New York Guardians Outlast LA Wildcats in XFL Week 4 Matchup
In an XFL week 4 game that no one knew who would come out victorious, the New York Guardians just barely beat the LA Wildcats 17-14. This game from start to finish was close and relatively low scoring. Both defenses stood tall, but in the end, the Guardians’ offense moved just a bit more.
In this article, I will go over what each team did well and what they can improve on, including statistics from each game, and a “player of the week” from each team on each side of the ball.
The first thing that came out of this week’s win is the impressive play of new starting quarterback Luis Perez. He threw for 150 yards and 1 touchdown, on nearly 70% completion. He also was able to rally the team in situations where the team made mistakes, and get them back on track towards the goal. This leads us into one of the major factors in this win, the run game. It seems like whenever New York needed a first down they would give it to someone on the ground and let them do the work. Darius Victor on 18 attempts had 82 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Tim Cook had 32 yards, and Matthew Colburn had a crucial first down conversion for 6 yards. Overall the offense played well but can see small improvements in certain areas.
The defense for the Guardians was rock solid as always. They gave up yards, yes, but when it came down to crunch time they were lockdown. The secondary had good play when it counted; Jamar Summers had a late interception which was the only turnover by either team in the game. This put the Guardians in a position to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The defensive line was also very good this week, with one major standout player stepping up for the Guardians, Jarrell Owens. Owens had two sacks in crucial spots, 3 solo tackles, and surprisingly he also muffed a field goal attempt. The muffed field goal would have been a game-tying three points had Owens not gotten a hand on it.
The same issues recurring for the Guardians week after week continue into this week. The offensive line is the first. The offensive line gave up three sacks in the game and allowed pressure on the quarterback almost all game. Not one player on the line stood out to me as being a capable protector, and realistically they all have to earn that title if they want to be seen as productive. They will be the scapegoat for this team’s issues, and I cannot blame anyone for saying they are the reason for their problems. Another recurring issue was penalties that occurred at terrible times. The team as a whole had 10 penalties for 100 yards, which despite being 31 yards less than last week, is still horrendous. These small issues and penalties need to be fixed immediately if the team hopes to go on a playoff run.
Guardians Players of The Game
QB Luis Perez
I don’t think I could have put anyone else in this position other than Perez. New York Guardians QB Luis Perez came into this season as a 3rd string quarterback behind Matt McGloin and Marquise Williams, neither of which are that good. Luis was able to both get the ball down (efficiently at that), scramble away in some scenarios, and most importantly didn’t turn the ball over. He is definitely going to be an interesting prospect to watch throughout the remainder of the season, and I highly recommend that the Guardians continue his starting position.
DE Jerrell Owens
The reason I am putting Owens here over Summers is due to his ability to make big plays to take the pressure off the secondary. The secondary had been giving up big plays all game so the quick pressure from Owens allowed the defense to remain solid. Also, the field goal tip was pretty cool to watch and impacted the whole outcome of the game as it could have gone to OT if that score remained 17-17.
The main positive coming from this game was the play of quarterback Josh Johnson. He threw for 330 yards on 25/40 completions, had two touchdowns and only one interception which was mainly receiver error. Another good game was seen by receiver Tre McBride, who on 8 receptions had 127 yards and a touchdown, averaging 15.9 yards per catch. The defense played well all game, holding the offense down for the most part by sacking Perez 3 times and pressuring him many more. Another bright spot that was slightly overlooked was the punting and returning ability of the Wildcats. Punter Shane Tripucka had three punts for 119 yards and two of which were inside the 20-yard line. Return man Levonte Whitfield had 5 kick returns for 95 yards as well.
The first thing I would like to point out is the one portion of special teams I missed, field goals. Kicker Nick Novak went 0/2 on the day, one of which could have led to an overtime possibility. Both of these missed field goals could have tipped the game more in their favor had he made them. The Wildcats run game struggled badly today which is why their normally potent offense was much slower. Running back Elijah Hood had one of his worst games so far, only being allowed one carry for 4 yards. The secondary was the main issue on defense if any for the Wildcats, they continually would leave receivers just open enough to get the ball in their hands.
Wildcats Players of The Game
WR Tre McBride
Tre was the main reason this team’s offense was not stalling. He had almost double the receiving yards of the next receiver down and caught one of the two touchdowns on the day. Overall he had a very solid game and was able to show it in the stats book.
DE Devin Taylor
Many of you may not have heard of Devin, and I wouldn’t blame you for that. He has laid under the radar for most of his career but been consistent enough to continue playing. Taylor showed up today, with 1.5 sacks (most on the team today) as well as 3 solo tackles. He was one of the major playmakers on the defense and kept the Wildcats in this game for the long run.
Overall this was a battle of defenses most of the way, and in the end, the Guardians won that gritty battle.
What did you think of the New York Guardians – LA Wildcats game?
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