Guarding the Posts – Examining the New York Guardians in 2020 and Beyond

The New York Guardians of the XFL had a true “up and down” season in 2020. Inconsistent quarterback play is part of the reason the Guardians did not finish better than 3-2 this last year. After Week One, the Guardians looked towards DC to take on the Defenders. Quarterback Matt McGloin struggled and infamously called out his entire offense heading into halftime. After the game, the Gaurdians would turn to backup Quarterback Luis Perez the rest of the way. New York finished 2-1 in their final three games.

Players lost to the NFL

Matthew McCrane – Cleveland Browns (Practice Squad)

Jarron Jones – Pittsburgh Steelers (Practice Squad)

Anthony Coyle – Pittsburgh Steelers (Practice Squad)

Guardians Players who Made an Impact

Darius Victor – 60 Rushes, 242 Rushing Yards, 4.2 Yards per Rush, 8 Receptions, 36 Receiving Yards

Colby Pearson – 16 Receptions, 223 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving Touchdowns

Cavon Walker – 19 Tackles, League leading 4.5 Sacks, 9 Quarterback Hits, 5 Tackles for Loss

Bunmi Rotimi – 25 Tackles, 1 Sack, 5 Quarterback Hits, 4 Tackles for Loss

Drayvon Askew-Henry – 11 Tackles, 6 Passes Defensed

Austin Duke – 136 Kick Return Yards, 99 Punt Return Yards

Matthew McCrane – 8 Field Goals Made

(Credit: ARLINGTON, TEXAS – MARCH 07: Cavon Walker #99 of the New York Guardians celebrates after sacking quarterback Philip Nelson of the Dallas Renegades at an XFL football game on March 07, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

What to Look Forward to

Simply put, the Guardians Defense was elite. They ranked second in Points Against and Sacks, with 85 and 13 respectively. New York also finished tied for first with 2 Defensive Touchdowns. The Guardians ranked 3rd in 4th down efficiency in 2020 at a 50% clip. The Offense protected the ball well, giving up only 5 turnovers, good for 2nd best in the league. Couple that with the leagues second best extra point success rate and you have a disciplined offense. Add in a perfect 8 for 8 on Field Goal Attempts and you’ve got yourself some respectable stats for this 3-2 team. Head coach Kevin Gilbride put together a solid Defense while also assembling arguably the best Offensive Line in the league.

(Credit: ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 7: Head coach Kevin Gilbride of the New York Guardians talks to the team after the XFL game against the Dallas Renegades at Globe Life Park on March 7, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/XFL via Getty Images)

Final Thoughts

All in all, the New York Guardians have some pieces to make this franchise a successful one. They’ll have to improve on the offensive side of the ball if they wish to accomplish anything though. The Guardians mustered 79 points in 5 games, worst in the XFL. They also finished as the worst team in 3rd down conversion percentage. Not to mention only scoring 6 touchdowns in 5 games, also worst in the league in 2020. Inconsistent quarterback play may have been a factor in the Guardians offensive woes last season as well. With all that being said, New York finished tied for first place in the East. The Guardians will need some improvement on offense in order to compete in the XFL in 2022.

Leave a Reply