XFL Week 3 Results, Takeaways: Josh Gordon, Ben DiNucci, Brandon Silvers take the spotlight; DC, Houston go 3-0

As the XFL looked ahead to the 2023 season, Week 3 was almost certainly the kind of action the newly restarted league was hoping for. Each of the four games was a one-score affair, and each game featured big plays and signature performances.

The weekend ended in a showdown between Hines Ward’s San Antonio Brahmas and Wade Phillips’ Houston Roughnecks. Houston went 22-7 at halftime but needed multiple saves in the second half to come away by nine points. The Roughnecks are one of two teams, along with the DC Defenders, to remain undefeated.

The second game on Sunday wasn’t pretty, but the Arlington Renegades improved to 2-1 thanks to their excellent defense. Two takeaways by the unit, coupled with a clutch drive in the fourth quarter from Kyle Sloter, handed the Renegades a 10-9 win over the Orlando Guardians.

The first game of the day saw two of the league’s three teams that started 2-0 as the Defenders hosted the St. Louis BattleHawks. It was close most of the time but the defenders rose in the second half. AJ McCarron threw four touchdowns for St. Louis but also had two interceptions that proved costly. The win placed DC alone at the top of the North Division.

Week 3 started with an absolute bang on Saturday night as the Seattle Sea Dragons earned their first win thanks to a game-winning 65-yard touchdown thrown by former NFL star Josh Gordon.

Here’s a look at the results along with our biggest takeaways from the XFL’s third game weekend.

week 3 points

Seattle Sea Dragons 30, Vegas Vipers 26

DC Defenders 34, St. Louis BattleHawks 28
Arlington Renegades 10, Orlando Guardians 9
Houston Roughnecks 22, San Antonio Brahmas 13

Seattle hovers behind Gordon, DiNucci

There was a lot of intrigue surrounding the Seattle Sea Dragons vs Vegas Vipers encounter. Both went winless in Week 3 but weren’t necessarily bad. In fact, both lost their leads in the second half of their first two games. So who would screw up in week 3?

After a combined 18 points in the first two quarters, Seattle and Vegas lost 38 points combined in the last two quarters. It was one of the games of the year and became the highest-scoring matchup of the season with 56 total points – before being eclipsed by Defenders-BattleHawks the next day. Sea Dragons quarterback Ben DiNucci completed 29 of 37 passes for 377 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, but it was Gordon who was Saturday night’s MVP. The former NFL star caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns — including the 65-yard game-winning score with just under a minute left in the fourth quarter. The Sea Dragons have finally won their first game and Gordon might be ready to explode.

Turnover key in the battle of 2-0 teams

The Defenders’ showdown with the BattleHawks lived up to the hype as the only game of the weekend between undefeated teams. It was a surprisingly high-scoring game – the 62 combined points is the most this season – between two teams who largely relied on their defense for the first two weeks of the season.

DC eventually got a relatively productive passing performance from Jordan Ta’amu, but the defenders’ victory can largely be attributed to two key turnovers forced by their defense. The first turnover, a 41-yard pick-six by defenseman Michael Turner, gave the defensemen an early 14-0 lead. A second-half fumble by St. Louis quarterback AJ McCarron set up a DC field goal. Overall, the defenders forced four turnovers, including two interceptions from McCarron, who failed to lead the BattleHawks to a third comeback win in as many weeks.

Arlington wins defensive duel

The Renegades again struggled offensively, but the defense had two more takeaways to keep them eight in three games. Kyle Sloter was efficient in his first start as quarterback, going 18 of 23 for 124 yards on a touchdown. The result came from a clutch drive in the fourth quarter to give Arlington the win when Sloter went for 6-of-7 possession for 52 yards. Sloter had a 17-yard touchdown shot on Tyler Vaughns to end the game 7:58 and De’Veon Smith converted the 1-point try to give Arlington the lead. It’s hard to say if the Renegades are good enough to contend for a title, but their defense is one of the best in the league. You will therefore be present in every game.

The Orlando Guardians put up another poor offensive performance, picking up just nine points in Sunday’s loss – despite improving offensive length. Paxton Lynch efficiently completed 61.3% of his passes for 219 yards and a quick touchdown, the only TD of the game for the Guardians. Two fumbles for Jah-Maine Martin in the first half eliminated a Guardians team that has just 33 points in three games – and never scored more than 12 points in a game. Although Orlando has been looking better, it still has a long way to go to turn its season around.

Roughnecks claim to be the best team in XFL

The Roughnecks are perhaps the best team in the league, and their third win was an absolute team effort. Quarterback Brandon Silvers got off to a hot start by completing 15 of his first 20 passes. He threw for 225 yards and three first-half touchdowns while taking advantage of the league’s deepest receiving corps. His favorite target was Jontre Kirklin, who caught two of Silvers’ three touchdown passes.

The San Antonio defense scored a second-half shutout while setting up the only goal of the half on Kameron Kelly’s interception. The Roughnecks’ defense responded by forcing a punt, recording an interception, and forcing a turnover on the Brahmas’ next three possessions.

You can relive all the action from Week 3 on our live blog below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *