XFL Week 3 in Review
March 7, 2023 / By Brayden Nazarian
Looking back everything that transpired during Week 3 of the XFL season.
Every week of the 2023 XFL season seems to get better and better. Week 3 was no different.
Sea Dragons (1-2) def. Vipers (0-3) 30-26
The action started in Las Vegas, where the Seattle Sea Dragons and Vegas Vipers had an epic duel. In what was a scrappy game early, both teams combined for 21 points in the last seven minutes of game time. Sea Dragons' QB Ben DiNucci took over during crunch time, throwing a go-ahead 65-yard touchdown to receiver Josh Gordon with a minute remaining. DiNucci finished with 377 passing yards and four touchdowns, with 118 yards and two TDs going to Gordon.
Defenders (3-0) def. Battlehawks (2-1) 34-28
The second matchup of Week 3 was arguably the most-talked about game of the weekend. Two undefeated teams, playing for the top spot in the North division, all while a 30-row long beer snake is being formed in the background. This is what the XFL is all about.
It didn't take long for things to get going in this one, as the D.C. Defenders jumped out to an early 14-0 lead. However, A.J. McCarron and the St. Louis Battlehawks refused to back down. They stormed back late, making it a one-possession game with just 22 seconds on the clock. They ultimately fell short in the end, thanks to another stout performance from D.C's defense. Cornerback Michael Joseph returned another interception for a touchdown, and the defense as a whole forced three turnovers.
Renegades (2-1) def. Guardians (0-3) 10-9
While it may not have been a high-scoring affair, the Arlington Renegades and Orlando Guardians fought hard in another nail-biter. Both defenses dominated for the majority of the game, but the Renegades found life in the fourth quarter. QB Kyle Sloter, who made his first start of the season, connected with receiver Tyler Vaughns for a go-ahead 17-yard touchdown. Arlington's defense then stepped up with the game on the line, forcing Orlando to punt with just over four minutes to go. They also held firm after their offense failed to ice the game, stopping the Guardians on their final drive.
Roughnecks (3-0) def. Brahmas (1-2) 22-18
The final matchup of the weekend took place in Houston, Texas between two high-flying teams. As expected, though, the Houston Roughnecks came out on top for the third-straight week, establishing themselves as the best team in the South division. The Brahmas, on the other hand, drop to 1-2.
The Roughnecks' offense was humming all game long thanks to QB Brandon Silvers, who threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, they suffocated the Brahmas, allowing just 162 total yards of offense. Still, San Antonio stayed close all the way through. A third-quarter touchdown pass from QB Jack Coan made it a one-possession game, but the Roughnecks made a goal-line stand late in the fourth that ultimately sealed the deal.
Three team trade between Renegades, Defenders and Guardians
On Monday, a large transaction took place between the Arlington Renegades, the D.C. Defenders and the Orlando Guardians. Here's how everything shook out:
Renegades receive: WR JaVonta Payton (ORL)
Defenders receive: TE Alex Ellis (ARL)
Guardians receive: OL T.J. Storment (D.C.)
Defenders make second trade on Monday
The Defenders stayed active throughout the afternoon on Monday, making another trade with the Vegas Vipers.
Defenders receive: OL Antonio Garcia (VGS)
Vipers receive: DB Joshua Allen (D.C.)
Images courtesy of the D.C. Defenders and Houston Roughnecks