Heading into this matchup, San Antonio was a mess. They sit at 2-5, in third place in the South Division. Quarterback injuries have haunted this team, with Jack Coan, Reid Sinnett, and Kurt Benkert all suffering from ailments. Jack Coan was healthy in time for today’s game, and would get the start.
On the other hand, the Houston Roughnecks needed some burst of life. Thanks to their 4-0 start they still led the division – but – with a three game losing streak, they couldn’t afford to give up any ground to the Arlington Renegades.
Let’s take a look at what happened, as it was a defensive slugfest at the Alamodome.
Brandon Silvers was healthy this week, which meant that we saw him start for the Roughnecks. Silvers got off to a rough start, but eventually settled into a rhythm, pushing the ball down the field. Brandon quickly found Deontay Burnett on a strike across the middle, putting Houston on top early.
Brandon Silvers is back, and he's back to throwing touchdowns. Great offensive start for the @XFLRoughnecks, as they jump to a quick 6-0 lead.
San Antonio got off to an excellent start, with Jack Coan slinging the football. His injury looked like it wasn’t bothering him at all, connecting with receivers in stride. Jacques Patrick caught a screen pass, before barreling through defenders to set up 1st and goal.
Vintage Jacques Patrick here. Barrels through multiple defenders to set up first and goal.
San Antonio’s offense looked more fluid than it has for a long time. They were able to move the ball between the 20’s much more efficiently today, as Coan was in a groove from the get go. However, they couldn’t capitalize after getting into Houston territory, settling for another field goal.
Meanwhile, Houston’s offense was in sync, getting up and down the field with ease. On 3rd down, though, Luq Barcoo had an incredible pass breakup, which led to a field goal. Austin Jones hit his first field goal of the XFL season, and was good from 41 yards out.
Unfortunately the miscues would continue for San Antonio. On 3rd and 3, Coan threw a dart to Fred Brown – but it went right through his hands, so the Brahmas had to punt.
San Antonio’s defense stood strong, forcing a punt from the Roughnecks. However, Ward decided to attempt a 59 yard field goal, and Parker Romo could not connect. Thankfully for Hines Ward, his defense continued to put pressure on Silvers, keeping them from running away with the ball game.
With just fifteen minutes left to play, San Antonio trailed 15-6.
San Antonio was stuck in a rut, unable to move the football at all. They punted again, opening the door for Houston to take control. They couldn’t, with the Brahmas defense making yet another stop. With their playoff hopes on the line, Joey Porter’s defensive unit was on fire.
As the game made its way towards zero’s on the clock, neither offense wanted to do anything. It was a punt-fest, with both teams finding new ways to go three and out. Delontae Scott, who had an outstanding game, got a big sack on Silvers – giving San Antonio another crack at it.
San Antonio got a break from the heavens themselves. A PI call on 4th and 10 gave the team first and goal. Jacques Patrick ran it in from a few yards out, and it was 15-12.
TOUCHDOWN BRAHMAS !! Grâce à une DPI qui a rapproché l'attaque, c'est le RB Jacques Patrick qui peut inscrire un TD qui offre la possibilité à SA d'aller égaliser. #XFL#XFL2023pic.twitter.com/BpXrh6kdfB
The three point conversion was no good, as David Tolentino picked it off. With one minute left, the team had to try the 4th and 15 attempt for possession. The team got lucky once again, as Ajene Harris committed pass interference, giving them the down for free.
San Antonio capitalized. They got into field goal range – and Parker Romo hit a 49 yard kick, to tie the game, and we went to overtime.
Neither team converted on their first two point attempts, throwing incomplete passes. On Houston’s next try, San Antonio somehow stuffed McDonald, keeping him short of the sticks. The Brahmas failed as well, with Coan getting smoked on his throw.
This time, the Roughnecks converted. McDonald found Deontay Burnett across the middle, and the Roughnecks led 17-15.
Sadly, the magic ran out for the San Antonio Brahmas. Coan’s pass attempt fell incomplete, and the Houston Roughnecks held on to win, 17-15.
The storyline has been the same all year for the San Antonio Brahmas. No matter who starts at quarterback, this team has no sense of urgency as an offense. The play-calling is relatively conservative – and when the unit is in a position to make something happen, self-inflicted wounds kill their chances.
Jack Coan played alright today all things considered, but didn’t do nearly enough to win the game. The Brahmas did everything they could defensively, but at the end of the day, the offense could not get the job done.
Wade Phillips has to be happy that Brandon Silvers was back in the lineup. It wasn’t a perfect outing by any means, but Silvers is clearly the field general for their team. With a playoff berth now clinched, the Houston Roughnecks need to focus on somehow taking down one of the giants in the North.
What are your thoughts on this game between the San Antonio Brahmas and Houston Roughnecks? Which XFL players impressed you the most? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!