Tampa Bay Vipers: Three Keys Against the New York Guardians

We are just a day away from the start of the XFL season. This will be the second coming of the league as it tried its luck back in 2001. It failed and many believe the same fate will also come this time as well. I, on the other hand, hope it succeeds. The league has eight teams and a 10-game season. In the 2020 season, I have been given the assignment of covering the Tampa Bay Vipers. The Vipers will open their season on the road against the New York Guardians. The Guardians play in MetLife Stadium. The same stadium that the New York Giants and Jets play in. New York/New Jersey has a history with the first go-around of the XFL. They were known as the Hitmen in 2oo1. The Vipers, on the other hand, must compete with Orlando Rage that had the best record in the XFL.

Here are three keys for the Tampa Bay Vipers vs New York Guardians.

Quarterback

This is going to be an advantage the Tampa Bay Vipers have. They have four different play-callers and all of them could be a starter. The one that head coach Mark Trestman has gone with is Aaron Murray. Murray had four good years at the University of Georgia. He threw for 13,166 yards and 121 touchdowns with two bowl game wins. Murray was also part of the defunct AAF. He played with Atlanta Legends.

Tyler Cornelius went to Oklahoma State and threw for 3,978 yards and 32 touchdowns. He spent time on the Green Bay Packers practice squad in 2019.

Chase Litton played at Marshall from 2015-17. He was one both the Chiefs and Jaguars practice squads.

The last is a legend in Tampa that s Quinton Flowers. Flowers played at the University of South Florida. He set records is the AAC with 11,796 yards and 112 combined touchdowns.

Offense

It takes more than a quarterback to play offense. The Tampa Bay Vipers have that. Despite losing wide receiver Antonio Callaway they still have weapons. The offense is led by tight end Nick Truesdell and receivers Seantavius Jones and Stacy Coley. With these weapons, they will stretch the Guardians out.

A weapon that most defenses will not be prepared for is Quinton Flowers. I listed Flowers stats as a quarterback above, but Trestman calls him a swiss army knife. He can run, throw and even catch balls out of the backfield. This offense is set for what the XFL is all about speed. The league wants to keep the ball moving. Thus, look for Murray and company to keep most defenses on their toes. Look for that to happen on Sunday afternoon against the New York Guardians.

Defense

The Tampa Bay Vipers have an excellent secondary. The Vipers dealt the number one overall pick Arrion Springs but in return received Jalen Collins. Collins will be the Vipers’ top cornerback. He made some plays that impress Trestman. Collins made some of those plays against the Guardians in mock overtime. He will be joined in the secondary by Demontre Hurst, Bryce Canady, Marcelis Branch, Travarus McFadden, and Rannell Hall. Hall went from wide receiver to defensive back. It will be hard for the Guardians against that secondary.

With both a good offense and defense the Vipers have a good enough team to beat the Guardians. Coming into week one they are ranked 4th in the power rankings. It will be a high scoring game, in the end, we will have to wait and see who comes out on top.

What are your thoughts on the Tampa Bay Vipers vs New York Guardians? Leave a comment below.

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