nor the scrambling ability. Also, Silvers had a tendency to throw off of his back foot against pressure which is a terrible habit for a quarterback that’s hard to break. Daniels is able to scramble and extend plays for bigger plays to happen which is a higher upside with the exact same passing ability. Seattle would have a better projection if their defense wasn’t last in the XFL in total yards and second to last in points given up. Jim Zorn isn’t exactly the best at evaluating talent when it comes to quarterbacks, so it should be no surprise that this team has struggled.

Opponent Score Record
Vs Los Angeles 38-14 L 1-5
Vs New York 14-12 L 1-6
@ Dallas 15-17 L 1-7
@ Los Angeles 18-45 L 1-8
Vs Houston 18-21 W 2-8

Seattle will continue their losing streak until week ten when they edge by the Roughneck’s backups. The Dragons lose in the trenches on both sides of the ball almost every week and it’s hard to win that way which the resulting projection predicts.

XFL West Conference Final

Los Angeles Wildcats 41 @ Houston Roughnecks 38

  • PJ Walker has been amazing and will win the MVP, but will not be able to overtake veteran Josh Johnson and the Wildcats. I think the Roughnecks have the better team overall in a position by position breakdown, but the two main positions are quarterback and head coach. I like the Wildcats quarterback and coaching staff to overcome the Roughnecks on the road with an in sync Johnson leading the way. This game will come down to which defense gets more turnovers and pressure on the quarterbacks which is what both teams do well on that side of the ball. This will be the game of the year after they split the season series one to one. You wont want to miss what’s going to be high level football.

 

EAST

Final Predicted Standings

  1. Saint Louis Battlehawks 7-3
  2. New York Guardians 6-4
  3. DC Defenders 4-6
  4. Tampa Bay Vipers 4-6

Saint Louis Battlehawks 7-3

After five weeks of the XFL season, there is a three way tie in the east for first place at 3-2. Going forward and predicting the rest of the season I think the Battlehawks will come away with the number one seed over the New York Guardians and the DC Defenders. Saint Louis has provided the number two running offense in the XFL to this point while also having the number two defense in total yards and first in points allowed. Having such a good defense will provide the support the offense will need to figure out the rest of their game, besides their running game, and come away with the number one seed. The problem with the Battlehawks has been the lack of getting takeaways from the defense. They have been able to play solid defense and not give up many points, but will need to generate turnovers going forward to have a shot at the XFL championship. Ta’amu is going to have to expand his game and get better at more plays than just the RPO and read option stuff because it exposed them against DC. A counter needs to be developed for this team to work to when teams try to take away the option stuff.

Team MVP will be Jordan Ta’amu because of the touchdowns and the fact that he’s the quarterback, but I think the true MVP will be Matt Jones. He has carried this team throughout the season and will be the reason why this team makes the playoffs while, in my prediction, will win the XFL rushing championship.

Opponent Score Record
@ Tampa Bay 20-23 L 3-3
Vs Los Angeles 27-30 W 4-3
@ New York 21-8 W 5-3
Vs Tampa Bay 21-31 W 6-3
Vs DC 7-28 W 7-3
After a loss in week six, I see Saint Louis getting their offense on track and win their final four to earn that number one seed in the East that they had controlled most of the year.

New York Guardians 6-4

The New York Guardians have been a team of transformation this season. Starting the season with some question marks at the skill positions didn’t help this team as it started off 1-2 through the first three weeks. Matt McGloin’s injury was a blessing in disguise for the Guardians because they have an actual chance at winning when a quarterback doesn’t try to force passes with a weak arm all the time. Luis Perez may not be the most naturally talented quarterback, but he’s the smartest quarterback on the team which gives them the best chance to win. He’s not going to dazzle you with crazy statistics, but his story could possibly dazzle you. Not playing competitive football until college because he was a high level high school bowler, but eventually found another calling as a quarterback. The fact that he has now started for two professional teams and been this efficient should ensure he has a career for the foreseeable future even if it is a backup in a place like Canada or continuing his career next season with the Guardians. Once again, my pick is based on the defense rather than anything else. They aren’t great with total yards, but they have produced eight turnovers, with most coming at critical junctures of the game, and given up the second fewest points in the XFL. This will help propel them into the number two seed of the XFL East for a match against Saint Louis.

Team MVP will be Darius Victor as his running attack has been the biggest weapon this team has and he’s been ridiculously effective, but doesn’t get enough opportunity to really take over games. Hopefully, going forward, we see this guy get his opportunity to really change games.

