D.C. Defenders at Memphis Showboats, Sunday 26 May, 2024

The D.C. Defenders travel to Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium for an inter-conference clash with the Memphis Showboats. 

Both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention and have struggled getting wins recently. The Defenders are in a rough patch; after starting their season 2-2, they are 1-4 over their last five games. The case is similar with the Showboats, who started their season strong with a win over the Houston Roughnecks but haven’t won since.


Frankly, the Defenders have lacked explosiveness on offense compared to last season without All-XFL playmakers like Abram Smith and Lucky Jackson. 

Jordan Ta’amu has looked like a completely different version of himself in 2024. Last season, Ta’amu threw three interceptions in total. Now, through eight games this year, he’s already thrown seven.

The Defenders have gotten away from the run over their past couple of games, as their rushing attack has been inconsistent all season. Cam’Ron Harris, D.C.’s leading rusher, has rushed for just 178 yards on the season, which is good for 13th league-wide.

While I’ve talked about D.C.’s offensive struggles, this contest against the Showboats’ below-average defensive unit will provide an excellent opportunity for the Defenders to find a spark. The Showboats have let five of their last six opponents score more than 30 points.

Wide receiver Ty Scott will be a player to watch for the Defenders. Scott started the season as a backup and has since worked his way into the starting lineup. He is second on D.C. in receiving yardage (331) with only injured Kelvin Harmon ahead of him. Scott is a young-emerging superstar with a bright future ahead in football.

Last week, the Defenders struggled to stop a one-dimensional St. Louis Battlehawks offense that was missing star quarterback A.J. McCarron, allowing 141 yards on the ground on 31 carries (4.5 yards per carry) from St. Louis.

Memphis’ offensive line has struggled all season in creating rushing lanes and protecting the quarterback. With that, the Defenders have a good shot at winning the battle in the trenches. 

Malik Fisher (6.0 sacks) and Derick Roberson (4.5 sacks) are edge rushers to watch and are players I’m expecting to give the Showboats problems in pass protection.


Quarterback Troy Williams, making his third start of the season, is a threat with both his arm and his legs. The more Williams can keep D.C.’s defense on its toes, the better it will be for the Showboats.

While the Showboats have struggled this season, wide receiver Daewood Davis has been a bright spot. Expect to see the Defenders send double teams his way.

Davis is currently tied for first league-wide in receiving touchdowns (five) and is second league-wide in receiving yardage (443). He is one the fastest players in the UFL and has been Memphis’ top offensive playmaker.

Last week, the Showboats had their best defensive performance in a while, and that says something considering they allowed 24 points and 344 total yards from the Michigan Panthers with two backup quarterbacks.

Two weeks ago, the Showboats allowed 47 and 415 total yards as the reigning XFL champion Arlington Renegades picked up their first win of the season. It truly looked like Memphis’ defensive unit gave up on a season with not much to play for with playoffs out of the picture.

We will see what type of effort we get from the Showboats, on a seven-game losing streak, in a very winnable game.

Final Thoughts

Neither team has much to play for, as both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. 

These teams are even on paper. In the end, I think it will simply come down to who wants it more.

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