Another week in the Smackdown Hotel and I’m still hooked on the quality of games the XFL is providing us. The AJ McCarron story is taking fans by storm showing us all what really matters in life. For those that missed his story, McCarron took a massive pay cut to leave the NFL to play in the XFL so that his kids could see him play, I’ll link the full story at the end of this for you all. Now, time to wipe the tears from our eyes and get into some game highlights.
St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Seattle Sea Dragons
Our first glimpse at seeing the XFL on a Thursday night and they delivered. A little later start time than we are used to with the NFL by starting at 9, the Battlehawks faced the Sea Dragons on FX. The Sea Dragons struck early and often in this game. The Dinucci to Gordon connection was right back at it leading the Sea Dragons to a 12 – 0 lead going into halftime.
That wasn’t enough to keep AJ McCarron and the Battlehawks down for the count. The Battlehawks take the lead in the 4th quarter going up 17 to 12 with 3 minutes left in the game, giving the Sea Dragons enough time to take the lead. The Sea Dragons do just that, making the lead 18 – 17 with 1:21 left on the clock. After a failed 3 point conversion from the Sea Dragons, AJ McCarron and the Battlehawks march down the field to kick the game winning field goal.
DC Defenders vs Vegas Vipers
The Defenders make the trip to Vegas looking to lay the Smackdown on the Vipers with their hard hitting defense. The weather makes the game look sloppy with all of the fumbles and dropped passes. The Defenders struggled the most with their offense. They were not able to score anything in the first half. Their defense however was able to hold the Vipers to 6 points going into halftime.
The Defenders come back out making a change at QB and D’Eriq King comes in to give the Defenders that spark they need to score. That spark is enough for the Defenders to score a pair of rushing touchdowns and the defense shut the Vipers out in the second half to seal the victory.
San Antonio Brahmas vs. Orlando Guardians
We have 2 teams battling to get their first win with San Antonio being a 3.5 point favorite. San Antonio strikes first taking a 6 – 0 lead after a failed 2 point conversion. Orlando is able to answer right back in the the first quarter tying the game after a failed 1 point conversion of their own. The Brahmas are able to take advantage of a personal foul against the Guardians defense, giving them a 13 – 6 lead going into halftime.
The Brahmas come out swinging after the break, scoring twice in the third quarter pushing the lead 27 – 6. The Guardians are able to score one last time in the 4th quarter, but it is not enough to cut into the deficit. The Brahmas score a field goal late in the 4th to ice the victory.
Houston Roughnecks vs. Arlington Renegades
Drew Plitt, QB for the Renegades, sets the tone early in this game. Unfortunately for the Renegades, it is in the favor of the Roughnecks when he throws an interception to start the game. The Roughnecks convert this turnover into 3 points. The next time the Renegades offense takes the field, Plitt is running for his life from the Roughneck defense. Unable to get anything going, they are forced to punt the ball to the Roughnecks who almost take the punt return to the endzone. The Roughnecks are able to punch the ball into the endzone extending their lead. After being down 11 -0, the Renegades are able to score twice taking the lead 14 -11 before going it to halftime.
Wade Phillips and his Roughnecks are not dead though. They come out after halftime like they found Jordan’s Secret Stuff from Space Jam and shuts the Renegades out. The Roughnecks score 12 unanswered points sealing the victory for them and improving their record to 2 – 0 on the season.
Overall, I am still sold on the XFL being around for a long time this go around. As the teams chemistry gets better, we will see more fluidity on the field and this will eventually lead to a couple of games being shootouts similar to what we get from the NFL.
Click here for the full AJ McCarron Story
Click here for the week 1 recap