XFL Preview: San Antonio Brahmas at Houston Roughnecks, Sunday March 5, 2023

san antonio at houston

  • San Antonio Brahmas (1-1) at Houston Roughnecks (2-0)
  • Sunday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ET
  • TDECU Stadium, Houston
  • Tickets: Ticketmaster & StubHub
  • Broadcaster: ESPN2, ESPN+
  • Announcers: Tom Hart, Cole Cubelic, Dawn Davenport, Taylor Davis
  • Odds: Roughnecks -4, O/U 36.5 (DraftKings)

The Roughnecks look to stay as the only unbeaten XFL team since 2020. To do this they need to beat the Brahmas, a fellow Texas team who are hell-bent to increase their winning streak to two games.

Last week, the Brahmas travelled to Florida and completely dominated the Orlando Guardians to earn their first victory of the season. Meanwhile, the Roughnecks became one of the league’s three remaining unbeaten teams by blanking the Arlington Renegades in the second half to take over the game.

What should we look for?

Not only will Texas bragging rights be at stake, but also first place in the South Division rankings. As for Texas, Houston already has a victory over Arlington, and a win over San Antonio would give them the lead in the interstate competition. For the Brahmas to be taken seriously as candidates for the South Division championship, they need to stand in the way of the Roughnecks attempt to romp through the Lone Star State.

Both of these offences have a strong quarterback. The Roughnecks’ two-quarterback system, featuring Brandon Silvers and Cole McDonald, has proven to be successful. Silvers is first in completions of 40 yards or more, second in passing yard with 445, tied for second in completions with 40, and tied for first in touchdown passes with four. As a backup, McDonald has been useful when the run is planned.

When it comes to the Brahmas, former Notre Dame standout Jack Coan still has the arm strength, accuracy, and fundamentals that allowed him to lead the Fighting Irish to a 2021 Fiesta Bowl trip. Coan and Silvers share the XFL lead for completion percentage at 68.3, while Coan is third place for yards per attempt at 6.2, and fourth place for throwing yards. Coan has thrown for 372 yards and four touchdown passes.

Both teams are able to mount a strong running attack. For the Roughnecks, Max Borghi has accumulated 69 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, and 52 yards in the air. The Brahmas have Kalen Ballage who is first in the XFL in terms of rushing yards with 107 on 36 attempts.

On defense, Houston is sack happy with Trent Harris who has 4.5 sacks and Tim Ward with 3.0 sacks. Emmanuel Ellerbee, a fellow linebacker, is tied for fourth with 12 tackles, while Sean Davis, a safety, is tied for first in the league with 2 interceptions. In terms of team stats the Roughnecks are strong with 12 total sacks, 17 tackles for a loss and4 interceptions.

The Brahmas also have standouts on defence with Jordan Williams who has 10 tackles, and safety Jack Koerner, defensive end Delontae Scott, and cornerback Ranthony Texada who all have two tackles for losses to their names. The Brahmas are tied for second in tackles for loss at 14 and second in sacks with 7.


This is setting up to be the best game of the week with both teams bringing strength on both offense and defense. Will the Roughnecks’ home-field advantage carry them to the winning column? Possibly. If one team can stand in their way, it would be the Brahmas.

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