Week 4 is in the rearview mirror along with 40 percent of the XFL season. We now head into Week 5, which includes a Sunday night game, as the LA Wildcats host the Tampa Bay Vipers Sunday at 9 pm eastern on ESPN.
At this point in the season, the Houston Roughnecks and St. Louis BattleHawks are running away with the league, as P.J. Walker and Jordan Ta’amu have been consistent in leading their team. The rest of the league, other than the Wildcats, continue to have trouble at quarterback, which leads to some fairly unpredictable games.
This week we have two games with big point spreads on Saturday and then closer affairs according to the sportsbooks on Sunday.
Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks
Game time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: (ESPN Sports App)
Date: Saturday, March 7th
Announcers: Steve Levy, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill, Dianna Russini
Location: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
Odds: Roughnecks -12.5
This game has the biggest point spread of the weekend, as the Roughnecks welcome the Dragons to Houston. Seattle got a spark last week when B.J. Daniels came in for a scuffling Brandon Silvers, but we still don’t know who will start against the Roughnecks. Daniels brings a strong rushing game to the mix while Silvers has the better arm, but that hasn’t been seen all that often. Against the Roughnecks, the Dragons are going to need to pull out all of the stops and Daniels starting is a stop I’d pull out.
New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades
Game time: 5:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: (Fox Sports App)
Date: Saturday, March 7th
Announcers: Curt Menefee, Joel Klatt, Cam Jordan
Location: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, TX
Odds: Renegades -7.5
Dallas lost Landry Jones to an MCL injury so Philip Nelson will take over again this week against the visiting Guardians. We aren’t sure who the Guardians will start at quarterback as Matt McGloin and Luis Perez split reps in practice on Wednesday, but it would be a crime if Perez didn’t get the start after playing well and helping them to an upset victory last week.
Nelson averaged a poor 5.2 yards per attempt in Week 1, throwing no touchdowns and one interception. Overall, Dallas is a better team than the Guardians, but I’m not sure they are a touchdown better with Jones out.
St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders
The Defenders went from the top of the league to the bottom in two short games. It’s hard to find anyone to blame other than Cardale Jones, who has been awful the last two weeks. In those two games, both on the road, he’s completed 22-of-48 passes (45.9%) for 175 yards (3.56 YPA), no touchdowns and five interceptions. But, in his first two games, both at home, he completed 39-of-63 passes (62%) for 499 yards (7.9 YPA), four touchdowns and one interception. Will we see a turnaround now that he’s back at home? Maybe, but you can’t get much worse than he’s been recently.
Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats
I’m excited for this game despite both teams coming in with 1-3 records. Both teams have shown offensive ability of late, as Josh Johnson has been great for the Wildcats and the Vipers have turned things around since Marc Trestman handed over play-calling duties to his OC.
The Vipers run game went in overdrive last week, as both of their running backs, De’Veon Smith and Jacques Patrick topped 20 carries and 100 yards. No XFL running back had broken the 100 yard mark until they both did it in the same game and on the same team!
Josh Johnson leads the league in QB Rating and deep passing completion percentage, which has helped Tre McBride put up big numbers in his first two games back from injury. Nelson Spruce missed last week and his status for this week is up in the air, but when he comes back, the Wildcats passing offense should be one of the best in the league.