Houston Roughnecks 2023 XFL Season Recap
The warning signs were there heading into the Houston Roughnecks third go-round with the South Division rival Renegades. Wade Phillips’ squad struggled to get past the Vegas Vipers and San Antonio Brahmas in the weeks leading up to the regular season finale which proved to be a game Arlington ultimately laid down in knowing full well the only thing that mattered was the following week’s rematch. When the rubber hit the road in the division title game it didn’t take long for the Houston faithful to know an uphill climb was in store for those that packed TDECU Stadium. Hamstrung due to an inability to move the ball vertically down the field with QB Brandon Silvers playing injured, the Roughnecks had zero ability of getting back in the game. Back-up Cole McDonald simply had no clue how to move the offense and the game was more or less over once the Renegades got out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. The 26-11 result was one many an XFL bettor thought would play out the other way around with Houston taking both regular season meetings. Make no bones about it; Houston was dominated right from the opening kick.
XFL Betting Odds
Houston Roughnecks 2023 Season Recap
The Roughnecks entered the season one of the favorites to win the XFL Championship. They initially hit the board +500 choices at the online sportsbook and only saw their rate of return lessen as the season went on. After bolting out to a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS start with wins and covers against the XFL odds logged against the Orlando Guardians twice, Arlington Renegades, and San Antonio Brahmas, Houston catapulted itself into the catbird seat with initial favorite St. Louis dropping a game at D.C. in Week 3. Their odds to be the last team standing got as low as +220 before dropping two straight to Seattle and D.C. That Week 6 37-26 loss at the Defenders ultimately proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back with it being the game that Silvers injured the triceps of his throwing arm. The injury would linger the remainder of the season and dramatically change the way the team looked and executed on the offensive side of the ball.
Though Houston would ultimately end the season owners of the league’s third best scoring offense, the defense played a large role in that output with it scoring five overall touchdowns. It needed to come up with two fumble returns for scores just to get by the Vipers in Week 9! Vegas closed the regular season owners of the second worst total and scoring defense – that’s how bad it got for the Roughnecks the second half of the season without a competent quarterback leading the unit’s charge. Another major injury that hampered the offense was the loss of Jontre Kirklin who proved to be one of the league’s best wide receivers through the season’s first month of play. Even though he missed each of Houston’s final six games, his 253 receiving yards ranked out in the top-25 while his 4 TD tied for the fifth most in the league.
As great the defense was in allowing a league-low 271.4 yards per game while coming up with a league-high 35 sacks and 12 interceptions (No. 2), it comes with little surprise to see a number of players getting interest from NFL teams. None more so than XFL sack leader Trent Harris whose 9.5 QB takedowns anointed him the 2023 sackmaster. Supposedly he’s already been contacted by eight teams! Expect to see the XFL’s premiere defensive player chasing down quarterbacks at the next level as early as 2023. Also getting a ton of interest from the pros are DL CJ Brewer and offensive linemen Alex Mollette who was one of the highest graded hogs in the league.
And that my friends is what this league is all about – second chances. Show out and you just might land yourself a gig in the big leagues! The pieces were undoubtedly there for the Roughnecks to at the very least partake in the XFL Championship Game, but the injury bug ultimately forbid that from coming to fruition. Upper management will undoubtedly look to improve its depth at the quarterback position heading into the 2024 season.
2023 Houston Roughnecks Season Schedule
||vs. Orlando Guardians
||vs. Arlington Renegades
||vs. San Antonio Brahmas
||at Orlando Guardians
||at Seattle Sea Dragons
||at D.C. Defenders
||vs. St. Louis BattleHawks
||at San Antonio Brahmas
||vs. Vegas Vipers
||at Arlington Renegades
||vs. Arlington Renegades
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