^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

XFL Week 3: Roughnecks 34, Vipers 27 — Four Winners, Four Losers

P.J. Walker was, once again, outstanding, as the Roughnecks moved to 3-0 on the season.
P.J. Walker was, once again, outstanding, as the Roughnecks moved to 3-0 on the season.
Photo by Eric Sauseda

I have no idea if I'd be saying this if the XFL team here in town wasn't undefeated and power fueled by the most dynamic quarterback-wide receiver combination in the entire league, but so far, so good for the XFL in Houston! On Saturday afternoon, the Houston Roughnecks went on the road for the first time all season, and they answered the counterpunches of the hometown Tampa Bay Vipers enough times to come away with a 34-27 victory.

Let's rapid fire some winners and losers, as the Roughnecks continue to avoid the first loss in franchise history....

WINNERS

4. P. J. Walker
The early leader in the clubhouse for league MVP, Walker's story has been getting quite a bit of run in national circles. He was a backup in Indianapolis with Andrew Luck, who recommended Walker to his father, XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. In June Jones' offensive system, Walker has quickly become an NFL prospect once again, and on Saturday he channeled some Deshaun Watson yet again for this Roughnecks touchdown....

3. Florida memes
I realize I'm cherrypicking still shots from the telecast, but if you can find fans that embody their home state better than these Tampa Bay Viper fans, then lunch is on me! Commissioner Luck, if you're going to expand next season, may I recommend these cities — Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Gainesville.

2. Math brain teasers
We are three weeks in on the XFL, so we've now had a chance to really assess some of the differences between the XFL game and the NFL game over multiple weeks, and by far, the one that is the most intriguing to me are the extra point tiers that the XFL has in place. After a touchdown in XFL play, you can run a play from scrimmage, and try for one point from the two yard line, two points from the five yard line, and three points from the ten yard line. I'm still trying to figure out the strategy of which one makes the most sense, and situationally, when you're managing margin later in the game, which one makes the most sense. More than anything else, it messes with the gambler in me. The NFL is largely a cookie cutter game with sevens and threes. This XFL thing is one giant math brain teaser. Pretty cool.

1. Cam Phillips
If Walker isn't the league MVP, then his top target Phillips might be, as he is now at seven touchdowns in three games. Here is Saturday's Phillips highlight reel:

LOSERS

4. Jerry Glanville
I guess at this stage of life and his career, maybe it's fun being around football, and I would imagine the competitive spirit never goes away, but poor Jerry Glanville having to coach this Tampa Bay defense. The Roughnecks got pretty much what they wanted whenever they needed it, gaining 417 yards on 53 plays for a whopping 7.9 yards per play. That's just, yuck.

3. Tom Luginbill
Luginbill was one of the sideline reporters for Saturday's game, and if you're a sideline reporter in the XFL, you're going to be tasked with a whole lot more awkwardness than your NFL and collegiate counterparts. In the XFL, the production team tasks the sideline reporters with interviewing players who just screwed up. It's a pretty fascinating watch, and the strategy has already yielded one viral moment when, in Week 2, New York QB Matt McGloin said at halftime that the team needs to change its whole offensive strategy. The coaches obliged. They benched McGloin.

2. Spoiler alerts
One XFL "advancement" that I am not wild about — the content peek in on the mic'd up play callers for both sides. Offensively, this usually leads to the color analyst giving us some degree of a preview as to what play is coming. I don't like that. I watch football for drama, and knowing what play is coming doesn't do it for me. Also, being able to hear EVERYTHING on the field is something we've seen in exhibition games like the Pro Bowl. For the XFL, this particular nuance makes the games feel less significant.

1. Johnny Manziel
So Johnny Manziel apparently did the Twitter equivalent of drunk dialing the XFL on Friday night....

Then on Saturday, Johnny said he was trolling all along....

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Johnny's 15 minutes are about up, right?

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.