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Recap: DC Defenders 27, New York Guardians 0

Highlights: Defenders 27, Guardians 0

WASHINGTON -- The DC Defenders (2-0) kept protecting their home turf in Week 2, stiff-arming the New York Guardians (1-1) 27-0 at Audi Field on Saturday.

The Defenders once again lived up to their name, finding the end zone on a takeaway and snuffing out New York's hope of consistently challenging downfield.

SEA 17, TB 9  |  DAL 25, LA 18  |  HOU 28, STL 24 



Another touchdown at the expense of the offense helped carry the Defenders, as linebacker Jameer Thurman once again stood out. This time, he stepped in front of a hurried Matt McGloin throw and took it to the house.

Jameer Thurman delivers a Pick-6


"We always have a lot to play for, but one of the guys that always put it on the lines for his teammates is Eli Rogers. It was a tough week for not just Eli, but for myself and the rest of our locker room and coaching staff. Just the thought of playing a game and making the ultimate sacrifice and missing out on his mother's funeral. Even after the game, it warmed me up to see Eli enjoying the victory with his teammates and it's just a testament to his character.”

Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton

"Go to sleep, drink a gallon of water and wake up ready to roll. Coach Pep [Hamilton] asked me last night if I was ready to play. I said 'Yes sir,' and I think you saw that I was ready to play."

Defenders DT Anthony Johnson on his prep after flying in to debut for his new club


New York struggled to generate much potential with its offensive plays, while DC consistently stretched the Guardians defense with its deep receiving corps.

While dominating the pace, the Defenders easily moved the chains for most of the contest, while converting third downs.



With the offense spinning its gears throughout the afternoon, linebacker Bunmi Rotimi once again did his best to limit DC, again hovering atop New York's leaderboard with seven combined tackles, a QB hit and a tackle for a loss. 

A second star is hard to find, but linebacker D'Juan Hines' interception off a tipped pass proved to be one of the bright spots and provided them arguably the best opportunity to turn things around.


Eli Rogers played in Week 2 while his mother's funeral was happening. With eight targets and five catches, the former NFL receiver once again proved to be a safety valve for quarterback Cardale Jones.

This isn't to dismiss the other downfield weapons, either. Rashad Ross once again displayed his deep-play danger with 95 yards. Nearly matching him with 92 yards was DeAndre Thompkins, who missed Week 1 but also found plenty of holes in New York's secondary on a six-catch, 92-yard day on nine targets, while catching the first score of the game.


“We started off slow on both sides of the ball. I thought our defense picked it up and played well. Offensively, it seemed like every time we started to get something going, we shot ourselves in the foot.”

Guardians head coach Kevin Gilbride on the Week 2 loss

“We had a good game plan. We just didn’t execute and that’s on me. As the center I have to recognize things and point them out. We just didn’t execute the game plan.”

Guardians OL Damien Mama, who moved from guard to center in Week 2


Up Next: Week 3

  • Guardians visit the St. Louis BattleHawks (Sunday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN).
  • Defenders hit the road for the first time, playing the Los Angeles Wildcats (Sunday, Feb. 23, 6 p.m. ET, FS1).

SEA 17, TB 9 | DAL 25, LA 18 | HOU 28, STL 24