In some ways, the XFL’s third weekend was a who’s who recreation because the league’s common season moved previous the quarter pole. While the outcomes have been considerably predictable (we went an ideal 4-0 in our Week 3 picks), final week’s outcomes strengthened which groups are contenders versus pretenders.
Only two groups stay undefeated by three weeks: the D.C. Defenders and the Houston Roughnecks. The Defenders have been No. 1 in every of our earlier Power Rankings, whereas the Roughnecks began in the course of the pack earlier than shortly shifting up into the No. 2 spot. Both groups justified their spots in our Power Rankings by once more taking good care of enterprise this previous weekend.
Did Houston do sufficient to surpass D.C.? We have that reply and the remainder of our up to date Power Rankings beneath forward of the XFL’s fourth weekend.
1. D.C. Defenders (3-0)
After two wins in low-scoring video games, the Defenders proved final weekend they’ll win a shootout. D.C. posted a 34-28 win over a BattleHawks group that got here into the sport with an unblemished mark. As has been the case all 12 months, the Defenders’ protection performed an integral function within the recreation by forcing 4 turnovers that included Michael Turner’s pick-six of St. Louis quarterback A.J. McCarron.
On offense, the Defenders continued to roll on the bottom with 136 yards and a landing. But the actually encouraging a part of this recreation for D.C. was the play of quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who loved his greatest recreation thus far after throwing for 196 yards and a landing.
2. Houston Roughnecks (3-0)
Houston appeared on its strategy to taking the No. 1 spot after enjoying a near-perfect first half final Sunday night time towards San Antonio. The Roughnecks led 22-7 at halftime after receiving an excellent first half from quarterback Brandon Silvers, who accomplished 15 of his first 20 move makes an attempt for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
It was a distinct story within the second half, nonetheless, as Houston was outscored 6-0 in an eventual 22-13 win. The Roughnecks’ protection got here up with a number of large stops, however their offense got here up empty with two drives that led to punts, two on missed fourth-down makes an attempt and one other by way of an interception.
Along with Silvers and Jontre Kirkland’s two landing catches, one constructive relating to Houston’s offense on Sunday was operating again Max Borghi, whose 74 yards on 15 carries helped Houston win time of possession whereas operating 20 extra performs than the Brahmas.
3. St. Louis BattleHawks (2-1)
St. Louis’ first loss was spectacular in the truth that the BattleHawks stood toe-to-toe with arguably the league’s greatest group. You may argue that St. Louis was the higher group on Sunday however price itself a win by committing 4 turnovers that led to 9 D.C. factors. Conversely, St. Louis transformed simply considered one of its three compelled turnovers into factors.
Interceptions apart, McCarron in any other case had a strong recreation after throwing for a season-high 262 yards and 4 touchdowns. McCarron’s high goal, Hakeem Butler, pulled down 9 passes for 105 yards and a landing. St. Louis struggled to run the ball, nonetheless, selecting up simply 56 yards on 17 carries.
4. Arlington Renegades (2-1)
Bob Stoops’ group continues to occupy the center of our Power Rankings after being No. 2 in our preseason rankings. The Renegades jumped up one spot this week after successful an unpleasant recreation towards the league’s worst group. But a win is a win, and by beating Orlando, the Renegades are considered one of 4 XFL groups with a successful document.
Kyle Sloter was extremely environment friendly in his first recreation for Arlington. The former NFL journeyman quarterback went 18 of 23 for 124 yards and a landing. He additionally did not flip the ball over whereas his protection compelled a pair of turnovers in Arlington’s 10-9 win.
5. Seattle Sea Dragons (1-2)
Seattle was lastly on the suitable aspect of an in depth rating in Week 3. The Sea Dragons received a excessive scoring, extremely entertaining recreation towards Vegas after Ben DiNucci hit Josh Gordon for a 65-yard, game-winning rating. DiNucci led two scoring drives late within the recreation because the Sea Dragons bought their first win of the season.
DiNucci put all of it collectively final week after displaying flashes in the course of the season’s first two weeks. He went 29 of 37 for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns and one choose. He obtained a breakout recreation from Gordon (who caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns) and operating again Morgan Ellison, who ran for 103 yards on 17 carries.
6. San Antonio Brahmas (1-2)
The Brahmas outplayed the Roughriders within the second half, however they have been unable to make sufficient large performs on the offensive aspect of the ball whereas not benefiting from a herculean effort by their protection. Per week after throwing three touchdowns, Brahmas quarterback Jack Coan threw for simply 64 yards towards Houston’s stout protection. San Antonio’s operating recreation did not fare a lot better because the trio of Coan, Kalen Ballage and Jack Coan mixed to common simply 3.6 yards per carry.
Through three video games, it is clear that San Antonio has one of many league’s higher defenses. But the Brahmas will not be among the many league’s elite till they get extra constant play from their offense.
7. Las Vegas Vipers (0-3)
Vegas had its greatest recreation of the season thus far in a dropping effort towards Seattle. Brett Hundley made a giant step ahead as he threw two touchdowns whereas selecting up 66 yards and a landing on the bottom. Hundley related on a number of large performs that included a 56-yard throw to Jeff Badet and a 50-yard scoring strike to John Lovett.
Surprisingly, it was the Vipers’ protection that dropped the ball towards the Sea Dragons. It’ll be fascinating to see if this recreation was a mulligan or the beginning of a nasty development for Rod Woodson’s protection.
8. Orlando Guardians (0-3)
They’re nonetheless the league’s price group, however the Guardians confirmed development whereas enjoying a aggressive recreation towards Arlington. Orlando’s protection performed successful soccer, whereas the offense obtained a strong recreation by Paxton Lynch, who ran for a rating whereas throwing for 219 yards and never turning the ball over.
Pass safety continues to be a significant situation for Orlando. Lynch was sacked 4 occasions towards Arlington and was pressured a number of different occasions.
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