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By Michael Lavery (@michaellavery98)

The XFL is suspended for the 2020 season bringing an abrupt, premature end to its inaugural season.

On Thursday news broke from Konnor Fulk of XFL News Hub that the league had “…suspended their season.” The news comes after the coronavirus (COVID-19) was labelled a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The XFL followed suit of the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS and NCAA who have all suspended operations at the present time. So as we enter into unchartered waters, what does that mean for the league?

Firstly, the XFL will have a duty of care to protect its current players and employees who will now be jobless for the coming months. We should expect to see team wide announcements based on how they, and the league, plan on caring for player welfare in the times ahead.

Team facilities will more than likely be forced into cleaning routines but will need to be well maintained if there is a chance football will return this year. The news comes just after the XFL had played half of its regular season games.

Over the previous two years the league has worked so hard to promote and advertise their new product in a positive light compared to its predecessor and now they are back to square one. As is the nature with trends these days the XFL will very quickly fall out of relevancy and will have to work harder than ever to become relevant again.

Will the TV companies still want to cover it? What about brand deals and advertising (BudLight etc.) will they stick around until the league is reinstated? Who knows? And perhaps the saddest of all news, no more beer snakes at Audi Field! The people have been robbed of Week 6’s all timer – dammit!

No official time frame has been put on the suspension but with only about eight weeks of game time left and the virus only getting worse, it’s hard to imagine we will be seeing any more XFL football this year. Truly disappointing news for all.

And so, sooner than we thought the season has ended. What was your favourite thing about XFL 2020? Your favourite team? Player? Or particular game?

Let’s talk about it, find me @michaellavery98 on twitter or @Full10Yards.

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XFL Week Five Preview

By Michael Lavery (@MichaelLavery98)

We have reached the half way point folks. Week five this weekend and we can slowly start to see the playoff picture taking place. Teams who looked like high flying certs at the start of the year have now fallen, and those who got off to slow starts look to be on the rise.



A game which is heavily favoured for a Houston win is also a must win for the 1-3 Dragons. The Roughnecks sit atop all rankings with a 4-0 perfect start to the season and they can thank their star Quarterback for getting them there. PJ Walker has shone brightest of anybody in the league so far and having thrown for 987 yards and 12 TD’s he leads the way for Quarterbacks in the league. 

Last week Seattle made a change at QB. Brandon Silvers was benched in favour of BJ Daniels who entered the game against St. Louis and gave the Dragons a bit of life. I don’t think he has what it takes to get them over the line against Houston this week but I do think moving forward he will be a better fit for the offense. Seattle need to figure out a solution for their run game. The three headed rushing monster they had been attempting to go with just isn’t working. It’s time they place their trust in Kenneth Farrow and build an offense around him and Daniels.

Expect to see a lively hometown crowd cheer on their undefeated Roughnecks in a game which I expect will result in a double digit win for the home side.

Prediction: Seattle 15 – 32 Houston



This game is going to come down to whichever backup quarterback steps up to the plate best. Luis Perez and Philip Nelson will suit up for the Guardians and the Renegades respectively. Two 2-2 teams facing off in Dallas, where the Renegades are yet to register a win this season, will both be hoping to get on the right side of the win/loss scale.

New York had an important bounce back win against the Wildcats last weekend in the meadowlands after losing their two previous games. As for Dallas, well they were on the wrong end of the score line in last weeks “Texas Throwdown” when they lost to the Roughnecks.

Both teams will need to help their QB’s the best they can, scheming easy throws and perhaps looking towards their run games. Dallas may rely heavily on the work of Cameron Artis Payne or TE Donald Parham who have both been producing well on offence over the past couple of weeks.

I favour the Renegades at home in this one, but will say that if either team opens up a two possession scoring advantage, I don’t see them being caught.

Prediction: New York 20 – 24 Dallas



The sudden collapse of D.C from 2-0 to 2-2 over the last two weeks caught the attention of just about everyone. Cardale Jones’ perfected recorded as a starter was shattered and the overall on field product turned to dust. Two games on the road in a row resulted in two losses and now DC returns to Audi Field to face a Battlehawks team who has been on the ascendency since week one.

St Louis have won their last games convincingly, bouncing off the home town energy in the Dome. Its obvious St Louis has missed their pro football and they are showing a passion toward the Battlehawks and they have ever so gracefully repaid them. Jordan Ta’amu has been consistent at a high level for pretty much the whole season and based on both teams current form, it is going to take one hell of a performance from DC to stop St. Louis.

 It will be interesting to keep tabs on how D.C perform being back at home as opposed to being on the road. They were perfect at home before losing two straight while on their travels. Similarly it will be telling of the commitment of the XFL fan bases to see how they turn out to support a struggling Defenders team.

If Ta’amu and the Battlehawks hit their rhythm early then I can see this becoming a runaway victory.

Prediction: St. Louis 29 – 15 D.C



A defining game in both teams seasons. The opportunity to move to 2-3 after both earned their first victories of the season against the aforementioned Defenders. The crazy yard gaining Tampa offence will hope to keep their winning formulae going as they travel cross country to face the Wildcats.

400 yards offence has become somewhat of a benchmark for the Vipers despite only having one win but it is fair to assume they are one or two pieces away from everything falling perfectly into place for them and allowing them to rack up more wins. As for LA, well the waters are slightly murkier. The team’s identity is still not clear after their opening losses, a shock win against D.C and then a somewhat disappointing loss against a struggling Guardians team.

Winston Moss will have to “Give it to his players RIGHT NOW!” (See week 4 sound bites to get that reference) if he has any hope of them getting something out of this game. Better play calling will be required this week as the Vipers will almost certainly try to lock down Tre McBride knowing full well he’ll be the main target with Nelson Spruce still out.

A tough one for the home team and a golden opportunity for the road team.  

Prediction: Tampa 30 – 24 LA

Hope you enjoyed this shortened format. How do you see this week’s games panning out? Let me know on twitter @MichaelLavery98

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XFL Week Three Preview

The train has well and truly left the station now and the week one starting line disappears into the distance more and more each week. The true feel of the XFL is taking shape. We know our winners – we know our losers. As football fans though, we know all about making early assumptions. The course of an entire season can change in one week and the fortunes of many are made in these middle of the season games where results can often be unpredictable.

The League standings are as listed below:


As for the standings in terms of my game predictions, I was sitting quite smugly last week having correctly picked the four winning teams moving my overall record to 6-2. This week throws in a few tricky ones so I will hope to survive week three unscathed. Anyway, enough blabber and small talk, let’s talk ball.


The first home game for the Tampa Bay Vipers comes at a vital point in their season. After an 0-2 start on the road against the Guardians and the Dragons they return home to Raymond James Stadium in the hope of using home field advantage to make a desperate U-turn on a season which is seemingly hurtling towards disaster.

Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit too bleak and overly pessimistic in my outlook for Tampa. They have been moving the ball offensively – putting up more offensive yards than both of their previous opponents in the opening two weeks. But it just hasn’t been amounting to anything on the scoreboard and through two weeks they remain the only team in the league who hasn’t scored a touchdown on offense.

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Aaron Murray will feel comforted that neither of his two back-ups lit things up in his absence and that his job as starter is more than secure when he is ready to return – although that won’t be this week. It was announced from the Vipers camp during the week that both Murray and TE Nick Truesdell are out for the week three match up against Houston. Fans can once again expect to see the role split between Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers.

