WASHINGTON, DC –
After the XFL’s electrifying opening weekend, the pressure is on to get to know the players. With all sorts of talent flying around the field, I took some time to analyze the guys under center.
In general, the league has some sustainable talent at Quarterback. Each of them displayed an unbelievably athletic play (or 20) that showed that they have talent. I also was particularly keen to how they were running their offense, besides relying on the statistical results.
Here are my rankings for XFL quarterbacks:
P.J. Walker (Houston Roughnecks)
Out of the 8 (kind of 9) quarterbacks who took the field this weekend, Walker was the most fun to watch. I remember hearing a lot about him coming out of Temple University and many experts praise his athleticism.
Against Los Angeles, he was able to make shifty plays and finish them off with big dimes into the end zone. With Sammie Coates and Cam Phillips as his weapons, I think Walker will have the biggest year of this list. He threw for 272 yards on 23/39 passing.
Cardale Jones (D.C. Defenders)
Cardale Jones was the most poised quarterback of the weekend and possibly the league. I may be slightly biased as I witnessed his skill in person against Seattle. “Big Dale” was able to not only find his targets, he was also able to create open space for his receivers to make big plays.
That’s big league stuff.
He leads the team that I think is the most stoic and professional. To be honest, he’s the right guy for the job.
Against Seattle, Jones looked like a man amongst boys as he was almost seamlessly creating plays in real time. It was a true treasure to watch him thread the needle to Eli Rogers and Rashad Ross. However, I think that his connection with Malachi Dupree will be the best QB/WR combo of this season.
Jones threw 16/21 with a 76% completion rating. He decorated his stats with two TDs as well. Expect big things from “Big Dale”
Matt McGloin (New York Guardians)
Matt McGloin was also very poised in his black New York Guardians uniform. It’s clear that he has sheer talent under center but also an eye for creating plays on the field.
I enjoyed watching McGloin go through his throwing motions. It seemed like it was all one motion for him and he had little trouble with making big plays. With the Guardians defense looking like a wall, he’ll probably have the ball the most.
He started off really hot against Tampa Bay but quieted down towards the end of the game. None the less, he accounted for two touchdowns, one on the ground and one in the air. He threw for 182 (polished) yards on 15/29 passing.
Not the brightest stats but he looked very polished and reliable under center.
Jordan Ta’amu (St. Louis Battlehawks)
Jordan Ta’amu was another quarterback that I enjoyed watching this weekend. Not only did he lead the only upset of the weekend, but he made some great plays in and out of the pocket, clearly showing that he has the talent.
By the end of the season I think Ta’amu will garner anticipation going into the off season. Prayerfully, he returns to the Battlehawks next year and can continue his journey.
His poise was the most enjoyable to witness. There were several plays against Dallas where the pocket collapsed around him but he planted his feet and allowed plays to develop. When he ran out of time, he gained yardage on the ground.
I liked his play so much, I posted his stat line on Instagram.
Aaron Murray (Tampa Bay Vipers)
I was expecting a lot more from Aaron Murray in week 1. I became a fan of his while I was watching him play at Georgia but his career didn’t unfold the way I thought it would. Nonetheless, he’s been given another opportunity by joining the Tampa Bay Vipers.
In week 1, Murray threw for 231 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. It was a tough game for him the whole way around and he struggled from start to finish. While he did get a hearty amount of yards, he never showed any flash to his game. He made key mistakes at the most inopportune times including a late fourth quarter pick six to ice the game against New York.
Truthfully, this could have been Murray’s last game starting for the Vipers. Murray was replaced by Quinton Flowers for good in the fourth quarter and the change could be permanent.
Brandon Silvers (Seattle Dragons)
I got to see Silvers live at AUDI Field for week 1 and some of his passes really impressed me. Through the first three quarters, Silvers did a great job of managing the game despite missing a few passes.
Trouble came in the fourth quarter as the team faced the uphill battle of fighting for the victory. He did what any athlete would do but he just couldn’t get it done. He forced a few throws, one in particular that led to a pick six.
In his defense, his targeted receiver fell during his route but I’m not sure how many of the other QBs on this list would have thrown that pass. Silvers finished the game with a 72.6 passer rating. He threw for 217 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Landry Jones (Dallas Roughnecks)
We didn’t get to see Landry Jones on opening weekend due to a knee injury during training camp.
However, we know that Landry will be a star in this league. He’s been on a few NFL rosters and some deem him the “face of the XFL”. It was kind of hard to put him any higher than 4th simply because I haven’t seen him in a Roughnecks uniform yet. His talent may be filling but chemistry with receivers is a major part of a quarterback’s success.
It’ll be fun to see him when he returns. His back up, Phillip Nelson threw for 209 yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception. Jones was injured in January and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Josh Johnson (L.A. Wildcats)
…and the same for Josh Johnson.
I’m really excited to see what Josh can bring to the L.A Wildcats. I was excited when he signed on as the team’s quarterback. Unfortunately, due to a thigh injury we didn’t get to see Johnson under center in week 1. Coming into the season, he was one of the most famed quarterbacks with a full resume’ from the NFL.
I know Josh can play and has the potential to be among the top 3 of this list but again, the only thing more important than a QB’s skill is his chemistry with his receivers. Most recently, Johnson played for the Detroit Lions before signing with the XFL.
Week 2, big week for XFL.
Another great weekend of football is ahead as week 2 of the XFL rolls on. I expect more viewership and attendance at games this weekend thanks to the league’s fantastic start. These quarterbacks will have their hands full again as the stage gets bigger.