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XFL Week 5 Recap: Nobody's Perfect

The Houston Roughnecks suffer their first loss in franchise history, as the XFL season reaches the halfway point

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a year ago 3 min read

It happened. It actually happened. The fifth week of the 2023 XFL season actually began with the Houston Roughnecks actually losing a game. The Roughnecks were in Seattle facing a Sea Dragons team who was coming off back-to-back wins, and the game got off to a very surprising start: Houston was shut out for the entire first half. The Sea Dragons led 15-0 at halftime, but I thought, "Well, Houston will get out of this." A scoreless third quarter made it look unlikely, but the Roughnecks offense finally showed up with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, which sandwiched a Seattle score.

Houston brought it within one score, and they had the ball for a last gasp effort. It was at this point that I figured that the Roughnecks would get out of this, but when Ben Silvers' pass was intercepted, that made it official. The Houston Roughnecks are perfect no more. They had won their first nine games in franchise history, but their road to further perfection was thwarted by Ben DiNucci and the Seattle Sea Dragons, who have won three straight games.

So with the Roughnecks' loss, the DC Defenders are the last unbeaten team remaining, and they were in St. Louis facing the BattleHawks. The first quarter saw nothing, but DC ended the half up 14-3. The BattleHawks put up a game effort, but in the end, it was the Defenders who stood tall, winning 28-20. So the Defenders are the only unbeaten team left, but Houston's loss really is a downer to the two teams' upcoming battle. I was really hoping it would be a battle of unbeatens, but the Sea Dragons put the kibosh on that. Even so, that game should determine which team is the true favorite in the XFL.

While we would not get a midseason battle of unbeatens, we did get a battle of winless franchises. The Orlando Guardians and the Vegas Vipers have been snakebitten (not a pun) this whole season, but in this battle, someone had to win. That is true, someone had to win, as there are no ties in the XFL. Despite the fact that neither team enter this game with a win, this game ended up being the highest scoring contest of the season (to date). I've seen NFL games between winless franchises that have been completely ugly, sloppy, and low-scoring, but this game ended up being a shootout. 67 points were scored, with the Vipers scoring 35 of them. A 35-32 victory took Luis Perez and the Vipers off the schnide, and gave Rod Woodson his first win as a pro football head coach.

While one Pittsburgh Steelers legend picked up his first win as head coach, another was having trouble getting his second. Week 5's finale pitted the San Antonio Brahmas against the Arlington Renegades, and it was an ugly affair between two of the XFL's three Texas-based franchises. Hines Ward's Brahmas could not muster up the offense, and it resulted in a 12-10 victory for the Renegades, who handed the Brahmas their third straight loss. These two teams will face each other again during Week 6.

We are exactly halfway through the XFL season, and here's how things stand. In the North Division, the 5-0 DC Defenders lead by two games over the St. Louis BattleHawks and the red hot Seattle Sea Dragons, who are both 3-2. The Vegas Vipers are bringing up the rear at 1-4. Remember: the top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs, and at the moment, the BattleHawks' victory over the Sea Dragons in Week 2 places them in a playoff position. In the South Division, the Houston Roughnecks lead at 4-1, while the Arlington Renegades are in a close second at 3-2. The San Antonio Brahmas dropped to 1-4, but are still ahead of the winless Orlando Guardians. It looks like we'll get a South Division Championship meeting between the Roughnecks and Renegades, but a lot can happen in five weeks.

Week 6 will kick off with a pair of Saturday matchups; first, the Seattle Sea Dragons will visit the Orlando Guardians, and then, the Vegas Vipers will host the St. Louis BattleHawks. The Arlington Renegades and the San Antonio Brahmas will face off for the second straight Sunday, and we will get a Monday meeting between the Houston Roughnecks and the DC Defenders.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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Comments (2)

  • Denise E Lindquistabout a year ago

    I enjoy reading your sports reports. I don't watch the news. My favorite teams for Hockey, baseball and football show up on my phone before the game starts, real time updates/scores and a highlight link after the games. Reading yours gives me an idea about the rest of the country.

Clyde E. DawkinsWritten by Clyde E. Dawkins

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