Week 3 Preview: DC Defenders at Los Angeles Wildcats
DC Defenders (2-0)
@ Los Angeles Wildcats (0-2)
- Sunday, Feb. 23, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)
- Dignity Health Sports Park (Carson, Calif.)
- This is the XFL Show preview
- Watch & Listen Guide
(updated morning ET of 2/20/20)
|Yards Gained per Play||5.6||4.2|
|Cardale Jones, DC||255.5||4||1||62%|
|Josh Johnson, LA||196||2||0||53%|
|Jhurell Pressley, DC||31.5||2.7||13.5||0||0|
|Elijah Hood, LA||37||3.4||#DIV/0!||0||0|
|Rashad Ross, DC||73.5||3||24.5||3.5||1|
|Eli Rogers, DC||61||5||11.1||7||0|
|Nelson Spruce, LA||96||8.5||11.3||12||2|
|Jordan Smallwood, LA||58.5||4.5||13.0||7.5||1|
DC Defenders defensive end Anthony Johnson wants to make a couple things clear about Sunday’s game against his former team, the LA Wildcats.
First, it’s just another game.
“I’ve been around the block,’’ said Johnson, who has spent time with five NFL teams. “I’ve faced former teams before. It’s not that big a deal. Yeah, I’m excited but I’m excited for every game. This really isn’t much different.’’
Johnson was sent to DC in exchange for defensive back Bradley Selve. So far, Johnson has come out on the better end of the deal record-wise. Johnson made immediate noise in last week’s debut with the Defenders as he recorded a sack and a half.
“Things have worked out for the best,’’ Johnson said. “And they’ll only get better because now I’ve had some practice with the new team. The coaches came to me last week and asked if I could go 15 or 20 plays. I told them to play me as much as they wanted and I’ll give them two sacks.’’
Johnson came close to that and said he quickly has gotten comfortable in DC. Still Johnson admitted playing against the Wildcats will be a little unique.
“Those guys are still my brothers,’’ Johnson said. “I went through training camp with them and sweated and bled with them.’’
But Johnson isn’t the typical XFL player whose primary goal is to get to the NFL. After spending time with the Dolphins, Redskins, Patriots, Jets and Colts, Johnson said his goals are different than most.
“My goal is to just be myself,’’ Johnson said. “Just go out and play hard every week. I’ve been to the NFL. If I get back, great. If not, that’s fine too. For now, I just want to be the best XFL player I can be.’’
-- Pat Yasinskas, XFL.com
NEED TO KNOW
The Defenders hit the road for the first time with a long trip west. XFL passing leader Cardale Jones (511 yards, 4 TDs) has graded out as the best QB by Pro Football Focus in each of the first two weeks.
Should be an interesting return for DE Anthony Johnson, who opened the season as a captain for the Wildcats before being traded to DC for cornerback Bradley Sylve.
The Defenders own a league-high plus-4 in touchdown differential.
Los Angeles QB Josh Johnson returned to the lineup last week, and his passing grade of 79.9 was second only to Jones' (90.6). Johnson, who threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns against Dallas, faces a stiff test against DC, which has held opposing QBs to a league-low 54.4 passer rating.
WR Nelson Spruce leads the XFL with 192 receiving yards to go along with two scores.
The Wildcats have given up eight TDs, the most in the league.
-- Art Garcia, XFL.com