Is there football this weekend? TV schedule, start times and game analysis

The XFL has been teasing 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 Week 9’s XFL games, including kickoff time, channel, live stream option and game analysis.

XFL Games Today: Is There Football This Weekend?

We’re 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 teams, which are still struggling for relevance. Here’s where you can watch the action from this weekend, as well as some insights into what we can expect from each team.

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

  • Date: Saturday, April 15
  • Starting time: 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Options for TV channels and live broadcasts: ABC and ESPN+

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

Dejoun Lee and Brycen Alleyne have fared significantly better than de facto starter Max Borghi. But perhaps Borghi’s struggles have been a mixed blessing, as the team now boasts a fairly versatile backcourt. As we’ve seen with other teams whose starters are gone (eg Seattle), adequate replacements are hard to come by.

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The Roughnecks defeated San Antonio on the road last weekend, ending their skid and securing a playoff spot. Now they can breathe a little easier and a great game against the hapless Vipers comes at a great time.

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

St. Antonius Brahmas (2-6) vs. Orlando Guardians (1-7)

  • Date: Saturday, April 15
  • Starting time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Options for TV channels and live broadcasts: ESPN2 and ESPN+

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

Yes, with two games to play and no team over .500, all four teams in the South Division would be contenders. And honestly, my money would be on the rookie Guardians to finish strong.

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But Quinten Dormady – one of my most hyped players this season, of course – fell apart. He committed four fumbles en route to a two-point loss. The Guardians came 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 road ahead of Arlington, and it starts with their defense, which shuts down the previously high-flying Guardians, much like Arlington. San Antonio certainly has the defensive playmakers to do it. But don’t count out Orlando’s deceptively strong offense, which is now playing with nothing to lose.

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

  • Date: Sunday, April 16
  • Starting time: Noon ET
  • Options for TV channels and live broadcasts: ESPN and ESPN+

How could Arlington blow its two-game lead over San Antonio with two contests remaining? As the Renegades’ remaining schedule is tough as they will face the North and South division leaders.

And DC isn’t just a division leader. They are 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 are also playing to retain home-court advantage in the semi-finals, so we shouldn’t expect them to take their foot off the pedal.

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

This is not a recipe for success. So they’re trying to hang on to a postseason spot, hoping that their QB situation and/or backfield will somehow work out by the time the playoffs roll around.

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

  • Date: Sunday, April 16
  • Starting time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV channel and live streaming options: ESPN2 and ESPN+

If you’re an XFL fan, this is must-see TV. It is probably among the three or four most important races of the season. And the drama continues to pile up because St. Louis superstar QB AJ McCarron is still officially out for Sunday.

McCarron missed last weekend’s game and the team almost paid the price as backup Nick Tiano appeared to be “not quite ready for prime time.” This may not seem fair. But they needed extra time to beat Vegas, which has one of the worst defenses in the league. Tiano often struggled to move the ball. It could have been a disaster for a team with realistic championship aspirations.

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And now, as of Friday, with McCarron under a big question mark, Tiano is injured. The Battlehawks signed Vincent Testaverde Jr. Yes, that Vincent Testaverde Jr. His father was the best player on QB-desperate NFL teams by the time he was 40 years old.

If Testaverde the Younger starts this one, Seattle wins in a must-win game. But if McCarron can get it going, then the Battlehawks will hold the edge. The win sends them to the postseason. The loss creates an incredible variety of scenarios for Week 10, with both teams trying to score as many points as possible (while giving up as few as possible) to win the tiebreaker.

BJ Rudell is the Pro Football Network director of betting. You can read all of BJ’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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