- The DC Defenders are 6.5-point home favorites over the New York Guardians in Week 2 of the XFL season
- Is DC worthy of that line in this battle of undefeated teams?
- Both the Defenders and Guardians won at home during Week 1
Can the New York Guardians invade the nation’s capital and take down the DC Defenders in Week 2 of the XFL season?
The oddsmakers don’t think so.
Not only is DC favored to win over New York Saturday at Audi Field, but sportsbooks are offering the Defenders the second-best line of any team during Week 2. Only the Houston Roughnecks, 8-point home favorites at St. Louis to face the BattleHawks, are giving more points away than DC.
New York Guardians vs DC Defenders Odds
|New York Guardians||+210||+6.5 (-105)||Over 48.0 (-105)|
|DC Defenders||-290||-6.5 (-115)||Under 48.0 (-115)|
Odds taken Feb. 13th
Road teams won just one of four games during Week 1 of the XFL season. The Defenders and Guardians kick off Saturday at 2 pm EST.
Defenders Did It All
DC turned in the XFL’s most impressive and solid performance while whipping the Seattle Dragons 31-19 during last Saturday’s season opener for both teams.
Quarterback Cardale Jones completed 16-of-26 passes for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He connected with Rashad Ross for a 31-yard score.
Cardale Jones got the job done in his first @xfl2020 game ?
⚔️ 16/26 comp/att
⚔️ 319 total yards
⚔️ 2 pass TDs
⚔️ W against Seattle Dragons pic.twitter.com/RBJJhzVO7e
— ESPN (@espn) February 8, 2020
His other TD pass was the result a a bit of razzle-dazzle. The Defenders executed a double-reverse flea flicker, with Jones finding tight end Khari Lee for the TD.
Jones finished the day with a 116.7 passer rating, tops in the XFL.
Defense Produced Pick Six
The Defenders also got offensive while on the defensive. Cornerback Brandon Sylve intercepted a Brandon Silvers pass and rambled 69 yards for the pick six.
The special teams got in on the scoring act as well. Elijah Campbell blocked a punt and Jonathan Celestin scooped it up in the end zone for a TD. Kicker Ty Rausa booted a pair of fields, one of them from 54 yards.
Guardians Relied on Defense
The Guardians didn’t win the stats battle during their 23-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Vipers. Tampa Bay actually out-gained New York 394 yards to 226. The Vipers ran 71 offensive plays, compared to 45 for the Guardians. Tampa Bay gained 19 first downs to just 11 for New York.
It was the defense that turned the tide for New York. The Guardians sacked Vipers starting QB Aaron Murray five times. Cornerback Bryce Jones and safety Andrew Soroh both intercepted Murray. Cornerback Jamar Summers recovered a fumble.
The Guardians also blitzed effectively. Safety Wes Sutton grabbed a pair of sacks, as well as two quarterback hurries.
DC Has the Playmakers
The New York defense will certainly face a stiffer test from the DC offense than the Guardians were presented when Tampa Bay had the ball.
Jones is elusive. He ran for 28 yards on nine carries in the Defenders’ opener. That’s 3.1 yards per carry. He won’t be as easily sacked as Murray.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
CARDALE TO ROCKET ROSS FOR 6
— DC Defenders (@XFLDefenders) February 8, 2020
Ross was a deep threat in the AAF, catching a league-leading seven TD passes. Though he didn’t find the end zone, wide receiver Eli Rogers caught six passes for 73 yards.
Defenders running back Jhurell Pressley led the AAF in rushing.
Best Defense vs Best Team?
For sure it’s a small sample size but based on the Week 1 outcomes, the Guardians look to be the XFL’s best defense. The Defenders appear to be the XFL’s best all-around team.
Defenders vs Guardians Stats
|295 (5)||Total Offense||226 (8)|
|68 (5)||Rushing Offense||44 (8)|
|227 (3)||Passing Offense||182 (8)|
|310 (5)||Total Defense||394 (8)|
|97 (6)||Rushing Defense||150 (7)|
|213 (4)||Passing Defense||244 (7)|
|+3 (T1)||Takeaways||+3 (T1)|
But are the Guardians truly the best defense? Or are they merely an opportunistic defense?
New York made a lot of big defensive plays in the win over Tampa. The Guardians also gave up some chunk yardage. New York ranks last in the XFL in total defense (394 yards) and are seventh overall at stopping both the run and the pass.
— DC Defenders (@XFLDefenders) February 12, 2020
Offensively, New York was dismal in the opener. QB Matt McGloin was barely a 50% passer. The former Oakland Raider completed 15-of-29 for 182 yards and a TD. His passer rating was a pedestrian 82.8.
Guardians RB Darius Victor ran for just 32 yards.
All signs points to the Defenders defending their perfect slate. Take DC and lay the points.
Pick: DC Defenders -6.5 (-115).