Neither of the two Tampa back up QB’s are particularly trusted by their fan base and those further afield. Both Flowers and Cornelius were owned by less than 4% of all fantasy owners last week, a decision I’m sure the other 96% of owners were glad they made. Cornelius scored just 4.16 points and Flowers only managed 1.22.

Their Houston based opponents make the trip to Tampa on the back of a 2-0 start and while we’re talking all things fantasy it would be remiss of me not to mention the impact Roughnecks star QB P.J Walker had across draft boards. He and Cam Phillips combined for a league best 54.8 points between them and garnered ownership from 36.49% (Walker) and 32.6% (Philips) of owners respectively.

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Getty Images

As for the actual on field product, another clean week for the Roughnecks saw them beat out the Battlehawks in a close game at TDECU Stadium. Walker tacked on another 3 touchdowns to his season total and had no interceptions this past Sunday, a formulae fit to help any team win. Cam Philips will hope to keep up his hot streak against a Tampa team desperate to get their first win on the board. Houston wide out Sammy Coates will be wanting to get out of the starters block this week, a poor opening two games has seen him catch only 3 (yes, THREE) balls on 13 targets going for a disappointing 34 yards and no touchdowns. Not what the former Steelers receiver would have been wanting.

Unless redzone efficiency changes for Tampa, I can see this one being a blowout. Field goals just don’t cut it anymore. And on that note;

Prediction: Roughnecks 34 – 14 Vipers


The Landry Jones led Renegades looked a much better outfit in week two than the team we saw in week one. They went on the road and beat the Wildcats in LA in a three quarter slug fest which EXPLODED in the fourth eventually running out 25-18 winners.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty

Thankfully on the right side of the result in week two, Jones, by his own admission has got to clean things up going into week three. He was caught off guard by zone coverages in week two and threw a couple of bad picks but ultimately cleaned his act up enough to become the first quarterback this season to throw for over 300 yards and secure the win for his team.

Hoping to catch him off guard before he gets truly into his rhythm is Jim Zorn and his Seattle Dragons, who at home in front of 30 thousand loud fans, will want to put the brakes on any surging Renegades game plans. Last week the Dragons set the XFL attendance record when 29,172 fans made their way to Century Link field for the home opener.

The fans were rewarded with a win but will hope to see a more fluid operation when their team takes to the Gridiron. Dragons quarterback Brandon Silvers had a poor game and got bailed out on numerous occasions by his teams running game and defense. His stats on the day were: 7 completed passes on 18 attempts for 91 yards. 1 Touchdown 1 Interception. An obviously poor day for the teams leading man, he will want to improve on his performance and spread the ball around better.

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The Dragons week one star wideout, Austin Proehl, was heavily touted to have a similar outing in week two, and in the land of fantasy owners, people bought into the hype. Proehl was owned by 18.28% of owners and returned a disastrous 0.9 points after his one reception for negative one yard. Don’t jump off the train just yet though, I expect Proehl to see a lot more of the ball this coming Saturday.

If Jones can clean up his game where he needs to and we see similar production from Cameron Artis, Payne I think this week we will see a well-oiled Renegades machine making the trip to the Pacific North West and silencing a loud Seattle home crowd with a road win.

Hopefully it won’t take three quarters for the game to come to life this time round because this game does have the potential to be a slow burner and become a tit for tat field goal fest. Let’s hope we see the opposite and see these offenses start to stretch their legs.

Prediction: Renegades 18 – 12 Dragons


The return to pro football in the city of St. Louis Missouri is finally here. After losing the Rams to LA, the city has gone through half a decade of spending Sundays at the TV instead of at the stadium supporting a team. As we seen in Seattle, I think we can expect to see a large turnout of fans enthusiastically willing their team to win and what a game they have in store too.

This one may not be the back and forth, end to end game that would perhaps be better entertainment value but the Battlehawks are welcoming the New York Guardians into their building at just the right time. Jordan Ta’amu is proving to be legit and his opposite number from New York had a tantrum styled meltdown at half time last week, resulting in him getting benched.

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Richard Rodriguez /Getty Images

Ta’amu will be hoping that by playing the Guardians at a vulnerable point in their season they can use this to their advantage and put on a high scoring display for their passionate home fans. The Battlehawks came up just short last week in Houston against the Roughnecks in a tough 28-24 loss. A game which many will contest could have gone either way had it not been for some officiating debacles. I digress. Ta’amu will want to build off another solid performance and along with the complimenting running game at his disposal, he will want to stretch the playbook and get another win under his belt as a starter and progress to 2-1 on the season.

The fear when facing a team who was shut out the previous week is that they will be out to prove a point this week and will have no doubt upped their game and will aim to clean up any mistakes which so dearly cost them last week. The upside is that if you get up early on them, the papered cracks start to reappear and you can take advantage of a vulnerable unit.

From a fantasy standpoint, I think Ta’amu will be another welcome addition to any line up you are forming this weekend. He was owned by 15.17% of owners last week and posted a healthy 30.56 points and I expect such form to continue this week.

As for New York. Well, I can’t say much really. They need to improve, and lots. Hopefully Matt McGloin spent enough time on the naughty step (Or as starting QB’s call it: the bench) last week to realise that he was also part of the problem and that putting your coaching staff and team mates on blast isn’t usually the best idea. An abysmal performance last week after a promising opening weekend leaves most of us wondering what this team’s identity truly is.

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Getty Images

Oh yeah, did I mention McGloin scored -0.24 fantasy points last week? Expect to see his stock plummet this week.

The Battlehawks will no doubt be fired up for this, and New York will want to come back and produce a statement win. If the Guardians have gathered and regrouped enough from last week, there is potential we see a good game here, but I think with the fiery crowd we will no doubt have in St. Louis this game goes to the Battlehawks

Prediction: Guardians 12 – 27 Battlehawks


The undefeated DC Defenders make their first road trip of the season to face the LA Wildcats in a must win game for the home side. DC Have been the definition of perfection to this point as a direct result of perfect quarterback play by Cardale Jones, and smart play calling by Head Coach Pep Hamilton. The Wildcats however, have struggled. A disappointing loss in week one at Houston saw the firing of their defensive coordinator and the departure of their lead player on defense.

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Will Newton/AP

This makes this game the perfect test for the Wildcats to prove they aren’t at the bottom of the pile. A surprise upset victory here would in some cases, throw the league on its head. People would riot, streets would bur….. Ok I’m living in fantasy land but a win for LA would raise eyebrows. That said, do they have the talent to do it? This Defenders team has talent right across the board and after an 0-2 start, the Wildcats will struggle to stop them.

Last week we saw the debut of Josh Johnson under centre for LA. Going 18/34 for 196yds and 2 TDS he was able to move the ball and avoid pressure when asked to do so but ultimately his team came up short. Wideout Nelson Spruce had himself a day. Catching 6 passes on 9 throws, racking in 89yds and two scores he was last week’s highest owned commodity going into week two with over 47.84% of people including him in their squads and the owners were duly rewarded with a 26.9 point performance. He will no doubt be one to watch again this week.  

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Raul Romero Jr

A lot less to say on this game than the others. One team operating at perfection style levels and the other chasing said goals. I don’t think they reach those heights this week but a gut feeling is telling me they will give the Defenders a fright in a close one. I haven’t mustered up the courage to pick them as outright winners but I will go on record as saying a Wildcats win wouldn’t totally shock me.

Prediction: Defenders 28 – 22 Wildcats

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XFL Week 2 – Takeaways

We like to bring you a takeaway Tuesday during the NFL season, so why not extend it for a bit of XFL action? Week 2 is in the books and there are plenty of talking points to get our teeth into. Lets start in Tampa…….

