Man, did the Tampa Bay Vipers prove me wrong! I mean, they’re still losers, but at least they made me pay attention to the TV screen, which is way more than I thought they’d do! Good for them lets give em a round of applause because this’s probably the only recognition they’ll get from me all season. If we’re going to get technical, the only guarantees I gave last week was the over hitting and a HOU dub, which both happened, so my place as a XFL gambling God is still solidified in my book. The Houston Roughnecks defeated the TB Vipers (why they gave Tampa Bay another professional team is beyond me) 34-27 on Saturday, and some may question Houston coming this close to losing against an 0-2 team. I assume that in a new league like the XFL, these teams are being provided with little-to-no tape on opponents at first, so every week is going to be somewhat of a crapshoot. With that being said, everything we knew about this team seemed to stay consistent: the defense makes turnovers in the clutch, June Jones is an uber-aggressive coach who knows what to call in crunch time, PJ Walker is the XFL’s most significant asset, and Cam Phillips is very good at catching footballs.
I’ll admit, this defense eludes me. Like most teams in this league, they haven’t seemed quite to figure themselves out yet. Allowing 27 points to a winless team isn’t ideal, but the bright side is nobody else knows what the fuck they’re doing yet either. I think by the time we play the DC Defenders in WEEK 7, the play calling within this league will look much different; teams will have enough tape to scout individual players & we won’t be running so zone heavy. Nevertheless, when it came time to nut up or shut up, these guys provided a detrimental goal-line stop, immediately followed by a game-sealing INT by star linebacker Demarquis Gates. They’re just figuring their shit out, but they’re making plays when it counts!
On the other side of the ball, PJ Walker. 340 all-purpose yds, 4 TDS, 120.8 passing rating. Goddamn Goddamn GODDAMN! This guy is going to single-handedly keep the XFL afloat by being the most electric quarterback on earth. College, CFL, NFL, or XFL, there’s not a QB in the world that I have more confidence in picking up 20+yds on any given play. I sincerely hope other teams in this league can find QBs like him because he’s so fucking fun to watch. He’s the aspect that takes these games from a fun lil gimmick to can’t miss television. However, I fear that his top target won’t be returning for a sophomore season, because there is no way in hell Cam Phillips doesn’t get an NFL contract after this season. The guy has found the endzone SEVEN (7) times in 3 games. That is fucking insane, I mean, what the hell. Those are Create-A-Player stats. Those are Get-Your-Own-Tshirt-Design stats (coming soon apollohou.com/store). PJ & Cam are the most dynamic duo to grace a football field since Brady & Moss, and their connection has represented the most prominent gun on this warship of an offense.
The next game is Sunday at 4 PM CST against the Dallas Renegades @ Globe Life Park in Arlington (a building Houston is used to dominating) & I’m so fucking tempted to make the drive up I-45 and let em know just how rowdy Roughnecks can get. As if they needed to poke the bear, the point spread is set at a disrespectful HOU-1. Put your entire mortgage on the Roughnecks covering that, and you should probably sprinkle it into a parlay with the 50.5 over. I know it’s the highest O/U this week, but the Roughnecks have been a part of 3 of the 4 overs this league has seen. Plus, as mentioned earlier, the defenses don’t know wtf they’re doing. The “Texas Throwdown” will definitely be an exciting matchup, and I can’t wait for a Houston dub over Dallas to whisk my Sunday scaries away.