Week 3: Stats that matter
Almost a third of the way into the XFL season, there are plenty of narratives to be spun. Using concrete data from Pro Football Focus, we highlighted 10 standout performances to project how teams could win games moving forward.
Dallas Renegades QB Landry Jones has an adjusted completion percentage of 76.5%, the second-best mark among XFL starters.
Since joining the starting lineup in Week 2, Jones has been very accurate in Dallas’ short-pass-heavy offense that uses the passing game as an extension of the run game. Jones has a 2-0 record this season.
DC Defenders CB Elijah Campbell has played 71 coverage snaps at cornerback positions without allowing a first down in coverage, the most in the XFL this season.
Establishing himself as one of the lockdown cornerbacks in the league, Campbell has had a fairly flawless three-week start to his XFL career. Campbell, who played most of his games at Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois as a safety, is showing that cornerback is his long-term position.
Houston Roughnecks LT Terry Poole has yet to allow a pressure this season.
There is not one bookend this season who has done as well as Houston’s left tackle Poole. Despite losing starting right tackle Kevin Palmer in Week 2, the Roughnecks and MVP candidate quarterback P.J. Walker should feel some security with the left side of their line.
Houston Roughnecks RB James Butler forced 9 missed tackles in Week 3, leading all XFL players.
Many expected Andrew Williams to be the starting running back for the Roughnecks this season, but Butler has now completely taken control at the top of the depth chart. In a breakout game this week, he showed why he’s such a threat in space: forcing 9 missed tackles on just 7 carries and averaging over 10 yards per rush attempt while bringing in 3 receptions.
Los Angeles Wildcats QB Josh Johnson has a season-long average depth of target of 12.9 yards, the highest among XFL starters.
Unfortunately, Johnson missed Week 1 of the XFL season with a thigh injury. Fortunately for the Los Angeles Wildcats, Johnson has posted arguably the best two-week stretch in the XFL since returning and simultaneously one of the more aggressive and efficient quarterbacks in the league so far.
Los Angeles’ pass defense had struggled coming into the week, but breakout games from Roberts and Oakman helped the team generate pressure on the way to four Cardale Jones interceptions and their first win of the season.
New York Guardians OG Damian Mama has not allowed a pressure in 45 pass blocking snaps at center this season.
Hopping in and out of the lineup in place of Ian Silberman for various reasons, guard Mama has handled pass protection duties at center very well this season. Mama’s snaps have not been perfect, but his pressure rate has been.
The St. Louis Battlehawks have allowed pressure on just 16% of dropbacks this season, the best mark in the XFL.
Despite losing tackle Jake Campos with a leg injury in Week 2, the St. Louis Battlehawks continued to keep quarterback Jordan Ta’amu clean in their RPO-heavy offense. No quarterback has thrown from a clean pocket more frequently than Ta’amu this season.
Seattle Dragons WR Dontez Byrd has a season-long depth of target of 25.9 yards, the second-most among players with 5 or more targets.
Seattle’s offense runs through its running backs, to the point where Austin Proehl is their only noticeable wide receiver in box scores, but Byrd has seen a lot of deep targets that simply have not connected. Only DC receiver Rashad Ross has a higher depth of target. Expect Byrd to be on the right side of a home run ball sooner than later.
Tampa Bay Vipers WR Jalen Tolliver has 4 explosive receptions (15+ yards) this weekend, tying the lead for XFL players in Week 3.
Down their starting quarterback in Aaron Murray and arguably one of the best tight ends in the league in Nick Truesdell in Week 3, the Vipers needed someone other than Daniel Williams (a 100-yard receiver in Week 1) to step up in their home opener. Tolliver answered the call with a breakout game that saw him haul in 4 drive-changing receptions in a single game.