2 Out Of 3 Are Bad

Aaron Murray may have disappointed in the Tampa Bay Vipers opener against New York but its safe to say his stock rose this week as he sat out the loss in Seattle with a foot injury. Backup Taylor Cornelius played even worse, a relief effort that still did not generate an offensive touchdown. Quinton Flowers may well get some plays behind center. Bearing in mind though he is primarily a running back, he is nothing more than a gadget player behind center. This was demonstrated by his screen pass that was picked off just outside of his own end zone. Yes Murray will need to improve, as will the whole Tampa squad, but he is the best QB option that they have. It seems a long time ago he was breaking SEC records but surely generating 1 touchdown pass is not too much to ask?

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ABC ActionNews

Defenders By Name, Defenders By Nature

It only feels right that the first shutout of the XFL went to the team called the defenders. A swarming defense harassed Matt McGloin all night as they recorded 3 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery. Anthony Johnson who had been traded from the Wildcats during the week made some big plays in limited playing time. You have to imagine once he gets fully up to speed with the playbook this defense will continue to go from strength to strength.

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NBC Sports

Not My Fault Gaffer

Un-rivaled access we were promised, and boy did it deliver on Saturday. Running into the halftime locker room we got to see the pleasure of Matt McGloin spitting his dummy out after an awful first half showing against the DC Defenders. Immature? Ill advised? Or just ultra competitive? Whichever way you want to dress it up, it wasn’t a good look for the Guardians so called leader when he threw basically everyone under the bus, except of course for himself! 

McGloin has proven to be tenacious throughout his football life. From walking on at Penn State to getting picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders, dealing with tough situations is McGloin’s biggest strength. Expect a bounce back in week 3.

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For The Love Of Football

A huge shout out to Eli Rogers who suited up for the Defenders, that despite the loss of his mother during the week. The funeral was actually being held at the time of the game but Rogers took to the field to help his team to a victory. He was heavily involved in the offence too, with several of his catches moving the chains. If anyone was in any doubt about the passion and commitment from the players in this league, then please doubt no more. The league is all about opportunities and Rogers is certainly determined to make the most of his.

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Bleacher Report

Not Exactly Hi-Ho Silvers

Importantly Seattle beat Tampa Bay. In a 10 week season, starting 0-2 is never going to be easy but don’t get too carried away. The Dragons weren’t exactly an offensive powerhouse however. A genuine committee approach at running back and plenty of dink and dunk from QB, Brandon Silvers. Yes he was down a few starters on the offensive line but minus his 68 yard bomb to Keenan Reynolds the aerial attack couldn’t even be described as pedestrian. This will be 1 to watch once the line is solidified.

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Seattle Times

Too Chilled Winston

Winston Moss thought he could do a better job with the LA defense than Pepper Johnson. The controversial firing of a DC after 1 game means the microscope is well and truly under the Wildcats defense. A switch to much more zone coverage, and the benefit of playing a rusty Landry Jones brought plenty of joy through the first 3 quarters, unfortunately a football game consists of 4. In the end the Renegades put up 25 points and more than 400 yards of total offense. There was success to be found both through the air and on the ground and the Wildcats need to find answers, quickly.

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Mixing It Up

Talking of Dallas its no surprise to see Hal Mumme employ an offence set up to pass. That was in heavy use in Sunday’s win against Los Angeles with QB Landry Jones throwing for 305 yards while completing 70 percent of his passes after a shaky start. But the Renegades rushed for 158 yards, including 99 yards on 14 carries by Cameron Artis-Payne. If Dallas can continue to run like that, its passing game is going to be even more dangerous as teams have to set up to be able to defend the run.

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DraftKings Nation

Too Early To Talk MVP?

It’s no surprise that 2 signal callers dominate the early discussion after 2 weeks of the regular season. Cardale Jones has moved to 13-0 as starting QB (including his run with Ohio State) and has the defenders looking strong. Cardale has had some NFL exposure however so maybe more love should be going to Roughnecks QB, PJ Walker. 7 touchdowns in 2 weeks, an ability to shift in the pocket and a threat on the ground, he is displaying all of the characteristics you want from a modern day QB. Add in the intrigue surrounding the Carolina Panthers plans at the position and the Matt Rhule connection, I’d say keep your eyes peeled on this one.

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Yahoo News

St Louis Loves It’s Football

We could witness the most passionate home opener when the Battlehawks finally play a home game in week 3. It is looking like a 28,000 sell out in the Dome for the battle with Guardians in the only XFL market outside of a traditional NFL franchise. Of course the Rams were in town only a few short years ago but having your football team taken away does not take your passion for the game away. If TV ratings are anything to go by, the Battlehawks may well be the most loved team in the city, already doubling the viewership of the well established St Louis Blues ice hockey team. Get ready for more noise and atmosphere from the sidelines as the hometown fans look forward to welcoming their new heroes.

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St. Louis Post

2 weeks in and there is no sign of a loss in momentum. The league built on its successful opening weekend with a solid offering in week 2. Superior QB play is already proving to be a difference maker, which should surprise nobody, but it will be interesting to see how the other teams respond. It may only be week 3 but are we already talking about must win games for Tampa and LA this weekend? Do the Defenders and Roughnecks continue to set the pace? Make sure to tune in to the full10yards XFL podcast as myself and Michael break it all down in audio form, and be sure to check out Michael’s in depth game previews ahead of the weekends action.

Foe the love of football – for another week!

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Following an exciting opening weekend of football, the XFL train rolls into week two and it’s time to break down each of the games one by one. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out or brand new XFL Podcast with myself and Shaun from the Full10 Yards family where we talk all things XFL breaking it down for you in audio form!  

Last week’s predictions got off to an average start, guessing 2/4 winning teams correctly. As always I will have my predictions at the end of segment. Disagree with any? Let me hear it on twitter @MichaelLavery98


The first game of week two is between two teams who were able to secure a win in week one and it provides an opportunity to open up the season 2-0 and taking an early stronghold on the Eastern Conference.  

The Defenders will want to build on an impressive opening week, carrying on dominant play across all three phases of play. Quarterback Cardale Jones will be hoping to maintain his perfect record as a starter as they welcome in Matt McGloin and the New York Guardians.

Carrying on from last week, it will be interesting to see if Defenders HC Pep Hamilton steps up his aggression levels when it comes to some of the calls he has to make mid game. Last week the Defenders were successful on 1/3 1PAT tries and went 1/1 on 2PAT tries. Perhaps something that the DC staff will want to look into and adjust going forward and as a result we may see more 2PAT attempts from the Defenders.

They will be coming up against a strong Guardians defense who last week won the turn over battle against a poor Tampa Bay Vipers. I can’t imagine this will in any way deter the Defenders and their air attack which worked seamlessly last week, but we may see DC return to the run game. Last week the team rushed for only 68 yards and 28 of which were provided through by the quarterback. 40 yards total rushing for a game indicates a very on dimensional offence and I think we will see Pep Hamilton trying to scheme open some bigger run plays.

As for New York, they will be hoping Matt McGloin can continue on from their opening weekend victory and keep the team playing at an efficient level. One thing worth noting, in terms of travelling as a “road” team this week, the Guardians will have significantly less distance to travel than all other teams on the road this week, something which will undoubtedly benefit them when it comes to game time and how fresh they feel. This is in comparison to the Dragons who last week had to fly cross country to face a Defenders team who benefited from being at home. The Defense in New York will be hoping for similar production turnover wise but will want to clamp down on the amount of yards they allowed against them as Cardale Jones and the Defenders will not be as incompetent in the redzone as the Vipers were last week.

