After the first two XFL games of the 2020 season were high scoring affairs, game three of the four-game weekend showcased the defense from the New York Guardians when they hosted the Tampa Bay Vipers.
Matt McGloin, New York defense shine
Matt McGloin still has NFL dreams. The former Penn State quarterback and NFL journeyman looked very comfortable in his XFL debut on Sunday.
McGloin completed 15 of 29 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown in the Guardians 23-3 win against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The Vipers, who entered the game as the only road favorite in this week’s XFL contests, struggled the entire afternoon.
As for Matt McGloin, he channeled his inner Kirk Cousins as his New York team took control early and never let Tampa Bay settle into any type of rhythm.
Matt McGloin or Kirk Cousins?
— Forever Quarantined? (@ForeverGridiron) February 9, 2020
On the other side of the field, quarterback Aaron Murray struggled for the Vipers all afternoon.
While Murray passed for 231 yards, he threw two interceptions and completed just 16 of 34 passes. He finished the game with a passer rating of 45.1.
The former Georgia Bulldogs star was eventually taken out of the game and replaced by Quinton Flowers.
Even though the game was already decided when Flowers entered the game, he looked good in his fill-in duty for Murray. Are we looking at the first XFL quarterback controversy between Aaron Murray and Quinton Flowers? Stay tuned.
Ricky Walker punches his way to an ejection
If it wasn’t bad enough for Tampa Bay, DT Ricky Walker put the icing on the cake.
Officials ejected Walker for punching New York Guardians’ offensive lineman Ian Silberman squarely in the face, or more accurately, the helmet, well after a play the Guardians were running ended.
— Christopher Reiss (@ReissReport) February 9, 2020
Why Walker decided to throw a punch is still unclear. By watching the entire clip, Walker didn’t seem upset after the ejection, when he walked towards the locker room.
He actually appeared surprised his afternoon was over.
The 23-year-old Walker, who played college ball at Virginia Tech, almost seemed confused to be leaving the game. Nevertheless, the Vipers are going to want to put this game behind them quickly as they prepare for next week’s contest against the Seattle Dragons.
While Tampa Bay will play its second straight road contest next weekend, the New York Guardians will prepare to face off against the DC Defenders in a matchup of 1-0 teams.