Vegas Vipers 2023 XFL Season Recap
The Vegas Vipers proved to be an enormous disappointment over the course of the 2023 XFL betting season. Rod Woodson’s head coaching debut saw him go 2-8 SU and a bankroll bursting 3-7 against the spread with the team bringing up the rear of the XFL North standings by way of winning two of five at home and going winless on the road. Expectations were somewhat high entering the regular season with the roster possessing a heavy dose of former NFL players on both sides of the ball. It didn’t come to pass! The offense was one of only three teams that failed to average at least 20 points per game, while the defense would’ve been the worst in the league if not for the Orlando Guardians porous unit. As poor the overall product was on the field, the team’s actual playing field proved to be a running joke as well with Cashman Field proving to not be fit to host a professional football franchise. Hopefully the Vipers can find a new home for the 2024 season – should Sin City continue to be their home.
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Vegas Vipers 2023 Season Recap
Vegas initially hit the board 10-1 choices to win the XFL Championship. Before their odds to win it all were taken off the board following Week 8, the Vipers were offering up an 80-1 return on investment. It had an opportunity to get back in the XFL North race heading into the matchup against the Battlehawks in St. Louis, but ended up dropping a 21-17 decision in overtime to effectively end their season. They then closed the year out dropping four of their final five matches with two straight defeats to Houston and Seattle.
Luis Perez opened the season as the Vipers starting quarterback. The results were decent, but not great. So much so that the front office decided to ship him off to quarterback needy Arlington and tab Jalan McClendon their QB1 the remainder of the season. The former NC State gunslinger flashed in spots with his dual-threat ability throwing for 873 yards and a 5:1 TD/INT ratio while adding another 137 yards and 4.6 yards per carry with his legs over four starts. In all, Vegas averaged 304.3 yards per game (No. 5) while ranking No. 4 in yards gained both on the ground and through the air. Their 18.4 point per game scoring average ranked only ahead of the San Antonio Brahmas and Arlington Renegades.
Former Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith led the team in rushing with 274 yards while WR Jeff Badet proved to be the team’s biggest receiving threat by hauling in 34 of 56 targets and turning them into 448 yards and 5 TD. Neither figure to garner much of any interest from NFL teams this offseason. The Geronimo Allison and Martavis Bryant experiments failed miserably as well with the former only amassing 240 yards and 1 TD, while the latter managed 154 yards and failed to reel in a single touchdown reception. It’s pretty safe to assume both efforts more or less slammed the door shut on possible returns to the NFL.
With the offense struggling mightily to put points on the board, the defense hardly smoothed things over with the unit conceding 340 yards per game (No. 7) and a bulk of the yardage coming on the ground where it surrendered just south of 120 YPG and 4.5 yards per carry; both outputs ranked only ahead of the St. Louis Battlehawks. The unit didn’t fare well defending the pass either with it serving up over 220 yards per game to opposing passing attacks. There were however some standout performers on the defensive side of the ball that might just get some looks from NFL teams this offseason.
LB Pita Taumoepenu’s 6.5 sacks ranked No. 3 in the league overall while Maximillian Roberts tallied 5.0 with each partaking in all 10 games. Their durability and ability to get after the quarterback could at the very least land them practice squad gigs at the next level. One area the Vegas defense thrived was forcing turnovers. It forced 10 fumbles and jumped on nine of them while also picking off nine passes with Marwin Evans and Keylon Kennedy each hauling in a pair. Unfortunately, none of the forced turnovers immediately led to points put on the scoreboard.
2023 Vegas Vipers Season Schedule
|at Arlington Renegades
|vs. D.C. Defenders
|vs. Seattle Sea Dragons
|at D.C. Defenders
|vs. Orlando Guardians
|vs. St. Louis BattleHawks
|vs. San Antonio Brahmas
|at St. Louis BattleHawks
|at Houston Roughnecks
|at Seattle Sea Dragons
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