D.C. Defenders 2023 XFL Season Recap

D.C. Defenders 2023 XFL Season Recap

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The D.C. Defenders only ended up losing two games over the course of the 2023 XFL betting season, but the second one came at the worst possible time with Reggie Barlow’s squad dropping a one-sided 35-26 decision to the Arlington Renegades in the XFL Championship. D.C. went into the matchup decided 8.5-point favorites, but never once found itself in a position to cover the point spread after falling into a huge 14-point first quarter hole and being forced to battle back throughout the remainder of the game. The pill forced to swallow was a bitter one for anyone that hammered the Defenders on the XFL title futures odds early on after it entered the season lofty +650 choices to be the last team standing. It entered the title game -250 chalk to win it all!

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D.C. Defenders 2023 Season Recap

By thrashing the Seattle Sea Dragons in the North Division Title Game before dropping that shocker to the Renegades in the championship game, the Defenders ended up 10-2 SU and a moneymaking 8-4 versus the XFL odds. All but one of their 12 played games combined to go over the total as well putting the team in the record books as one of the best over teams in the history of any sport. The 296 points put on the board during the regular season was 51 points more than the second highest scoring team in the Houston Roughnecks. Unfortunately, the Achilles heel of the defense all season long proved to be the unit’s inability to play a competitive brand of pass defense. Arlington QB Luis Perez took full advantage by throwing for 288 yards and a perfect 3:0 TD/INT ratio in the title game. When it was all said and done, D.C. came 10 points away from going completely unscathed!

As disappointing the result proved to be in the season finale, it was still a very memorable campaign for the Defenders. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu proved to once again be one of the premiere Spring League field generals after throwing for 1,878 yards and a 14:3 TD/INT ratio throughout the regular season. He also added another 301 yards and 3 TD with his legs in averaging 4.5 yards per carry. The overall effort earned him XFL Offensive Player of the Year honors. Even though the three interceptions thrown in the title game matched the amount thrown throughout the entirety of the regular season’s 10-game schedule, No. 10 figures to get some looks from the NFL after having cups of coffee with the Texans, Chiefs, Lions, Commanders, and Panthers from 2019-2021. He never once made a regular season start, but that could change should everything fall into place for this special talent.

RB Abram Smith was also a major standout after rushing for a league-high 788 yards and seven touchdowns while being the only player in the league to average over 5.0 yards per carry with 55+ carries under his belt. In fact, his 157 overall carries proved to be way more than the league’s second-leading rusher in San Antonio’s Jacques Patrick who recently signed a deal with the Denver to potentially tote the rock for the Broncos. It’s likely only a matter of time until an NFL team reaches out and ponies up an offer for his services. Spurned by the New Orleans Saints after being one of their final cuts last season, Smith played with a chip on his shoulder for the Defenders and it will likely end up with him landing a gig in the very near future.

Defensively, the Defenders were one of the most opportune units in the XFL. Gregg Williams stop unit sacked opposing quarterbacks 29 times and forced a grand total of 18 turnovers with four of the nine interceptions being taken back for house calls. Davin Bellamy’s 5.5 QB throw downs led the way in the sack department, while Michael Joseph’s four interceptions, pair of pick-sixes, and 33 solo tackles spotlighted him as the standout player in the secondary. No. D.C. player has inked a deal with an NFL team just yet, but there is a number to choose from on the roster. The 2023 D.C. Defenders will go down in the history books as one of the best teams to ever play the game of football and not win a championship.

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2023 D.C. Defenders Season Schedule

1 vs. Seattle Sea Dragons W 22-18 1-0
2 at Vegas Vipers W 18-6 2-0
3 vs. St. Louis BattleHawks W 34-28 3-0
4 vs. Vegas Vipers W 32-18 4-0
5 at St. Louis BattleHawks W 28-20 5-0
6 vs. Houston Roughnecks W 37-26 6-0
7 at Orlando Guardians L 36-37 6-1
8 at Seattle Sea Dragons W 34-33 7-1
9 vs. Arlington Renegades W 28-26 8-1
10 at San Antonio Brahmas W 29-28 9-1
NDC vs. Seattle Sea Dragons W 37-21
CHAMP vs. Arlington Renegades L 26-35

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