As we are now at the midpoint of the 2020 XFL season, it’s time to get into some rankings! With offenses lighting up the scoreboard in Week 5, it is time to determine the top 5 quarterback-wide receiver duos through the first half of the season.
5. Luis Perez and Colby Pearson | New York Guardians
Since Luis Perez has taken over as the starting quarterback for the New York Guardians, the team has been rolling with two straight wins in his first two starts. With Perez stepping in, wide receiver Colby Pearson has seen his fortune turn around with an increase in targets and yards the past two weeks. Pearson has also led the team in targets each game that Perez has started.
Before Perez was deemed the starter for New York, Pearson did not have much luck connecting with the original starter, Matt McGloin besides scoring a red zone touchdown Week 1 against the Vipers. In the first three weeks Pearson had less than 100 yards receiving for New York. With Perez the starter, Pearson has 129 yards on 12 targets.
Pearson reeled in the second longest receiving touchdown by any team this season from Perez on an 80-yard score against the Dallas Renegades in Week 5:
Luis Perez hits Colby Pearson for the 80 yard TD 👋 ✌️
Guardians (+6) are all over the Renegades so far today.pic.twitter.com/apwv2XmfRF
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 8, 2020
With Perez looking like the surefire starter going forward for New York, wide receiver Colby Pearson should continue to see his production go up as the season moves forward.
4. Josh Johnson and Tre McBride | L.A. Wildcats
Josh Johnson seems to have fallen in love with his slot receivers in L.A.. Whether its Tre McBride or Nelson Spruce, the former NFL journeyman always finds a way to give his shifty slot receivers the ball.
Due to Spruce missing action the past two weeks with an injury, McBride has taken over as Johnson’s favorite target. McBride broke out in Week 3 against his former team, the D.C. Defenders where he recorded 109 yards and 2 touchdowns with just 5 receptions.
Josh Johnson : 18/25 for 278 yards, 3 TD's & a 148 QB Rating
Tre McBride : 5 catches for 109 yards & 2 TD's on 6 targets pic.twitter.com/aQ05kLzEcD
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) February 24, 2020
As long as Nelson Spruce is held out with his knee injury, expect Tre McBride and Josh Johnson’s downfield connection to only get stronger each week.
3. Jordan Ta’amu and L’Damian Washington | St. Louis BattleHawks
Most of the duos on this list have exceptional statistical numbers to back up their ranking, but not this St. Louis BattleHawks duo.
In the first five weeks of the season, the BattleHawks have struggled to find an identity in their passing offense. One consistency in the St. Louis offense has been the continuous use of the University of Missouri product, L’Damian Washington in long-yardage situations. In the past two weeks, L’Damian Washington has 9 receptions on 14 targets, while gaining 155 yards. Safe to say that quarterback Jordan Ta’amu seems to have found a favorite target in Washington through the first five weeks of the season.
In Week 5, Washington made a strong case for ‘Catch of the Year’ against the Defenders on a deep-pass from Jordan Ta’amu along the sideline:
L’Damian Washington made his case for Catch of the Year with this unreal sideline snag! We’re on to Tampa Bay. #ForTheLoveOfFootball ⚔️pic.twitter.com/I0OLJE1IQL
— Noah Osen (@NoahOsen) March 8, 2020
2. Taylor Cornelius and Dan Williams | Tampa Bay Vipers
Since stepping in as the starting quarterback for the Vipers, Oklahoma State product Taylor Cornelius has provided a much needed consistency at the quarterback position for Tampa. Even with only three starts under his belt, Cornelius is ranked fourth in the league passing yards in through five weeks.
As Cornelius has begun to get comfortable in the Vipers offense, he is starting to find a chemistry between him and wide receiver, Dan Williams. Before Cornelius was promoted as the starter, Williams was already off to a hot start this season with the Vipers using an abnormal two-quarterback system.
There has been no stunt in Williams’ production with Cornelius being the starter. He is currently in second place behind Roughnecks receiver Cam Phillips for the lead in receiving yards through the first half of the season.
Vipers QB Taylor Cornelius connects with WR Dan WIlliams for the score!
2 Pt attempt: UNSUCCESSFUL
Roughnecks still lead 26-24#XFL| Via: @ABCNetwork pic.twitter.com/sD6OyB9xtr
— XFL Moment (@XFLMoment) February 22, 2020
For Dan “Tha Threat” Williams, it doesn’t matter who is at quarterback for Tampa Bay. If you’re on defense when Williams has the ball in his hands, you better be on your toes.
1. P.J. Walker and Cam Phillips | Houston Roughnecks
Well…What else did you expect? There hasn’t been a duo more exciting this season than the Houston Roughnecks tandem that has confidently led their team to an undefeated, 5-0 record.
In the first three weeks of the season, Walker and Phillips had already connected on a whopping seven touchdowns passes, including back-to-back games with three touchdown receptions for Cam Phillips. There was no answer for this newborn, electric dynamic duo.
PJ Walker to Cam Phillips last week: 3 TD
PJ Walker to Cam Phillips this week: 3 TD
🖥 https://t.co/ll9uiONfjq pic.twitter.com/wzwvkJX5tC
— XFL (@XFL2023) February 22, 2020
Now five weeks through the XFL season, Houston’s offense led by P.J. Walker has shown no signs of slowing down. Walker and Phillips have connected on a league-high 9 touchdowns so far this season. The pair are dominating their positional counterparts across the league in stats across the board. Houston has also scored more points than any other team this season with a total of 158 points in just five games, averaging about 32 points a game.
The Houston Roughnecks are a freight train on offense with no end in sight.