Week 5: the halfway point of the XFL season. I’ve long thought this would be the week we’d see the cream start to rise and that’s what happened. Here’s my thoughts on Week 5.
The D.C. Defenders knew they had a TOUGH one, on the road, in the BattleDome, against the St. Louis BattleHawks. A titanic North Division clash that would go a long way in deciding said division.
This was every bit as good as advertised. Big plays by both squads on offense and defense. A hard-fought, back and forth game, that came down to the final minute. Literally.
Cornerback Michael Joseph (second in the league with 4 interceptions) picks off St. Louis quarterback A.J. McCarron, to seal a 28-20 D.C. victory and spoil another comeback attempt by St. Louis. (BattleHawks better learn how to do work BEFORE the finals minutes of the 4th quarter.)
Still undefeated, and with a 2-game lead in the North, D.C. has positioned themselves as the cream of the crop (insert Macho Man voice here) in the XFL. A physical run game and equally tough defense, makes them a difficult matchup for anyone.
Defenders head back to The Hub, then to their playing home, for a huge game against (a once) undefeated Houston Roughnecks squad. A Monday night special, indeed.
A Monster Lurking?
Houston is leading the South, but not at the same margin D.C. is leading the North. This thanks to a road L, courtesy of an ascending Seattle SeaDragons squad.
If you’ve watched this space (as well as my Twitter) all season, you’ll know I’ve been on Seattle’s head about the turnovers. They’ve cost the SeaDragons games and lost them ground in the toughest division of the XFL.
Seattle has flashed glimpses of an explosive offensive that is able to be balanced. Tough running with Morgan Ellison, popping the top off defenses with Josh Gordon and the league-leader in receiving Jahcour Pearson and Ben DiNucci leading the XFL in passing.
Problem is, he also leads the league in interceptions thrown, with 7. Three of which were thrown against the Roughnecks. (I won’t totally fault DiNucci, as Wade Phillips has the Houston D playing well.) If they plan on overtaking St. Louis for the second spot in the North, this MUST be curbed.
If we’re being real, it’s the SeaDragons defense that’s keeping them in and winning them games. A 15-6 win in Week 4, a 21-14 victory in Week 5, a 3-game winning streak overall. We’re talking one possession games and being put in the worst possible situations because of turnovers and overcoming it. These fellas need help from the offense.
If Seattle holds on to the ball and their defense continues to ball out, they are certainly a lurking monster in the North.
We are officially in the home stretch. Teams are only going to get hungrier and more desperate, as the playoff chase heats up. Who takes another step forward in Week 6? We shall see.