Roughnecks Remain Top Seed in the West and The League

Roughnecks defeat Renegades

Credit: Houston Roughnecks Twitter


Three things have been constant in the 2020 XFL season so far. 1. XFL kickoffs are fun 2. Sideline interviews happen at inopportune times and 3. P.J. Walker and the Houston Roughnecks winning. Houston has been on a tear this year, and many thought the XFL’s first Texas Throwdown might just be what trips up the red-hot Roughnecks. But, on the back of a heroic defensive performance, the Roughnecks remain atop the XFL’s Western conference and the league. Let’s break down what went right for Houston in week four.

P.J. Walker’s worst performance is still quite good

The Dallas Renegades’ defense did something no other team has been able to do so far, slow down P.J. Walker. But that wasn’t enough, and as a CLEAR frontrunner for league MVP, even a “slowed down” Walker was lethal. In his worst, and I use that term VERY loosely, performance of the season, the former Temple product went 25/41 passing for 239 yards and 2 TDs to 1 interception. That is a slowed down Walker. He did everything he needed to do to not only keep his team in the game, but he led them to victory with his heads up playmaking, like scampering in for a 3-pt conversion early in the second quarter. The man is basically a human cheat code for the Roughnecks.

Houston’s Defense is NASTY

Dallas never had a chance in this game as they were held to their lowest offensive output since Landry Jones took over at quarterback. The 292 total yards was only slightly better than the week one performance that saw Phillip Nelson lead the offense. Something talked about on The BeardedM00se and Th3xOutlaw podcast last week was the turnover trouble Landry Jones hasn’t been able to shake since making his first start in week two. Jones threw three more interceptions all in the first quarter of this game and the Houston defense was able to continue to feast on Dallas (particularly Landry Jones) turnovers, adding a strip-sack that was recovered and returned for a touchdown before sealing the game on a bizarre wide receiver screen that was bobbled and resulted in the fifth turnover of the game. 

This game also produced Ambush Sports Player of the Week for the fourth consecutive week, this time on the defensive side of the ball. Edmond Robinson Jr. won the vote among the Ambush staffers with his dominating performance that included the strip-sack fumble touchdown to extend the lead in the fourth quarter. As the offense continues to hum along, it is scary to see the defense matching the intensity, scary for other teams that is.

On a sour note, Landry Jones was forced from this game with a knee injury that reports are saying will keep him out a minimum of two weeks. Phillip Nelson did finish the game at quarterback.

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