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New York Guardians vs. St. Louis Battle Hawks Preview!

Week 3 in the XFL is fast approaching, and whilst there wasn’t as much hype behind Week 2 as it’s debut run, it’s still fun football and the rest of the season should be just as fun to watch. This Sunday, February 23rd, the St. Louis Battle Hawks are squaring off against the New York Guardians in East Rutherford, let’s take a deep dive into it!

Credit: The Dome at America’s Center

Meet The Teams

The Battle Hawks are coming off a high scoring, tough loss against the Houston Roughnecks, 28-24, falling short to a potent P.J Walker/Cam Phillips pairing, who connected for eight receptions, 54 yards and three touchdowns. However, St. Louis gun-slinger Jordan Ta’amu came to play, throwing 284 yards, three touchdowns and averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. Whilst he did throw a costly interception in the fourth quarter, we got to see a more open Battle Hawks scheme, showcasing more of Chuck Long’s Air Raid system. Things are slightly more shaky up north, the Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin after he blamed the coaching staff directly for their struggles at halftime.

“We NEED to change the entire gameplan!”

Guardians Quarterback Matt McGloin

He threw 3 interceptions in the 27-0 blowout loss. The offense as a whole mustered just 9% third down efficiency and 137 yards.

Breakin’ It Down

Both these teams come into Week 3 off a loss, but it is clear St. Louis comes in with superior momentum. With the meltdown and bad play of Matt McGloin, who’s blame was placed incorrectly, the plays were working and the receivers created separation, I expect Luis Perez to get the nod. The former L.A Wildcats quarterback was acquired in January and also got preseason snaps for the Rams in 2018. Perez is accurate and calm enough in the pocket to execute Kevin Gilbride’s offense. Additionally, combined with support on the ground, there is opportunity Perez finds spots to throw in Battle Hawks’ zone coverage if he can remain comfortable. However, the opposition possesses too much talent. Jordan Ta’amu has shown his ball skills, with abilities to deliver the ball short, intermediate or deep, as well as create space with his legs. St. Louis also has displayed versatility in the run game with a few options. With this being said, I expect them to get ahead early and the Guardians won’t be able to recover.

Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Fantasy N’ Bettin

The St. Louis Battle Hawks are betting favorites. They are -9.5 on the spread and I expect them to exceed that number. However, the over/under is currently 40.5 and the under is placed at -115. Bet the over just in case the Guardians surprise, but this should be a low scoring game due to the discrepancy in skill, especially for the XFL. Additionally, currently St. Louis is placed at +1000 to win the XFL title and with their current trajectory, I’d put money on that now. As for fantasy, start RB Matt Jones for the Battle Hawks, he’s had the highest combination of carries and targets (39 opportunities), 8 more than any other candidate. Jones has been a constant force in the backfield, rare for an XFL offense and this should offer valuable points in a fantasy offense as the XFL chugs along, especially in games St. Louis is ahead in. On the opposite sideline, Guardians pass catcher Mekale McKay stands as their first option. He’s been targeted 10 times these past two weeks, 6 times in week 2 and no other N.Y offensive weapon had been targeted more than 4. The volume is there and with a more accurate quarterback Luis Perez the production should increase.

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New York Guardians vs. St. Louis Battle Hawks Preview!

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