Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media


FSM Essential Preview: Vipers vs Battlehawks – Week 6

Vegas Vipers (1-4) | St. Louis Battlehawks (0-4)

Franchise Sports Media


In a Week 6 XFL matchup, the Vegas Vipers will host the St. Louis Battlehawks at Cashman Field on Saturday, with both teams needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Vipers vs Battlehawks preview.

Vipers vs Battlehawks Pita Taumoepenu
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

This week’s XFL action in Sin City features the Vegas Vipers hosting the St. Louis Battlehawks. The Vipers are looking to build off their first win of the year, while St. Louis is looking to bounce back from another close loss.

The Vipers used a balanced offensive attack, as they had 123 rushing yards against Orlando in their 35-32 Week 5 win. Running back Rod Smith led the way with 62 yards and 2 TD runs. The Vipers also had 269 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Luis Perez. The defense also gave them a boost, causing four sacks and seven tackles for a loss. The Fang Gang hopes to carry that energy into this week’s game.

As the season has rolled along, the Vipers have steadily gotten better offensively, as they now sit third in total offense (313.6 ypg) and fourth in rushing (86.0 ypg) and scoring offense (21.0 ppg) in the XFL. Smith is sixth among running backs in both rushing yards (166) and rushing attempts (46). Perez’s favorite downfield target has been receiver Jeff Badet, who is leading the way in touchdown catches with 5. But Vegas is another story defensively. They’re dead last in both total defense (366.2 ypg) and run defense (142.8 ypg). They’re also second-to-last in the league against the pass (223.4 ypg) and in scoring defense (26.8 ppg).


Vipers vs Battlehawks Deontay Anderson
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Defensive back Deontay Anderson (fourth with 30 tackles), defensive linemen Maximillian Roberts (tied for second with 5.0 sacks), and LaRon Stokes (tied for No. 2 with 7 TFLs) are among the few bright spots for Vipers head coach Rod Woodson’s unit.

The Battlehawks fell to the undefeated D.C. Defenders at home last week as they tried to pull off another game-winning drive in the final minute, only to see a turnover end those chances.

St. Louis looks to get back in the win column to not only keep pace with D.C. but to keep the Seattle Sea Dragons from breathing down their necks as well.

After a strong 2-0 start, St. Louis has lost two of their last three games, including a season sweep by unbeaten D.C., and they’ve been a mixed bag on both sides of the ball. During this stretch, the Battlehawks have given up 938 yards to opposing offenses, committed seven turnovers on offense, and only recorded three sacks, which leaves them two games behind the Defenders in the standings. The positives, however, are that they’ve also recorded seven takeaways.

The St. Louis offense has totaled 976 yards during its last three games, 264 of those coming on the ground, which has given this offense some balance. They’re currently tied with Seattle in the North Division standings, and owning the head-to-head win over the Sea Dragons provides them some extra cushion.

The Vipers vs Battlehawks looks to be a high-scoring game.

Injury Report

Who is hurt for the Vipers vs Battlehawks game?


DB – Deontay Anderson (Thigh)

DL – Robert Windsor (Shoulder)



LB – Maximilian Roberts (Illness)

RB – Rod Smith (Rest)

WR – Martavious Bryant (Knee))

OL – Isaiah Williams (Ankle)

DB – Nijuel Hill (Ankle)

WR – Jeff Badet (Rest)

Franchise Sports Media is getting you ready for Vipers vs Battlehawks before kick-off.

Vipers New and Notes:

The Vipers are featured in Player 54, the XFL docuseries leading up to the Vipers vs Sea Dragons game on Saturday.

Vipers vs Battlehawks Jeff Badet
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Per the Vipers media guide, Vegas has scored on their first or second offensive possession in four of their five games this season. The only game they didn’t score on their first or second possession was against the D.C. Defenders in Week 4. Houston was the only team this season to score on each of its first possessions through Week 4 but failed to do so against Seattle in Week 5. Orlando has also scored on its opening possession four times this season. D.C., San Antonio, and Arlington have scored on their opening possession twice, while Seattle and St. Louis have each done so once. 

Beyond scoring on either the first or second possession of the team’s respective first three games, Vegas has outscored its opposition 52-30 in the first half and didn’t allow a first-half touchdown until Week 3 against Seattle. The 52 first-half points rank as the second most opening-half points in the XFL this season, behind Houston’s 80. The Vipers‘ 13-point differential in the first half ranks third behind the Roughneck’s 28-point differential (80 points for, 52 points allowed) and Seattle’s 20-point differential (51 points for, 31 points allowed).

Vegas, D.C., Houston, and Seattle are the only teams in the XFL with a positive point differential in the first half, as the Defenders have a 12-point differential (50 points for, 38 points against). In the second half, it’s been a different story for Vegas, as the Vipers have been outscored 95-53 in five-second halves this season. The 95 points allowed in the second stanza are the most by any XFL team in the latter half of this season.

After scoring 26 total points in the first two games to open the season, the Vipers matched that total in a 30-26 loss against the Seattle Sea Dragons. The 56 combined points between the Vipers and Sea Dragons was the first game this season to break the 50-point mark. The St. Louis vs. D.C. game surpassed that total when they scored a combined 62 points. In Week 5, Vegas scored 35 points against Orlando. It was the second most points scored by one team this season, only behind Houston’s 44 points scored in Week 4 at Orlando. The Vipers and Guardians also combined to score the most points in the XFL this season, with 67 in Week 5. 

You and your family should watch the Vipers vs Battlehawks on Saturday.

The Vegas Vipers welcome the St. Louis Battlehawks to the Snake Pit on Saturday. The kick-off is at 4 p.m., and the game can be seen on FX. For tickets, tap in here.


-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on Twitter & Instagram at @JoeArrigoFSM

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