The XFL has now completed their second week of action and things are starting to become clear as to who the better and most complete teams are in the league. I will once again spend this entire power rankings article trying my best to decipher which offensive lines are the best in the league and which teams are entering panic territory.
Probably to no one’s surprise the Roughnecks have once again topped the list. They completely shut down and stifled the entire Arlington Renegades pass rush this past weekend and their tackles are looking like the best in the league. The Roughnecks aren’t without some issues, as their run game is still being looked at heavily as the weakest point of this team on offense, but they are without a doubt the best pass blocking OL in the league. They have successfully made Brandon Silvers look like an early MVP candidate. One of the biggest things that the Roughnecks have going for them is the style of the offense is quick and a lot fast decisions are made, which takes a ton a pressure off of the OL.
One of my two biggest movers on this list this week is the Defenders. This choice for number two was tough and it shows the lead that the Roughnecks currently have on the rest of the league as the gap from them to DC is pretty large. DC virtually has no passing game due to their lack of pass blocking ability. I grade their week two performance with a curve because they were playing in extremely harsh conditions in Las Vegas. So far, due to the lack of pass blocking ability, Jordan Ta’amu has looked lost and confused on the field. The once-considered-early-preseason-MVP-candidate, Ta’amu hasn’t had time out there to find his talented WR corps. The reason DC moves up the list is because they’re the best and strongest run blocking unit in the league as evident from having two running backs in the top four in rushing. They’ll need to improve their pass blocking in order to challenge Houston.
A drop in the rankings in week two for Arlington is due to their struggles against the Houston pass rush this past weekend. The beginning part of the game it felt like Arlington was allowing pressure from every point in the offensive line. Trent Harris wreaked a ton of havoc in the backfield off of the edge and Houston got a ton of pressure up the middle. I still feel Arlington has one of the better offensive lines in the league, but they’re inconsistent in handling blitzes is going to be a downfall for them if they can’t figure out their protection schemes. Once this OL gives up any kind of pressure, it’s almost like they can’t figure out how to stop the bleeding from continuing and it turns into a rough patchwork job. They’ll need get better play on the outside if they want to win.
The second team that was one of biggest movers, the BattleHawks find themselves moving up the board. This is a combination of two things: the ability to close games and show up when it counts and the rest of the league having a ton glaring issues with their respective offensive lines. St. Louis is a slow starting team and good chunk of that comes from the slow start of the offensive line. The Thursday night game against Seattle they struggled early to protect AJ McCarron and their offense took forever to get comfortable. The drop off from Arlington to St. Louis is pretty significant to me, and despite the 2-0 start, St. Louis has a lot of work to do to be able to keep this winning streak alive. Luckily for them, they have a stellar defense to keep them in games and the OL only needs two or three drives to close out the games.
My biggest drop this week, the Vipers took a huge hit from their game this past weekend. While we know that DC has an excellent defense, the Vipers continually shot themselves in the foot with untimely penalties and porous blocking. I don’t know if its scheme or talent but the Vipers run blocking is completely non-existent. The lack of a run game falls squarely on their inability to block and its starting to effect just how good this passing game could potentially be. Luis Perez is constantly under pressure which is leading to mistakes and Brett Hundley didn’t fair much better. I grade them a little bit with a curve because this drop could have been much further, but the conditions for their game was brutal and their home field is going to be a tough disadvantage all year.
Admittedly, Seattle could probably slot into the number five spot and Vegas drop, but due to the weather conditions and field conditions in Vegas, I had to give them the benefit of the doubt. Seattle proved, once again, they struggle against pressure and they consistent quality play. Due to the inconsistencies, Ben DiNucci gets rattled and his internal clock is sped up leading to a ton of turnovers. The Sea Dragons have a good offense, but scheme doesn’t seem to be holding up to support how explosive the offense potentially could be. If Seattle doesn’t make changes and find a way to patch up the inconsistency, it’s going to be a long season of mistake filled football for the offense.
A much better week for the Brahmas this week, but a good chunk of that came against the really poor defense of the Orlando Guardians. Any team that plays the Guardians is going to have a harsh judging due to how poor that defense is currently playing. The Brahmas looked more complete this week on their way to blowing out Orlando, but they still showed a ton of cracks. The Guardians were able to get pressure at times on Jack Coan and their biggest weakness appears to come from the up the middle. The interior line play sticks out like a sore thumb, and they need to find a way to make that work. If SA ignores the interior, it could be a long few weeks for them coming in the future. I know that they had some big injuries on this OL but hopefully they can find a way to step up.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone paying attention to the league. The bottom team in this power rankings is, once again, most likely the bottom of power rankings across the community. The Guardians are a mess, and they really have a lot of work to do. The gap from Seattle to SA is closer than the gap from SA to Orlando if that’s an indicator of how much trouble this OL is in. They’re undisciplined and lack the talent it takes to move the ball. They had a TD called back this week due to a holding penalty that didn’t need to be committed. I can’t blame all their QB issues on the quarterbacks because the offensive line is one of the ugliest things I’ve seen in this league. The only thing I can say to head coach Terrell Buckley is find players who want to step up and play, especially along that OL because right now, nothing is working.
And there you have it! The week two offensive line power rankings from a humble writer located in the woods of the country. I’m definitely curious to see how the middle of these rankings play out next week with a couple big matchups on the slate. I have an eye on that important matchup between DC and St. Louis in the North.
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