Nobody really knew what to expect from XFL’s opening weekend, but boy, were we in for a delight.
XFL week ONE had:
Multiple F-Bombs on national television
On-field projectile vomiting
Replay officials using x-box controllers
Fans in the stands eating rally cheese
A drunk streaker
Post-game shotguns of hard seltzer
THAT DOESNT EVEN INCLUDE THE FOOTBALL! #XFLfootball
— Jessi Davin (@jessithebuckeye) February 10, 2020
Between the East and West Divisions, it would be the boys out East who would reign supreme, with three of the teams in the division coming out of the gate with a 1-0 record. For the West, it was actually quite a disappointment, with three of their squads beginning at 0-1.
As far as who the best looking team was, you’ve certainly got to side with the Houston Roughnecks, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Their offense was certainly the best in Week 1 with a total of five touchdowns, along with quarterback P.J. Walker shooting up as the early favorite to win the MVP of the XFL after he would achieve a four-touchdown performance in his league debut.
Coming in as the preseason favorites to win the 2020 XFL championship, the Dallas Renegades were one of the disappointments coming out of the West, and were probably the biggest disappointment in the entire league with dismal play against the St. Louis Battlehawks in a 15-9 loss. Before the game, the Renegades were listed as a near double-digit favorite at 9.5 points, however, they would only score nine — it was pretty embarrassing to say the least after all of the hype.
Last week here at The Sports Geek, we would just predict one game in Week 1, and that would be the contest between the DC Defenders and Seattle Dragons. We would accurately predict the Defenders in that game, putting us at 1-0 to start out the season.
After a test trial and a successful Week 1, we’re now prepared to fully hop into the XFL and give you our picks for the entire slate of Week 2. Let’s go!
Before we start though, here are my XFL power rankings entering Week 2:
XFL Week 2 Power Rankings
- 1. Houston Roughnecks (1-0)
- 2. DC Defenders (1-0)
- 3. St. Louis BattleHawks (1-0)
- 4. New York Guardians (1-0)
- 5. Dallas Renegades (0-1)
- 6. Seattle Dragons (0-1)
- 7. Tampa Bay Vipers (0-1)
- 8. Los Angeles Wildcats (0-1)
XFL Week 2 Picks and Betting Odds
New York Guardians at DC Defenders
- BETTING ODDS: New York Guardians +5 (-110), DC Defenders -5 (-110)
- WHEN: Saturday, February 15, 2:00 PM ET
- WHERE: Audi Field, Washington, DC
- TELEVISION: ABC
This week, there are two matchups that feature undefeated teams taking on one another, and the contest between the New York Guardians and DC Defenders happens to be one of them.
In their first game of the year against the Seattle Dragons, the Defenders would look absolutely spectacular on their home field, led by Cardale Jones who would be the top quarterback in the league in Week 1 with the top PFF grade of 90.8. Against the Dragons, he would put up 235 passing yards and two touchdowns on the stat sheet, and with no turnovers attached.
It wasn’t just the offense putting in work for the Defenders either, with the defense making a bundle of plays, and this would include interceptions from Bradley Sylve and Rahim Moore, with Sylve returning his for a touchdown. DC’s special teams would be productive as well, recording a blocked punt that they would tally another six points with after returning it for a touchdown.
With the defense, they would make some nice plays, but they would definitely expose themselves as being vulnerable, and the preseason reports about them being strong were a bit inaccurate — they would give up a total of three touchdowns to Seattle.
For the New York Guardians, they looked very well-rounded last week in their contest against the Tampa Bay Vipers, clocking the Vipers in a 23-3 decision. In total, they would score three touchdowns against Tampa Bay, while allowing no touchdowns into their end zone.
0️⃣ TDs allowed
— New York Guardians (@XFLGuardians) February 11, 2020
With that being said, there’s certainly plenty of work for the offense of the Guardians. Their quarterback Matt McGloin would throw for the fewest yards in the entire XFL, and their running back Darius Victor would have a dismal day with just 32 rushing yards.
