Week 4 in the XFL, as I thought, continued to reveal layers. Some were clear cut. Others, were confusing. Here’s what I saw.
Week 4 Standout
Through the first 4 weeks, we had contenders jockeying for position as a top team in the XFL. The St. Louis BattleHawks are becoming the most physically imposing team in the league, but they aren’t my standout this week. (Although they could be.) That honor goes to the Houston Roughnecks.
The “Texas Throwdown” between the Roughnecks and the Dallas Renegades lived up to it’s billing. Both teams showed their ability to score quickly. When the game became a defensive slugfest, with both teams displaying an ability to keep opposing offenses in check, it was the Roughnecks that came up with the final blow.
The Renegades, after their starting quarterback Landry Jones went down with injury, were knocking on the door. Houston’s 3-yard line to be exact. It looked like a sure thing they were going to score and either tie the game or win it, depending on their point-after conversion. Then, it happened. Roughnecks linebacker Marquise Gates, comes up with a finger-tip interception after a dropped pass by the Renegades and seals the win for Houston. (Inexplicably, this was ruled a fumble. Not the only questionable call or NON call of a fumble in the game. Yeah YOU, Donald Parham!)
Another week, another way the Roughnecks find to win. Simply put: The Roughnecks have solidified themselves as the class of the XFL. They’ve combined an explosive offense, a solid defense, and a will to find different ways to win. They’re 4-0 as a result.
Week 4 Puzzler
I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to go here again, but here we are. The D.C. Defenders started the season 2-0 after two home games. Then they hit the road and forgot how to play football.
Last week it was the dog walking in L.A. against the Wildcats. Alright. You can’t win them all and some losses are going to be ugly. Learn from it and be better next game. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The Defenders suffered another mud hole stomping, at the hands of the WINLESS (not anymore) Tampa Bay Vipers, 25-0.
No one played well for D.C. Cardale Jones posted a 30.9 QB rating. Putrid. The Defenders defense, could defend anyone. Allowing 2 one-hundred yard rushers, 3 rushing touchdowns, an additional 221 yards passing and another touchdown. Credit the Vipers offense for finally finding the end zone with some consistency, but good grief were the Defenders horrid top to bottom. Tighten it up.
As we approach the halfway mark of the inaugural season, the cream is rising. There is still time for fringe teams to find their groove and get on a run. Will those teams find that in Week 5? Another intriguing week is in store.