3 reasons to be excited about the XFL
The XFL is set to make its return Saturday. We have all the games and futures available for you right here at BetAmerica. You can keep your football fix going for another two months, before the NFL offseason begins.
XFL Championship Odds
|Team||XFL Championship Odds|
New York Guardians
Tampa Bay Vipers
Los Angeles Wildcats
St. Louis BattleHawks
It has been 19 years since the XFL entered the scene for a one-year stint. Vince McMahon called it a “colossal failure,” but noted that he learned what changes needed to be made.
The original stint should get credit for a few broadcast innovations now commonplace in the NFL—Skycams, mic’d-up players, and in-game interviews. Who knows what this stint will bring us.
I know one thing for sure. There are reasons to be excited about this new XFL.
The XFL made quite a few rule changes to help make the game more exciting, and many touch on special teams.
Touchbacks will now bring the ball out to the 35-yard line if the ball is kicked directly into the endzone, but if the ball lands in bounds and bounces in to the endzone, the ball goes to the 15-yard line.
This will incentivize the kicking team to put the ball in play, and the return team is incentivized to make a return. The other key factor is that the kicking team’s players, other than the kicker, will start at the opponent's 35-yard line. The return team, other than the returner, will line up on the 30-yard line.
Neither team can move until the returner makes contact with the ball. This will create more space for returns and also eliminate many safety concerns associated with kickoffs.
Punts and extra points are also changing. The gunners on punts are not allowed to move forward until the ball is kicked, and any touchback or ball kicked out of bounds inside the 35-yard line will move the ball to the 35-yard line.
Many of the teams in XFL are loaded with players that you'll remember from college or the NFL. A few names that pop are Christine Michael, Kony Ealy, Cardale Jones, Antonio Callaway, Connor Cook, and Landry Jones.
The opening game on ABC will feature the Seattle Dragons and the DC Defenders. It will be Cardale Jones versus B.J. Daniels—two exciting quarterbacks in college who never quite got their shot at an NFL starting job.
More action, less downtime
The XFL will have a 25-second play clock, with a dedicated official for spotting the ball, to cut the amount of downtime between plays. The game clock will start as soon as the ball is spotted after out-of-bounds plays and incompletions, outside of the final two minutes of each half. Each team will only get two timeouts per half and halftime will only be 10 minutes long.
Another major change that will increase action and excitement comes in the late stages of each half. In the final two minutes of each half, the clock will stop after every play, until the ball is spotted and five seconds have run off the play clock. This will help teams make comebacks and prevent others from running out the clock.