XFL Recap Week 5: Defenders Remains Unbeaten

MARCH 18, 2023: The DC Defenders against the St Louis Battlehawks at The Dome at Americas Center on March 18th, 2023 in St. Louis, MO. (© Michael Thomas/XFL)

It’s the midway point of the XFL season, and only the DC Defenders remain undefeated. Houston suffered its first loss of the season as the Roughnecks continue to lead the South. And Vegas finally breaks through for their first win of the season.


Former Baylor running back Abram Smith led DC to victory, rushing 23 times for 218 yards and three touchdowns. He may play for the Defenders but Smith was dragging the Battlehawks defenders up and down the field all game long. The number one pick in the XFL draft busted through hole after hole in the St. Louis defensive scheme. The Battlehawks were able to shut down the DC passing game, but it didn’t matter as they were unable to stop Smith. St. Louis has only lost two games all season, both to DC.


For the first time ever, the Houston Roughnecks have a one in the loss column. Houston allowed Seattle to get out to a 15 point halftime lead Thursday night. The Roughnecks tried to mount a comeback but the Sea Dragons hung on for the 21-14 victory. Seattle turned the ball over four times, but Houston was just unable to move the ball when it mattered leading to their first loss. Houston was undefeated in 2020 when the XFL was forced to shut down due to the pandemic, meaning it’s the first ever loss for Houston in any variation of the XFL.


The final two winless teams in the league squared off in a game where one of them had to win. Orlando QB Paxton Lynch was benched… again. Backup Quinten Dormady, whose own XFL career has been nothing short of a soap opera, completed 22 of 25 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns, but it still wasn’t enough. Spring football veteran Luis Perez led Vegas to victory, completing 20 of 28 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Vegas finally found the win column, and Orlando remains the only winless team in the league.


What happens when two of the most inept offenses in the XFL face off? You get a game with 22 combined points. Neither Arlington nor San Antonio could move the ball very effectively. The Brahmas turned the ball over three times while the Renegades only turned it over once. Arlington squeaked by for the 12-10 win in a game that was easily the worst of the weekend.


  1. DC Defenders – 5-0
  2. St. Louis Battlehawks – 3-2
  3. Seattle Sea Dragons – 3-2
  4. Vegas Vipers – 1-4


  1. Houston Roughnecks – 4-1
  2. Arlington Renegades – 3-2
  3. San Antonio Brahmas – 1-4
  4. Orlando Guardians – 0-5


In week six, Orlando looks for its first win as the Guardians host the Sea Dragons. The Battlehawks look to rebound as St. Louis heads to Vegas. The Brahmas and Renegades face off for the second consecutive week, this time in Arlington. And DC looks to remain undefeated as they host the South leading Roughnecks.

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