These two teams combined for over 50 points last week and would indicate in every way that we are in for an offensive battle. D.C averaged 5.3 yards per play where New York averaged 5.0. Neither team was overly successful on 3rd down last week – NY going 1/10 and D.C converting only 5/15 but both had 100% records on 4th down. How will the teams adjust for that this week?  

Prediction: Guardians 21 – 26 Defenders


Both of these teams had disappointing losses in week one but for different reasons. Seattle were unfortunate not to stay in the game with a chance to tie or go for the win in the 4th quarter. Tampa however, were just very poor when it came to redzone efficiency and didn’t manage to get into the redzone.  They will hope to bounce back this week but will face a difficult task travelling cross-country to play in Seattle – a notoriously difficult city to play in as a visitor.

During the week, Seattle announced they had already sold 25,000 tickets for this week’s opener and after an additional 1,000 tickets were put on sale this week they were reported to have “Sold out very quickly”. Typically raucous and intimidating, it will be insightful (in terms of league interest levels) to see what kind of crowd shows up to CenturyLink Field on Saturday.

As for the on field product, Seattle will be hoping to benefit from similar production levels from wideout Austin Proehl. Last week Proehl had 5 receptions for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns and by all accounts had a decent game. His quarterback, Brandon Silvers will hope to cut down on the turnovers and have a cleaner performance. He threw 3 touchdowns but also had two picks in the loss against D.C.

Tampa will need to get on the board early this week and quiet the crowd if they want to get anything from this game. Benefiting from the league’s leading receiver, Daniel Williams, he had 123 yards receiving and will hope to produce similar numbers this week but the team as a whole failed when it came to redzone production. Yes they had nearly 400 yards of offensive (394 total) but as the saying goes “Drive for show and putt for dough”. Last week the Vipers couldn’t finish and that’s the difference between winning and losing.

As of Friday it was announced that quarterback Aaron Murray would not start week two due to injury, but the team made no official announcement whether Quinton Flowers or Taylor Cornelius would assume the starting role this Saturday.

Prediction: Vipers 17 – 29 Dragons


Frustrating results in week one for both the Renegades and Wildcats will test their strength as a team when it comes to week two.

Dallas were the only team to lose at home in week one, perhaps a damaging result in terms of team moral, but, a welcome boost will have come this week in the form of the announcement that Landry Jones will start at quarterback for the Renegades this week having spent last week on the side lines. His professional calibre will be a welcome addition to the huddle this week as they look to take advantage of a Wildcats team who have had defensive problems this week with the announcement that their defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson had been fired.

The Wildcats will be hosting the game at the Dignity Health Sports Park – an arena we are used to seeing filled with opposing team supporters when it’s the Los Angeles Chargers playing at home. Will we see a different side to the LA football fandom this week as the Wildcats prepare to host their home opener?

Neither side was able to get the ball moving with any meaningful rhythm last week as their offenses stalled out on numerous drives. The Wildcats were shut out in the second half against the Roughnecks – a tough look on a team where fuses seem to be short in regards to personnel shifts. Both teams did however start with their back-up quarterbacks and this week we will hopefully be treated to the full spectacle of QB1’s. Chad Kanoff missed practice due to injury and Josh Johnson was upgraded to limited.

I expect this to be a surprisingly fun watch and based on their quarterback status will give the edge to the visitors.

Prediction: Renegades 31 – 22 Wildcats


The final instalment this week comes from TDECU stadium in Houston. Both teams riding high of the momentum of impressive opening weekend games, they will hope to take the next step on Sunday by securing another win.

St. Louis successfully navigated a road win in a tricky victory against Dallas, and Houston flexed their muscles beating the Wildcats by 20. Roughnecks quarterback, PJ Walker will be eager to prove that last week wasn’t just a one off and that he is talented and capable enough to perform at such a level, week in, week out. As for the Battlehawks, it is the hope of team Head Coach Jonathan Hayes that his quarterback, Jordan Ta’amu, can continue to get it done under centre. We also saw a clear commitment to the run game last week as the Battlehawks stuck with it and tried to wear down the Renegades defence. 191 yards on the ground last week, including 77 from Ta’amu.

It was announced during the week that the first ever XFL Championship game will be played at TDECU stadium, perhaps a somewhat motivational and inspiring announcement for the Roughnecks players as they hope to gain home field advantage in the biggest game of the year.

The Battlehawks will be hoping to get through this week with a win and return home to St. Louis with a perfect record and hopefully play to an electric fan base who will be more than ready to have a hometown team once again.

In my opinion I think this will be the game of the week, a tough job for the Battlehawks on the road and a proud Roughnecks team looking to defend home turf, I’ll give the edge to the team who displayed the most star power and flare in week one.

Prediction: Battlehawks 22 – 35 Roughnecks

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XFL – Week 1 Review

By Michael Lavery (@michaellavery98)

The first weekend of XFL football is in the books and after an exciting start it’s time to breakdown each of the games one by one and crown our winners and losers. One immediate winner is the XFL themselves, who not long before kick-off announced that they had sold more tickets for this season already, than the AAF had in its entire existence – an exciting announcement to denounce fears of a sinking ship style company. For more general analysis and first impressions be sure to check out “Initial Impressions of XFL 2020” by our own Shaun Blundell.

In terms of the footballing side of things, it’s safe to say that the Saturday slot of games provided a more entertaining watch than those on the Sunday. We also saw the benefits of playing in smaller stadiums compared to bigger arenas as the sight oF crowded bleachers helps in creating a better atmosphere as opposed to watching in an empty echo chamber like a partially full MetLife Stadium.


Final Score: DC Defenders 31, Seattle Dragons 19

Cardale Jones’ shone brighter than most on opening weekend. He helped lead his D.C Defenders to a 31-19 victory over the travelling Seattle Dragons.

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A game watched by just over 17,000 people it had an upbeat and engaging atmosphere right the way through. The new kick-off rule proved hugely popular with fans and the intimate insight from reporters on the field was a shock to the system of many viewers at first but felt pleasantly refreshing. As for the football itself, Jones’ performance helped spur on his Defenders to a win against a good Seattle side. Jones’ went 16/26 for 235yds, 2TD 0INT, 116.7QBR on the day. A relatively faultless performance and he was able to spread the ball around nicely finding eight different receivers and two different teammates for his touchdowns. He tacked on an extra 30 on the ground, moving freely and looking sharp.

Seattle didn’t play badly, they were in this game late into the 4th quarter until a Brandon Silvers pass intended for Austin Proehl was picked off and returned for six to put the icing on the cake. Proehl slipped on his route giving Bradley Sylve a clear avenue to walk in for the score. Earlier in the game Proehl scored the first touchdown in XFL history but unfortunately that is not how he, or anyone else, will remember this game. Silvers finished with a line of: 21/40 217yds, 3TD 2INT, 72.6QBR.
Head Coach Jim Zorn spoke after the game and said:

We understand how a few errors can really affect a game and we have to overcome those”.

dragons hc jim zorn

A good battle on both sides of the ball, it’ll be interesting to see if D.C can build on this momentum rolling in to week two. As for Seattle, it’s a return to the Pacific North West and Century Link Field for their home opener next week against the Tampa Bay Vipers.


