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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

XFL Week 9 Special Teams Power Rankings; A (semi)Final Review

It's almost playoff time! With that being said; The (un)Official XFL Special Teams Regular-Season Power Rankings will come to an end to keep some element of suspense for the true Final that will come out after the championship game. Perhaps some of you need a new team to bandwagon as we head into Week 10 and beyond. Why not make your choice based on Special Teams? Let's discuss that;

 

Kickers

Kickers went 10/13 this week, missing 3 field goal attempts and leaving them with a field goal percentage of 77%. Kickers continue to get into the grove of things late in the season with 3 made field goals from over 50 yards. Let's discuss how each of the Kickers performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 XFL Kicker Power Rankings;

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  1. John Parker Romo (SA) went 2/2 on field goal attempts this week with a long of 38 yards. He has been extremely consistent for the Brahmas and has only had 1 miss on 16 field goal attempts (94%).

  2. Dominik Eberle (SEA) went 1/2 on field goal attempts with a long of 36 yards and a miss from 52 yards out. Eberle has been just as consistent as Romo but hasn't kicked as many field goals over 40 yards. Here is an incredible list that shows what kicks he has made throughout the Season.

  3. Taylor Russolino (ARL) was 2/3 on field goals this week, with a long of 27 yards and missing from 44 yards out. Russolino has been extremely consistent under 40 yards but has struggled on field goals of 40+ yards throughout the season. I hope he gets a few more opportunities from over 40 next week.

  4. José Borregales (ORL) has moved up into the Top 5 this week after making his only field goal from 52 yards out. Since missing his first 2 field goals of the season, he has come back and gone 6/6 with 2 of those coming from 50+ yards out. His teammates do such a good job of hyping him up.

  5. Austin Jones (HOU) had another respectable week, going 1/1 from 28 yards.

  6. Matthew McCrane (DC) did not get a field goal attempt for the second week in a row. I hope we get to see McCrane on the field again soon.

  7. Donny Hageman (STL) had a great week, going 2/2 on field goals, and even making a long of 54! He is only the second kicker in the XFL to make more than 1 field goal attempt.

  8. Sam Sloman (VGS) was 1/2 on field goals this week. Let the record show that Sam missed from 55 yards out but came back later in the game and made a 53-yard field goal.

 

Punters

Punters throughout the league punted the ball 25 times this week, averaging about 46.5 yards and 40.6 net yards per punt. They had 36% of those punts remain inside the opponent's 20-yard line and had 2 punts land inside the 10-yard line. Let's discuss how each of the Punters performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 XFL Punter Power Rankings;

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  1. Daniel Whelan (DC) punted 2 times for an average of 53 yards and 47.5 net yards per punt. He had 1 punt land inside the 20-yard line and 1 other that travelled over 50 yards. Over the last five weeks, Whelan has proven that he can still reliably pin his opponents deep (and will take the First Position.

  2. Brad Wing (SA) also had an impressive week, punting 3 times for an average of 45.7 yards and 48 net yards per punt. All 3 of his punts stayed inside the opponent's 20-yard line and 1 was on the 6-yard line. Biggest takeaway from his week? No penalties. Touchbacks and punts Out of Bounds have really hurt Wing over the past few weeks but he seems headed back in the right direction.

  3. Race Porter (HOU), coincidentally, also had one of his best weeks punting. He punted 3 times for 129 yards and 129 net yards (43-yard avg). All 3 of his punts were also kept inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

  4. Mac Brown (ORL) punted 4 times for an average of 45.5 yards and 41 net yards per punt. This week was all about distance for Brown. He had 2 punts that travelled over 50 yards and even took part in a fake punt. Not only did he take part, but he was also the Guardian's best Quarterback! On this fake punt, Mac Brown launched the ball 45 yards with his ARM and it was caught. This actually made me jump out of my seat. If you haven't seen it, you need to.

  5. Marquette King (ARL) had roughly the same stat line as Whelan this week with 3 punts, averaging 53 yards and 40 net yards per punt. King uses what he is known for; his big leg. He had 2 punts travel over 50 yards and is leading the league in the category.

  6. Sterling Hofrichter (STL) punted 4 times for an average of 46.8 yards and 39.5 net yards this week. Not a bad week by any measure, but it doesn't quite live up to some of the stats listed above. Sterling is still having an excellent season.

