Hi, Arn here. As part of the exciting start to the XFL season I set up a group chat on Twitter and basically said if anyone wanted to write something about XFL I’d put it on the website. Up steps Philip Dohm (@RealPhilipDohm) with a recap of the opening week of XFL action. Enjoy!
XFL – Week 1
The opening for what could be an exciting season.
After 19 Years, the XFL finally launched their second Season, but this should really be viewed as an Inaugural Season. It’s so different from the original XFL and the rule Changes to normal football seem to make the game more exciting. The game clock is only 25 seconds, instead of a PAT there is a Conversion concept of a two-Yard Conversion (one Point), five Yard Conversion (two Points) and ten Yard Conversion (three Points), you can play two forward passes, as long as you don’t cross the line of scrimmage at the first pass and the overtime rules are heavily inspired by European Footballs Penalty Shootout. Generally, the name of the game is, go for the maximum amount of points or you are a coward. So, let’s look at the first four games of the first week of XFL football, and let me tell you, the X certainly didn’t stand for Extremely Boring.
Seattle Dragons @ DC Defenders
It’s finally here. The first game of the new XFL. And It happened in Audi field. The game drew around 17.000 in attendance and 3.3 Million Viewers in front of the television what I think is decent. The first points scored was a 34-Yard-Field Goal by the DC Defenders who took the first lead, going up 3-0.
Seattle answered with the first Touchdown of the new season. It was a 14-Yard Pass to Proehl. The following one-Point conversion got Intercepted by the D.C. defense. Should have gone for three Points.
Now it was DCs Chance to score again, but their Kicker Ty Rausa missed a 35-Yard-Field Goal for the equalizer. Seattle Quarterback Silver than threw an Interception, giving DC once again the chance to turn the game around. And if it couldn’t get much worse on their next possession their Punt got blocked for a Touchdown. The following two-point-conversion led to no points. Seattle 6. DC 9.
Now 20 seconds before half time, Seattle got a drive together and scored a Touchdown off a 13-Yard-Pass to Trey Williams, with the one Points conversion being a success as well.
With the halftime occurring, due to a bad Kick-Off DC got another Chance to score on a 55 Yard Field Goal by Ty Rausa. He took that chance to bring DC one point short of Seattle’s Score line. again.
In the second half, DC brought out a beautiful trick play for a 39-Yard Touchdown Pass, where three Players touched the ball before it got thrown to the receiver. That’s the action you want to see in the XFL. The One-Point Conversion was successful for DC, getting them the lead of 19-13.
Next up was Seattle, who found Austin Proehl on a 57-Yard-Touchdown Pass. The following one-Point attempt was unsuccessful, meaning the game was tied.
Now it was DCs Turn to score again, as Quarterback Cardale Jones, who got better and better during the course of the game, found “Big Hoss” Rashad Ross for a 31-Yard Touchdown. The following one-point conversion was yet again unsuccessful, making you think they should just go for three. 25-19 for DC.
Seattle needed to answer now in the last quarter, but Brandon Silver threw an awful interception, which Bradley Sylve brought home for the first Pick-Six in XFL history. The following one Point Conversion was again unsuccessful, but the score line said DC 31, Seattle 19. That meant that Seattle now needs at least a Touchdown with three Point conversion and a Field goal within the next 13 Minutes, without letting DC score again.
But as they entered the red zone, the Seattle Running Back forgot to carry the ball and Seattle Fumbled it, giving DC the ball with a bit more than five Minutes to go. What was even worse, Seattle scored a field goal on this drive, but they got a first down because of a Flag for DC. So instead of getting three points and making this a one score game, they get zero points and it’s still a two-score game. From this point both teams couldn’t get another scoring possession together and the DC Defenders are the first Winners of an XFL game in 2020.
Seattle Dragons 19-31 DC Defenders
LA Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks
Next up is my team, The Houston Roughnecks, against Arns team, the LA Wildcats. And Houston came out of the gate with Guns Blazing, scoring a TD after just one and a half minute, when Quarterback P.J. Walker found Cam Phillips on a 50-Yard Touchdown pass. The one-point conversion was unsuccessful. GO FOR THREE!!! Houston 6. LA 0.
Then we saw the first action of Wide Receiver Kermit Whitfield, who will be called Kermit Whigfield in the future by Arn. Then Nelson Spruce caught a tipped off pass from Chad Kanoff to get LA into the red zone. That was one hell of a one hand catch while already sitting down on the field. ****3/4 Stars. Chad Kanoff then got the touchdown himself with a five-yard run and the following two-point conversion was equally successful with a pass to Jordan Smallwood. Houston 6. LA 8.