Final Score: Houston Roughnecks 37, L.A. Wildcats 17

Welcome to the P.J Walker show. The Roughnecks quarterback had himself a day in the franchise’s first ever outing throwing 4 touchdowns to 4 different receivers. The Roughnecks intentions were clear from the start, they were going to throw the ball and it was up to LA to find a way to stop it.

The Run N’ Shoot offence was on display for the whole league to see and no doubt teams will be taking notice and preparing accordingly. Walker hit eight different receivers for 272yds off of 39 passing attempts and finished with a rating of 103.8. He was able to make all the throws that were asked of him and his accuracy on tight window throws was perfect when it mattered. His athleticism was on display as he completed several throws on the run rolling left and right. When he decided to run the ball he showed flashes of Lamar Jackson in mid-season form, making defenders miss and drawing big pops from the crowd.

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Eric Sauseda

His one interception came late in the 4th quarter when he tried to force a ball into the end zone for his fifth touchdown. It was a throw he didn’t have to make but given the form he was in he would have had no doubts he could make it. It wasn’t a bad throw, just a great play from the Wildcats safety.

LA had to start with back-up quarterback Chad Kanoff after it was announced their started Josh Johnson was dealing with a groin injury. Kanoff was able to hold his own throughout the game and had a respectable 21/40 214yds, 1TD 1INT and a rating of 66. The interception wasn’t an errant throw but was a fumble that fell into the lap of a Roughnecks defender who was on the floor after pressuring Kanoff. Kanoff was able to make the correct reads when needed and on the Wildcats opening touchdown drive, the offence ran the same play three times in a row to break down the defence. A simple stick concept to the left side of the formation forcing the defender to make a choice and third time round, when he finally came up to cover the flat, Kanoff hit Jordan Smallwood over the top who made a spectacular fingertip grab for the score.

The Wildcats ended the first half by squandering a chance to take the lead going into the break. An early indication that the new rules will take some getting used to – a field goal try with :01 on the clock, the Wildcats didn’t get the snap off in time as the stop/start clock inside two minutes caught some players off guard who thought the clock started on the snap. A disappointing way to end the half but definitely a coaching point for all teams going forward.

In a somewhat shocking and sudden twist, it was announced Monday that the LA Wildcats had fired the defensive coordinator, Pepper Johnson after just one game.


Final Score: New York Guardians 23, Tampa Bay Vipers 3  

The Matt McGloin New York Guardians laid down a statement win on Sunday afternoon against a poor Tampa Bay Vipers team. The Guardians finished as 23-3 victors and enjoyed complimentary football resulting in scores on both sides of the ball. McGloin found his rhythm early and settled into the game. He scored the first touchdown in franchise history on a quarterback sneak from the one yard-line on the first drive of the game and throughout the whole game he reminded everybody of his professional calibre as he confidently and efficiently led his team up and down the field. His game: 15/29 182yds, 2TD (1 throwing, 1 rushing) 0INT, 82.8QBR.

An abysmal opening day for the Vipers was a mix of poor execution and good defence by New York. Ball handling was an issue all day, they had three fumbles on the day although only lost one of those. Quarterback Aaron Murray had a couple of picks, the first of which was a bad ball floated to the back of the endzone and swatted into the open arms of a Guardian defender. Murray didn’t make the throws he needed to when called upon and will leave many questioning his starter role ahead of Quinton Flowers who saw a little bit of game time but was used in a more Taysom Hill style role. Flowers finished as the team’s second highest rusher on the day. An understandably frustrated Murray spoke to the media after saying:

If you turn the ball over three times and the other team doesn’t turn over, it’s simple. We drive down there, get to about the 5-yard line — and bad play by me throwing it up, should’ve just thrown that one away — we had four or five tries in the red zone and came away with no points.

Vipers QB aaron murray

A second road game in as many weeks for the Vipers sees them travel out west to play Seattle in what will definitely be a difficult game. The Dragons will be wanting to make use of home field advantage while the Vipers will be looking to right the wrongs of Sundays outing.


Final Score: St. Louis BattleHawks 15, Dallas Renegades 9

Despite being the first Quarterback to be a part of XFL 2020, Renegades signal caller Landry Jones spent week one on the side lines. Nursing an injury it was reported that Landry was good to go but was advised to take minimal snaps and so with that in mind Head Coach Bob Stoops opted to go with the back-up: Philip Nelson. Reports suggest Jones will be good to go in weeks 2 or 3 depending on how long the Renegades choose to sit him.

A pretty underwhelming game for the Renegades seen them register to touchdowns and get on the scoreboard through field goals only. Nelson tried to lead a last minute comeback drive which would have made him a team hero; instead he threw a game sealing interceptions and confirmed the loss for Dallas.

Dallas Renegades quarterback Philip Nelson (9) throws a pass during the first half of an XFL football game against the St. Louis Battlehawks at Globe Life Park on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Arlington.
N.Pool/Dallas Morning News

On the St. Louis side of things, they will be very happy with what they saw. The only team to get a road win this week, they done so by playing solid fundamental football and quarterback Jordan Ta’amu helped his team secure a first ever win with great play. He was also helped by a solid rushing attack which saw the Battlehawks go for 191yds on the ground. 77 of those provided by Ta’amu himself, including a huge 37 yard rush on a designed quarterback run.

The only fault in the Battlehawks game came on a Marquette King punt which checked up perfectly and was going to stop on the one, only for a Battlehawk to come flying through, scoop the ball and end up in the endzone resulting in a touchback and the ball coming out to the 35 yard line. Steve Beauharnais, the player in question jumped up proclaiming it was a live ball as it had struck the Renegades return man but his protests were in vain and a touchback was awarded.

St Louis go on the road again next week to Houston in a game which is sure to be a cracker, but they will need to keep this momentum up if they wish to return home to The Dome @ America’s centre with a perfect record in week 3.

Check back to Full10 Yards later in the week to catch our preview for week two of the XFL.

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Initial Impressions of XFL 2020

By Shaun Blundell (@Shaun_F10Y)

I retweeted out the following statement over the weekend:

I saw plenty of comments of the caliber, “It’s not as good as the NFL”. Really? Is that the standard we are expecting on opening weekend, or ever for that matter? The NFL has just celebrated its 100th season, has established fan bases, a global audience and obviously the best players on the planet. Throw in 32 rich owners, a truck load of TV money and I’d say its pretty safe to assume the NFL will always reign supreme.

That is exactly where the original concept of the XFL failed, it tried too hard to compete. When it realized that the main attraction would be the standard of play and it was naturally lacking they tried to pump up on the sex and violence to draw in viewers. Too much WWE and not enough football lead to its quick demise, but XFL 2.0 already feels different. With the opening weekend in the books, lets have some takeaways from my initial impressions.

The Lack of WWE was a Good Thing

Apart from the odd ringing out of the Undertaker’s “gong” between some plays you wouldn’t have known that Vince McMahon was involved with XFL this time around. The only other connection I saw was, Jordan Smallwood celebrating his 2 touchdowns with a Randy Orton style pose. However, when you consider that Gronk and more recently George Kittle have hyped up WWE whilst in the NFL, you could hardly see this as an issue. The focus was very much on the football, no plugs for Smackdown (I thought FOX might go there), no superstars in the crowd or tossing the coin and most importantly, no Jerry “The King” Lawler snooping through the cheerleaders locker room at halftime. 


