The XFL’s first week of the season is now in the books and I think the general consensus is that it was a success. The ABC telecast of the Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders game averaged 3.3 million viewers. It peaked at 4 million viewers. That is better than the Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors game which averaged a little more than 2 million viewers Saturday night.
Overall, I think this league will make it. I saw some talent that I expect will be on an NFL roster this fall. I saw some great plays as well as a few mistakes that probably confirm why some of these players aren’t on an NFL roster. The XFL had a few detractors but critics of Week 1 action need to understand that it will take two to three games for these teams to gel. Scoring should increase as the season goes along. Now onto my thoughts on the performances around the league.
Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders – The Dragons were viewed by analysts to be the league’s weakest team but I think this team is going to be a little better than most thought. Offensively, I liked head coach Jim Zorn’s aggressiveness on 4th down. Dragons QB Brandon Silvers looked good at times, just needs more experience. I expect that he will improve as the season goes along.
The Defenders and QB Cardale Jones seemed a little out of sync in the first half but they recovered in the second half to win 31-19. You sort of get the feeling that the Defenders could turn out to be the most explosive offense in the XFL once they iron out a few wrinkles.
Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks – The Wildcats got off to a respectable start in the first half against the Houston Roughnecks, leading 17-12 in the second quarter. But then went scoreless from that point on. Turnovers plagued the Wildcats in the second half.
Houston Roughneck QB P.J. Walker had a great debut, throwing for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns. Although the final score was 37-17 Houston, the stat sheet shows that these two teams were pretty equal in terms of yards and first downs.
Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians – This was easily the most the disappointing XFL game this weekend due to the lack of scoring by the Vipers. The Vipers mustered 3 points in the loss. Oddly enough, the Vipers produced the most net yards (394) of any XFL team this weekend as well as having the best third-down conversion percentage (47%). QB Aaron Murray simply couldn’t get the ball in the end zone and threw 2 interceptions. I think backup QB Quinton Flowers will see more action next week. The New York Guardians seem to have a bend-don’t-break defense and just enough offense to be a factor moving forward.
St Louis Battlehawks at Dallas Renegades – The biggest surprise this XFL weekend–the St Louis Battlehawks winning on the road as a 9 1/2 point underdog. This game wasn’t pretty but at least it was a game towards the end. The Dallas Renegades went 1 for 10 on third down with backup QB Philip Nelson and failed to get into the end zone. Meanwhile Battlehawks QB Jordan Ta’amu displayed a good arm and nice mobility and produced the second best QB rating behind the DC Defenders Cardale Jones.
XFL Player of the Week – Week #1
XFL Power Rankings
- Houston Roughnecks
- DC Defenders
- St Louis Battlehawks
- New York Guardians
- Dallas Renegades
- Seattle Dragons
- Los Angeles Wildcats
- Tampa Bay Vipers