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Houston climbs to the top of Week 3 XFL power rankings

The inaugural XFL season is 20 percent complete and we have some teams that appear to be good and at least one team that appears to be awful.

Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker throws a pass over Tampa Bay Vipers defensive end Jason Neill during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The XFL wrapped up Week 3, and we have one clear front-runner, and then three teams that are somewhere in the mix right behind them with plenty of questions to sort out. We can safely divide the league in half between the good and bad teams.

With that in mind, we’re back for another round of XFL power rankings! We posted our inaugural power rankings last week, because a league truly hasn’t made it until media are ranking teams in arbitrary fashion week in and week out. We’ve got some notable changes to consider as we break down what the league looks like heading into Week 4.

1. Houston Roughnecks (3-0) LW: 2nd — 34-27 win at Tampa Bay

The Roughnecks defense has some questions to answer, but for the time being, nobody can stop this offense. P.J. Walker is the front-runner for MVP, but more importantly for him, could be playing his way into a legitimate shot at a backup quarterback position in the NFL. In helping Houston get past a game Tampa Bay squad, Walker completed 24 of 36 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns. He’s on fire.

2. St. Louis BattleHawks (2-1) LW: 3rd — 29-9 win vs. New York

The BattleHawks are for real, and they’re putting together a balanced attack. Jordan Ta’amu has been sharp, but even with a quieter performance in the win over New York, St. Louis got a big day from Matt Jones and Christine Michael, who rushed for a combined 139 yards and each scored a touchdown. They don’t have an offense on Houston’s level, but given that they hung close on the road with Houston last week, they’re a dangerous team, as the midway point approaches.

3. Dallas Renegades (2-1) LW: 4th — 24-12 win at Seattle

This is arguably the toughest team to figure out for the time being. They have wins over LA and Seattle, but given how Josh Johnson has looked since the fourth quarter of that game, they might have just avoided a tough loss. For now, Landry Jones is getting every chance to be productive, completing 73 percent of 41 pass attempts for 274 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Dallas hosts Houston next week, which will tell us a whole lot about them.

4. Los Angeles Wildcats (1-2) LW: 5th — 39-3 win vs. DC

Well, Josh Johnson is back! The NFL veteran struggled much of Week 2 against Dallas before heating up in the fourth quarter. That carried over to Week 3 as he destroyed what had been an impressive DC defense. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns, in one of the most efficient performances of the season. LA travels to face a shaky New York defense in Week 4.

5. DC Defenders (2-1) LW: 1st — 39-3 loss at Los Angeles

The top team came back to earth in a hurry in Week 3. Josh Johnson shredded what had looked like the best defense in the league, and Cardale Jones had a miserable game. Jones threw four interceptions and was eventually benched for Tyree Jackson. They’re likely not as bad as this game would suggest, and next week they get a big opportunity against a bad Tampa squad.

6. Seattle Dragons (1-2) LW: 7th — 24-12 loss vs. Dallas

It’s hard to get overly jazzed by the Dragons. Brandon Silvers is a decent QB, and they’ve got some intriguing running back talent, but they are sort of a meh team. They fell apart late against DC in Week 1, beat Tampa Bay in Week 2, and blew a first half lead in losing to Dallas. They travel to face a surging St. Louis squad, and it’s hard to get excited for the Dragons.

7. New York Guardians (1-2) LW: 6th — 29-9 loss at St. Louis

Things have gone south in a hurry for the Big Apple’s XFL team. Matt McGloin has made it clear he’s not the answer. He completed 8 of 11 passes, but threw an interception and was benched by the end of the first half. Marquise Williams struggled in his own right, and was eventually benched for Luis Perez, who completed four of five passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. The Guardians offensive coaching staff has their work cut out for them figuring out who will start at quarterback in Week 4.

8. Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3) — 34-27 loss vs. Houston

The Vipers put up a valiant effort against the league-leading Roughnecks, but came up short in the end. It’s their best game to date, but they remain winless. They have yet to fully figure out their quarterback situation, and until that happens, they are likely to remain stuck to a certain degree. They host DC in Week 4.