XFL at halfway point: One stat to know for each team

By Peter Warren

The XFL has reached its halfway point with 20 regular season games down and 20 to go. The first five weeks of the year have been packed with action and highlights, from memorable goal-line stands to eye-popping game-winning touchdown passes to record-setting crowds.

But there also have been some key trends emerging with each team to watch heading into the final five weeks of the season. Here is one stat to know for each XFL team after five games:

Arlington Renegades: 69.2 rushing yards allowed per game

Arlington’s first half has been defined by a stingy defense and a work-in-progress offense. The Renegades haven’t scored more than 14 points in a game since the first week of the season. Yet the team is 3-2 at the halfway mark and currently two games ahead of San Antonio for the second-place spot in the South Division. They can thank their defense for that. The unit is stout, allowing just 255.8 yards per game. Only 69.2 of them come on the ground, which is best in the league.

D.C. Defenders: 870 rushing yards

Passing attacks are the weaponry of choice for most XFL teams across the league, except D.C. The Defenders have shaped their offense around the rushing attack. It’s proving to be a shrewd move. D.C. is by far the best rushing team in the league. Its 870 rushing yards are 404 more than the next team. Its 188 rushing attempts are 63 more than the next team. Its 11 rushing touchdowns are five more than anyone else. Its 4.6 yards per carry are the most in the league. Three of the top seven rushers in the leader are on the Defenders roster, led by Abram Smith with 432 yards, nearly 200 more than anyone else.

Houston Roughnecks: 76 points allowed

While Houston fell this past weekend to Seattle, the Roughnecks remain the leader of the South Division at the halfway mark thanks to one of the league’s most well-rounded squads. Houston has the league’s top scoring offense with 136 points and top scoring defense with just 76 points allowed. The defense gets even better after halftime; it’s yielded only 24 points in the second half.

Orlando Guardians: Cody Latimer’s 28 receptions

Orlando has struggled during the first half of the season but Cody Latimer has been one of the team’s biggest bright spots. Along with Arlington’s Sal Cannella, Latimer has emerged as one of the league’s top tight ends. Latimer has 66 NFL games of NFL experience as a wide receiver but this is his first opportunity as a tight end. He is making the most of it with 28 catches and 336 receiving yards, both of which rank third in the league among all pass catchers.

San Antonio Brahmas: 33 tackles for loss

San Antonio might have only one win through the first five games of the season but the Brahmas have one of the league’s top defenses. They are second only to Houston in scoring defense but No. 1 in the league in tackles for loss with 33. Five players have at least four TFLs, including linebacker Jordan Williams, who leads the league with 40 total tackles, including 23 over the past two weeks.

Seattle Sea Dragons: Jahcour Pearson’s 45.8% first-down percentage

Seattle has the most prolific passing attack in the XFL, and there were more than a few different passing stats to choose from for this exercise. But Jahcour Pearson has been one of the breakout stars of the XFL season. He leads the league in multiple stats including receptions and receiving yards. But what might go unnoticed is his ability to move the chains. The percentage of his catches that end up in first downs is 45.8, the highest of the top 20 pass catchers in the league.

St. Louis Battlehawks: +4 Point Differential

It started with its historic comeback during the first week of the season but St. Louis has been in close games the entire season. Its margins of victory have been three points, two points and 13 points. Its margins of defeat — both to the undefeated Defenders — were six and eight points. With A.J. McCarron under center, the Battlehawks cannot be counted out of any game they are playing. But the other team can’t be dismissed, either.

Vegas Vipers: 18 passes of 20 yards or more

Vegas feels somewhat unlikely to be at the halfway mark with a 1-4 record. The team has a touchdown margin of plus-two on the season, which is better than half the teams in the league. Their offense has put the Vipers in position to win games, in part thanks to making big plays. Vegas quarterbacks have 18 completions of 20 yards or more, which is the most in the league. The team’s 7.5 yards per attempt is also the most in the league.

Graphics: Igor Lazarevic