Thursday, July 25, 2024

XFL Week 2: DC Defenders to keep winning and Seattle Dragons to bounce back

The XFL continues on Saturday as the DC Defenders play host to the New York Guardians while the Tampa Bay Vipers travel to Seattle Dragons for their second consecutive road game.

Of the four teams facing off against one another on Saturday, the first game sees two teams who won in week one while the second pits two teams who lost in week one against each other – so it should give us a decent indicator of just how good/bad these teams are.

New York Guardians @ DC Defenders – 2pm ET/7pm GMT

The New York Guardians will travel to Audi Field in Washington DC this weekend – the scene of the first match in the brand spanking new XFL.

At Audi Field in week one, the DC Defenders faced off against the Seattle Dragons, and came out on top with a resounding 31-19 victory – thanks in no small part to their passing game, and the quality of quarterback Cardale Jones.

Jones threw 16/26 for 235 yards and two passing touchdowns with no interceptions and a passer rating of 116.7 in week one. However, it wasn’t just a game where DC showed their power on offence, but they won with the help of the whole damn team!

They scored a touchdown on defence, a touchdown on special teams and of course their two on offence. The one worry they may have coming into week two is that they couldn’t seem to get their rushing attack going as running back Jhurell Pressley managed just 31 yards from his 12 rushing attempts with an average of 2.6 and a long of 14.

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On the visiting touchline this week will be the New York Guardians who, like the Defenders, picked up a win in week one as they battered the Tampa Bay Vipers with a score of 23-3.

Former Oakland Raider Matt McGloin took the reigns of the Guardians offence – and performed pretty decently. He managed to throw for 15/29, 182 yards for an average of 6.3 ypa resulting in one score, caught by Coby Pearson. McGloin also added a rushing touchdown to that as he got in on a QB sneak to open the scoring.

The game was won on the other side of the ball for New York as the Vipers offence looked totally flustered by the defence in front of them. Throughout the game the Vipers turned the ball over four times, including two on downs in the fourth quarter.

Much like the Defenders, there wasn’t much a running game for the Guardians in this one. Darius Victor led the way with 32 yards from his 9 rushing attempts, with Tim Cook III managing just 10 yards from his 4 attempts – they might wanna reconsider the $90 price-tag they’ve got on the Cook III jerseys in the club store…

Prediction: I think the DC Defenders, on their own patch, will have too much for the Guardians in this one. I’m expecting the stadium to be at least 75% full, Cardale Jones to be on form once more and the Guardians defence to get a bit of a reality check from their game-winning performance against Tampa last week. 27-13 is my prediction.

Tampa Bay Vipers @ Seattle Dragons – 5pm ET/10pm GMT

We’ve already touched on both of these teams slightly as they were both on the receiving end of a spanking in week one.

Having said that, it may be slightly harsh to describe the loss Seattle suffered at the hands of DC Defenders to be a ‘spanking’. They weren’t too bad overall and managed to put up 19 points against a strong outfit in their own ground – which was rocking!

READ MORE: Smaller stadiums are a must if the XFL is to survive

Seattle QB Brandon Silvers had a pretty mixed game. He threw 21/40 for 213 yards and three touchdowns, but crucially he also threw two interceptions, one of which was a massive pick six which pretty much sealed the game for DC.

This week, they come up against a Vipers outfit who really didn’t do much of anything in their first game – apart from turn the ball over that is. The Vipers defence struggled to deal with a fairly average passing attack in New York.

From what I’ve seen of them, the Dragons have a better offence than New York do – it’s more well rounded, with a passing threat as well as a running threat, which will test Tampa quite vigorously.

On offence, Tampa got themselves into some decent positions once or twice during their trip to MetLife, but just couldn’t manage to make it count.

They had a great chance to put up a touchdown early in the game as they got inside the Guardians five, but QB Aaron Murray threw up an absolute stinker which was picked off in the corner of the endzone.

In total, Murray threw 16/34, an accuracy rating of 47%. He totaled 222 yards with an average of 6.8, but managed no touchdowns and threw two picks. His passer rating at the end of the game was 54.9.

He did get a little bit of help from his rushing attack though, most crucially from tailback De’Veon Smith who managed 79 yards from his 16 rushing attempts with an average of 4.9 and a long of 12. It’ll be interesting to see how Seattle cope with that, given that they shut down the Defenders rushing game pretty well in week one.

As they endure their second consecutive road game, it’ll be a tough match-up for Tampa this week. It’s also the furthest road trip in the entire league as they travel from the most south-easterly state to the most north-westerly state – a round trip over 6,184 miles.

Prediction: I think, given that they have home field advantage as well as a seemingly better all-around team, this should be a comfortable victory for Seattle. I don’t think it’ll be as rough for fans of Tampa Bay as it was in week one, but it’ll be a tough watch nonetheless. My score prediction is 33-10.

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