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Houston Roughnecks Shine in XFL Under Wade Phillips


One week after the NFL season concluded with the Super Bowl, fans were treated to the second coming of the XFL. If you need to catch up on the XFL and USFL, check out this article that details their expansion. To help kick off the opening slate of XFL Week 1 games, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and co-owner Dany Garcia made trips to every game to pump the crowd. In other words, the inaugural weekend for the 2023 season of the XFL 3.0 was a home run, to say the least.

Catch up on all of the news you need in our XFL Week 1 recap below.

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XFL Week 1 Winners: Houston Roughnecks Shine

The first four games produced four lucky winners and four unlucky losers. The winners included the Renegades besting the Vipers, 22-20. Spearheaded by their defense, Bob Stoops’ offense could not score a single touchdown. Instead, they relied on their defense to force turnovers. Namely, two pick-sixes and a crucial two-point conversion stop to seal the game. Luis Perez may be a perennial favorite of spring leagues, but he helped the other team more than his own.

Wade Phillips is once again a head coach, and he leads his Houston Roughnecks to their first victory. They handily beat their opponent, the Guardians, 33-12. Phillips’ experience as a defensive coordinator was clearly on display as the Roughnecks generated seven sacks on Saturday. The 75-year-old wizard still has the magic to lead a team!

The St. Louis Battlehawks’ offense was anemic for the majority of their bout against San Antonio, but A.J. McCarron proved he can still lead a fourth-quarter comeback. In a game that truly showcased the XFL’s rule differences, the former Alabama QB was able to squeeze in a victory before the clock struck zero. It was this miraculous comeback that gives the XFL its whimsical magic that other leagues can’t replicate.

Last, but certainly not least, the D.C. Defenders held off the Seattle SeaDragons to clinch their home opener. The dynamic duo of Ben DiNucci and Josh Gordon started hot, but they quickly broke down as the game went on. In fact, momentum really started to shift when the fanbase started giving the Defenders a home-field advantage. This happened after the traditional “beer snake” was taken away from the crowd, thus prompting them to enact their swift justice of hurling lemons onto the field.

XFL Week 1 Recap

The lack of scrimmage time was obvious for the entire league. However, as the teams started to settle into contact with one another, the trends of the teams started to show. Don’t get me wrong, there were sluggish times to be had, but I think it was good for the players and coaches to work out these kinks.

Teams with seasoned head coaches, like Arlington and Houston, were clearly ahead in their games. However, the offense was a struggle for most teams this past weekend. The rule changes and crowd dynamics have made this new enterprise a breath of fresh air to football fans everywhere, but the product on the field needs improvement. But, like all things, that will take time. So, buckle up for Week 2, and thank you for reading this XFL Week 1 recap.

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