  7. Michael Carrizosa (VGS) punted 4 times for an average of 47 yards and 32 net yards per punt. He had 1 punt that resulted in a fair catch inside the 20-yard line, and more importantly, no penalties this week.

  8. Cameron Nizialek (SEA) punted 3 times for 42.7 yards and 39 net yards per punt. One of those was a 50+ yard punt that resulted in a fair catch inside the 10-yard line.

 

Kickoff Specialists

There were 34 kickoffs this week accumulating 2177 kickoff yards. This is good for a season-high average of 64 yards per kickoff. Specialists had 9 of those kickoffs remain inside the 25-yard line and we saw 1 Minore Touchback this week. Let's discuss how each of the Kickoff Specialists performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 XFL Kickoff Power Rankings;

Working top-down;

  1. Donny Hageman (STL) continues to lead kickoff specialists kicking off 4 times this week for an average of 63.3 yards per kickoff. He had 1 kickoff remaining inside the 25-yard line.

  2. John Parker Romo (SA) kicked off 6 times for an average of 63.3 yards per kickoff. He also had 1 kickoff remaining inside the 25-yard line.

  3. Dominik Eberle (SEA) had another great week, kicking off 5 times for 326 yards (63.8-yard average). Eberle managed to get another 2 kickoffs remaining inside the 25-yard line. If he can finish out the season without any penalties he may jump even higher in the Power Rankings.

  4. José Borregales (ORL) had his best week kicking off yet! He kicked off 4 times for an average of 66.8 yards per attempt. He also had 3 of those kickoffs remaining inside the 20-yard line. He seems to have figured things out in the last 2 weeks, accruing an impressive average of 66.8 yards per kickoff.

  5. Taylor Russolino (ARL) kicked off 4 times for an average of 66.5 yards per attempt. He also had 1 kickoff remaining inside the 20-yard line.

  6. Matthew McCrane (DC) will be the only kicker to move up in the Power Rankings this week, as he kicked off 4 times for an average of 61.8 yards per attempt. McCranes Minor Touchback will be the reason he jumps into the Sixth Position

  7. Sam Sloman (VGS) had a rougher night than most. He kicked off 3 times for an average of 62.3 yards per attempt. While 1 kickoff remained inside the 25-yard line, Sloman received a Major Touchback and a Penalty for a kickoff that did not reach the 20-yard line.

  8. Austin Jones (HOU) also struggle this week, kicking off 4 times for 251 yards (62.8-yard average). He, unfortunately, had 2 of those kickoffs land inside the endzone for a Major Touchback and sliding him into the Eighth Position.

 

Return Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialists returned 36 kickoffs this week for a league-high 762 yards, or 21.2 yards per attempt. They had 4 kickoffs over 30 yards with a long of 35 yards. Let's discuss how each of the Kickoff Return Specialists performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 XFL Kickoff Return Power Rankings;

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  1. Darrius Shepherd (STL) returned 5 kickoffs for 74 yards or 14.8 yards per attempt. This was his worst week but he has already proven himself as one of the best returners in the league.

  2. Fred Brown (SA) will jump into the Second Position after returning 4 kickoffs for 102 yards. Brown's longest return was 35 yards and he now has 5 returns over 30 yards, along with a 96-yard touchdown.

  3. Dejoun Lee (HOU) did not return any kickoffs but remains one of the best to do it, keeping him in the Top 3. Max Borghi returned 3 kickoffs for 77 yards with a 31-yard return to highlight his night.

  4. Cinque Sweeting (VGS) returned 4 kickoffs for 91 yards with a long of 34 yards, accumulating another return over 30 yards.

  5. Kelvin McKnight (SEA) returned 4 kickoffs for an average of 19.3 yards with a long of 20 yards. Not the best night for the Week 6 breakout star but enough to keep him in the Top 5.

  6. Deddrick Thomas (ORL) returned 5 kickoffs for 100 yards (20 yards per attempt) with a long of 22 yards. We also saw Eli Rogers return 1 kickoff for 23 yards.

  7. Brandon Smith (DC) split return duties today with Pooka Williams. Smith returned 1 kickoff for 22 yards and Williams returned 4 kickoffs for 91 yards. D.C. is still looking for a star returner after Jaquez Ezzard was injured in Week 6.

  8. Rannell Hall (ARL) will take over kickoff return duties for Arlington as he returned 4 kickoffs for 94 yards. He impressed me with a long 31-yard return this week.

