While playing football in the winter and spring has the obvious advantage of not directly competing head-to-head with both the NFL and college football, a spring league has its own set of disadvantages it must deal with as well, some predictable, such as the impending NCAA tournament, and others not so much, such as the coronavirus.
Now halfway through its inaugural season, it’s safe to say that the XFL is doing better around this time of the year than the AAF was last year, for a number of reasons, not the least of which being much better publicity and broadcasting distribution, but the games have also been fairly well-attended.
Even Mike Florio, who has been pretty consistently and openly a humbug as far as the XFL is concerned, noted that, given the circumstances, the league’s four-game attendance figure of over 64,000 for this weekend’s contests was good news, representing “strong to quite strong” figures.
It’s worth noting that the St. Louis BattleHawks and the Seattle Dragons have been responsible for a sizeable portion of these attendance figures, and the lowest week of attendance to date has been Week One, during which both teams have played on the road. At least one of them has been at home in each of the past four weeks.
As far as, you know, the actual league goes, the Houston Roughnecks remain the league’s only unbeaten team, now at 5-0 after taking down the Seattle Dragons in one of the more exciting games of the weekend 32-23.
The Los Angeles Wildcats scored just their second one of the season yesterday over the 1-4 Tampa Bay Vipers, but in doing so became the first team in the XFL to post 40 or more points, securing a 41-34 victory.
Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson completed 20 of 36 pass attempts for 288 yards with four touchdown passes. He is now one of two quarterbacks with double-digit touchdown passes on the season, joining P.J. Walker of the undefeated Roughnecks, who has 15 touchdown passes to Johnson’s 11. Despite playing in only three games, Landry Jones remains tied for fourth with five.
Without Jones, speaking of which, the Dallas Renegades fell to the D.C. Defenders, who were on a two-game slide. D.C. is now back up over .500 for the season at 3-2, while the Renegades tipped the opposite way, now 2-3.
The Defenders lead in a three-way tie by record in the XFL East, with the BattleHawks and the New York Guardians also 3-2. In the XFL West, the Roughnecks are the only team with a winning record. Both the Renegades and Wildcats are 2-3, while the Dragons are 1-4. The Roughnecks and Wildcats are both averaging over 25 points per game, the only teams over 20.