Saturday night in the XFL saw a battle between two undefeated teams and two teams struggling to find their identity. The first two games highlighted how essential efficient quarterback play and not turning the ball over are.
New York Guardians vs DC Defenders
In Week One the New York Guardians rode their defense to victory and Matt McGloin’s struggles were barely touched upon. Last night, the Guardians quarterback took his struggles up a notch. There was a clear disconnect between him and the rest of the offense; the results were just 8 completions on 19 attempts.
McGloin passed for just 44 yards before being benched for former North Carolina quarterback, Marquise Williams. Williams out gained McGloin in just 8 attempts, completing 4 for 51 yards. Regardless off who was on the field the offense failed to execute, especially on third down, converting just 1 of 11.
DC’s defense stifled any offense New York could produce. The unit was dominant once again and collected its third defensive touchdown of the season courtesy of a pick six from Jameer Thurman. Perhaps the most impressive defensive performance belonged to Anthony Johnson. Fresh of the plane after his trade from the LA Wildcats, Johnson not only saw the field but recorded three tackles, two for a loss, and added 1.5 sacks.
While New York’s offense struggled, DC Defenders’ Cardale Jones continued to put on a show, amassing 276 and two touchdowns. His receivers played their part. Rashad Ross accounted for 95 yards and DeAndre Thompkins 92 yards. However, it was Jones and his ability to create plays from a broken pocket that stole the show.
One to remember for fact collectors, the 27 – 0 Defenders win was the first XFL shutout and showed the DC outfit to be the class of the league.
Tampa Bay Vipers vs Seattle Dragons
For Tampa it was a case of different quarterback, same result. The Vipers have now failed to score an offensive touchdown in eight quarters of football. Taylor Cornelius frequently looked overwhelmed and Quinton Flowers didn’t touch the ball enough. Switching quarterbacks seemingly at random didn’t allow either to get any rhythm going and the pair threw 3 interceptions (2 for Cornelius and 1 for Flowers).
For Seattle, Brandon Silvers didn’t look much better, completing just 39% of his passes for a paltry 91 yards, but the difference was he made the occasional big play. A 68-yard catch and run to wide receiver Keenan Reynolds at the start of the second half seemingly killed any resolve Tampa possessed.
Running back Jacques Patrick looks to be someone Tampa can build around. He ran for 73 yards on just 14 carries, good for an impressive 5.2 yard average. Whilst Patrick is a positive, the Vipers must get their quarterback situation sorted to prevent teams stacking the box to stop the run.
Tampa’s defence made its share of plays to keep them in the game. Tarvarus McFadden made an acrobatic interception highlight worthy with a 78 yard return for a touchdown and safety Marcelis Branch had 12 tackles and a sack.