Punt Return Specialists

Punt Returners were given 17 attempts to return punts this week and managed to gather 146 yards. This is good for an average of 8.6 yards per attempt. We also say 3 returns over 15 yards with a long of 25 yards. Let's discuss how each of the Punt Return Specialists performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 XFL Punt Return Power Rankings;

Working top-down;

  1. Travell Harris (HOU) had a great week, returning 3 punts for 60 yards with 2 returns over 15 yards. Harris will surely look to close out the season for the Roughnecks but we can probably count on Will Likely getting one or two more chances at the end of the season.

  2. Joe Powell (ARL) returned 2 punts for 11 yards, with a long of 9 yards. His last 2 weeks haven't been ideal, but his past performances will keep him in the Top 2.

  3. Justin Rogers (ORL) had a rough week as well, actually losing 7 yards on 2 punt returns. Like Powell, though, his previous performances are keeping him afloat.

  4. Kelvin McKnight (SEA) returned 4 punts for 29 yards this week, averaging 7.3 yards per attempt.

  5. Matthew Sexton (VGS) returned just 1 punt for 10 yards this week.

  6. Jaquez Ezzard (DC) returned to the lineup this week and will climb into the Sixth Position. He returned 1 punt for 14 yards in his return. We also saw Pooka Williams return 1 punt for 12 yards.

  7. Landen Akers (SA) performed well returning 1 punt for 18 yards but will need to do so more often to beat the competition. Maybe Week 10 will allow him some more opportunities.

  8. Austin Proehl (STL) returned 2 punts for 11 yards and will remain in the Eighth Position. It seems like the Battlehawks are content with fielding the ball cleanly, sacrificing yardage for a secure catch.

 

Coverage Teams

Coverage Teams performed well this week, allowing just 85 yards on 16 punt returns (5.3 average yards allowed) and 726 yards on 34 kickoff returns (21.4 average yards allowed). We, unfortunately, saw a less-than-ideal 20 penalties, a season-high. Let's discuss how each of the Cover Teams performed with a look at my (un)Official Week 9 XFL Coverage Team Power Rankings;

Working top-down;

  1. The St. Louis Battlehawks allowed 29 yards on 4 punt returns, an average of 7.3 yards allowed, and 77 yards on 4 kickoff returns, allowing an average of 19.3 yards. The team has only accumulated 8 penalties on the year, which is incredibly impressive. They will remain in the First Position heading into Week 10.

  2. The Seattle Sea Dragons will jump into the Second Position after allowing just 11 yards on 2 punt returns (5.5 average yards allowed) and 74 yards on 5 kickoff returns (14.8 average yards allowed). They are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

  3. The San Antonio Brahmas will also jump into the Top 3 after allowing -7 yards on 2 punt returns (-3.5 average yards allowed) and 123 yards on 6 kickoff returns (20.5 average yards allowed).

  4. The Las Vegas Vipers coverage team had their worst week, allowing 60 yards on 3 punt returns (20 average yards allowed) and 77 yards on 3 kickoff returns (25.7 average yards allowed). Over the last 3 weeks, they have received 10 penalties on special teams, which is really hurting their position in the Power Rankings.

  5. The D.C. Defenders allowed 11 yards on 2 punt returns (5.5 average yards allowed) and 94 yards on 4 kickoff returns (23.5 average yards allowed). They continue to have a stellar punt coverage team but their kickoff unit will keep them in the Fifth Position. Their relatively low penalty count will be what edges them out over the teams listed below.

  6. The Houston Roughnecks allowed 10 yards on 1 punt return and 91 yards on 4 kickoff returns (22.8 average yards allowed). While they have been playing very well, they continue to hurt their starting field position with 18 penalties on the year.

  7. The Arlington Renegades allowed 26 yards on 2 punt returns (13 average yards allowed) and 113 yards on 5 kickoff returns (22.6 average yards allowed). They also received 2 penalties this week, bringing their total to 14 on the season.

  8. The Orlando Guardians struggled, allowing 18 yards on 1 punt return and 113 yards on 5 kickoff returns (22.6 average yards allowed). I need to see more from their coverage unit if they want to climb the Power Rankings at the end of the season.

 

As you come to the end of this article, I hope that you have found it informative and engaging.


Thank you for taking the time to read my work.

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