XFL WEEK 5 SUNDAY RECAP
Saint Louis Battlehawks (3-2) 6 At DC Defenders (3-2) 15
Prediction: Battlehawks 29 @ Defenders 9
- What an exciting game this one was! Sadly, it’s much harder to convey sarcasm through writing, but this game was a true stinker. Both teams were just atrocious at throwing, but were able to run on each other, but weren’t able to hold onto the ball long enough to convert for many points. It was like a super old school game from the 1920s or something. A bunch of average Joe’s playing football that resembles more rugby than football, but they were wearing today’s pads and jerseys. This game truly did not make much sense when it comes to football. With the ability to run the ball, you would expect the Battlehawks to be able to run play action and score a few touchdowns. This game was close throughout and Saint Louis had a chance to win the game, but they weren’t able to put up any points. The defense took the read option and quarterback runs away from the Battlehawks which seemed to be Saint Louis’ game plan. Without their base RPO action, they struggled to do anything else well. This could be partially because they were on the road and going east, but that’s not what it looked like. They were just off of their game and got beat by an inferior team. Jordan Ta’amu had an off game and the coaches should’ve gone with the running game more considering both Christine Michael and Matt Jones averaged over five yards a touch, but they had twelve and thirteen carries, respectively. The losing factor in this one, in my eyes, was Saint Louis converting only four of sixteen third down attempts and going zero of two attempts on fourth downs. Can’t move the ball consistently if you can’t pick up first downs.
- The DC Defenders went back to what had made them so successful in the first two weeks in this one on both sides of the ball. Although it wasn’t an offensive outburst of points, it was an outburst of rushing yards. Rushing for 229 yards while only throwing for 27 through the air are stats that are crazy to think about. It makes you wonder why the Battlehawks didn’t just commit to completely stopping the run? Nine guys in the box, maybe? Both the Defenders quarterbacks, Cardale Jones and replacement Tyree Jackson, have big arms, but lack any accuracy at all. Especially when DC didn’t even try to throw after benching Jones. Jhurrell Pressley was the star for the Defenders in this one going for 107 yards on fifteen carries while the least valuable effort has to go to Cardale with his zero completions in two attempts for zero yards and an interception. Cardale has proven that he is nothing more than Jamarcus Russell….Not much more to say, but what a boring game. Which is what I expected at the beginning of the season after watching the AAF last year.
- My Season Record: 9-6
Tampa Bay Vipers (1-4) 34 At Los Angeles Wildcats (2-3) 41
- This was the game to watch this weekend and it was a late night special for most of the country. Tampa Bay and Los Angeles decided to go back and forth with the Vipers coming out for a 24-6 lead before the Wildcats turned it on making it 24-20 at the half with the Vipers still leading. The Wildcats continued to be hot in the second half scoring back to back touchdowns before Andrew Franks chipped in a field goal for the Vipers to make it a one score game(nine points in this league). After the field goal, the defense did it’s job and got a stop, but on the first play of the ensuing possession was the big turning point of the game. Tampa quarterback Taylor Cornelius was sacked and fumbled the ball which was picked up by the Wildcats and returned for the defensive touchdown all, but sealing the victory. The Vipers may have played a great game, but they lacked what most teams who surrender leads do. No running game. Weird to say considering before the game the Vipers were ranked number one in the XFL in rushing yards and held onto that title even after a bad game in the category. Tampa has some of the best statistics in the league at all categories, but the main ones are where they are losing game in and game out. Turnovers(11), obviously, sacks(5), takeaways(6), and points given up(115) are much more telling than how many yards they get or stop the opponent from getting. It’s about taking care of the ball while taking the ball away, controlling the clock, and not giving up points. Tampa needs to find ways to do this if they want a shot at a possibility of making the playoffs. Five game win streaks are hard to come by, but it’s what they will have to do to get it done.
- The Los Angeles Wildcats were able to secure a victory while, once again, not running for any yards. Josh Johnson completed twenty passes on the night to nine different receivers four of which caught a touchdown pass from him as well. Johnson was on point for most of the night and that veteran leadership helped keep the ship calm when they got down 17-0 early. No one player stood out other than Johnson on the day which proves it was a team victory. Both teams turned the ball over a number of times, but the Wildcats were able to react better staying calm in the face of chaos. The Vipers lacked a leader on their side of the ball who could do the same thing. The Wildcats are an inconsistent team, so this may just be one of their good games. If they can continue to improve and keep a consistent team, I could see them challenge the Roughnecks, but they haven’t been able to do that yet. The Wildcats are the only team that I have seen who may have the fire power to keep up with the Roughnecks as long as they don’t catch a turnover bug. It was a good win for the Wildcats, but they weren’t quite as sharp as you would like from a coaching stand point. There will always be more to work on.
- My Season Record: Unimpressive 9-7
XFL Week 5 Sunday Recap
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