The race for the XFL MVP – Week Three

Seattle Sea Dragons quarterback #6 Ben DiNucci celebrates a win, Saturday March 4, 2023. (Sea Dragons Twitter)

1. QB Ben DiNucci, Sea Dragons (last week: unranked)

Last week: 29-37, 377 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; 6 rushes, 32 yards, 5.3 avg.

Season stats: 83-120, 69.2%, 855 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT; 17 rushes, 73 yards, 4.3 avg.

All it took was for Seattle to get off the schneid to get DiNucci into the MVP mix, and he announced his arrival with an exclamation point against the Vipers in week three. He leads the league in passing yards by well over 100, and is also tops in completion percentage and yards per attempt. He’s tied for the league lead in touchdown passes. Like with so many offenses in the XFL, it may have taken DiNucci and Seattle a few weeks to get their bearings. Now that they seem to have some momentum – look out.

2. QB Brandon Silvers, Roughnecks (last week: #3)

Last week: 24-35, 278 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 64-105, 61.0%, 723 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT

Silvers climbs one spot in the rankings as Houston stayed undefeated by taking down their cross-state rivals, the San Antonio Brahmas. He leads the league in passes of 20+ yards and 40+ yards, showing a deep touch that few quarterbacks have shown thus far this year. Like many other QBs, he’s seemingly improved each game and he’ll become even more dangerous if the running game, behind Max Borghi and Brycen Alleyne, continues to get untracked.

3. QB AJ McCarron, Battlehawks (last week: #1)

Last week: 26-42, 262 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT; 2 rushes, 6 yards, 3.0 avg.

Season stats: 66-104, 63.5%, 636 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT; 11 rushes, 59 yards, 5.4 avg., 1 TD

McCarron stumbled a bit for the first time this year as the Battlehawks were dealt their first loss at the hands of the Defenders. McCarron tossed two interceptions, his first two turnovers of the season, but still kept his team in the game with four touchdown passes. McCarron gets another challenge this week against the defensive-minded Arlington Renegades, though they’ll be without their top corner Josh Hawkins, who tore his ACL last week against Orlando.

4. CB Michael Joseph, Defenders (last week: unranked)

Last week: 5 tackles, 5 solo, 0 assist; 1 INT, 41 yards, 1 TD

Season stats: 14 tackles, 11 solo, 3 assist; 3 INT, 78 yards, 2 TD

Somebody has to represent the other undefeated team in the XFL, and it certainly isn’t going to be someone on the offensive side of the ball. Joseph appears once again after placing in my week one rankings, then dropping off last week. All it took for him to get back into the top five was to return another interception for a touchdown. He leads the league in total picks as well as defensive touchdowns. As Defenders defensive coordinator Gregg Williams noted on Sunday’s broadcast, they’re “takeaways,” not “turnovers,” and Joseph has been the Takeaway King early in the season.

5. WR Jahcour Pearson, Sea Dragons (last week: #5)

Last week: 7 receptions, 99 yards, 14.1 avg., 33 long

Season stats: 23 receptions, 272 yards, 11.8 avg., 54 long, 1 TD

Teammate Josh Gordon got all the press with his game-winning touchdown on Saturday night to seal Seattle’s win over the Vegas Vipers, but Pearson once again led the team in receptions and targets. Through three weeks, he still leads the XFL in receptions, yardage, and is tied for the lead in receptions over 20 yards. Gordon provides the physical deep threat while Pearson works mostly underneath. They’ve shown to be a quality tandem for Ben DiNucci as Seattle looks to use the momentum from their first win to continue moving up the standings.

Dropped out

Jack Coan (#2), LB Trent Harris (#4)

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