The first week of the XFL is in the books and the league had a successful opening weekend much like the first weekend of the Alliance of American Football. Will the league survive long-term? We’ll see, but the ratings were better than the AAF and while the football product on the field was good, the broadcast kept up as well as the games played over FOX/ABC/ESPN.
The Dallas Renegades came in as the Vegas favorite to win it all while the Tampa Bay Vipers had the highest projected win total at 7.5. However, both teams fell on the field this week, showing there is a long way to go in understanding each team and where they fall in the pecking order.
So which teams looked the most impressive after the first week and which players should you look out for? Here are the post-week 1 XFL Power Rankings.
1. Houston Roughnecks
PJ Walker has emerged as the best quarterback in the league going 23/39 for 272 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. The rushing attack wasn’t really there for the team with only 50 yards, but overall they didn’t have to with as well as Walker played through the air. The defense struggled early on, but shut out LA in the second half as they ran away with it.
2. St. Louis BattleHawks
St. Louis looked good overall, despite only putting up 15 points. Penalties hurt them overall, but Jordan Ta’amu had an efficient performance going 20/27 for 209 yards and a touchdown. The BattleHawks also had 191 yards rushing and was only one of two teams that had over 100 yards on the ground. The defense held Phillip Nelson in check and kept Bob Stoops’ team from even scoring a touchdown.
3. DC Defenders
4. New York Guardians
5. Seattle Dragons
Seattle made history by being the first team to score a touchdown in this version of the XFL. Former Troy QB Brandon Silvers had his moments but also had a couple of costly picks. He ended the day at 21/40 for 217 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
The Dragons actually out-gained DC, but turnovers just kept them from putting points on the board. They threw an interception on the DC 2 yard line in the first half and fumbled it away on the DC 3 in the second half. DC also blocked a punt which led to a touchdown. This game could have easily been reversed.
6. Los Angeles Wildcats
Charles Kanoff was only average in week one going 21/40 for 214 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was also sacked numerous times. Bottom line, the defense just couldn’t stop Houston as the Wildcats lost by 20. Elijah Hood had a decent day and Kanoff did have a few good runs. This team has some work to do under Winston Moss and Norm Chow will look to get the offense running smoother in week two.
7. Dallas Renegades
The preseason favorite to win it all struggled in the first week. Dallas failed to score a single touchdown, despite Phillip Nelson playing decent. He was 33/42 for 209 yards but had an interception on the final drive when trying to tie the game. The team only ran the ball 12 times but averaged 4.8 yards per carry. However, the defense gave up 191 yards on the ground to St. Louis and has to improve.
8. Tampa Bay Vipers
Hope you took the under in total wins for Tampa Bay because they only have 9 games to win 8 now in order to beat that 7.5 number after an awful first week performance. Aaron Murray continues to struggle in his post-college career as he played terribly and the Vipers only put up 3 points total.
The crazy things is – the Vipers outgained the Guardians 394-226 despite losing by 20 points. Aaron Murray went 16/34 (47%) for 231 yards but no touchdowns and two interceptions. Quentin Flowers came in and provided a spark for the team. Despite only going 1/2 through the air, his one completion was a big 37 yard pass and he also added 34 yards rushing on five carries. The offensive line needs some work as the two quarterbacks were sacked a combined 5 times with another 8 QB hurries and 7 tackles for loss.