Week four of the XFL is underway! The teams are starting to reveal their strengths and their weaknesses as well as their starting line-ups. Remember that this league doesn’t have a preseason outside of a single scrimmage before the season starts.
The New York Guardians hosted the Los Angeles Wildcats and we had ourselves a dogfight, ladies, and gentlemen. The Guardians were struggling to find an identity after two consecutive losses on the road. Their last loss, a 29-9 dismantling from the Saint Louis Battle’Hawks, showed a glimpse of hope as the team played their third-string quarterback, Luis Perez, who had been a star in the AAF last season.
The Wildcats were coming off of their first win, a shocking 39-9 victory over the DC Defenders. The offense was finally clicking under long-time NFL veteran Josh Johnson, and the Wildcats defense looked fine-tuned too.
Let’s get into these game notes.
Luis Perez is the difference-maker for the Guardians
The Guardians had been struggling to find an identity early in the season. Quarterback Matt McGloin certainly didn’t appear to be the answer at the quarterback position, as he struggled to keep the offense moving and deal with pressure. Marquise Williams, his back-up from North Carolina, didn’t seem to be the answer either. While he was more electric (better arm, better mobility, etc), Williams is so raw that he needs a lot of coaching to control his talent.
Luis Perez stepped in and it was beautiful to see.
Perez had been a star for the Birmingham Iron in the now-defunct AAF and had actually been signed by the Wildcats and let go before the start of the season. Perez made his way to New York and got the starting nod this week after a promising performance against the Battle’Hawks last week in limited time.
Don’t watch Perez if you’re expecting to see a big arm or athleticism. You’re really not going to find either thing there. It’s clear that Perez doesn’t look very promising in practice either, because he didn’t get a chance in the XFL until the Guardians were desperate to create a spark in week three. That’s who Perez is. He’s a spark player, someone who creates well and makes things happen. He completed 18 of 26 pass attempts for 150 yards and a touchdown.
He’s exactly what the XFL needs right now.
- Darius Victor continues to intrigue people with his unique playing style. He’s 5’6″ and 215 pounds, an absolute bowling ball. Victor came close to hitting 100 yards, the closest any one of these teams had come yet, rushing for 82 yards on 18 carries and just being a nuisance throughout the game.
- Wildcats wide receiver Tre McBride continues to separate as a legitimate NFL prospect. There were a lot of people who liked him when he came out of William & Mary in 2015, and the Tennessee Titans even took him with a seventh-round pick. McBride saw a decent amount of playing time at the next level but just wasn’t able to fit what the Titans wanted to do. He’s got a good pair of hands, he’s strong, and he creates separation. That all translates to the next level.
- Guardians defensive linemen Jarrell Owens and Cavon Walker might just be the best pass-rushing duo in the league. They combined for 3 sacks and 6 quarterback hits in Saturday’s action, constantly in the face of Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson. Both players have shots at going to the next level, Walker more so, but Owens popped up on some teams radar too after his performance yesterday.