The XFL wrapped up Week 4 on Sunday and next week will get us to the halfway point of the debut regular season. We have a front-runner atop each division, but after that it’s hard to tell what to make of the remaining teams. The last winless team is off the schneid, and there are a clump of teams that all have a serious shot at the two wild card berths.
With that in mind, we’re back for another round of XFL power rankings! A league truly hasn’t made it until media are ranking teams in arbitrary fashion week in and week out. We’ve got some notable changes to consider as we break down what the league looks like heading into Week 5.
1. Houston Roughnecks (4-0) LW: 1st — 27-20 win at Dallas
We saw a big test in Week 4 in Dallas, and Houston passed. They took a 15-0 led early, and held off the Renegades comeback through the second and third quarter. P.J. Walker threw his second interception of the season, but he still put together a solid afternoon with 61 percent of his passes completed for 239 yards and two touchdowns. The Roughnecks defense stepped up, and while they did give up 20 points, they interception Landry Jones three times and looked pretty solid after some shaky early outings.
2. St. Louis BattleHawks (3-1) LW: 2nd — 23-17 win vs. Seattle
Seattle has been a lackluster squad, and St. Louis took care of business. Jordan Ta’amu had his most efficient game of the season, completing 20 of 27 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown, while leading the team with 63 yards. When they let Ta’amu go, he can make things happen. St. Louis gets a big test in Week 5 when they travel to face the now 2-2 DC Defenders.
3. New York Guardians (2-2) LW: 7th — 17-14 win vs. Los Angeles
This is less about New York impressing, and more about the various teams struggling beneath them. The Guardians defense looked good when it needed to in the red zone against LA. They gave up big passing gains, but did not face much from the LA rushing attack. Suddenly, New York is 2-2 and the touchdown differential gives them the edge on DC. The XFL East just got a whole lot more interesting.
4. Los Angeles Wildcats (1-3) LW: 4th — 17-14 loss at New York
LA might be the most difficult team to figure out. They looked great in crushing DC in Week 3, but struggled to convert opportunities this past weekend against New York. Josh Johnson put up some big numbers, but they struggled to punch the ball into the end zone. They need to get Nelson Spruce back soon.
5. Dallas Renegades (2-2) LW: 3rd — 27-20 loss vs. Houston
Dallas gave Houston a tough fight before coming up short. This sizable drop is not about the first 80 percent of the game, but the final portion when Landry Jones went down with a knee injury. He suffered an MCL injury and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks. Phillip Nelson will replace him, and was not impressive in Week 1 and was shaky as a substitute this past weekend. It does not bode well for the Renegades moving forward.
6. DC Defenders (2-2) LW: 5th — 25-0 loss at Tampa Bay
I’m not entirely sure what happened to DC, but Week 4 was not pretty. Cardale Jones could not hit the broad side of a barn, completing 9 of 22 passes for 72 yards and an interception with no scrambles. Both the offense and defense have struggled two weeks in a row after impressing the first two weeks. DC hosts St. Louis in a make-or-break game in Week 5.
7. Tampa Bay Vipers (1-3) LW: 8th — 25-0 win vs. DC
The Vipers are on a bit of a roll lately. They narrowly lost to Houston and then thumped DC this past weekend. They lost to Seattle back in Week 2, but the Vipers are looking like the better team right now. They’ve got some issues to sort out, but with Dallas losing to Houston, Tampa joins LA as only a game back in the wild card race. Next week’s TB-LA match will be huge for sorting out the middle of the XFL West.
8. Seattle Dragons (1-3) LW: 6th — 23-16 loss at St. Louis
Seattle was not awful against a surging St. Louis squad, but it took some time to get going. That being said, B.J. Daniels got an opportunity and made the most of it. He completed 5 of 10 passes for 50 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but more importantly, scrambled for 84 yards on only seven carries. He might be a spark for them, which they’ll badly need heading into Houston next weekend.