March 14, 2001
STAMFORD, CONN. – With just four games remaining in the XFL regular season, three of the four playoff spots are up for grabs, and XFL teams are getting offensive in their pursuit of the million-dollar prize.
The Orlando Rage (6-0) have clinched one of the two Eastern Division playoff spots, but the remaining three slots are still wide open as the season heads into the back stretch.
And with the three places still undecided, overall scoring in the XFL was up for the third consecutive weekend as offenses around the league begin to find their stride just in time for the battle for the playoff spots.
Week six scoring was up 28% over week five, 80% over week four and 115% over week three.
“With the short amount of time coaches had to put their teams together prior to the beginning of the season, the defenses naturally were ahead of the offenses,” said XFL VP/Football Operations Mike Keller. “Now as teams are seeing each other for the second time and much of the mystery is gone, the play books are opening up and I expect the teams to continue their high-scoring down the stretch.”
Among the highlights of an explosive week six:
- Reverses and halfback option passes became the norm for the previously-conservative New York/New Jersey Hitmen. The wide-open style worked, as a 74-yard pass from WR Zola Davis to WR Kirby Dar Dar helped the Hitmen to a 20-12 win in San Francisco’s “Hell Hole.”
- Memphis QB Jim Druckenmiller and WR Charles Jordan exploded on Chicago in a 29-23, last-second win. Druckenmiller, who threw for an XFL-record 413 yards and 3 TDs on the night, hooked up with Jordan 10 times for an XFL-record 240 yards and a TD.
- XFL teams passed the ball 59% of the time and averaged 255 yards through the air, led by Druckenmiller, Birmingham’s Casey Weldon (300 yards in only three quarters) and Chicago’s Kevin McDougal (274 yards).
XFL on TV this week
DAY TIME (ET) NETWORK MATCH-UP
Saturday 8:00 p.m. NBC Birmingham Bolts at Las Vegas Outlaws*
Sunday 4:00 p.m. TNN Orlando Rage at Los Angeles Xtreme
Sunday 7:00 p.m. UPN San Francisco Demons at Chicago Enforcers
* NBC will also feature cut-ins of the Memphis Maniax at NY/NJ Hitmen game
ORLANDO CLINCHES PLAYOFFS, CAN LOCK UP DIVISION TITLE THIS WEEKEND
The undefeated Rage, who locked up the XFL’s first playoff spot last weekend, will clinch the Eastern Division title this weekend with a win over the Los Angeles Xtreme. If Orlando (6-0) falters, it still would cinch up the East with losses by both Birmingham and New York/New Jersey.
Finishing first in the division would ensure the Rage of hosting at least an XFL Semi-final. Should the Rage finish the season with the best overall record, they would also earn the right to host the XFL Championship Game should they qualify.
Two teams from each division will advance to the playoffs, set for the weekend of April 14 and 15. The championship, or “The Big Game At The End,” is set for Saturday night, April 21, live on NBC at 8:00 p.m. (ET). The winning team splits $1 million.
Take a look at the league's complete
WHAT HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE? XFL TEAMS WINNING MORE ON THE ROAD
Home field advantage seems to have gone the way of the coin toss in the XFL as home teams are just 11-13 through the first six weeks of the season. The undefeated Orlando Rage, who are 4-0 at the Citrus Bowl, are the only XFL team who are above the .500 mark at home. See standings on page three for all home and road records.
BOLTS QB CASEY WELDON OUT FOR THE SEASON; ALABAMA ALUM STEPS IN
Birmingham Thunderbolts quarterback Casey Weldon will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after undergoing season-ending surgery to his right shoulder on Monday. Weldon suffered a torn rotator cuff in Sunday’s loss to Los Angeles.
"He suffered a complete tear, a very serious tear, of his rotator cuff," Dr. Larry Lemak told the Birmingham News Monday night after performing the surgery. "He's out for the season. It will be at least six months before he can begin throwing again."
Weldon, who threw for 300 yards and three TDs in three quarters on Sunday before the injury, is currently second in the XFL in passing yards and accuracy and third in touchdown passes.
The leading candidate to replace Weldon is hometown boy and former University of Alabama standout Jay Barker.
