A deadly duo on offense separates Houston from the remainder of the league.
Roughnecks head coach June Jones has his squad running like a well-oiled machine. The gears were set in motion when Jones brought the team together through the XFL Draft and hand selected the players he thought would best fit his “Run & Gun” style of offense. The team hit the ground running with two consecutive home wins and have been fueled by explosive playmakers PJ Walker and Cam Phillips. In week 3 the Roughnecks went on the road for the first time in team history looking to keep the engine churning.
Currently, the Houston Roughnecks are the only remaining undefeated team in the XFL. As the first team to secure three wins, Houston has been propelled to the top of the XFL West standings and face-off with second-place Dallas Renegades (2-1) in week 4. Houston is riding high after defeating the Tampa Bay Vipers 34-27 in the Roughneck’s first road game of the season. Tampa falls to 0-3 and is the only team in the XFL without a win.
The Roughnecks hold a full game lead over three other teams in the entire XFL. The Renegades are one game back in the West. The Battlehawks of St. Louis and the DC Defenders, tied at 2-1 atop the XFL’s East conference, are the other two clubs.
The DC Defenders were the only other team to enter week 3 without a loss. QB Cardale Jones had impressed spectators with his play on the field up to that point but was flat in week 3. Jones’ lackluster performance provided the opposing LA Wildcats to steamroll the previously unbeaten DC Defenders by 30 points. Jones subsequently left the door open for Roughnecks QB PJ Walker to scramble through it for an allegorical touchdown in terms of the league MVP scoring.
PJ Walker is now officially on fire according to NBA Jam criteria. Walker scorched the Vipers for 340 total yards with 4 total touchdowns and no interceptions. This performance comes off the heels of a combined 495 yards of total offense and 7 touchdowns in a two-game span. Walkers lone interception came back in week 1, where he still amassed 298 total yards and 4 touchdowns in a 37-17 victory over the LA Wildcats. Walker added 34 yards on the ground and a rushing score in the road contest. One of the more telling MVP stats thus far is that PJ Walker has more touchdowns on his own than any other XFL club has as a team.
Walker’s success cannot be mentioned without the phenomenal play of fellow teammate Cam Phillips. The 24-year-old receiver out of Virginia Tech has shown explosive chemistry with Walker. Over the weekend the duo connected on 8 passes that went for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns. Phillips showcased his ability to break tackles along with his tremendous ball-skills and route-running. This game marks the second straight week of 3 touchdown combinations for the pair of Roughnecks. It is worthy to note that both Phillips and Walker had short stints in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills as practice squad players before coming together in Houston.
Through three weeks, Cam Phillips has separated himself as the number 1 wide receiver in the XFL. It could be argued that Nelson Spruce will push Cam for that honor; although, BREAKING NEWS confirms that Spruce will miss week 4 due to injury. Phillips has been a monster each game and is coming off a week 2 Star of the Week performance. He is currently leading the polls for the same in honor in week 3. If the votes hold, Phillips will become the first player to both win the honor more than once and do it in consecutive weeks.
Phillips and Walker seem to astonish each week and their reputations are undoubtedly proceeding themselves in NFL coaching circles. It won’t be long before contracts are thrown in their direction, but for now the it appears the duo is set and prepped on playing in the XFL Championship game on their home turf at the end of the season.
The Roughnecks travel to Dallas to take on the Renegades in week 4 for a Texas throw-down and inevitable bragging rights in the Lone Star State. Sunday March 1st at pm EST. Globe Life Park.
Miles Peacock is a content writer covering the NFL’s Houston Texans and XFL’s Houston Roughnecks for the Rumboyz.net and Timeskewed.com fantasy sports websites. Follow Miles on Twitter @FF_Peacock.