The Halftime Alternative

So if the decision was made to not show half naked cheerleaders at halftime then what exactly were we going to get instead? Well, here is a novel idea…… some actual focus on coaching and tactics. We hear a lot on NFL broadcasts about halftime adjustments but never get to actually see or hear any of it being discussed in the locker room. Thanks to the access that the broadcasters have during the XFL we actually get a view inside the locker room to find out what tweaks the coaches are implementing. A great addition to the broadcast and surely better than listening to the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms and company state the obvious for 10 minutes or so.

The Coverage

We were told ahead of time to expect unrivaled access to the teams throughout the broadcast and the opening weekend did not disappoint. Hearing Pep Hamilton talk his offence through an entire play as it developed was a great insight into the headset. Sideline interviews had mixed results with an early “F bomb” being dropped and the sideline reporter trying to chat with a cornerback who was trying to get back on the field providing 2 of the more amusing moments. The general concept however was again good and providing the timing is right and its not overly used it can be a big enhancement.


There wasn’t a horrendous commentary booth to be found, and in fact the crew of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen was a nice surprise. The graphics were slick with FOX continuing the presentation style that they debuted during the Superbowl. Even the preview shows that were available via the XFL youtube channel were good 15 minute updates to get you set for the game. Overall I enjoyed the coverage, even though I wish BT sport would give some opportunities to upcoming media enthusiasts to get in a UK studio (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Hearing the officials debate calls and the replay booth (armed with an Xbox controller) digesting footage of  plays under review was also another good addition. I’ve always liked Dean Blandino and it was good to see him pop up every now and again to provide some clarity on what had just been called and why.


Just before kick off it was revealed that the league has already sold more tickets for its debut season than the AAF did for the entirety of its run. It’s a great sign for the longevity prospects of the league. Playing predominantly in markets with existing NFL teams may have raised a few eyebrows, but there was plenty of passion on display from the stands in week 1.

Playing in smaller stadiums, or only selling portions of the larger venues both seem sensible decisions in the early going. Fans who were in attendance made plenty of noise and seemingly had purchased plenty of merchandise ahead of opening weekend. With 4 teams obviously still to play a home opener this will be 1 to monitor.

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Rule Changes

I’m yet to find somebody who doesn’t love the new kick off rule. I really hope that the NFL was paying close attention because one of the most exciting plays in football certainly has life in the XFL. It was strange on the eyes to begin with as the poor kicker stood alone in his own half but the concept worked brilliantly. If safety is the primary concern on this play then I believe we have found a perfectly acceptable answer. 

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The PAT adds an intriguing strategy element and I’m sure it will grow organically over time. The idea that an 18 point lead is only a 2 possession game means again that the original concept has legs. I would probably like to see an option to kick for 1 point included but it has to be for argument sake a 50 yard attempt so that it’s not a “gimme”.

The timing rules inside of 2 minutes are again a good concept to allow for more offence with the clock stoppages opening up the entire playbook. That however brings me to my 1 minor complaint of the weekend, the games took too long. I say that in the context of the league marketing itself as a fast paced game. A continual running clock (outside of 2 minutes), fewer timeouts and a shorter halftime were all intended to shave time off the game.

The reality saw games around the 3 hour mark, with the 2nd game on Saturday actually kicking off before the 1st game had finished. It’s by no means a disaster but if the XFL wants to market itself as the place to see a faster game then it needs to produce 1.

Bring on Week 2

Near enough everything that was wrong in 2001 was put right on opening weekend of 2020. What was seen was some solid, hard-hitting football with some highlight reel plays thrown in. The presentation was excellent and as the league continues to learn will no doubt be refined throughout the season. 

It feels only right as a Browns fan that I decided to root for the team that put up the fewest points in week 1. If it means I now get to be miserable for another 10 weekends every year then I’m all for it. More football is a good thing! Yes, it’s no NFL – IT’S NOT TRYING TO BE! 

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Bleacher Report

We will have game reviews and previews each week on be sure to check them out.

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By Michael Lavery (@MichaelLavery98)

Football is BACK!

That’s a sentence you’re not used to hearing in February, right?

This time of year is usually the beginning of a seven month drought which sees us clutching on to any form of relevant and somewhat interesting football news. Hypothetical trades, mock drafts, and record predictions for teams in the new season, which we all know doesn’t always go to plan (I’m talking to you, Adam Rank).

But finally, after a lot of build-up, exciting rules announcements and the occasional familiar name being thrown into the mix… It’s time for the XFL.

The following is a preview of each of the opening four games followed by my own personal predictions for the games which at this point are complete stabs in the dark but worth a go anyway.

Seattle Dragons @ D.C Defenders

The opening game of the second installment of XFL football comes from Audi Field in Washington D.C where the Dragons take on the Defenders. Both of these teams are the second professional football team in their respective cities, something which could be worth looking into regarding attendance and fan support.

The Defenders are being led by Cardale Jones at quarterback, someone who is already being touted as the potential league MVP before it even kicks off. Jones spent a short time in the pro’s, mostly as a backup or a third stringer. He was drafted 139th overall by the Buffalo Bills in 2016 but has never played more than a half of professional football.

His career stat line: 6/11 98yds, 0TD, 1INT 46.0QBR

D.C Head Coach Pep Hamilton is more than qualified to lead this team to multiple victories this year. He has years of experience working as a positional coach in the NFL for several teams and was the Colts Offensive Coordinator for two years from 2013-15. The significance of this is that during that time he worked closely with Andrew Luck, someone who he also coached during his time at Stamford.

Why exactly is this important? Well for the success Luck had in his short NFL career, I don’t think it would be a bad idea for Cardale Jones to pick the brain of his new HC. Luck and Jones also have extremely similar measurables, something Hamilton might hope to take advantage of and craft Jones into a Luck style player.

Comparison: Luck v Jones
 HeightWeight40 Yard DashHand Size
Andrew Luck6’ 4”234lbs4.6710”
Cardale Jones6’ 5”250lbs4.819 ¾”

The Seattle Dragons signal caller goes by the name of Brandon Silver. Silver has no NFL in game experience despite trying out at the New Orleans Saints rookie minicamp and spending a month as a member of the New York Jets. He did however play for the Memphis Express in the short while that the AAF existed. He sat behind Johnny Manziel as a backup before taking over the starting job after a Manziel injury.

His AAF Stat line: 80/125 799yds, 4TD, 2INT, 86.1QBR

Despite not being the most decorated player at his position, he is at least being coached by someone who knows how to lead a franchise. Former Seattle Seahawks lefty QB; Jim Zorn.

Zorn was the Seahawks quarterback for the first eight years of the franchise’s existence. He made it a weekly habit of finding NFL Hall of Famer Steve Largent in the end zone and now they are both members of the Seattle ring of honour.

In his professional coaching career he has been an assistant and also spent one year has the Head Coach of the Washington Redskins (08-09). Jim Zorn Washington revenge game, anybody?

What is key is that Zorn will know exactly what the city of Seattle will want to see from their Dragons. He knows the city, he knows the fans, he knows the seriousness and with that I think he will have the Dragons performing at a high level all year.

This should be a great game to kick off the season, the fireworks and hoopla of the rebirthed XFL will no doubt add to the festival like occasion and hopefully there will be fireworks on the field too. Explosive plays, new kick offs and extra point rules all to be seen this weekend.

Prediction: My week one stab in the dark prediction is for Seattle to win a crowd silencer on the road in D.C with a final score of 34-17.

Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks

The late slot on Saturday takes us to TDECU stadium in Houston where the Roughnecks will host the Los Angeles Wildcats. The 40,000 seater arena is the battleground for the first primetime matchup of the season.

