Games, groups, gamers, what to know

This weekend kicks off the newly reimagined XFL underneath a brand new possession group, headed up by Dany Garcia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners.

The league will function eight groups break up into two divisions, North and South, and a few acquainted faces, a few of whom noticed vital NFL motion.

The matchup Sunday will spotlight the opening-week slate when former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron leads the St. Louis BattleHawks towards the San Antonio Brahmas. McCarron led the Crimson Tide to 2 BCS titles and began the 2015 wild-card sport for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Saturday’s matchup consists of former NFL All-Pro defensive finish Vic Beasley, who will play with the Vegas Vipers towards the Arlington Renegades.

Each crew will debut new and improved uniforms, which had been revealed in December.

Teams will play 10 video games on consecutive weekends by April 23, together with semifinal playoff video games April 29-30. The championship sport is scheduled for May 13. Lines are supplied by Caesars Sportsbook.

Vegas Vipers at Arlington Renegades

Saturday, 3 p.m. ET | ABC, ESPN+
Spread: ARL -3.0 (37.5)

The Vipers are loaded with NFL expertise, because the trio of Beasley, extensive receiver Martavis Bryant and quarterback Brett Hundley had been lively for a mixed 142 NFL video games. The reverse sideline options former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who received a nationwide championship with the Sooners in 2000 and is the winningest coach in Oklahoma historical past with a file of 191-48.

Players to observe: Beasley was a 2015 first-round decide for the Atlanta Falcons and led the NFL in sacks in 2016 (15.5). Bryant performed for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders and had 17 profession receiving touchdowns in his 4 seasons. Renegades operating again Keith Ford performed for the Buffalo Bills in 2018 and had 79 yards on 21 carries. Renegades quarterback Kyle Sloter was chosen within the first spherical of the 2022 USFL draft and was All-USFL quarterback final season.

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Orlando Guardians at Houston Roughnecks

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET | FX, ESPN, ESPN+
Spread: HOU -2.5 (36.5)

The Guardians are led by Denver Broncos 2016 first-round decide quarterback Paxton Lynch. Lynch is the one XFL quarterback who was as soon as a primary rounder within the NFL. The Houston Roughnecks have a coach, Wade Phillips, with immense NFL expertise. Phillips has coached for 10 NFL franchises relationship again to 1976, together with as head coach for the Broncos, Bills and Dallas Cowboys.

Players to observe: In his two seasons with the Broncos, Lynch began 4 video games, threw 4 landing passes with 4 interceptions, 792 passing yards and a 61.7% completion proportion. Guardians extensive receiver Charleston Rambo wrapped up his school profession with Miami, ending with 1,172 yards 79 receptions, and 7 touchdowns. Rambo spent 2022 coaching camp with the Carolina Panthers. Roughnecks quarterback Cole McDonald was a seventh-round decide by the Tennessee Titans in 2020.

St. Louis BattleHawks at San Antonio Brahmas

Sunday, 3 p.m. ET | ABC, ESPN+
STL -2.0 (36.5)

One of essentially the most notable gamers within the XFL is McCarron, who will quarterback the BattleHawks. McCarron had a adorned school profession at Alabama and was picked within the 2014 NFL draft by the Bengals, the place he performed 4 seasons as a backup. He then went on to play for the Oakland Raiders and most lately the Houston Texans. The Brahmas have employed Steelers legend Hines Ward as each their coach and common supervisor. Along with a 13-year taking part in profession highlighted by being named MVP of Super Bowl XL, Ward has 4 seasons of teaching expertise, most lately because the extensive receivers coach at Florida Atlantic in 2021.

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Players to observe: Brahmas operating again Kalen Ballage was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and performed for the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers and Steelers, scoring seven dashing touchdowns in his profession. McCarron performed within the NFL for six seasons, and in 16 video games performed he threw six landing passes with three interceptions and has 1,173 passing yards and a 62.6% completion proportion. BattleHawks extensive receiver Marcell Ateman was the second decide within the XFL draft. He was drafted within the seventh spherical in 2018 by the Oakland Raiders.

Seattle Sea Dragons at D.C. Defenders

Sunday, 8 p.m. ET | ESPN, ESPN+
EVEN (36.5)

This sport incorporates a matchup between the XFL’s No. 1 general decide, Defenders operating again Abram Smith, and the Sea Dragons’ Josh Gordon, a former NFL All-Pro receiver. Gordon performed for the Cleveland Browns for 4 seasons and previously 5 years has performed for the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Titans.

Players to observe: Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013, with 1,646 for the Browns to earn All-Pro honors. Gordon additionally received a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2018. Smith spent 2022 coaching camp with the New Orleans Saints after ending his Baylor profession by breaking the college’s single-season dashing file with 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021.