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Written by: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy
Offensive Player of the Week
Brandon Silvers: QB, Houston Roughnecks
24/30, 239 pass yds, 80% comp.8.0 ypa, 59 long, 3 pass TD, 1 rush for -1yd.
Through the first four weeks of XFL action, Brandon Silvers looks like one of the front runners for MVP honors. Operating out of the young-upstart A.J. Smith’s offense, he has found his stride by finding the fine balance of being a gun slinger and picking apart defenses weak spots. This has led to him being the league leaders in passing touchdowns (10), 20+ yard completions (13), as well as 40+ yard completions (5).
This should come as no surprise, as Silvers has been put impressive showings in alternate spring leagues, including the AAF’s Memphis Express and the XFL 2.0 Seattle Dragons. What his play has continually shown is that he is a sound decision maker who trusts his targets to make a play for him downfield.
Silvers is a Troy graduate, and is still the program’s second all-time leader in passing yards and pass touchdowns. What you get on the field is a smart decision maker who isn’t afraid to stand tall in a collapsing pocket while cycling through progressions downfield. He has enough arm strength to challenge all three levels of the field, and throws with impressive accuracy and touch. He also has enough athleticism that defenses have to keep an eye on him as he can scramble for first downs.
His only drawback is that sometimes he gets too confident in his arm, and will force throws into coverage instead of throwing the ball away. That is a frustrating trait, but I would rather have a QB willing to challenge a defender than be gun shy.
The way Silvers is playing, it would not surprise him to be one of the first players brought into a NFL training camp. If he can continually build this momentum, the 28 year old could possibly make a splash a la Taylor Heincicke in the league.
Defensive Player of the Week
Luq Barcoo: CB, San Antonio Brahmas
6 Total Tackles (3 Solo), 1.0 sack, 1 TFL, 1 INT.
Barcoo is one of my favorite players in all the XFL. His talent level is definitely worthy of being in the NFL. He has had a terrible run of luck with COVID messing up his pre-draft process, and a few injuries throughout his career.
While the Brahmas fell to the Sea Dragons, Barcoo took the head coach, Hines Ward's comments to heart. "If you shut down Josh Gordon, you're back in the NFL." Now Gordon’s stat line shows he made 5 catches for 57 yards, but he was really locked down all game by Barcoo.
He used his terrific length (32” arms) and speed (4.41 40) to run stride for stride with the former NFL receiving leader. He also made a few splash plays in the way of a sack and by snaring his first interception of the season.
As I stated prior, Barcoo is an NFL caliber player who has been flashing playmaking ability while at San Diego State. He had a season where he picked off 9 passes! He has terrific size (6-1) and the athleticism to mirror wideouts highlighted by a 41 inch vertical, 11’3” broad jump, and ridiculous agility (6.84 3-cone) at his Pro Day.
He displays terrific transitional skills and isn’t afraid to mix it up in run defense. The only drawback with Barcoo was his lean build, as he played at around 175lbs., which gives evaluators pause if he has the durability to hold up to the rigors of a long season.
Barcoo is one of the favorites to be in consideration of DPOY in the XFL, and with a continual strong showing will be on a NFL roster in short order.
Special Teams Honorable Mention
John Parker Romo: K, San Antonio Brahmas
2/2, 57yd and 38yd FGs.
Now I couldn’t let the opportunity to let a special teams performance like Romo’s go by, without at least giving him his kudos. He showed off ridiculous leg strength by drilling a 57-yd field goal before half time. Keep kicking like this sir, and you will be making these types of kicks on Sundays!