Plain and simple, the defense got New York that win, so we’ll see if that can continue their dominance this weekend against the Defenders, or if they were just taking advantage of a bad Vipers offense. And we’ll certainly find that out on Saturday with Cardale Jones being the quarterback for the DC Defenders, who is a much better quarterback than whatever Tampa Bay’s situation is.
Overall, this should be a pretty entertaining game to watch, and a good one to start off our XFL weekend. I have it being a close game, with the DC Defenders pulling out the victory for an undefeated 2-0 record to begin the season.
BETTING PREDICTION: DC Defenders 29, New York Guardians 25
Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons
- BETTING ODDS: Tampa Bay Vipers -2.5 (-115), Seattle Dragons +2.5 (-105)
- WHEN: Saturday, February 15, 5:00 PM ET
- WHERE: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
- TELEVISION: FOX
Both the Tampa Bay Vipers and Seattle Dragons have started out their 2020 campaigns in the hole at 0-1, though they each would lose in different fashions.
With Seattle, they wouldn’t win their game against the DC Defenders, but they would look solid putting up three touchdowns, while allowing just two scores against them defensively — the other two TD’s against them would come from a blocked punt and the other was a returned interception. They would lose the game, 31-19, but it was much closer than what the scoreboard said.
What would ultimately cost the Dragons would be their three turnovers, with two being interceptions and the other being a fumble, and if you include the touchdown that was returned after a blocked punt, that was four. If the careless play wasn’t there in Week 1 for Seattle, they may have achieved an upset over DC. We’ll see if there’s any improvement in Week 2.
As far as the Tampa Bay Vipers are concerned, they would have an absolutely dismal game last weekend against the New York Guardians, losing by an embarrassing 23-3 score. Out of the entire league, there were two teams that wouldn’t score any points on offense, and the Vipers would be one of those teams. On top of that, they would also allow three touchdowns to be put up against them on the board.
Tampa’s quarterback Aaron Murray was horrendous with no touchdowns and two interceptions, which altogether would accumulate a lowly 45.1 QB rating. And as a matter of fact, it was the lowest all across the XFL in Week 1.
The Vipers would eventually move to their backup quarterback in Quinton Flowers, who is actually listed as their running back on the roster. Tampa Bay seemed to be doing well with Flowers at quarterback, but for some reason, the Vipers would go back to Murray — some questionable decision-making there, but we can just blame the Week 1 jitters, right?
— Collin Sherwin (@CollinSherwin) February 9, 2020
Out of all of the games this weekend, the Tampa Bay Vipers and Seattle Dragons have the slimmest spread in the betting odds, and it makes perfect sense of why. Though the Dragons looked incredibly so much better than the Vipers last weekend, it’s hard to imagine Tampa being that bad again with that many turnovers — or maybe they will be, maybe they’re just that bad. They certainly looked like it.
Give me the Seattle Dragons over the Tampa Bay Vipers in an ugly-looking game.
BETTING PREDICTION: Seattle Dragons 19, Tampa Bay Vipers 8
Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats
- BETTING ODDS: Dallas Renegades -4.5 (-110), Los Angeles Wildcats +4.5 (-110)
- WHEN: Sunday, February 16, 3:00 PM ET
- WHERE: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA
- TELEVISION: ABC
Not only is this a fascinating contest between power metropolitans Dallas and Los Angeles, but also because both teams are entering this game with ugly defeats in Week 1 — who will recover for the win?
Labeled as the XFL championship favorite in the preseason, the Renegades would do nothing but disappoint after all of the hype. Offensively, they weren’t able to punch in a single touchdown, and they would score nine points total with just three field goals. Their defense, on the other hand, wasn’t too bad, allowing just two touchdowns against them.
