Roughnecks 34, Vipers 27

5 Take Aways From The Roughnecks 1st Road Win


QB Talk: PJ Walker will forever be the first name to start off any Roughnecks XFL article. The Houston MVP is a master at escaping pressure with ease and airing the ball all over. A play gone wrong late in the second quarter was turned into a TD by Walker.

On the flip side, Taylor Cornelius is really BAD. I'm pretty sure him and Jameis Winston not only stink it up for Tampa QB reps, but they also share the same eyesight. Accuracy is rare. The Vipers finally decided it was time to put Flowers in. I mean… at least he throws to an actual target, right? The back and forth QB switch up did manage to throw off the Roughnecks D though, I'll give them that.

Defense: Well, Houston officially gave the Tampa Bay Vipers their first TD of the season. Unfortunately, that wasn't their first or worst mistake. The Roughnecks defense looked shaky the entire first half. Okay, that was me being nice. They looked like sh—. Penalties were an issue along with the huge concern when it comes to stopping the run. Quentin Flowers ran all over them. The outside also got burned by the blind QB1/2? A gain of 24 on a 4th down set the Vipers back up for another TD to finish off the third quarter and ice the cake on this defensive performance from Houston.

Lookout: The run game. This has been a struggle for June Jones and the Roughnecks offense all season. There was concern the first quarter but it finally took off. I expected a lot from James Butler this week and that's exactly what we got. I look forward to seeing a lot more of Butler as the season progresses.

Road Games: I don't think traveling on the road was a disadvantage to this team. If anything it was motivation. Going into Tampa against a team that started the season 0-2 was a plot twist. Even for me. We all knew the Vipers would come out playing their best game if they wanted to stay alive at all, we just didn't know they would put on such a good show. This is exactly why the XFL is so fun.

If you're looking for my fifth take away from this game, its simple. Uniforms. Let's take a moment of silence for the disgusting Tampa Bay uni's. Come on.

Your Houston Roughnecks are on the road again next Sunday against the Dallas Renegades at 4pm. We all know how much Houston loves Dallas.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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