The XFL Players of the Week awards have been announced for Week 1. While two of the names on the list were obvious selections, one was pleasantly surprising and deserves some serious recognition.
A team of dedicated XFL news staff looked over the league’s first four games to determine the top offensive, defensive, and special teams players for XFL Week 1.
Houston’s PJ Walker has a big XFL debut
In the most obvious selection, Houston Roughnecks quarterback PJ Walker was named the offensive player of the week, per XFL News Hub.
Walker finished the game passing for 272 yards and four touchdowns while achieving a 103.8 passer rating. Those types of numbers will grab every defensive coordinator’s attention.
One of the coolest parts of this story for Walker’s rise into the spotlight is that the Roughnecks passer did not even know he would be the team’s starting quarterback until just a few days before the game.
Talk about making the most of an opportunity. One of Walker’s go-to guys was wideout Nick Holley. Holley had four catches for 50 yards including an incredible 29-yard reception that set up a Houston score.
Guardians defense led by Bunmi Rotini Jr.
They say defense wins championships. If so, everyone had better start taking a look at the New York Guardians.
The Guardians’ defense should be named the defensive player of the week as a unit! They held the favored Tampa Bay Vipers to just three points in Week 1 by forcing turnovers and causing issues for a Tampa team that looked a bit lost.
While the Guardians played great, it was linebacker Bunmi Rotini Jr. who had himself a day for New York. That earned him the defensive player of the week honors from the XFL News Hub staff.
Rotini Jr. had seven solo tackles, assisted on two others, and had two tackles for loss – including a quarterback sack. Not a bad way to make a debut!
BattleHawks’ Marquette King could be NFL bound
It isn’t often that a punter is the special teams player of the week. In this case, you can’t ignore how well Marquette King performed for the St. Louis BattleHawks in Week 1.
King was hitting 50-60 yard bombs with his right leg all day against Dallas, and he single-handedly changed the field position for St. Louis more than once.
One punt, that clearly sailed 65-70 yards in the air would have been the best of the day – that is until the St. Louis special teams forgot that it was not a live ball and pushed it into the endzone.
— ESPN (@espn) February 10, 2020
Nevertheless, King punted the ball five times, dropping two inside the 20-yard line and netting a solid 45-yard average per punt. Those kinds of numbers may land him an NFL contract soon.
Congratulations to all the winners!