Skip to main content

XFL power rankings: Top 4 gets shake-up after wild Week 5

xfl power rankings
Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
#1D.C. Defenders5-0
#2Houston Roughnecks4-1
#3Seattle Sea Dragons3-2
#4St. Louis Battlehawks3-2
#5Arlington Renegades3-2
#6San Antonio Brahmas1-4
#7Las Vegas Vipers1-4
#8Orlando Guardians0-5

Our XFL power rankings will be your one-stop shop each week to find out what is the pecking order among the eight teams in the late winter-early spring professional football league.

After three years away, a bankruptcy filing, and then the league being sold to Hollywood superstar and WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2021, the XFL will return to the field with an opening weekend featuring their first set of four games on Feb. 18 and 19. The season will span 10 weeks before the 2023 XFL playoffs kick off at the end of April.

Related: XFL games today: 2023 Schedule, teams, and how to watch

With this season’s draft and training camp in Texas out of the way, let’s take a look at the XFL power rankings heading into Week 1 of the 2023 Xtreme Football League season.

8. Orlando Guardians (LW: 8)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Guardians were in the final spot in the first XFL power rankings because the early reviews on their roster and coaching staff, led by Terrell Buckley, weren’t strong. It seems those opinions were on point as the team has had a rough start to the 2023 season.

Over the first few weeks, the team has shown very little beyond a few quarters of competitive play. In Week 5 they looked as good as they have all season as they went punch for punch with the Vipers for four quarters. In the end, it wasn’t enough as they dropped another one and are now the only winless team left in the 2023 season of the XFL.

Written by experts, for sports fans who want a FREE daily newsletter worth reading. Get Sportsnaut First today!

7. Las Vegas Vipers (LW: 7)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Vipers have a unique group of defensive minds led by first-time head coach and Hall-of-Famer Rod Woodson and USFL coaching veteran and two-time Pro Bowler Chris Dishman as defensive coordinator.

Nevertheless, they have struggled this season and hung near the bottom of the XFL power rankings with the Guardians all season long. However, in a battle of winless squads this weekend, the Vipers were finally able to post their first win in a back-and-forth offensive battle they barely eeked out 35-32.

6. San Antonio Brahmas (LW: 6)

The XFL squad with the league boss’ nickname is the team from San Antonio. The Brahmas also have a former Pittsburgh Steelers legend in Hines Ward leading them, but unlike other first-time head coaches, Ward has a pair of coordinators that have a unique leg up on their contemporaries.

The Brahmas have had moments of solid play this season, but their inconsistency has killed them and it showed in a defensive battle loss to the Sea Dragons in Week 4. San Antonio continues to show they have a formidable defensive unit, but when it comes time to put points on the board, their offense always disappoints. As they did when Reid Sinnett threw two late INTs that cost them a big win in Week 5.

5. Arlington Renegades (LW: 5)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma University coaching Bob Stoops is a big part of the reason why the Arlington Renegades started at the top spot of this season’s first XFL power rankings. He seemingly learned from his failings in XFL 2020 and filled out his staff this time with better fits, however, the reign at the top did not last long.

After back-to-back losses, the Renegades righted the ship in Week 5 with a win over the Brahmas that required two interceptions in the fourth to grind out. While they seemed like a force in the XFL early this season, they may be pretenders to the 2023 title.

4. St. Louis Battlehawks (LW: 4)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to Orlando, the St. Louis Battlehawks also have an inexperienced coaching staff, however, former New York Jets tight end Anthony Becht received strong reviews on his performance in camp and it has transitioned to a strong start to the season.

The Battlehawks scored their biggest win of the season in Week 4 in front of 38,000 rabid fans when they beat a talented Arlington Roughnecks squad. However, they hit a roadblock against an unbeaten Defenders squad in Week 5 as the team came up just short 28-20.

3. Seattle Sea Dragons (LW: 5)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Dragons landed a high spot in the first set of XFL power rankings due to the unique connections and experience of their top front office figure and the coaching staff. Yet the team struggled over the first two weeks, losing both games.

However, their offense led by an MVP candidate in QB Ben DiNucci has been a key in their recent hot streak as they won back-to-back after starting 0-2. They then proved in Week 5 that they could be a top contender in 2023 when they pushed their win streak to three with an improbable win over the former No. 1 team in the rankings, the Houston Roughnecks.

2. Houston Roughnecks (LW: 1)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Roughnecks have the most notable veteran head coach in Wade Phillips leading the team in 2023. That means there is reason to expect, at the very least, for the defensive guru to mold Houston into being one of the better defensive units in the XFL power rankings all season long.

As the first few weeks of the season progressed, it became clear that Houston was the top team in the XFL. However, they and their vaunted defense hit a bump in the road in the form of the red-hot Sea Dragons in Week 5, as the team took their first L of the season with a last minutes heartbreaker.

1. D.C. Defenders (LW: 2)

xfl power rankings
Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The DC Defenders have a major upside due to the successful relationship of head coach Reggie Barlow and offense coordinator Fred Kaiss, who have done well together in every stop they have joined each other at. that’s why you have to expect this to be a top-rushing unit in 2023 because that is what these two coaches have specialized at in the past.

After five weeks, the DC Defenders are the only team that remains unbeaten. They moved to 5-0 with a big win over a strong Battlehawks squad. Once again, their run game proved to be a force as MVP candidate Abram Smith rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries.

See exclusives Sportsnaut videos on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.