XFL 2023: Week 1 Preview
February 17, 2023 / By Brayden Nazarian
Examining each matchup for the Week 1 slate of games, as well as how and where to watch them.
The 2023 XFL season kicks off this weekend after a three-year pause. Each team plays 10 regular season games, which means we get four action-packed games every weekend. Let's take a look at what's in store for Week 1:
Saturday Games (2/18)
Vegas Vipers @ Arlington Renegades
3:00PM EST on ABC
The first matchup of the season features the Vegas Vipers and the Arlington Renegades. The Vipers, led by Head Coach Rod Woodson, are a talented team with a lot of former NFL players; Martavis Bryant, Vic Beasley and Jeff Badet to name a few. Many expect this team to start hot and run the table early. However, it's way too early to count the Renegades out. Head Coach Bob Stoops has an impressive resume and knows what it takes to build a successful team. A win for them to start the season would bode well for their confidence.
Orlando Guardians @ Houston Roughnecks
8:30PM EST on ESPN, FX
The late game will take place in Houston, as the Roughnecks take on the Orlando Guardians. The Roughnecks have arguably the most well known Head Coach in the league in Wade Phillips, but they also have a very inexperienced roster. It will be interesting to see how they match up against Head Coach Terrell Buckley and the Guardians. Their quarterback, Paxton Lynch, is looking to jumpstart his career after fizzling out in the NFL, while the rest of the roster wants to make names for themselves. Might not be a super high-scoring game, but it should be competitive.
Sunday Games (2/19)
St. Louis Battlehawks @ San Antonio Brahmas
3:00PM EST on ABC
On Sunday, the action starts with the St. Louis Battlehawks and the San Antonio Brahmas. The Battlehawks have arguably the best quarterback in the league in A.J. McCarron. He and Head Coach Anthony Becht will have a tall task against the Brahmas, though, who are led by Head Coach Hines Ward. Ward assembled an impressive coaching staff that's gotten a lot out of an already talented roster. Many believe the Brahmas to be an early championship favorite, but the Battlehawks won't make it easy on them in Week 1.
Seattle Sea Dragons @ D.C. Defenders
8:00PM EST on ESPN
The final game of the weekend is between the Seattle Sea Dragons and the D.C. Defenders. This might be the best matchup of the entire Week 1 slate, as both teams have loads of NFL experience on their rosters and coaching staffs. Defenders' Head Coach Reggie Barlow is rolling with former XFL standout Jordan Ta'amu at quarterback. Ta'amu was on pace to win league MVP back in 2020 before the league shut down its operation. On the other side, Head Coach Jim Haslett and the Sea Dragons have Ben DiNucci, who played some meaningful snaps for the Dallas Cowboys a few seasons ago. This will likely be an offensive battle.