- The 2-0 DC Defenders are the +190 favorites to win the 2020 XFL championship
- Are the Defenders worthy of recognition as the XFL’s best team?
- Read on to discover the future book lines on all eight XFL franchises
Saturday was a day of firsts for the XFL and the DC Defenders.
The Defenders became the first 2-0 team in the history of the new league. By virtue of their 27-0 rout of the New York Guardians, DC also was the first team to post a shutout victory in this reboot of the XFL.
The team from the nation’s capital moved to the top spot in the XFL Championship odds following their 31-19 Week 1 victory over the Seattle Dragons at average odds of +263
Books list the Defenders as +190 to win the title.
2020 XFL Championship Odds
|St Louis BattleHawks
|Tampa Bay Vipers
|New York Guardians
|Los Angeles Wildcats
Odds taken Feb. 17th.
DC had been listed with the third-worst odds to win the league title as recently as Jan. 15.
DC Stomps on the Guardians
New York traveled to Washington off an impressive Week 1 victory of their own. The Guardians dumped the Tampa Bay Vipers 23-3 at Met Life Stadium.
However, their first away game quickly turned into the road trip from hell. Much like in the season-opening slaying of the Dragons, DC beat New York in every facet of the game.
The Defenders outgained the Guardians in total offensive yardage 384-137. DC picked up 16 first downs, compared to five for New York.
Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones lit up a New York defense that held Tampa Bay to a solitary field goal during Week 1. Jones completed 23-of-37 passes for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns. DC receivers Rashad Ross (96 yards) and DeAndre Thompkins (92) both went for over 90 receiving yards.
Defenders Live up to Name
DC also rose to the attack when New York held possession of the football.
The Defenders checked the Guardians on 66 yards rushing and 71 yards passing. New York was limited to 2.9 yards per play.
DC sacked New York quarterbacks three times. The Guardians were 1-for-9 on third-down conversions. That’s a 9% success rate.
For the second straight game, DC turned an interception into points. Linebacker Jameer Thurman swiped a Matt McGloin aerial and scampered 46 yards for the pick-six.
DC chased former Oakland Raider McGloin to the bench in favor of backup Marquise Williams.
The Defenders forced three turnovers. Safety Matt Elam also came up with an interception. Safety Rahim Moore forced and recovered a fumble by Guardians running back Darius Victor. The turnovers led directly to nine DC points.
— ESPN (@espn) February 15, 2020
Linebacker Anthony Johnson, picked up in a trade with the Los Angeles Wildcats, produced two tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks in his Defenders debut.
After his cross-country flight to DC, Johnson also offered a piece of advice to those who would consider reclining their seats on an airplane.
DC Still Has Something to Prove
It’s worth noting that DC is 2-0 at home. The Defenders get their first road test in Week 3 of the XFL schedule, traveling to LA to face the Wildcats.
DC’s wins have come at the expense of teams that have beaten the Vipers, the XFL’s first 0-2 team. Tampa Bay is still searching for an offensive TD and might be the XFL’s worst team.
A shutout by the defense deserves a shotgunning party afterwards ??
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 15, 2020
Still, all indications are the Defenders are the XFL’s most complete team. They’re getting it done in in all facets of the game – offense, defense and special teams.
Until a team proves capable of beating them, the Defenders remain the team to beat in the XFL.
Pick: DC Defenders (+190)