Week 5 marks the halfway point of the XFL regular season, with the Houston Roughnecks entering Saturday’s matchup against the Seattle Dragons as the only remaining undefeated team.
Houston (4-0) has been the most dominant team in the league through the first four weeks. It leads the XFL with 16 touchdowns scored and a plus-five touchdown differential.
The Dragons (1-3) are trying to get their season turned around coming off consecutive losses. B.J. Daniels took over as the starting quarterback after showing promise in the second half of last week’s 23-16 defeat against St. Louis.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the New York Guardians (2-2) and Dallas Defenders (2-2) are both trying to get over the .500 mark and build some momentum heading into the second half of the season.
XFL Week 5 Results (Saturday, March 7)
Houston Roughnecks def. Seattle Dragons, 32-23
New York Guardians def. Dallas Defenders, 30-12
New York Guardians 30, Dallas Defenders 12
The Guardians used a potent rushing attack and an opportunistic defense in a 30-12 victory over Dallas and earn their first road win of the season.
On a day when Luis Perez struggled to get things going through the air, Darius Victor and Justin Stockton picked up the slack with their legs, combining for 99 yards on 20 carries.
New York’s quarterback finished 16-of-30 for 229 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Perez’s touchdown pass was an 80-yard hook-up with Colby Pearson in the third quarter to put New York up by two scores.
The Guardians extended that lead to 27-6 two plays later on Ryan Mueller’s pick-six:
That was one of three second-half turnovers by Dallas. The second came on Flynn Nagel’s fumbled punt return early in the fourth quarter that allowed New York to increase its lead to 30-12 and seal the victory.
Dallas quarterback Philip Nelson, starting for the injured Landry Jones, had a rough showing. He completed 28 of his 49 attempts for 210 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions and was sacked three times.
Since a rough two-game stretch against the St. Louis BattleHawks and DC Defenders, who combined for 56 points, New York’s defense has rebounded nicely over the past two weeks. The Guardians are allowing an average of 9.7 points per game in their three wins.
Saturday’s victory moves New York over the .500 mark and briefly into sole possession of second place in the East Division. The Guardians could end the weekend tied for first depending on the result of Sunday’s St. Louis-DC matchup.
Houston Roughnecks 32, Seattle Dragons 23
Houston scored 18 unanswered points over the final 22 minutes to earn a 32-23 win over Seattle and run its record to 5-0.
Trailing 23-14 midway through the third quarter, P.J. Walker engineered scoring drives on three of the Roughnecks’ next four possessions. His five-yard touchdown pass to Cam Phillips with 9:08 remaining in the fourth gave Houston its first lead of the game.
Walker didn’t have his best game of the season, committing three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble), but stepped up to make plays down the stretch when his team needed a score. He also threw for a career-high 351 yards.
Phillips, who entered Week 5 with an XFL-high 455 receiving yards, added to that total in a big way. The 24-year-old had 122 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches.
Seattle jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks to the defense putting pressure on Walker. Jacquies Smith got things started with a strip-sack of the Roughnecks quarterback, setting his offense up deep in Houston territory.
Facing a 4th-and-goal from Houston’s 1-yard line, Daniels was able to find the end zone on a designed run to give Seattle a 6-0 lead.
Before Daniels took over as the starter in the second half last week, Seattle’s offense scored a total of 51 points in the first 3.5 games. He’s led them to 36 points in six quarters.
Despite their 1-4 record, the Dragons are set up well moving forward with Daniels under center. Their schedule also sets up well to make a run with two games against the Los Angeles Wildcats (1-3) in the next four weeks.