I start by telling you this was a week 2 disaster in our New York Guardians recap. In my preview a few days ago I questioned a lot whether or not the Guardian’s defense could hold up. Well they did that for the most part. The defense is not why I am so frustrated right now after watching the game. The issue for the New York Guardians week 2 disaster was simply a pathetic offensive effort. I figured they would struggle at some points but this game was absolutely embarrassing. Let us break down simply what went wrong.
McGloin struggled consistently in this match up. Several times early on in the game the pressure from the defense looked to be getting to him. He consistently threw off his back foot and did not seem to have touch on the ball. Overall he finished under 50 yards for the day and had 2 turnovers. One interception was returned for a touchdown and the other one was just thrown up late to be easily picked. He made poor decisions throughout and he missed several open wide receivers deep. To me moving forward if McGloin continues to struggle this team needs to make a change at quarterback. His poor play left them behind the chains early on downs and he could not get this offense in rhythm. I would give him one more week and then try Luis Perez or Marquise Williams in week 4.
One final note on McGloin was his attitude during the game. At one point during an interview he pointed out that the whole offensive game plan needed to be change. Although this is not directly tied to his play this could be a huge issues moving forward to the team as a whole. The commentary team seemed to rip him by stating he needed to keep his composure as a whole. To me this could just be the case of frustration being over-exposed by the aspect of the XFL as a whole. However if it continues McGloin may not only lose his starting job but his position on the team.
The New York Guardians looked to be the most balanced to on paper when we previewed their offense. We have not seen that during the first two weeks of the season. Last week the Guardians struggled to get anything on the ground and this week was much of the same. Both Tim Cook and Darius Victor struggled to gain any yards on the ground. Yes the offensive line struggled to open up holes but I did not see any burst by the running backs. Combined, they only had 13 touches throughout the game and had 56 yards. That is not good enough to win when your quarterback is struggling. Look for the team to try a more run oriented approach moving forward if they can block.
Yes the receivers may not have been the root cause of this teams collapse but they did not help McGloin at all today. Several guys missed some sideline catches by not getting their feet in bounds. There was not much separation from this unit as a whole and they were unable to help keep momentum on the offensive side. The playmakers, especially Mekale McKay, needs to become more involved in this offense as they can make huge plays. This can only happen however if the quarterback play improves.
The offensive line is looking like a weak part for this team which is very concerning. They consistently got overmatched by a DC defenders front. They could not open up holes for the running backs and could not protect for Matt McGloin. Early in the game I noticed that it seemed plenty of the lineman were overwhelmed by this defensive front. Several times guys would be let free making life very difficult for McGloin. During that interception return for the interception the line just collapse. A missed block by left tackle Jarron Jones led to McGloin getting hit as he threw causing the interception. Overall they let up 3 sacks and had 5 tackles let up for loss. This unit will have to become more consistent as a whole in order to propel this unit to success.
Now that I have ripped this offensive unit I start by saying that I think the defense played well overall. Early on they struggled to get off the field as they let up 4 third down conversions and a 4th down conversion. Through 3 quarters they let up only 12 points and held firm in the red zone. They were able to contain this explosive offense and keep them contained with little help from the offense. Yes the secondary missed on that first touchdown pass and a late big pass play to set up the field at the end of the half. Yes they missed some tackles here and there. However, there is no arguing as a whole this defense is the unit that is carrying this team. For those reasons and the fact they held strong when their offense struggled, I cannot put blame on this unit.
Most of this recap is geared to the frustrations of the Guardians offensive unit. The offense simply is not producing. Since the first half of the opening game all I have seen in this unit is a struggle in all aspects of the game. They have not been able to produce a solid rush game. McGloin seems to be off the mark almost every single throw. The offensive line cannot block or produce a push against opposing defensive fronts. The playmakers on the outside are not making any bigtime plays. Defensively, again, the Guardians seem to be sound but if the offense cannot produce this is going to be a very long season.