The New York Guardians schedule starts on February 9th at home in Metlife Stadium. Games for the Guardians this season will consist of a 10 week season followed by playoffs on either Saturdays or Sundays. With so much excitement ahead for this team, we decided to break down their schedule week by week to give you guys an overview of what to expect this season. With such little to go on in a league like the XFL, anything is possible every given week. It will be important to view the other 7 teams the Guardians will face in a transparent viewpoint. Throughout the year we will break down the match ups in more depth taking into account the offenses and defense for each game. Let us begin by giving you our thoughts on the Guardians week by week opponents.
Opening Divisional Weeks
Week 1: vs Tampa Bay Vipers: 2/9, 2pm ET on FOX
There is nothing more exciting to me than having the New York Guardians schedule open up opening weekend at home. Having this game on Fox should give them a very good TV audience. The Vipers are a team the Guardians are familiar with, as they had their last preseason scrimmage against them. Led by Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, the Vipers should be a good challenge for the Guardians. Notable former Browns receiver Antonio Callaway will be the playmaker to stop on the offensive side of the ball. The Vipers defensive unit is not as strong looking on paper, but again should not be taken lightly.
Week 2: @ DC Defenders: 2/15, 2pm ET on ABC
Week two for the Guardians comes with a bit of a disadvantage. The Defenders gets an extra days rest and time to prepare a bit more. With a new league this potentially can be viewed as an advantage due to game plan management. The Defenders come into the game with Cardale Jones who is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Many will remember Jones from his incredible championship run at Ohio St. The defense for the Guardians will be tested here as Jones will look to utilize several big name weapons, such as Eli Rodgers and Rashad Ross. Rodgers recently had a stint with the Steelers while Rodgers dominated in the AAF. Safety Matt Elam, a former first round NFL draft pick, leads the Defenders defensive unit. The Guardians will likely have to put up a ton of points to win this one against a good Guardians defense.
Week 3: @ St. Louis BattleHawks: 2/23, 3pm ET on ESPN
The New York Guardians schedule includes back to back road games early on in the year. The Battlehawks round out the first leg of divisional match ups for the Guardians. The defense for the Guardians will be tested by a pair of talented running backs in Christine Michael and Matt Jones. Both players have some NFL experience and the ground game could be the strength of their unit. The rush defense for the Guardians was the one question mark I had about this team, so they most likely will be tested in this matchup. The Battlehawks are not as talented compared to other teams on the defensive side of the ball. Their cornerback position may be the weak spot and the Guardians should be able to attack through the air.
Week 4: vs. Los Angeles Wildcats: 2/29, 2pm ET on ABC
The Wildcats will be the first of 4 straight match ups against the Western Division in New York Guardians schedule. The Guardians will have a huge advantage at home as western teams in football normally struggle against east coast teams. Although this is a new league historical trends should still apply. The Wildcats are led by Josh Johnson, who recently started a few games for the Redskins a few years ago. A top player on their unit is Elijah Hood from UNC. Hood is a very versatile back that again should test this Guardian defense. The Guardians offensive line will also have to hold up against Shawn Oakman, who is a top notch edge rusher. Expect a physical contest that could be won in the trenches.
Week 5: @ Dallas Renegades: 3/7, 5pm ET on FOX
Regarded as the two favorites to win it all, the New York Guardians will hopefully be in a position to challenge the Renegades. The first thing that pops out about Dallas is their coach Bob Stoops. Stoops was regarded as one of the best offensive minds in the college football game. He will be thrilled to have one of his top quarterbacks Landry Jones to pair with. He should have an explosive wide receiver in Tommylee Lewis and a top notch runner in Cameron Artis-Payne. The Guardians secondary will have to play lights out and Jamar Summer will have to be the shutdown corner he can be in this matchup. The Guardians offense should have some success against this Renegade defense. I expect the Guardians to utilize the clock to keep Stoops offense off the field.
Week 6: vs Houston Roughnecks: 3/14, 2pm ET on ABC
The New York Guardians will have to be ready for the Roughnecks pass heavy attack. June Jones will have either Connor Cook or P.J. Walker ready to air it out. The interesting part about the Roughnecks is running back Andre Williams. Williams is a power runner which is an interesting fit for this scheme. Although the Guardians will have to defend mightily against the pass, they need to be prepared for some downhill running out of the shotgun. The offensive line of the Guardians also will have to hold up against Kony Ealy. Ealy had 14 NFL sacks and if he can get after the quarterback it will be tough. If the line can hold up the Guardians should have some success moving the ball against the Roughnecks.
Week 7: @ Seattle Dragons: 3/22, 3pm ET on ABC
The New York Guardians schedule includes a cross country trip at Seattle. The Dragons may be on paper the worst team in the league, but that does not mean they should be taken lightly. The Dragons have named Brandon Silvers as their quarterback who recently played with the Memphis Express. He has been throwing the ball in camp, but he may be one of the weaker quarterbacks in the league. On the defensive side the top player is Sterling Moore. The safety had six interceptions in his NFL career. This game could be a must win for the Guardians to beat an inferior team on the road. Building momentum in this part of the season and keeping conditioned will be key for teams in this league. If they do they could make a run in the final stretch of games at the playoffs.
Guardians Divisional Rematches
Week 8: vs St. Louis Battlehawks: 3/28, 5pm ET on FOX.
Week 9: vs DC Defenders: 4/4, 2pm ET on ABC.
Week 10: @ Tampa Bay Vipers: 4/12, TBA
The last three weeks of the season will be like the first three for the New York Guardians. They will be playing every divisional opponent to finish the year which could make or break their season. The important thing for the Guardians is that they get to host both the Battlehawks and the Defenders at home. That home field advantage can be crucial in order to try and clinch a postseason spot. It is important to know that head to head is very important as well as division records for who could get home field in the playoffs. Being that there is only one game before the championship a team could get a home playoff game. I expect the last two games of the season could decide whether the Guardians get in or not. They will have to be playing their best football to have a shot.
A huge factor that could work in the New York Guardians favor is the outdoor cold weather. Being in the Northeast allows for a huge advantage if the Guardians can use it to their advantage. Teams from Florida, Texas, and California may struggle in the colder temperature. Being that this is a 10 game season teams will have to start strong and finish strong. The New York Guardians schedule includes divisional match ups at both ends of the season which will make it interesting. With a strong offensive cast and a tough defensive unit, look for this Guardian team to overcome the schedule challenges. If they can win a few games on the road, they should be able to defend their home turf. Look for them to be true Guardians of New York.