Following that it was Houston’s turn to try and turn the game around again, but couldn’t. Then Kanoff had one of his first mad moments, as he threw the ball into his own o-line, which was then fell into the lap of a d-lineman, causing a turnover. But LA got the ball back quickly and got a drive together for a 11-Yard Touchdown Pass to Jordan Smallwood. The following two-point conversion was unsuccessful, because they didn’t go for three. Yes, I said it.
Now Houston needed to turn up, and after a beautiful pass from P.J. Walker to Sammy Coates, P.J. Walker also found James Butler for a 16-Yard Touchdown pass. The following two-point conversion was unsuccessful and you know what? I won’t say it this time, but just know that you should always go for the maximum amount of points or you are a coward. This is the XFL not the NFL.
LA countered with a Nick Novak 35-Yard Field Goal after Kanoff got together a decent drive for the Wildcats.
But Houston wanted one more score before half-time and they got it with a 39-Yard Touchdown pass from P.J. Walker to Sam Mobley. The Two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but at least the teams go for two regularly than just for one. Houston 18. LA 17.
Following that LA got one more chance to score before Halftime, but fucked up a Field Goal attempt by not even kicking it, ending the first half being one point down. P.J. Walker, who looked more and more like a star with his mobility and his cannon for an arm, connected with Kahlil Lewis on a four-Yard Touchdown Pass. The following two Point attempt was successful as well.
And after LA couldn’t make things happen with the next drive, it was Houston who scored on a 44-Yard Field Goal by Sergio Castillo.
LA then took Chad Kanoff off the field and brought in Jalan McClendon who thanked the trust in him with an Interception, caught by Deatrick Nichols. P.J. Walker then just kept slinging the ball to his receivers and Houston finished off the drive with a four-Yard Rush by James Butler. The following two-point conversion was a pass to Kahlil Lewis, to extend the lead even more.
LA needed magic here… Kanoff fumbles the ball. But the good guy P.J. Walker is, he threw an interception himself to give LA the ball back. The remaining four Minutes, both teams couldn’t get a score and Houston wins their first game in the XFL. P.J. Walker is an absolute star in this League.
LA Wildcats 17-37 Houston Roughnecks.
Tampa Bay Vipers @ New York Guardians
Now Sunday hit and I really shouldn’t watch this game, because due to a storm my school got canceled and I should have to go to work on Monday. But I took the day off to watch some X F L FOOTBALL! And the XFL also hit the big Apple here in MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Tampa Bay has really nice Jersey, as they are white with poison-looking light green. Nice. New York got the first drive and after a couple of nice passes by Matt McGloin, he sneaks into the endzone himself for a one Yard Rush, followed by a successful one-point conversion. New York 7. Tampa Bay 0.
The following Tampa Drive, Aaron Murray threw a bad interception to Andrew Soroh in the Endzone, ending a good Tampa Bay Drive. And after both teams couldn’t score, on which Aaron Murray looked very nervous on the field, fumbling the ball, picking it up and nearly throwing an interception WITHIN the same play, It was New York who scored next, as Matt McGloin found Colby Pearson on a twelve-Yard Touchdown pass and Tim Cook III finished it off with his one-point conversion. At this point Matt McGloin looks like a solid XFL Version of Tom Brady. Not spectacular, but highly accurate with a good Football IQ. Aaron Murray looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick when he got Paid.
Tampa Bay got themselves within Field Goal Distance the next drive, but Andrew Franks missed a 50-Yard Field Goal to get Tampa Bay on the score board. But at the end of the second quarter, Tampa Bay got another chance to finally score… and Murray threw his second interception of the day into three New York Guardians Defenders, which was picked up by Bryce Jones, 30 seconds before half time. Matt McCrane used that to extend the New York lead with a 49-Yard Field Goal to end the first Half. New York 17. Tampa Bay… 0 Points and 2 Interceptions.
Tampa Bay finally scored in the third Quarter with a 23 Yard Field Goal by Andrew Franks to get on the scoreboard. This was the point where you kinda got hopeful for Tampa Bay to make this a game, as it was still just a two-score game.
In the fourth Quarter, Tampa Bay had the ball again and Murray found Nick Truesdell, who fumbled the ball, which got picked up by Jamar Summers who brought the ball home in for a close Touchdown. At this point it seemed that New York also had a very good defense, to counter Tampa’s bad offense.
Tampa Bay tried to do something with by bringing it the more mobile Quarterback Quinton Flowers who looked better than Murray, but ultimately also couldn’t score a Touchdown for Tampa Bay. New York really didn’t even try anymore at this point and both teams quietly ended the game.
Tampa Bay Vipers 3-23 New York Guardians.
