The XFL is now two weeks old, and is 20 percent of the way through its inaugural season. We have two unbeaten teams and two winless teams. We’ve seen strong quarterback play from three teams, and some disastrous quarterback play from most of the rest of the league. It’s still too early to tell all of the good defenses, but we’re starting to get a handle on some of these teams.
With that in mind, it’s time for power rankings! A league truly hasn’t made it until media are consistently putting together power rankings to assess the strong and weak teams. It is mostly useful for betting purposes, but even non-bettors enjoy endlessly arguing over whether the media views their team as good or bad.
1. DC Defenders (2-0) — 27-0 win vs. New York
Cardale Jones is a step behind P.J. Walker for the time being, but he’s in competition with Jordan Ta’amu for a close second in the QB/MVP race. If you have a relatively good quarterback in a new league, you’re in good position. The big thing for DC is their defense is off to a strong start as well. They made Matt McGloin look abysmal and might have the best pass rush in the league for the time being.
2. Houston Roughnecks (2-0) — 28-24 win vs. St. Louis
P.J. Walker is the front-runner for MVP, with seven touchdowns to only one interception. Houston does not face DC until Week 7, but if this keeps up, it could be a championship game preview. Houston is in the second spot because their defense is a little shaky for the time being.
3. St. Louis BattleHawks (1-1) — 28-24 loss at Houston
The BattleHawks had the second worst title odds to open the season, and were among the lowest in preseason win totals. They’ve impressed through two weeks primarily because Jordan Ta’amu has emerged as a dynamic threat with both his arm and legs. Week 3 and 4 against shaky New York and Seattle teams will tell us if they can beat teams they are starting to be expected to beat.
4. Dallas Renegades (1-1) — 25-18 win at Los Angeles
After an abysmal offensive showing in Week 1, Dallas welcomed Landry Jones back from a knee injury. In Week 2, the Air Raid looked better, and Cameraon Artis-Payne impressed on the ground. Dallas has the looks of a .500 team that puts up ridiculous yardage but struggles enough on defense to come up short a little too often. Of course, in an 8-team league that might be enough to get into the playoffs.
5. Los Angeles Wildcats (0-2) — 25-18 loss vs. Dallas
Josh Johnson made his debut, and after a slow start, turned it on in the fourth quarter. If he can shake off the rust, this offense has enough weapons — including a potential breakout star in Nelson Spruce — to make some noise. However, they face a huge challenge in Week 3 when they host an impressive unbeaten DC squad.
6. New York Guardians (1-1) — 27-0 loss at DC
New York impressed in a Week 1 win over Tampa Bay, but Matt McGloin was a disaster in Week 2. The Week 1 win looks less impressive with Tampa Bay clearly not as good as we expected, but DC is good enough that New York isn’t necessarily as bad as they looked in Week 2. They face an unexpected impressive St. Louis team that is looking to make a statement. Week 3 is big for both these teams playoff prospects.
7. Seattle Dragons (1-1) — 17-9 win vs. Tampa Bay
Seattle opened the season with the worst title odds, and it’s easy to see why. They got a win over a bad Tampa Bay team, but it required a second half comeback to do it. A win is a win, but Brandon Silvers needs to take a step forward if this team wants to find any consistency. The upside is they’re getting impressive play from their backfield in a league where running backs have not been particularly good for the most part.
8. Tampa Bay Vipers (0-2) — 17-9 loss at Seattle
The Vipers have been a huge disappointment. Expectations were high for Marc Trestman’s squad, but they simply have no consistent answers at quarterback. Tyler Cornelius got some decent yardage, but struggled with some bad mistakes. Quinton Flowers is a dynamic athlete, but Trestman can’t make up his mind. If Aaron Murray is healthy in Week 3, who knows what the team will do with their quarterback position.