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Defenders Triumph In First XFL Shutout

The DC Defenders controlled the game from start to finish Saturday afternoon, sending the Guardians back home to New York with nothing to celebrate and plenty to correct.

The XFL broadcasts have given fans a never-before-seen look into the minds of players and coaches, using mid-game interviews. Down 12-0 going into the half, ESPN’s Dianna Russini asked Matt McGloin what the Guardians could do to turn around their offense in the second half.

“We need to change our whole entire game plan at halftime. There’s a lot going on right now. It’s embarrassing for us for an offense,” McGloin responded. “There’s a lot of things for us to fix and correct.”

You might have expected a more controlled, hopeful response from the leader of a team struggling to get points on the board. When a ship is sinking, the captain does his best to keep his passengers calm and on the boat. Instead, McGloin admitted that his team didn’t have the right formula, and that they had nothing that could keep the ship afloat after halftime.

In McGloin’s defense, he was right. The Guardians gave up 15 second-half points to cement the XFL’s first shutout, 27-0.

The quarterback comparison alone tells the story:

  • Cardale Jones: 23/37 | 276 yds | 2 TD | 1 INT | 91.7 Passer Rating
  • Matt McGloin: 8/19 | 44 yds | 0 TD | 2 INT | 10.1 Passer Rating

The Defenders’ defense showed up again this week with two sacks, six tackles for a loss, and a 46 yard pick-six. Matt McGloin was benched in the fourth quarter, while fans belted “New York Sucks” from the stands. The chant was so loud that Cardale Jones had to motion for the crowd to quiet down on the tail end of the Defenders’ final touchdown drive.

Last weeks’ keys to victory against the New York Guardians were: Stopping the run, Using the RB duo, Going for three, and Khari Lee. The Defenders hit on three out of four of these keys in this weeks win.

They held the Guardians running backs to under 60 yards and no touchdowns, while Jhurrel Pressley and Donnel Pumphrey combined for 84 yards. In addition, Pumphrey brought his yards-per-carry up from 1.3 in week one, to 4.3 against the Guardians.

The Defenders attempted the first three point conversion in XFL history. The attempt failed, but they have gone 0/7 on extra point attempts on the season, so fans were just excited to see the team line up from the ten and increase their odds for points.

After winning by the largest point margin of the season, the Defenders will have to pack up for their first road game of the season, where we will find out if it is mere coincidence that the only 2-0 teams in the league have played their first two games at home.

The Los Angeles Wildcats are 0-2 after losing this weeks home-opener to the Dallas Renegades, and their schedule only gets harder with the Defenders coming to town in week three.

This Sunday we will see just how important the home fans are for the Defenders. The Wildcats have a -27 point differential on the season, while the Defenders boast a +37 differential. Besides home teams being 6-2, there is little reason to believe the Defenders won’t be 3-0 when they leave the City of Angels.

Be sure to tune in this Sunday at 6pm on FS1, and check out the XFL App and Website for tickets.

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