XFL Games Today: Is There Football This Weekend? TV Schedule, Start Times, and Game Analysis for Week 9

    Are there XFL games this weekend? Here is what you need to know, including dates, start times, viewing options, and analyses for each game.

    The XFL is scratching the itch of football fans far and wide, but when are the next XFL games? Wait, is there football today? Here’s everything you need to know about the Week 9 XFL games, including the start time, channel, live stream option, and game analysis.

    XFL Games Today: Is There Football on This Weekend?

    We are 80% of the way through the 2023 XFL regular season. Three North Division teams stand out as realistic title contenders (depending on what happens in St. Louis this weekend), while the South Division features one standout and two squads still fighting for relevance. Here’s where you can watch this weekend’s action, as well as some insights on what we might expect from each team.

    Houston Roughnecks (5-3) vs. Vegas Vipers (2-6)

    • Date: Saturday, April 15
    • Start Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
    • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: ABC and ESPN+

    Perhaps no team was more relieved after Week 8 than the Houston Roughnecks. After galloping to a 4-0 record to begin the year (against subpar competition), their schedule got rough. Facing the other three best teams in the league, Houston went 0-3. Yikes.

    Dejoun Lee and Brycen Alleyne have run significantly better than de facto start Max Borghi. But perhaps Borghi’s struggles have been a mixed blessing, as the team now boasts a fairly versatile backfield. As we’ve seen with other teams whose starters have gone down (e.g. Seattle), adequate replacements are tough to find.

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    The Roughnecks beat San Antonio on the road last weekend, ending their slide and securing a playoff berth. Now they can breathe a bit easier, and a terrific matchup against the hapless Vipers comes at a great time.

    For Vegas, Jalan McClendon continues to impress. After rolling through two other quarterbacks, this franchise finally gave McClendon a shot. They probably should have done it sooner. Even with star WR Jeff Badet hobbled, McClendon has one-upped (or possibly two-upped) Brett Hundley in the dual-threat-QB department.

    San Antonio Brahmas (2-6) vs. Orlando Guardians (1-7)

    • Date: Saturday, April 15
    • Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
    • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: ESPN2 and ESPN+

    Believe it or not, if these two teams had won last week, both would have been squarely in the playoff hunt. How is that possible? Because Houston would have fallen to 4-4, while the Arlington Renegades would have dropped to 3-5.

    Yes, with two games to play and no team over .500, all four South division squads would have been contenders. And frankly, my money would have been on the upstart Guardians to finish strong.

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    But Quinten Dormady — one of my most-hyped players this season, admittedly — fell apart. He committed four turnovers en route to a two-point loss. The Guardians came oh-so-close to turning an 0-6 start into something meaningful. Instead, they became the second team to be mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

    The Brahmas have a narrow path to overtaking Arlington, and it begins with their defense shutting down the previously high-flying Guardians, much like Arlington did. San Antonio certainly has the defensive playmakers to get it done. But we shouldn’t count out a deceptively strong Orlando offense that’s now playing with nothing to lose.

    DC Defenders (7-1) vs. Arlington Renegades (4-4)

    • Date: Sunday, April 16
    • Start Time: Noon ET
    • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: ESPN and ESPN+

    How can Arlington possibly blow a two-game lead over San Antonio with two contests remaining? Because the Renegades’ remaining schedule is tough, as they’ll face the leaders of the North and South divisions.

    And DC isn’t just any division leader. They’re the most dangerous team in the XFL, period. Led by MVP candidate Abram Smith (who clearly deserves another shot in the NFL), the Defenders can win on the ground, through the air, and even on defense.

    They’re also playing to lock up home-field advantage in the semifinals, so we shouldn’t expect them to take their foot off the pedal.

    To keep pace, the Renegades’ defense has to shine, much like it did against Orlando last weekend — and frankly, for much of the season. Arlington was a popular preseason favorite to win the XFL title. Their defense was a big reason why. But they’re averaging 3.3 yards per carry, while their three quarterbacks have combined for four passing touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    That’s not a recipe for success. So they’re trying to cling to a postseason berth, in the hopes that their QB situation and/or backfield will somehow get on track by the time the playoffs hit.

    St. Louis Battlehawks (6-2) vs. Seattle Sea Dragons (5-3)

    • Date: Sunday, April 16
    • Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
    • TV Channel & Live Stream Options: ESPN2 and ESPN+

    If you’re an XFL fan, this will be must-see TV. It’s probably among the three or four most important contests of the season. And the drama keeps building because St. Louis superstar QB A.J. McCarron still isn’t officially a go for Sunday.

    McCarron missed last weekend’s matchup, and the team almost paid the price, as backup Nick Tiano proved to be “not quite ready for prime time.” That might not seem fair. But they needed overtime to defeat Vegas, which has one of the league’s worst defenses. Tiano frequently struggled to move the ball. It could have been a disaster for a team with realistic championship ambitions.

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    And now, as of Friday, with McCarron a major question mark, Tiano is injured. The Battlehawks have signed Vincent Testaverde Jr. Yes, that Vincent Testaverde Jr. His father was an ace-in-the-hole for QB-desperate NFL teams well into his 40’s.

    If Testaverde the Younger starts this one, advantage Seattle in a must-win game. But if McCarron can suit up, then the Battlehawks will hold the edge. A victory sends them to the postseason. A loss sets up an incredible variety of Week 10 scenarios, with both teams trying to score as many points as possible (while surrendering as few as possible) to win the tiebreaker.

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