Week 1 of the XFL was a hit. Is the curiosity factor and the recent loss of NFL football the reason for the big viewing numbers for kickoff weekend? Only time will tell, but the games were enjoyable and the new rules didn’t take away from the product on the field. Getting an inside view of the replay process is great and the NFL needs to do that yesterday.
The Houston Roughnecks, led by XFL’s Week 1 MVP P.J. Walker, looked great and should continue to be fun with June Jones guiding them in the Run N’ Shoot. We also could get back two starting quarterbacks for Week 2, as Landry Jones and Josh Johnson are both practicing and have a shot to play. Their presence would elevate their respective teams, the Dallas Renegades and LA Wildcats, who both looked like they needed their help. We also get two matchups of winless teams and two undefeated teams, so two teams will get their first win and two more will stay undefeated. The grain will begin separating from the chaff.
XFL Week 2 is closing in on us, and it’s time to get your popcorn, pizza and adult beverages ready for the big day. There will be four games, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. ABC, FOX, FS1 and ESPN will broadcast the four matchups. Pull up a couch cushion and see what it’s all about.
New York Guardians (1-0) at DC Defenders (1-0)
Game time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: (ESPN Sports App)
Date: Saturday, February 15th
Announcers: Steve Levy, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill, Dianna Russini
Location: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Odds: Defenders -6.5
Matt McGloin and Cardale Jones will look to go 2-0 to start the season in D.C. on Saturday. The winner of this game gets a nice head start on the bulk of the league. Both teams were considered above average to start the season, but the Defenders look stacked offensively. The Guardians held the Tampa Bay Vipers to just three points in Week 1, so they will try to keep their defensive play going against what should continue to be one of the best offenses in the league under Pep Hamilton and Jones.
Tampa Bay Vipers (0-1) at Seattle Dragons (0-1)
The Vipers put up the most yards in Week 1 and the fewest points, as Aaron Murray and company couldn’t get anything done near the goal-line. Murray hurt his foot in that game and missed practice on Tuesday, but there’s a chance he still plays, as he finished out the game against the Defenders in Week 1. They might want to see more of multi-purpose weapon Quinton Flowers though.
The Dragons put up more passing offense than expected in their first game, but quarterback Brandon Silvers threw a pick-six and regressed in the second half of the game. This game should help us see who of these two teams has a shot to turn things around.
Dallas Renegades (0-1) at Los Angeles Wildcats (0-1)
Game time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: (ESPN Sports App)
Date: Sunday, February 16th
Announcers: Tom Hart, Joey Galloway, Pat McAfee
Location: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA
Odds: Renegades -4
Both of these teams were without their starting quarterback in Week 1 and didn’t look sharp. The Renegades Landry Jones looks more-likely to start than the Wildcats Josh Johnson, but both could end up playing. Dallas was one of the favorites to win the whole league, so they need to get back on track quickly while the Wildcats are in a bit of disarray after getting stomped by the Roughnecks and letting their defensive coordinator go. A win would go a long way to bringing their team back together and moving forward.
St. Louis BattleHawks (1-0) at Houston Roughnecks (1-0)
The BattleHawks went into Dallas last week and upset the Renegades, but now head to Houston to take on the highest scoring team in the XFL so far. St. Louis went run heavy to defeat Bob Stoops’ team, but might have more trouble sticking to that plan against the passing game of Houston. The Roughnecks are the biggest favorites of the weekend, giving the BattleHawks another chance at a road upset.