Houston Quarterback P.J Walker, who played is college ball at Temple, is, by his own admission an undersized quarterback. At 5’ 11” and only 214lbs he draws the pro sized comparison to Russell Wilson and a quick look at his tape shows his footballing ability is similar too. Walker has excellent escape ability when he feels pressure and can get the job done either by rushing or make accurate throws on the move. Despite having this ability to avoid pressure, he doesn’t force early departures from the pocket and when complimented by good protection has the time needed to step into throws and successfully complete the long ball. Something ex-Texans receiver Sammie Coates will be happy about as he makes his return to pro football in Houston. But, when Walker does take off running he has the talent to make defenders look stupid.

The Roughnecks will be running a “Run N’ Shoot” style offence. A pass heavy scheme, it is hoped that Walker can find his receivers deep down field often and force teams to meet their high scoring targets if they have any hopes of winning.

Fronted by Head Coach June Jones, a former NFL QB and HC for the Atlanta Falcons, Houston will be hoping to deliver key blows early in this game and take advantage of playing at home. Jones won the CNN/Sports Illustrated National Coach of the year award back in 1999 before going on to take on several roles as an assistant in both college and pro teams.

Something to watch in the future: Jones stepped in as interim Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers after the now New York Guardians HC Kevin Gilbride was fired. Perhaps something to keep an eye on in the week 6 fixture between Houston and New York.

The visiting Los Angeles Wildcats have a veteran NFL journeyman at the helm. Josh Johnson has been a member of 13 teams since being drafted by the Bucs in the 5th round of the 2008 draft. A cousin of Marshawn Lynch, he played college football at San Diego. Perhaps an indication of his pedigree at his position, the Detroit Lions attempted to resign Johnson in November 2019 but the XFL denied this request.

Wildcats Head Coach Winston Moss was a professional linebacker for the Bucs, LA Raiders and Seahawks. He worked up 20.5 sacks and 3 interceptions during his career. A defensive minded coach, he will undoubtedly have his hands full this weekend but will be hoping to lean on the talents of his players to execute his game plan and slow down the Roughnecks attack.

Prediction: I think this will be one of the closer games of the weekend but I see the home team coming out on top. Houston wins it: 26-21.

Tampa Bay Vipers @ New York Guardians

Moving into the early slot on Sunday and we will get to see the first instalment of the Tampa Bay Vipers and the New York Guardians. Being played at MetLife this game is sure to have all the feelings of a regular football Sunday.

Guardians Head Coach Kevin Gilbride will be hoping to get his team off to a fast start in the league. Overseeing operations in New York as a play caller he will be hoping his team leave their mark as a smash mouth, run you over style football team, something which is always associated with teams playing in the meadowlands.

He will no doubt be confident that his team can pile up the wins, the Guardians start the season with seasoned pro, Matt McGloin under centre. A former raider who knows all about playing tough.

His Career Stat line: 13 Games Played 7 Started 161/277 1868yds, 11TD, 11INT 75.3QBR

I’m not entirely confident in McGloin’s ability to shine as the star of this league, but I do believe he will be more than capable of managing in-game situations at an effective and professional level and guiding this team to victory. That said, if he doesn’t perform, the New York fans will have no problem in letting him hear it.  

Making the trip up the east coast is the green and yellow of the Tampa Bay Vipers. Spearheaded by Head Coach Marc Trestman and Quarterback Aaron Murray, the team travels to New York in the hope of returning to Florida with a season opening win.

Murray, a former Georgia Bulldog was a 5th round pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. After bouncing between teams for a number of years, he took up a role as the QB for the Atlanta Legends of the AAF before coming to Tampa in the hope of being the cities best quarterback (30INT Jameis Winston shouldn’t be too hard to beat).

His Head Coach, Trestman, has an impressive history of coaching. Over 39 years he’s been with 10 NFL teams as either an assistant or a coordinator and has had his fair share of coffees elsewhere too coaching in both college and the CFL.

This should be a gritty game, with both teams trying to make some noise in the early Sunday window and gain some attention before week 2. A tough one to call so I’ll give the benefit to the team with a QB who has NFL experience and are playing at home.

Prediction: Guardians 27-20 Vipers.

St Louis Battlehawks @ Dallas Renegades

Potentially the best game of the weekend slot, aptly left to the primetime Sunday evening slot. A city left in the lurch without pro football since 2015, St. Louis fans were beyond hurt when the rams left them and have been crying out for football since. The Battlehawks fans will have to wait until week 3 to see their team play at home but I don’t think that will stop them from travelling to Dallas show support to their team.

Dallas is a footballing hub, the Cowboys have been calling themselves America’s team for what feels like forever and the entire city of Dallas lives for the sport. The Renegades will count as the State of Texas’ 4th pro football team, but they will have no intentions of being known as such. They want to be number one and behind quarterback Landry Jones they are in great shape to do so.

Jones is the forefront of this offense and he will hope to lay down a marker for the standard at which other teams aspire to be at. He was the first player to be selected for the XFL at the start of the team’s allocation process.

Jones’ professional career saw him drafted by the Steelers with the 115th overall pick in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft. A competent backup, he even saw some playing time in the playoffs, relieving an injured Ben Roethlisberger in the 2015 wild-card game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Roethlisberger would eventually return to the game but it is a credit to Jones and his work as a backup that he was ready to go when called upon. I think we can expect to see a great player coach chemistry with the Renegades. Jones and HC Bob Stoops worked together during his time in college. They will need to bring their “A” game in order to stop a resurgent St. Louis side who will be wanting to prove the point that pro football belongs in their city.

The Battlehawks are entering this game with quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and Head Coach Jonathan Hayes. Wanting to implement their status as winners from the start they will have to lean heavily on the knowledge of their HC and the veterans in the team with pro experience such as ex-Seahawks running back Christine Michael. In his career, he amassed over 1,000 rushing yards off 254 carries over a period of 4 years.

First special teams mention of the day, Marquette King, ex-Raiders punter makes his return to football for the Battlehawks in the hopes of re-igniting his career.

A primetime showdown to round out week one of the new XFL season, a game I think will come down to wire. Fourth quarter plays will be crucial and coaches aggression strategies on their PAT attempts will be important in determining a winner. I’ll side with the home team in this one but wouldn’t be surprised to see the visitors get a win.

Prediction: Renegades 28-26 Battlehawks.

So there you have it, the week 1 preview is at a close. Let us know your thoughts on the XFL by tweeting us @full10Yards on Twitter. Whether you love it, hate it or aren’t even going to watch it, we want to know!

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XFL 2020 – Season Preview

The sight of a coach drenched in Gatorade and a field covered in ticker tape usually signals no football for 7 whole months. Yes we have the combine, free agency and draft to get excited about but nothing beats the excitement of an actual game. The AAF had a brief cameo last year but hopefully football fans we have a more permanent spring offering starting up on Saturday as XFL kicks off.  8 new teams, some interesting tweaks on rules and a UK home to watch it all on, here’s a preview to get you in the mood. 

The Teams and Coaches

  • Dallas Renegades – Bob Stoopes
  • Houston Roughnecks – June Jones
  • LA Wildcats – Winston Moss
  • Seattle Dragons – Jim Zorn
  • New York Guardians – Kevin Gilbride
  • DC Defenders – Pep Hamilton
  • St Louis Battlehawks – Johnathan Hayes
  • Tampa Bay Vipers – Marc Trestman

The Draft

With 8 new teams, rosters needed to be formed. The XFL player allocation process was held in multiple phases, separated by position groups. Each XFL head coach submitted a list of their preferred quarterbacks, with the league assigning one quarterback to each team prior to the draft as “tier 1” quarterbacks. The remaining players were drafted by position group using a traditional “snake format” with each team given 90 seconds per pick.

