XFL Week 4 Preview – Sunday’s Games
Houston Roughnecks (3-0) At Dallas Renegades (2-1) 4:00 p.m. Est. FS1
- This game should be the best of the weekend between two teams who are hot and with the two best quarterbacks to this point in the season. The Roughnecks have league leading receiver Cam Phillips on the injury report as questionable and is not only their best receiver, but the most sure handed receiver on the team as well. Also, offensive lineman Marquez Tucker and Demetrius Rhaney, defensive back Cody Brown, and running back Andre Williams are all limited participants in practice this week, but no distinction has been made on their game status to this point. As great as everyone has made Houston’s offense out to be, they are only fourth in total yards(970) and sixth in rushing(243) while only converting 30% of their third downs which is seventh out of eight teams in the XFL. The defense has caused the most turnovers and sacks, but I think the Renegades may have the style to beat Houston at their own game. The Roughnecks will need to have more running plays because that’s where Dallas has struggled defensively this season. If they can’t establish James Butler on this one, I would say at least 15 carries, then they will have a tough time winning this one especially if Phillips is truly out.
- The Dallas Renegades have receiver Josh Crockett as the only person who hasn’t participated in a practice this week, but defensive lineman Frank Alexander and Winston Craig as well as tight end Donald Parham have been limited this week with their respective injuries. Dallas is definitely the hottest team in the XFL right now with their offense beginning to boom and giving up the least amount of points in the league. If they can get more turnovers they could end up being the best defense the XFL has, but they have yet to find a way to generate a bunch of turnovers. If Parham doesn’t play this week, the Renegades passing offense takes a bit of a hit in their big play department. To this point, Parham has been the only guy who has been successful at stretching the defense even though the Renegades have a few “speed” receivers on the roster. The running game has been on fire which is weird for people to talk about in an air raid system, but it’s worked for the Patriots and now it’s working for the Renegades. After this week, I think there will be much more parody in the XFL and with having said that…
Prediction: Roughnecks 27 @ Renegades 30
DC Defenders (2-1) At Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3) 7:00 p.m. Est. ESPN 2
- This game could be a great game or either team could dominate the other. It all depends on which team shows up for each side. DC is very healthy with only one guy on the roster who did not participate in practice while only three others are limited, but that does include running back Jhurell Pressley. The Defenders looked great in the first two weeks dismantling their opponents and then there was week three…A game in which they could do essentially nothing right. They went deep often against coverage and proceeded to turn the ball over five times in the game. I expect that this game was an anomaly rather than a norm. Cardale Jones should bounce back and the coaches should probably changed their passing game a bit to attack the middle of the field when teams bail out to take away the big play. The reason DC won the first two games, in my eyes, was the solid running game and using play action off of it. While, last week, they weren’t running the ball as efficiently and went away from it once they got down big. I think this team will get it’s plethora of receivers back on track this week and put up a much better fight.
- The Vipers are looking like they will have quarterback Aaron Murray back this week and hope he fares much better than his week one game. There have been reports about Quinton Flowers leaving the team and asking for a release which could be because Murray is coming back and is the presumed leader. If Flowers really left because he couldn’t stand not being as good of a quarterback as he is a runner then he probably wasn’t fit to lead anyway. Being a hometown guy doesn’t make you a better football player, sorry. Tight end Nick Truesdell is the only person on the Vipers who has not practiced this week, so they are quite healthy themselves. The Vipers first two weeks were quite pathetic, but then they were able to put up a fight with undefeated Houston last week. If they can continue to play like that, they should be able to find a win this season. I am just not sure it’s this week.
Prediction: Defenders 26 @ Vipers 24
XFL Week 4 Preview
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