20 Mar

Sea Dragons top Battlehawks in Week 9 to set up weighty final week of regular season

Week 9 in the XFL set up some drama for the final regular-season weekend, as Week 10 will include multiple games with teams fighting for the final two playoff spots. The Seattle Sea Dragons kept their playoff hopes alive in Week 9 by defeating the St. Louis Battlehawks, while the Arlington Renegades came up just short in a game that would have clinched their spot in the playoffs.

Four teams remain in the playoff hunt (check out the standings here) as the XFL enters its final week of the regular-season. Two teams have clinched playoff spots, while two others have been eliminated.

Here’s a breakdown of who’s in, who is still alive and who will be spending the postseason on a golf course near you. First, a look at the Week 9 scores.

Houston Roughnecks 28, Vegas Vipers 21
San Antonio Brahmas 25, Orlando Guardians 23
D.C. Defenders 28, Arlington Renegades 26 (OT)
Seattle Sea Dragons 30, St. Louis Battlehawks 12

Who’s in
D.C. Defenders
Houston Roughnecks
The owners of the XFL’s best record, D.C. (8-1) will host the North Division Championship on Sunday, April 30. The Defenders won a nail-biter this past weekend after defeating the Renegades in overtime. In the win, the Defenders received a solid performance from quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who threw two touchdowns while completing 70% of his passes.

.@XFLDefenders OC called a play on 2nd & Goal.

Jordan Ta’amu and Lucky Jackson did the rest 🙌@XFL2023 pic.twitter.com/3VK7Y2Tjcp

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 16, 2023
Wade Phillips’ Roughnecks will host the South Division Championship on Saturday, April 29. Houston improved to 6-3 this past weekend after recording a 28-21 win over visiting Vegas. The Roughnecks’ running game once again played an integral role in the win, as Max Borghi and Brycen Alleyne rushed for a combined 112 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

Brycen Alleyne LEAPS in for six! 😮@XFL2023 | @XFLRoughnecks pic.twitter.com/4LcQh5SNu4

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 15, 2023
Who’s still alive
St. Louis Battlehawks
Seattle Sea Dragons
Arlington Renegades
San Antonio Brahmas
St. Louis could have clinched the North Division’s second playoff spot with a win over the visiting Sea Dragons in Week 9. But the Battlehawks were unable to take care of business against surging Seattle, which has gone 6-1 after an 0-2 start.

Ahead 20-12 through three quarters, Seattle prevailed after out-scoring the host Battlehawks 10-0 in the game’s final stanza. Bryce Thompson’s interception of St. Louis quarterback A.J. McCarron set up former Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay’s 1-yard touchdown run that essentially clinched Seattle’s season-saving win.

Seattle received yet another winning performance from quarterback Ben DiNucci, who went 21 of 31 for 260 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.

Jahcour Pearson to the house and Ben DiNucci silences the crowd 🤫@XFL2023 | @XFLSeaDragons pic.twitter.com/Kd8co7Ufyq

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 16, 2023
Conversely, Sunday was a tough day for McCarron, who threw two interceptions while completing just 56.2% of his passes. McCarron played through pain as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury that was sustained earlier this month.

The Battlehawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Vipers next Sunday and a Sea Dragons loss to the Orlando Guardians next Saturday. If both teams win — or both lose — the second playoff spot in the North will come down to a tiebreaker that won’t be determined until Week 10 has concluded.

The other playoff scenario is a lot less complicated. Arlington will face Houston in the South Division Championship if they can defeat the Roughnecks at home next Sunday. Hines Ward’s Brahmas need a win over the visiting Defenders and an Arlington loss to Houston in order to potentially quality for the postseason, pending the tiebreaker, as both teams would be 4-6.

San Antonio kept its playoff hopes alive following Saturday’s 25-23 win over Orlando. San Antonio’s win was spearheaded by quarterback Jack Coan’s 302 yards on 25 of 31 passing. Conversely, Arlington was unable to punch its playoff ticket after coming up short in overtime against D.C. While Arlington quarterback Luis Perez threw for 355 yards in regulation, he was unable to complete either of his passes in overtime.

Who’s out
Las Vegas Vipers
Orlando Guardians
The Vipers and Guardians have combined to win just three games through nine weeks. Orlando, after getting blown out in three of its first four games, has been much more competitive over the season’s past six weeks. It pulled off the upset of the season after handing D.C. its only loss back in Week 7. Led by Devin Darrington’s 133 yards, Orlando put up another gamely effort in Saturday’s two-point loss in San Antonio.

Like the Guardians, the Vipers were also more competitive during the second half of the season. Rod Woodson’s team picked up its second win over the season in convincing fashion over the Brahmas back in Week 7. Vegas followed up that performance with close losses against St. Louis and Houston.

A big reason for the Vipers’ recent success has been the play of quarterback Jalan McClendon, who in three games has completed 67% of his passes with five touchdowns and no picks.

Leave a Reply

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