The first weekend without football feels weird, but also at the same time not so much. The teams may not be what you’re used to seeing, and you may not have a clue as to who the names are on the back of the jerseys. But football is still around for everyone to enjoy in the XFL. If you weren’t watching, you missed out and really should’ve been. Dwayne the rock Johnson opened up the season with a speech welcoming it’s players and everyone watches. Hopefully that all of the players leave it all out on the field to show the world how hungry they truly are. Without further ado, “XFL, let’s ball out baby!”
The XFL kicked off their season on ESPN with a matchup of the Vegas Vipers vs the Arlington Renegades. The Vipers led by 11 time pro bowler and Superbowl champion Rod Woodson as their head coach. On the opposite side of the ball, the Arlington Renegades are led by Bob Stoops as their head coach. This will be Stoops second term in the XFL, as he was once the head coach for the then Dallas Renegades. Stoops experience is hoping to pull him to a victory in the opening weekend.
Most of the first half was controlled by the Vipers, who looked to take their first victory of the season. Leading by 11 at the half. Yet Bob Stoops, Renegades defense stood strong as their defense forced 4 turnovers on the Vipers. Leading to all of their 19 points in the second half. Arlington would end up coming out on top with a 22-21 victory. However, Stoops believes there is still much needed improvement from his offense. Furthermore, the group failed to score an offensive touchdown. Still Stoops was pleased with the unit saying “This was our first live action in the last five weeks, so you’re going to have some hiccups. But overall, it was pretty clean.”
With the season opener being a nail biter, the night cap game had big shoes to follow. As the Orlando Guardians faced off against the Houston Roughnecks in prime time.
Wade Phillips Roughnecks team are the only team in the XFL that have yet to lose a game since the leagues COVID-19 shut down in 2020. After all, they did start a perfect 5-0 back then and kept it rolling that night as well. Houston cruised to a 33-12 victory over Orlando. It was an embarrassing night for Guardians quarterback and former NFL first round pick Paxton Lynch. The coaching staff benched him late in the third quarter for back up Quinten Dormady. Houston’s defense came to play and looked impressive in their opener. Trent Harris racking up four sacks and three different Roughneck players caught an interception on Lynch and Dormady.
Overall, Saturday felt like we didn’t miss a snap since the last seconds of the Superbowl. With week one of the 2023 XFL season halfway in the books. We’ll see if Sunday can build on an already eyeing start.