St. Louis Battlehawks @ Dallas Renegades
Last but not least, we got the game between the St. Louis Battlehawks and the Dallas Renegades. This game had Pat McAfee on the sidelines, which made Arn explain to me what he doesn’t like about Pat. It’s a lot. Dallas Starting Quarterback Landy Jones got Injured in Training Camp, so Dallas decided to let an Instagram Model Start as Quarterback and damn his eyes are beautiful. Check out Philip Nelson on Instagram. Dallas coach looks like Jerry Springer. St. Louis on the other hand had the “Throwing Samoan” Jordan Ta’amu at Quarterback, who is probably a cousin of Dwayne. The game kinda just hadn’t a lot of big plays to start off and Dallas got themselves first on the score board in the second quarter with a 32-Yard Field Goal by Austin MacGinnis. Dallas 3. St. Louis 0.
This was also the game where I started to drink Cpt. Morgan Cola. It’s good to have a Monday Off afterwards. Then my Troy Aikman, who got Sideline Interviewed by Pat McAfee almost got run over, because the game was still going and Pat McAfee stored there and gave us already one of the all-time XFL Quotes with “Oh Troy, Get out of the way Troy, Jeez Troy.”. In General, the way they do Interviews here is great. They walk up to players who fumbled or missed a field goal and interview them as soon as they get off the pitch. Then we saw the first Touchdown of the game, when Keith Ford ran for 16 Yards into the endzone. The following two-point conversion was yet again unsuccessful. Dallas 3. St. Louis 6.
Austin MacGinnis, who has a Podcast about Kentucky Football, answered that with a 42-Yard Field Goal to tie the game and end the first quarter.
And in the third quarter it was once again Kentucky Podcaster Austin MacGinnis who this time scored a 23-Yard Field goal to get Dallas back into the lead. Dallas 9. St. Louis 6.
Then Roman Reigns cousin let a snap completely fly over him and he almost runs over a Camera man on the field in order to get the ball and threw it away in what probably was the best option at this point to lose a down but no Yards. St. Louis Marquette King then did a PERFECT Punt, and HIS OWN TEAM fucked it up. Dallas would have been on their own half Yard line. Shocking scenes. Dallas than had to Punt and St. Louis almost fucked that up as well, but were lucky that they recovered a fumble, where their Punt returner couldn’t catch the ball. On the first drive of the second half, Ta’amu got a good drive together, which included a 35-Yard Run by himself, and finished it off with a nine-Yard Touchdown pass to Alonzo Russell. The one-point attempt was without success. Dallas 9, St. Louis 12.
This was still a close game and was the type of game which would be decided on the last drive was my Prediction in the Twitter Group. After an unsuccessful drive lead by Instagram Model Nelson, St. Louis extended their lead with a 48-Yard Field Goal by Taylor Russolino to further extend the lead and make this a one Touchdown game. The pressure was on for the man with the stunning eyes, Philip Nelson, who had five minutes to make magic on the field and finally string together a touchdown drive for the Renegades.
After both teams had uneventful Drives it all came down to the last Possession of the Dallas Renegades. And 20 seconds before the end, Philip Nelson threw a bad Interception which got caught by Will Hill and probably ends his XFL career, as Landry Jones is scheduled to be back next week.
St. Louis Battlehawks 15-9 Dallas Renegades.
All in all, this was a really enjoyable first week of XFL Football. The games are accessible, the players a not on the standard of the NFL Stars, but good enough to give you the spectacular Offensive Plays the XFL wants to show you. Coverage is great as they Interview the players fairly fast after Plays and you can hear coaches call their plays and hear the Referee discuss situations with the Video referee, which gives great transparency. The new rules that eliminate PATs in favor for 3 different conversion are also fun, even though no one even tried a three-point conversion.
You will hear from me again, next week, when we will see if the winners can keep rolling, if the losers can bounce back, Jim Zorn nervously muttering Drive Through Orders to his Quarterback and maybe our first Overtime game.
Have a nice day.
Hi, Arn here again. I did an XFL rankings thing, which was buried in a New Japan review. Seeing as we have actual XFL content here it is again!
XFL Power Rankings:
- St Louis Battlehawks [1-0]. We were told St Louis were not good. They wouldn’t turn up early because of injuries to key personnel. Instead they won at the highly fancied Dallas.
- Houston Roughnecks [1-0]. Had a stand out performance at QB from PJ Walker and ran roughshod over an LA team that steadily fell apart in the process.
- New York Guardians [1-0]. Very strong D. Completely shut down a decent looking Tampa Bay side.
- DC Defenders [1-0]. Won their opener convincingly but did so against Seattle, who at times were embarrassing.
- Dallas Renegades [0-1]. Still without their starting QB Landry Jones they looked solid but with Landry they should make the play offs.
- Tampa Bay Vipers [0-1]. A lack of cutting edge around the red zone cost them but the yardage they put together against a strong New York team looked promising.
- LA Wildcats [0-1]. Collapsed completely in the second half. Charles Kanoff won’t be starting all season so they’ll likely improve.
- Seattle Dragons [0-1]. Well, they were a bit shit weren’t they. (Sorry Mike).