Nobody can deny that last week was a success for the XFL. Huge ratings, great football and everyone seemed to agree. Now, we look forward to week to in hopes that the XFL can keep this momentum. The first game of the weekend has the New York Guardians traveling to a sold out Audi Field to take on the equally undefeated DC Defenders.
Shortly before the game started it was announced that recently acquired Anthony Johnson would be playing in the game. Keep in mine, he was just traded from the Wildcats yesterday.
DC opted to kickoff to start the game, giving them possession in the second half. New York, led by Matt McGloin came out, but we’re unable to capitalize on their opening drive.
With DC in control, they looked to continue their success from last week. During this drive, it was announced that Defenders wide receiver, Eli Rogers mother had passed away this week and he was missing the funeral to play in this game. That’s a hard decision to make, but nobody can say this man isn’t committed to his team.
Cardale Jones led his team down the field, and putting in work while doing so. In convincing fashion he was able to run the ball on fourth down, to keep the drive going.
Success continued for the team, ending that first drive with a 13-yard strike to DeAndre Thompkins. The Defenders opted for the 1-point conversion with Jones ultimately throwing it away. Regardless, the Defenders drew first blood putting them up 6-0.
New York came back on the field, with what seemed to be a quick 3-and-out, but fortunately for them they we’re able to secure the first down on a fake punt, keeping the offense on the field.
In a crazy play, The Guardians secured the first down, but DC was able to strip the ball. New York seemingly thought the ball was dead, allowing DC to gain control and get some significant yardage. After official review from the booth, DC was marked down much earlier in the play. They still had control of the ball though, giving them a chance to go up two scores.
Cardale Jones, once again led his team down the field, commanding the game as many suspected he would. He was able to bring the team to first and goal at the 10-yard line, ultimately settling for three from a successful 27-yard field goal from Ty Rausa. The Defenders were now up 9-0 over the Guardians with roughly 11 minutes left in the half.
Unfortunately for McGloin and company, luck wasn’t going their way just yet. Matt McGloin, trying to move the ball down the field threw it away to Safety, Matt Elam, giving the Defenders possession of the ball once again.
The Defenders couldn’t capitalize on the drive, keeping it a 1-score game with the XFL’s point-after-touchdown rules. Matt McGloin was unable to produce for his team, at this point he was 3-11 on passing and was just looking off his game.
With 4:42 left in the half DC once gain had control of the ball, hoping to extend their lead. Luckily for New York, DC was forced to punt the ball with roughly 3 minutes left in the second. Still the Defenders Defense was able to pin the Guardians at the 15 after the punt. New York was unable to move the ball, giving it back to DC who couldn’t get it into the end-zone but did put three more on the board from a successful 36-yard field goal.
DC got the ball to start out the half, but were unable to do anything meaningful. McGloin, visibly frustrated tried to get his team back in the game. But, today just wasn’t his day, he threw the ball away for the pick six, putting the Defenders up 18-0 early in the half. The Defenders opted for the 1-point conversion, but could not produce. Still, they had a commanding lead with plenty of time left in the game.
The Defenders looked to continue their dominance, getting into scoring position only to throw the ball away to the Guardians after an unlucky helmet bounce off a pass.
McGloin looking to regain his composure and build up his confidence wanted to get his team back into this game. So far this afternoon, it didn’t seem like anything McGloin tried worked in his favor. This drive was no different, another 3 and out for New York.
With DC back in control Cardale Jones did what he’s done all game. Move the ball. Jones showing he’s not your avereage quarterback had some pretty impressive moves avoiding a major sack only to escape and get the first down.
With 7:32 left in the forth, DC had to settle for the field goal, putting them up 21 points.
It was at this point that McGloin was pulled out of the game. He definitely was not happy with the coaching, in fact he was shown arguing with Coach Gilbride on the sidelines. With only a little over 7 minutes left, it was doubtful that Marquise Williams could make a difference, but the coaches needed to adjust.
New York, with their backs against the wall decided to go for it on fourth and down at the 50-yard line. Lucky for them, they were able to pull it off, keeping them (theoretically) in the game.
The Defenders, not knowing when to stop played like the game depended on it. Jones kept moving the ball, bringing his team to first an goal with over a minute left in the game. Jones ultimately scored the touchdown, connecting with Hayward. They opted for the 3-point conversion, attempting the leagues first multiple forward pass but were unsuccessful. Regardless, they were now up 27-0.
The Guardians become the first team not to score during a game this season. McGloin ended the game only going 8-18 for 44 yards, including 2 interceptions. He and the Guardians look to rebound next week when they travel to St. Louis for the BattleHawks home opener at The Dome.