After a convincing win against the Memphis Showboats the Battlehawks look to solidify their dominance in the XFL conference by finally beating their “rivals” the D.C. Defenders who St. Louis remains winless against (0-3 all-time). The Defenders coming off a heart-breaking loss against the Birmingham Stallions home to continue their dominance at home where Reggie Barlow and company look to extend their 10-0 all-time home record.

Game Info: Sunday, Noon ET, Audi Field

Television/Streaming: ESPN/ESPN Plus

Betting Odds: Spread: St. Louis-3, O/U: 47

Depth Chart:

week 5 depth chart

D.C. Inactives:   WR Brandon Smith, T Jarrid Williams, TE Ben Bresnahan, DT Kevin Atkins, LB Francis Bernard, CB Nydair Rouse, S Montae Nicholson

St. Louis Inactives: WR Darrius Shepherd, T Teton Saltes, G Abdul Beecham, DT Austin Faoliu, CB Tim Harris

Three Keys to Victory:

Peezy Come Peezy Go:

Jahcour Pearson will get the nod as both the Kick and Punt Returner for St. Louis with Darrius Shepherd sidelined this week. Pearson who made his debut for St. Louis last week will also see an increased workload at Wide Receiver despite already amassing 10 Receptions in Week 4. The diminutive Ole Miss Wide Receiver was All-XFL in 2023, and despite missing 3 games in 2024 is already back to form for the Battlehawks.

Come Saylors Away With Me

After an injury to Mataeo Durant and a slow start to the season Jacob Saylors goes into week 5 as the UFL’s leading rusher with 172 rushing yards in 3 games. Saylors an NFL UDFA and late signing by St. Louis in training camp has become a versatile weapon for the Battlehawks in not only the rushing attack but also through the air.

Keep Ta’amu Guessing:

While Jordan Ta’amu is one of Spring Football’s most recognizable players, in 2024 he’s labored over the first Four games with the departures of Three Offensive Lineman, Three Wide Receivers, and countless injuries throughout the roster. For St. Louis the assignment is simple utilize the length and speed of their EDGE rushers to continue to keep Ta’amu under pressure and off balance in order to put the pressure on a lack luster Offensive Line.

Final Thoughts:

A more complete team in 2024, St. Louis on paper matches up more efficiently than D.C. does this year. With D.C. Continuing to get stung by injuries the Battlehawks are in prime position to manage this game to their likely and leave with their first victory against D.C. in franchise history. In my opinion St. Louis edges D.C. 24-16 as St. Louis makes their claim for the best team in the XFL Conference.

author avatar
Patrick Rifino

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