XFL: Week 6 in Review

A titanic clash headlined Week 6.

Week 6 in the XFL was certainly headlined by the titanic clash of the D.C. Defenders and the Houston Roughnecks. That doesn’t mean there was other happenings to keep an eye. Here’s what I saw in Week 6.

Good eating… sort of

The aforementioned headlining matchup between Houston and D.C., was the only PERCEIVED tough matchup of the week. The rest of the league had favorable matchups, with a chance to eat. Meaning: picking up a win to build their record and take a positive step forward in an increasingly interesting playoff race.

While the Seattle Sea Dragons and the St. Louis Battlehawks took care of business in their respective matchups, the Arlington Renegades found themselves in a fight with the San Antonio Brahmas. A fight they lost 15-9, to drop their record to 3-3.

Remember after Week 1, how most folks were crowning the Renegades as odds on favorites to win the XFL Championship? Yeah. There’s a reason why I said pump your brakes. It’s not great in Arlington right now. (When you release the QB you started all season, a day after losing to the team you made a QB trade with, losing to said QB after only being there since Wednesday, ain’t a good look.)

Luckily for the Renegades, they are in the weaker South and are still holding that second, and final, playoff spot in that division. Can’t afford any more missteps.

Defenders dominance

The D.C. Defenders have set themselves apart from the rest of the XFL. They’ve shown they can win in a variety of ways. They had to do just that, in Monday night’s matchup against the Houston Roughnecks.

D.C.’s run game is head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Houston was aware of this and came prepared. Defenders couldn’t get anything going on the ground (until late), so to the air they went. Yes, they passed the ball and passed it effectively. (Ta’amu passed for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns. Would’ve been more if not for drops.)

Houston had no answers. This is what makes the Defenders such a tough opponent. They run the ball well, get opponents to focus heavily on that and leave the whole backend wide open for big plays. (Ask Lucky Jackson how fun that is.) If you decide to be more aware of the pass, D.C. will just run it down your throat.

Let’s not forget the defense. (The team name is literally Defenders. You had to know they’d be stout there.)

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has never been afraid to bring pressure. That pressure creates mistakes and that is if it isn’t meeting at the quarterback. That pressure was responsible for the Pick-6 by Santos Ramirez. Not because there was any on that play, but because of Williams’ history of bringing pressure in that down and distance. Defenders dropped into coverage, confused Houston quarterback Nate Silvers, and forced the pick.

This sort of game travels: tough defense, physical run game. Also: finding a way to win through various means. It’s a championship trait.

Heading into Week 7, the matchups become that much more important. This is another important week in the XFL, we shall see who steps up to step forward.

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