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The Battlehawks vs. The Defenders: Beasts Of The East!

Coming up on Sunday the St. Louis Battle Hawks will travel due east to the nations’ capital and face off against the Defenders in a contest for the division lead. I discussed the Battle Hawks’ successes and downfalls in the recap, however the Defenders’ Week 4 game against the Tampa Bay Vipers. Cardale Jones and Co. got shutout 25-0 after a QB switch on Tampa’s part, who put up 266 yards on the ground and only gave up 107 yards of total offense to the Defenders.

Pic credit XFL/YouTube

The Matchups

As we saw the Battlehawks defense gets slightly gashed in the second half against Seattle, so we could see them follow the blueprint the Vipers laid out in Week 4. So what was that blueprint in terms of X’s and O’s? Well, lets take a look. Well defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville runs a pressure defense which had only gotten 3 sacks in the first 3 weeks. The heavy blitzing finally clicked as it led Jones to rush a deep throw into double coverage, leading to a turnover. They netted two additional sacks. But the real story comes in the fact that the Vipers controlled the pace, clock and therefore game, scoring on their first two drives and getting 100 yard performances respectively from Jacques Patrick (108) and De’Veon Smith (122). This big output on the ground allowed quarterback Taylor Cornelius to settle in and perform efficiently, leading the aforementioned two scoring drives, the first one going for 75 yards on 11 plays, as well as a third TD to tight end and former Florida Gator, DeAndre Goolsby. All this being said, the Battlehawks offense is structured very similarly, with more talent. They have the most potent combination of running backs in the XFL in Matt Jones and Keith Ford, the receiving threat, as well as a dual-threat quarterback in Ta’amu of course. With a combination of getting out to an early lead on the road and incorporating more blitz packages (getting away from tentative linebackers and zone looks), St. Louis should have a nice recipe for a win.

Fantasy N’ Bettin

According to Fan Duel the St. Louis Battle Hawks are favorites on the road and the spread is set at 3.5. I expect the winner of this contest to blow this spread open as I see the team who gets the lead early to win, probably the Battlehawks. Additionally, whilst scoring the 2nd most points per game (23.0) St. Louis is also surrendering just 15.5 points per game, a league best. So, fantasy wise, besides starting our usual cast of characters in DFS (Ta’amu, Jones, Peirsen El) I would also avoid Cardale Jones, don’t expect him to have a bounce back game.

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The Battlehawks vs. The Defenders: Beasts Of The East!

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