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Notre Dame Football: XFL Week 1 Recap

Consensus: Good Football, Fun Rules, and Jack Coan

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Oklahoma State v Notre Dame Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images


For anyone who is looking to watch some off-season football, I strongly recommend the XFL. I was not very interested, but was fully in charge of my daughter this weekend and she loves football, so we HAD to watch (obviously).

What I turned on was some very solid football with some great wrinkles when it comes to rules. Honestly, a lot of the wrinkles worked, and I wanted to share a quick breakdown of some that stood out.

Kickoffs Rules

Right off the bat, I was impressed by the kickoff rules. The rules strongly encourages returns, but reduces the huge collisions. As a former special teams player, I loved this. It provides a big opportunity for guys to make plays who aren’t rotational players. I bet the NFL picks this up within 2 years.


Booth reviews....were....AWESOME. They panned into Dean Blandino live who walked through what he was looking for and the actual ruling on the field. This will eliminate the “wtf are they seeing that I am not”. You might not agree with them every time, but at least there will be clear explanations. I don’t think the NFL will pick this up makes too much sense.

Extra Points

1, 2, and 3 point options. This was really cool to see, but if I had rooted interest in the teams I would be so nervous. 2-yard line = one point; 5-yard line = two points; 10-yard line = three points. I doubt the NFL would pick this up, but it makes for fun games and helps close deficits quickly.

4th Quarter “onside kick”

One of the most unique parts of the game is a 4th quarter wrinkle after you score. As opposed to an onside kick, which has a WILDLY small chance of being successful, teams can opt for a 4th and 15 from their own 25. It is higher risk, but way higher reward. We saw this play out in the Brahmas/Battlehawks game after a 9 point TD (6 pt td + 3 point play).

There were other wrinkles I enjoyed, but these 4 really stood out to me as making the game unique and enjoyable without feeling gimmicky.

Notre Dame Players

2 Notre Dame players participated this weekend, both playing for the San Antonio Brahmas. Jack Coan started at Quarterback and Alize Mack started at TE. Both players are looking to use the XFL as a launching pad to crack into the NFL. I thought Coan played very well behind a poor OL. He finished the game 25/36 with 207 yards and a touchdown. He very much looked the part and if he keeps it up, could parlay this into a backup/practice squad role. He had a few drops, but looked confident throughout the day, especially on his lone TD throw. Due to the wild rules stated above, the Battlehawks were able to come back and won 18-15, after being down 15-3 with 3 minutes left. Coan will look to build on the performance next week.

Mack had a slower day, but looked the part (which has never been his issue). He finished 3 catches for 9 yards. He will get his chance and hopefully we will see him develop a strong connection with Coan.

Overall thoughts

The XFL was fun enough to keep me coming for another week. I wish there were more ND representation, but overall I was able to sit down and watch a couple games with high interest. I’ll try and follow with Brahmas each week, but overall, you should tune in and I’ll keep doing some recapping. Until next time, GO IRISH.