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Breaking down Jordan Ta’amu, Phillip Nelson performances in Week 1 of the XFL

Philip Nelson and Jordan Ta’amu make their XFL debuts on Sunday to close out the first week of action. We break down their performances in Week 1.

St. Louis BattleHawks quarterback Jordan Ta’amu throws the ball during practice. Thomas Campbell/XFL

Final update: Nelson finished the game with 209 passing yards on 33-of-42 passing while averaging five yards per attempt. He failed to record a single touchdown pass but continued to spread the ball around effectively. He lacked the big play ability that Ta’amu showcased in the fourth quarter. Ta’amu broke off a 37-yard run early in the fourth quarter and notched his lone touchdown pass of the night on a pass to Alonzo Russell. He finished averaging 8.6 yards per carry and tallied 77 rushing yards in the game. His passing yardage was identical to Nelson’s in the BattleHawks’ 15-9 victory.

Third quarter update: Dallas has continued to play it safe with Nelson, as he has totaled 169 passing yards on 27 completions. He is averaging 5.5 yards per attempt, and that was enough to get in field position for a third field goal. Ta’amu has 144 passings yards and has run for an additional 35. St. Louis wasn’t able to get on the board and trails 9-6 heading into the final frame.

Halftime update: Nelson has been extremely precise through two quarters. He’s 22-of-25 passing with 183 yards and has connected with nine different players. However, the Renegades have only been able to tally six points on two field goals. Ta’amu was 4-of-6 passing in the second quarter and led his team into enemy territory, where it drew blood on a 16-yard touchdown run. He has 88 passing yards. St. Louis and Dallas are knotted at 6.

The Dallas Renegades and St. Louis BattleHawks are wrapping up the XFL’s opening weekend Sunday. We’ve seen three games so far, and Dallas is the team everyone has been waiting to watch. The Renegades entered Week 1 as the favorites to take home the title, but starting quarterback Landry Jones did not play in the season opener because of a knee injury. Philip Nelson started in his place against St. Louis’ young Jordan Ta’amu.

Nelson got off to a strong start and was 10-of-11 passing in the first quarter. He tallied 90 passing yards but wasn’t able to put any points on the board. Both teams enter the second quarter scoreless.

Ta’amu wasn’t bad in his first two drives as a professional football player. The 22-year-old connected on four of his six throws in the first quarter for 28 yards. The dual-threat signal caller also rattled off an 18-yard rush.