Opponent Score Record
Vs Houston 27-20 L 3-3
@ Seattle 14-12 W 4-3
Vs Saint Louis 21-8 L 4-4
Vs DC 12-13 W 5-4
@ Tampa Bay 25-18 W 6-4
New York has shown they are able to beat the bottom of the league, but can’t compete with the teams at the top and I see that trend continuing through the end of the season. Winning the final two games over DC and Tampa to earn the second spot in the XFL East Playoff

DC Defenders 4-6

The Defenders seemed to have found their identity going forward after their week five game, but the fact that they lack a bonafide starting quarterback makes me question their ability to hold it together the rest of the season. Cardale Jones can throw decently, but has been a terrible decision maker while Tyree Jackson can pretty much only run the ball as a six foot eight quarterback. They have a tough schedule going down the stretch with a road game against Houston followed by playing all three other XFL East teams in their final three. Three of their final four games are on the road which will help in their downfall. Their top notch pass offense has disappeared and they lack a leader as a head coach who can get these guys to play at a high level. The offense and defense are not special and have probably played above expectations when you actually look at them as a team.

Team MVP is very tough for this team because different people have stood out in different games all season. I think it will go to running back Jhurrell Pressley who has been the most consistent, even with a lack of opportunity, averaging 4.5 yards per carry on the season and should be a guy who gets an invite to an NFL camp to get his shot.

Opponent Score Record
Vs Dallas 12-24 W 4-2
@ Houston 10-31 L 4-3
Vs Tampa Bay 38-13 L 4-4
@ New York 12-13 L 4-5
@ Saint Louis 7-28 L 4-6
DC is going to take control of the XFL in week six, but then start a downfall after they travel to Houston. With three road games in the final four games and no quarterback to save face, they will fall four times in a row.

Tampa Bay Vipers 4-6

Tampa Bay has been the best team on paper when it comes to statistics, but it doesn’t translate to a real life winning record. Ending the first half of the season at 1-4 will make it a difficult task to make the playoffs for the Vipers. They will have to win five straight games for that chance and get to play against the XFL East in four of the final five games. This could open the door for them to win the division if they can win out, but alas I don’t think that will happen. Taylor Cornelius has grown in each game he has played and gotten better each time out. He was very timid in his first professional experience, but struggled mightily. In his weeks three through five, his completion percentage and yards have gone up each week showing the gradual improvement. The problem I see for this Vipers team is the same thing that plagued the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. The quarterback can make all the plays, but lacks experience which results in mistakes that change momentum in games. The running game will keep them in it through the final five games, but I am not sure Cornelius will prevail with a playoff push just like Kyler Murray for the Cardinals. Just not there yet.

Opponent Score Record
Vs Saint Louis 20-23 W 2-4
Vs Dallas 10-27 W 3-4
@ DC 38-13 W 4-4
@ Saint Louis 21-31 L 4-5
Vs New York 25-18 L 4-6
Tampa will get a good start to their journey to five straight, but wont quite prevail. Even after a loss in week 9 to the Battlehawks, they will have a chance to win the second seed by beating the Guardians in week 10. I just don’t see it happening.

XFL East Conference Final

New York Guardians 17 @ Saint Louis Battlehawks 32

  • Luis Perez gives New York’s defense a chance to win games for them, but is completely dependent on that. Perez does not have a strong enough arm to beat you deep, but makes up for it with his ability to find the open man. He can read a defense quickly, but can’t make all the throws and that holds the offense back. Saint Louis, on the other hand, has a quarterback who is just as good at reading defenses, but has the ability to make all the throws which benefits the offense. Also, both teams have good defenses, but Saint Louis again edges out the Guardians in that respect as well which leads to the Battlehawks going to the XFL Championship.

XFL Championship I

Los Angeles Wildcats 34 Vs Saint Louis Battlehawks 38

In this game, I will take the team that has the most balanced attack on offense and the best defense in the league. This wont be a trendy pick, but I don’t care what you fare-weather fans think. The Wildcats defense and lack of a running game will be their downfall in this one and will only make it close with a couple of late scores to make it closer than it is. On the other side, it will be the Battlehawks defense and running game that win it for them. Heck, I may be wrong, but at least I have the balls to put it down and post it out to the world.

Championship MVP: M. Jones 25 carries 155 yards TD 5 rec 35 yards TD

XFL Mid-Season Breakdown

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