  • Phase 1: Offensive skill positions
  • Phase 2: Offensive lineman
  • Phase 3: Defensive front 7
  • Phase 4: Defensive backfield
  • Phase 5: Any remaining players

Teams drafted 71 players, with a requirement to be cut down to 52 for opening weekend kickoff.

Notable Players Selected

At quarterback, there are a couple of former household names from big-time programs, including Landry Jones from Oklahoma and Cardale Jones from Ohio State. Both men spent time as back-ups in the NFL so will be keen to prove their worth leading the Dallas Renegades and DC Defenders respectively.

In the offensive skill positions familiar faces Matt Jones, formerly of the Washington Redskins and former Carolina Panther Cameron Artis-Payne will be carrying the rock out of the backfield. 2 former AFC North receivers will see the field as ex Steeler Sammie Coates and ex Cleveland Brown, Antonio Callaway suit up.

On the defensive side of the ball, former 1st and 2nd round NFL draft choices Matt Elam and Rahim Moore will team up together in Dallas. Kony Ealy who recorded 3 sacks in Superbowl 50 has signed on with Houston. Nick Novak will be a recognizable name on special teams, whilst Scooby Wright III wins quite simply the most memorable name prize.

The Schedule

The 10-week regular season starts Saturday, February 8, less than a week removed from the Superbowl, with the DC Defenders hosting the Seattle Dragons, followed by the Los Angeles Wildcats traveling to Houston for a game against the Roughnecks. 

The XFL’s first weekend continues on Sunday, February 9, when the New York Guardians host the Tampa Bay Vipers and concludes later that day as the Dallas Renegades host the St. Louis BattleHawks. Additional regular-season highlights include home openers for Seattle on February 15, Los Angeles on February 16, Tampa Bay on February 22, and St. Louis on February 23. The 2 biggest US markets, New York and Los Angeles, meet only one time on February 29, when the Wildcats take on the Guardians at MetLife Stadium. The first of two Texas intrastate match-ups between the Roughnecks and Renegades follows on March 1 in Dallas.

Following the regular season, the top two teams in each division will square off for the right to play for the league championship on Sunday, April 26. The East Final is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, and the West Final will be held Sunday, April 19. The first-place team in each division will host its respective division final.

UK fans will be able to catch coverage of the games across the BT sport network or via ESPN player.

The New Rules

When the XFL kicks off on Feb. 8, the new league will feature exciting gameplay innovations that are designed to deliver a faster pace of play and more action. With 5 Gameplay Innovations, 5 Timing Changes, and 5 Common Sense Rules, the league is building on traditional football while preserving its authenticity. 

5 Gameplay Innovations:

Kickoff | Point-After Touchdown | Punt | Double-Forward Pass | Overtime

5 Timing Changes: 

25-Second Play Clock | Comeback Period | Running Game Clock | Timeouts | Replay Rulings

5 Common Sense Rules: 

One Foot Inbounds | Ball-Spotting Official | Coach-Player Communication | Simplified Illegal Man Downfield | Shorter Halftime

Check out this useful summary video via youtube here.

Time To Get Excited

In summary, its more football to enjoy and I’m really interested to see how some of the new rules play out. The XFL appears to have learned from its previous failings and has the financial backing to be a success. I would suggest you pick a team and have a bit of fun for the next 12 weeks, its surely better than refreshing twitter to see which free agents your NFL team has overpaid for.

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The XFL – Past, Present…Future?

By Shaun Blundell – @Shaun_F10Y

The full 10 yards continues to get you ready for the next batch of football on the menu as XFL is set for a 2020 return. Our focus now shifts towards the new incarnation of the league following on from its initially concept that we covered previously in this mini series.

Welcome Back XFL

The clues were there when Vince McMahon created a new company, Alpha Entertainment in December 2017, he was planning on reviving the XFL. After liquidating some WWE stocks this expected news was confirmed in January 2018 with the league due to begin operating in 2020. At the initial press conference McMahon was very quick to put the emphasis onto the football product and dismissed any notion it would rely on sports entertainment gimmicks this time around.


Learning from mistakes – Taking time to get things right this time around is already a massive plus. Allowing 2 years of planning and preparation allowed for an important hire to be announced in June 2018. Oliver Luck was named the league’s commissioner and chief executive officer.leaving his role with the NCAA to take over the operations of the XFL. Other hires of people with backgrounds within the game have been made and others such as ex coaches Jim Caldwell] and John Fox are acting as advisors to the league.

The Importance of TV – Knowing that success will be determined by the amount of people tuning in the league deliberately chose to place its teams in large media markets. The TV coverage will be split between ABC/ESPN and FOX initially on a 3 year deal, with ESPN broadcasting the championship game. McMahon has also expressed his desire for streaming services of games to be able to offer fans more access to games. There are also plans for a fantasy football element to be introduced, likely through the draftkings platform that McMahon owns a stake in.

Season Structure and Rules – The proposal is still to play a 10 week regular season with a 2 week playoff format to replicate the original XFL. The season is slated to kick off on February 8th, 2020 a week after the NFL Super Bowl and will conclude with the championship game on April 26th, 2020. There is once again an emphasis on the XFL to provide quick gameplay and the desire is to complete games in 2 and a half hours. The rues will again be a variance on the NFL to allow for this to happen and a number of confirmed rules have leaked out, many carrying over from the original XFL.


No PAT Kicks – The 1st rule to carry over is that touchdowns will be followed by a scrimmage play for bonus points. Teams will be able to choose between a play from the 2 yard line for 1 extra point, a play from the 5 yard line for 2 extra points or a try from the 10 yard line for 3 extra points.

Game and Play Clocks – With the exception of the final 2 minutes of each half the game clock will run continuously with a 25 second play clock. Inside of the 2 minute warning the clock will stop after every play.

Overtime – Overtime will be played like a penalty shootout with each team taking it in turns to run 5 plays from the 5 yard line with a successful conversation earning a point. Should the defence force a turnover they can receive a point for their team.

One Foot In Bounds – A completed catch will only require a player to get 1 foot in bounds as opposed to both feet that we see regularly in the NFL.

Multiple other rules are being tested and will be confirmed in due course.

So Who Is Playing?


The teams for XFL 2020 were announced in August 2019 with the draft scheduled to take place in October 2019. Confirmed players who will be draft eligible so far include ex Steelers quarterback Landry Jones and ex Vikings receiver Percy Harvin. As per the previous incarnation of XFL there will be an Eastern and Western Division. The teams are as follows: –

Eastern Division – DC Defenders, New York Guardians, St Louis Battlehawks, Tampa Bay Vipers

Western Division – Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, LA Wildcats, Seattle Dragons

It definitely feels as though that Vince McMahon has learned from the mistakes of the initial failed attempt at the XFL. Focussing on the football product is absolutely the right thing to do and in a day and age of social media and easier access to content there is possibly a gap in the market that wasn’t there before, the initial success of the AAF when it launched this year proves that. Nobody is going to compete with the NFL, certainly not a new start up but the desire to watch more quality football will surely be strong. The opportunity is there for the XFL to grasp it and hopefully it can be a success the second time around.

So there you have it, we hope that we have whet your appetite for XFL 2020. All you need to do is pick your team and get ready for draft day! Keep those eyes peeled to the full 10 yards for continued XFL coverage throughout the season.