Matchups To Watch: Guardians vs. Wildcats
The New York Guardians return home this Saturday for a matchup with the LA Wildcats. Both teams are 1-2 and trying to get back to the .500 mark. New York has lost two straight games, both on the road, while LA comes off a blowout win over the DC Defenders. The Guardians are looking to being at MetLife Stadium and feeding off the energy of the crowd.
Here are some key player matchups to watch:
Guardians QB Matt McGloin (thorax) is listed as out for Week 4. When McGloin didn't play in the second half of a Week 3 blowout loss to the St. Louis BattleHawks, head coach Kevin Gilbride split work between quarterbacks Marquise Williams and Luis Perez. Perez has thrown the only touchdown pass for the Guardians since McGloin threw one in the season opener.
Gilbride has not yet named the Week 4 starter under center.
For the Wildcats, quarterback Josh Johnson got them in the win column last week. He had plenty of opportunities to move his team as they capitalized off five DC Defenders turnovers.
The Wildcats have given up the second-most rushing yards in the league this season. Running backs Tim Cook and Darius Victor form a two-headed monster for the Guardians that has gotten better each week. Week 3 saw the Guardians go over the century mark in rushing yards for the first time this season.
Whoever takes snaps will have another weapon back on his side: Wide receiver Tanner Gentry has been activated from injured reserve.
The Wildcats will need to look to their second-leading wide receiver Jordan Smallwood to make plays since their leading receiver Nelson Spruce (second in the league in receiving yards) has been ruled out for the game with a knee injury. Spruce has accounted for one-third of the teams receiving yards. Tre McBride, who scored twice in Week 3, is probable for Week 4 despite a thigh issue.
Running back Elijah Hood leads the Wildcats in rushing. They rarely use him to catch passes out of the backfield with only one target and no receptions.
Guardians defensive end Bunmi Rotimi continues to dominate other teams and move up the defensive leaderboard.
Rotimi is second in total tackles, quarterback hits and tackles for loss. LA is tied for third in the league in negative rushing plays, so look for Rotimi to spend some time in the Wildcats backfield.
With two of the four interceptions of Cardale Jones last week, Wildcats cornerback Mike Stevens now leads the XFL. Stevens is also tied for fourth in the league in passes defensed.