RAGE LOOK TO CLINCH EAST; OTHER THREE SPOTS UP FOR GRABS
While the Rage can lock up the Eastern Division crown and ensure a home game in the first round of the playoffs, the West is a wide-open affair, with all four teams gunning for the two available playoff spots. Las Vegas currently holds tie-breaker by virtue of combined record versus other 3-3 teams. In the East,: Birmingham currently holds tie-breaker by virtue of record (1-0) versus NY/NJ.
XFL TIE-BREAKER SYSTEM
1) Head-to-head record versus all other teams finishing with the same record in the division.
2) Best won-loss record in games played within the division.
3) Best net points in division games
4) Best net points in all games
5) Greater point differential in head-to-head games
6) Best net touchdowns in all games
7) Coin toss
NOTE: If two or more clubs remain tied after third or other clubs are eliminated during any other step, tiebreaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.
OUT: WR Damon Gourdine (Fibula), C Eric Kerley (Tricep). PROBABLE: G Antonio Flemming (Ankle), C Ryan Thomassie (Leg).
OUT: DB Donald McCall (Shoulder). DOUBTFUL: CB Ray Austin (Thigh), DE Jason Chorak (Ankle), S Kerry Cooks (Ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DB Quincy Coleman (Shoulder), DE Casey Dailey (Knee), LB Matt Finkes (Concussion), G Paul Janus (Hand), G Rob Murphy (Knee), OT Christopher Perez (Knee/Ankle), T Tony Ramirez (Knees), DE Hubert Thompson (Leg), WR Ryan Yarborough (Hamstring). PROBABLE: LB Chike Egbuniwe (Thumb), DE Larry Fitzpatrick (Quad), G Bryan LaBelle (Stinger), DE Sterling Palmer (Shoulder).
LAS VEGAS OUTLAWS
QUESTIONABLE: DT Adriano Belli (Finger), OL Jon Blackman (Knee), RB Chrys Chukwuma (Shoulder), QB Ryan Clement (Finger), C David Diaz-Infante (Knee), DE Antonio Edwards (Groin), OG Pat Kesi (Thigh), DE Kelvin Kinney (Ankle), DE Michael Mason (Back), WR Yo Murphy (Knee and Ankle), OG Mark Nori (Thigh), DT Angel Rubio (Finger), RB Rod Smart (Knee), S Jamel Williams (Ankle).
LOS ANGELES XTREME
DOUBTFUL: CB Terry Billups (Hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: DT Curtis Eason (Quad), LB Rico Mack (Concussion), LB Shawn Stuckey (Clavicle), TE Josh Wilcox (Concussion). PROBABLE: C Jonathan Himebauch (Ankle), RB Ken Oxendine (Achilles).
OUT: RB Rafael Cooper (Knee). QUESTIONABLE: DE D.J. Cooper (Knee), RB Rashaan Salaam (Shoulder). PROBABLE: DE Shante Carver (Calf), QB Marcus Crandell (Foot), WR Damien Dodson (Neck), DT T.J. Frier (Ankle), WR Charles Jordan (Shoulder), RB Roosevelt Potts (Foot), T Mike Sheldon (Calf).
QUESTIONABLE: DE Tim Beauchamp (Groin), WR Chris Brantley (Hamstring), WR Fred Brock (Ankle), C Eric Cole (Groin), WR Anthony DiCosmo (Bicep), RB Keith Elias (Knee), LB Haven Fields (Neck), TE Marcus Hinton (Neck), OG Troy Stark (Knee). PROBABLE: TE Ryan Collins (Elbow), LB Bernard Russ (Leg).
QUESTIONABLE: RB Michael Black (Thumb), C Cal Dixon (Knee), DB Kelly Malveaux (Hamstring), S Hassan Shamsid-Deen (Shoulder), LB Rich Young (Toe). PROBABLE: LB Patrise Alexander (Ankle), DB Omar Brown (Shoulder), TE Vince Marrow (Hand).
SAN FRANCISCO DEMONS
OUT: RB Juan Johnson (Knee), LB Dave Thomas (Ankle). DOUBTFUL: RB Terry Battle (Neck), DE Eric England (Knee). QUESTIONABLE: DE Jomo Cousins (Rib), WR James Hundon (Neck). PROBABLE: WR Jimmy Cunningham (Hip), WR Travis Moore (Knee), T Ben Nichols (Knee), QB Mike Pawlawski (Neck), WR Brian Roberson (Concussion).