If you’re looking for a consistent football team in the XFL, look no further than the BattleHawks. St. Louis became a model of consistency game after game in 2020. Despite a 3-2 record, the BattleHawks showed that they had above average talent in all three phases of the game. Below I’ll examine the team as a whole in 2020 and what we could see from them moving forward as the 2022 XFL season approaches.
Players lost to the NFL
Kenny Robinson – Carolina Panthers
Taylor Russolino – Denver Broncos (Practice Squad)
Jordan Ta’amu- Detroit Lions (Practice Squad)
Connor Davis – New York Jets (Practice Squad)
Taylor Heinicke – Washington Football Team (Practice Squad)
BattleHawks Players who made an Impact
Jordan Ta’amu – 97 of 134, 72% Completion Percentage (best in XFL), 1050 Passing Yards, 5 Passing Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions, 41 Rushing Attempts, 217 Rushing Yards (1st among QBs in XFL), 1 Rushing Touchdown
Matt Jones – 80 Rushing Attempts, 314 Rushing Yards, 1 Rushing Touchdown, 2 Receptions, 25 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving Touchdown
Christine Michael – 59 Rushing Attempts, 178 Rushing Yards, 1 Rushing Touchdown, 4 Receptions, 35 Receiving Yards
L’Damian Washington – 21 Receptions, 252 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving Touchdown
De’Mornay Pierson-El – 23 Receptions, 209 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving Touchdowns, 12 Punt Returns, 67 Yards
Kieth Mumphery – 6 Receptions, 102 Receiving Yards, 21 Kick Returns, 403 Kick Return Yards
Terence Garvin – 36 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Quarterback Hit, 4 Tackles for Loss
Dexter McCoil – 36 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Quarterback Hit, 2 Tackles for Loss
Will Hill – 33 Tackles, 3 Quarterback Hits, 4 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 2 Pass Break Ups
Kenny Robinson – 21 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Quarterback Hit, 2 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 2 Pass Break Ups
Taylor Russolino – 9/10 Field Goals, Longest FG made in XFL in 2020: 58 Yards
What to Look forward to
This St. Louis team, by all accounts, had one of the top offenses in the XFL in 2020. So much so that the BattleHawks average 350 yards per game. It was a balanced attack as they were the 2nd best rushing team in the league and the 3rd best when passing the ball. They were 1st in 3rd down efficiency at 46%. Protecting the football also translated to success as the BattleHawks committed the fewest turnovers in the league with only 3 in 5 games. While the defense might not have been the most flashy, they allowed the 2nd fewest yards allowed per game and the fewest points allowed in the league. This St. Louis team also boasted the best punt average in the XFL in 2020. Being efficient in all three phases of the game made the BattleHawks one of the most complete teams in the league. Stepping back from the X’s and O’s, the award for the best attendance in the XFL also belonged to St. Louis. They averaged 28,540 fans in attendance for their 2 home games. The most fans to attend a game in the XFL was the BattleHawks home opener vs the New York Guardians. 29,554 fans packed into The Dome at America’s Center as St. Louis came away with a 29-9 victory. Win, lose or draw, the fans in St. Louis will show up to support their team. In conclusion, the BattleHawks lost both of their games by a combined 13 points. This team could have been sitting at 5-0 instead of 3-2. Head Coach Jonathan Hayes put together arguably the most disciplined team in the XFL in 2020.
The biggest concern that haunts the St. Louis BattleHawks is losing personnel and players. Yes, they only forced 4 takeaways and they did not score any defensive touchdowns. Yes, they had the fewest punt return yards in the league. Other than that, this team played about as good of football as you can play. As it stands today, the team is without starting Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, backup Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, and placekicker Taylor Russolino. Safety Kenny Robinson was drafted in the 5th round this past year by the Carolina Panthers and has a promising future there. Not to mention BattleHawks Head Coach Jonathan Hayes has interviewed with Vanderbilt for its Head Coaching vacancy. Football teams in the professional and college ranks have taken notice of the BattleHawks top performers. As previously mentioned, this St. Louis team could potentially look quite a bit different come the Spring of 2022. In conclusion, the City of St. Louis yearned for a professional football team and that’s exactly what they received. The BattleHawks soared to a first place tie in the East division. When the action returns in 2022, look for St. Louis to continue the upward trend and separate themselves atop the pecking order in the XFL.
Header Pic Credit:
(Credit: ST. LOUIS, MO – FEBRUARY 29: The St. Louis BattleHawks huddle before the XFL game against the Seattle Dragons at The Dome at America’s Center on February 29, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/XFL via Getty Images)