The Los Angeles Wildcats come into week 3 with an 0-2 record, and coming to town are the 2-0 DC Defenders. Los Angeles had a tough loss to the Dallas Renegades last weekend, losing 25-18.
Quarterback Josh Johnson started his first game of the season for the Wildcats and was a little shaky but did manage to throw two touchdown passes. With more practices under his belt, expect a better outing from Johnson this weekend, and the Wildcats will need it.
Pressure Cardale Jones
The Defenders come into the game with a fantastic passing attack led by Cardale Jones. Jones is averaging 255.5 passing yards per game and has thrown four touchdowns. DC has a dynamic-duo at the receiver position in Rashad Ross and Eli Rogers, both players are averaging over 60 yards receiving per game.
The Wildcats will need to slow the Defenders passing game down, by pressuring Cardale Jones. Edge rusher Shawn Oakman will need to have a big game for Los Angeles to win the game. Oakman and the front seven must apply pressure to Jones and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. If the front four can’t beat the five men in front of them, the Wildcats will need to use some creative blitzes to get in the backfield.
Run The Ball
Another way to keep a high powered offense off the field is running the football successfully. Wildcats running back Elijah Hood has struggled running the ball, averaging 37 yards per game in the first two weeks. That must change this weekend against the Defenders. Running the ball well will keep the Defenders offense off the field and tire out their defense. Also, running the ball opens up the Play-action passing game.
Hood was out of practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday so it is unclear if he will even play. Look for a running back by committee with Larry Rose leading the way.
Protect Josh Johnson
With Anthony Johnson facing his former team, you know he is going to be hyped up. Los Angeles must do everything they can to slow him down along with the other pass rushers on the Defenders. If protected well, Josh Johnson can get the ball to his talented receiver group, led by Nelson Spruce, who leads the XFL in receiving yards with 192. Look for the Wildcats to use quick passing attack and screens to slow down the Defenders pass rush.