When the smoke cleared though, Dallas would suffer the 15-9 loss to the St. Louis BattleHawks. In the Renegades defense, however, they would be without their star quarterback Landry Jones last weekend. He’ll be active in Week 2, and you can certainly expect a much better performance from Dallas, with their offense able to move the ball more fluently and more points coming from additional potency with Jones’ presence.
— XFL on FOX (@XFLonFOX) February 13, 2020
Another team who would be without their starting quarterback would be the Los Angeles Wildcats, with Josh Johnson dealing with an unknown injury. But it wouldn’t necessarily be the offense that would supply L.A. with the loss, instead, it would be the defensive side of the ball. The Wildcats would give up a mammoth-size amount of touchdowns against them with a total of five — that figure would be the most for any defense in the XFL, and it would result in the firing of defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson.
Los Angeles’ defense should perform better against Dallas after the moves that they’ve made this week, as well as their offense with Johnson being in action. However, despite the moves made, you still have to have some concerns about the Wildcats’ defense.
He wouldn’t start last week, but Jones was listed as active for the Renegades, meaning he will definitely be the starting quarterback for Dallas this week — and with head coach Bob Stoops officially announcing it himself as well. With this being the case, I’m going to take the Dallas Renegades to rebound for their first victory of the season in Southern California.
BETTING PREDICTION: Dallas Renegades 23, Los Angeles Wildcats 16
St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks
- BETTING ODDS: St. Louis BattleHawks +7.5 (-105), Houston Roughnecks -7.5 (-115)
- WHEN: Sunday, February 16, 6:00 PM ET
- WHERE: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
- TELEVISION: FS1
We’ve already went over the first game this weekend that features undefeated teams squaring off, and here is the second one between the St. Louis BattleHawks and Houston Roughnecks.
St. Louis was massively effective with their rushing attack, and would run themselves all the way to the 15-9 win over the Dallas Renegades in Week 1. Their running back Matt Jones would lead the way with 85 yards off of 21 carries, and their quarterback Jordan Ta’amu would also get involved in the action, placing himself with 77 rushing yards off of nine carries. On top of that, you also had backup running back Keith Ford getting in on the mix, rushing for 26 yards off of four carries and he would also punch in a touchdown.
As far as the BattleHawks’ defense is concerned, they would have minimal problems last week as well, allowing not a single touchdown from the Renegades last week — a team who was the favorite to win the 2020 XFL championship at the beginning of the season.
Battlehawks @ Roughnecks next week! Put the kids to bed!
— Mike Ryan (Ruiz) (@MichaelRyanRuiz) February 10, 2020
So, as you see, the St. Louis BattleHawks not only have a great offense led by a pounding rushing attack, but they also have a lock-down defense to go along with it. It’s certainly a pretty situation for the BattleHawks, as well as a dangerous combination for their opposition.
When Week 1 was all said and done, it would be the Houston Roughnecks who would claim the top spot in the betting odds for the 2020 XFL championship. What’s interesting about the offensive layout for Houston is the fact that they use four receivers on their roster, completely giving away the tight end position in the process. This plan would prove to be super effective for the Roughnecks and their quarterback P.J. Walker, who would light up the Los Angeles Wildcats with 272 passing yards and four touchdowns.
The St. Louis BattleHawks and Houston Roughnecks have completely different offenses, so that in itself will make this matchup very interesting to pay attention to, and it’ll make it a thoroughbred football battle. It should certainly be an entertaining game, and a solid one to close out what should be a successful second weekend of the XFL.
BETTING PREDICTION: Houston Roughnecks 27, St. Louis BattleHawks 19
Entering Week 2: 2020 XFL Championship Betting Odds
- Houston Roughnecks | +250
- DC Defenders | +350
- Dallas Renegades | +500
- New York Guardians | +600
- St. Louis BattleHawks | +600
- Tampa Bay Vipers | +650
- Los Angeles Wildcats | +1000
- Seattle Dragons | +1200
BETTING PREDICTION: Houston Roughnecks (+250)