XFL Games Today: Is There Football This Weekend? TV Schedule, Start Times, and Game Analysis

Are there XFL games today? We've got you covered with the following dates, start times, viewing options, and rundowns for each game.

The XFL is scratching the itch of football fans far and wide. Here’s everything you need to know about the Week 5 XFL games today, including start times, channels, live stream options, and game analysis.

XFL Games Today: Is There Football on This Weekend?

The first four weeks of the 2023 XFL season saw some teams look like title contenders and others look like … well, not quite title contenders. Here’s where you can watch this weekend’s action, as well as some insights on what we might expect from each team.

St. Louis Battlehawks (3-1) vs. DC Defenders (4-0)

  • Date: Saturday, March 18
  • Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: FX and ESPN+

An incredible matchup between two teams that might face off again in the playoffs. But these are very different squads on both sides of the ball.

St. Louis wins primarily on the offensive side of the ball, generating buckets of yards from multifaceted RB Brian Hill, who has a 36-176-1 rushing line and a 13-101-1 receiving line. For context, most teams have running backs struggling to maintain 3.2 yards per carry. Hill’s riding high at 4.9.

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In the air, the Battlehawks pummel defenses through QB AJ McCarron and WRs Hakeem Butler, Darrius Shepherd, and Austin Proehl. Presumed preseason No. 1 Marcell Ateman is the Battlehawks’ No. 5 offensive weapon. And hey, it’s working.

However, St. Louis’ defense is middling at best, including a run defense holding opponents to 3.7 yards per carry. That would be elite in the NFL. But in the XFL, that won’t often cut it, especially against teams that run with vim and vigor.

And which team runs with the most vim and vigor? DC, of course. They combine the league’s No. 1 run defense with the No. 1 run offense. Not a bad combo. In fact, three of the XFL’s top five rushers (in terms of rushing yards) are Defenders: QB Jordan Ta’amu and RBs Abram Smith and Ryquell Armstead.

If St. Louis can figure out how to slow DC’s running game, advantage St. Louis. If DC can figure out how to contain the Battlehawks’ aerial attack, advantage Defenders. And if both teams accomplish these goals . . . well, then it’ll be a heckuva close game.

Vegas Vipers (0-4) vs. Orlando Guardians (0-4)

  • Date: Saturday, March 18
  • Start Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: FX and ESPN+

If the Guardians and Brahmas win this weekend, then the Guardians would be one game out of a playoff spot. Hard to believe, especially given how much they’ve struggled.

Last week I shared why underutilized WR Charleston Rambo was the key to getting this offense going. Well, Rambo came up big, and Orlando scored a season-high 16 points. But their opponent, the Houston Roughnecks, scored 44. Not good.

And that encapsulates why Orlando is winless. One of the Guardians’ bright spots is their running game, but negative game scripts prevent RBs Jah-Maine Martin and Kelvin Taylor from taking over games. QB Paxton Lynch, meanwhile, remains a wait-and-see option for this franchise.

From a long distance, I’ve seen enough. Orlando needs to upgrade in 2024, if not sooner. But the Guardians know what they’re doing, and Lynch brings enough dual-threat ability to give the team hope.

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The opposing Vipers are a much better 0-4, if that makes sense. They nearly won three games and have played the 4-0 Defenders fairly tough, all things considered.

Bouncing between QBs all season (Luis Perez, then Brett Hundley, then back to Perez . . . for now) hasn’t helped. There’s very little rhythm to this offense, with Rod Smith doing the best he can as the 1A RB, and WR Jeff Badet posting monster numbers. In fact, Badet and WR Cinque Sweeting have accounted for six Vegas scores.

Yes, this is a top-heavy offense in need of more offense. Fortunately, they’re playing the worst defense. It couldn’t come at a better time.

San Antonio Brahmas (1-3) vs. Arlington Renegades (2-2)

  • Date: Sunday, March 19
  • Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: ESPN2 and ESPN+

A matchup with major playoff implications in the top-heavy South division. These two teams will face off twice in the span of seven days. If San Antonio wins both, they’ll be in the driver’s seat for a postseason berth. And if Arlington wins both? Well, then I’d be hard-pressed to bet against them.

But let’s put things in perspective. The Renegades were preseason favorites to win the title. Recently installed QB Kyle Sloter has numbers eerily similar to Drew Plitt, the guy he replaced. Sloter should keep the job until/unless Arlington is mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. Yet, that shouldn’t give him or this franchise confidence.

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The Brahmas have a tough defense, yielding the second-fewest points despite facing three of the league’s four best offenses. Yes, they’re that good . . . on defense.

Their offense is a different story. I’m beating a dead horse here, but since Week 1, I’ve written that Kalen Ballage is not the answer at running back. Neither is Jacques Patrick, though he at least brings a tiny bit more to the table. Neither guy has broken through, and I don’t believe they will anytime soon.

The Brahmas need to bring in someone else — someone who can help balance an offensive “attack” that’s often limited through the air.

Arlington has the same problem, and they’ve begun to address it, turning increasingly to No. 3 RB Kenneth Farrow, whose 3.4 yards per carry sadly is significantly higher than starter De’Veon Smith or early-season complementary running back Keith Ford.

The best teams in this league have good or great running games. DC figured this out at the draft when they selected Abram Smith No. 1 overall in the “offensive skills” portion. The Seattle Sea Dragons’ Morgan Ellison, Houston’s Max Borghi, and St. Louis’ Brian Hill reinforce the point.

Whichever team — San Antonio or Arlington — fixes this shortcoming first, they’re likely to reach the playoffs.

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