Last week inside MetLife Stadium, it seemed as if the New York Guardians were unstoppable. Things drastically changed in week two, as the Guardians were outplayed by the DC Defenders yesterday (February 15) 27-0. Inside Audi Field, 15,031 fans saw all the good feelings turned into tension and drama building between QB Matt McGloin and the entire Guardians team.
From the moment the game started, the offense of the Guardians was just not clicking. McGloin, who scored two touchdowns last week and threw for 182 yards, was ineffective this time around. He finished 8-for-19 with 44 yards, two interceptions and a lost fumble. McGloin ended up throwing long shots that were missed several times by his receivers. Long throws were in favor of short ones. When asked at the half what needed to change for the Guardians, McGloin did not mince his words.
"We need to change the whole entire gameplan at halftime," McGloin stated. "There's just a lot going on right now. It is embarrassing for us on offense, so a lot of things we want to fix and correct."
There appeared to be a lot of tension between McGloin and the QB coach G.A. Mangus. Throughout the game, there were talks of a culture change that seemed awkward when viewing it as a fan of the program. When McGloin was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter, backup QB Marquise Williams ended up with 51 yards passing.
As far as the rest of the offense for the Guardians went, RB Tim Cook ran for 39 yards on ten carries and WR Mekale McKay caught the ball three times for 30 yards. The Guardians only secured the first down five times and were 1/11 on third-down conversions.
Coach Kevin Gilbride, who had to have a meeting with McGloin on the sideline, didn't blame the loss on the QB, but how he coached the game.
"I'm disappointed with how we played, and that's on me… When you play as poorly as we did today, one of two things is going to happen," Gilbride stated after the game. "You will either recognize that this wasn't good enough and you're going to dig down deeper and you're going to rally each other and inspire each other… Or you splinter apart. I thought they (Guardians defense) played inspired football, it's not wasted. The effort that was put forth… it was quite an example of how to go about your business… Knowing the character that was demonstrated today, I would be very very surprised if we don't rally around each other and come back ready to play next week."
The defense of the Guardians was better than the offense, but it wasn't as sharp as last week. The team had one interception, thanks D'Juan Hines. There were no sacks on Cardale Jones, who was having himself a game. Last week, the Guardians' defense made Vipers QB Aaron Murray throw two interceptions. The defensive line of the Defenders took a tweet by the Guardians personal. The Defenders' Anthony Johnson, who was traded from Los Angeles earlier this week, ended up having three tackles in the game to go along with 1.5 sacks.
As far as Jones went, he was unstoppable. He had 276 passing yards, two touchdowns and upped his QB rating to 91.7. Rashad Ross and DeAndre Thompkins combined for 187 passing yards on ten receptions. Eli Rogers, who's mother passed away this week, caught the ball five times for 49 yards.
The Defenders;= offense was toying with the Guardians all day. At one point they succeeded in throwing a double-forward pass. Towards the end of the game, the Defenders were messing around and tried going for a three-point play following a touchdown, but were unsuccessful.
McGloin ended up calling the game the worst he's ever experienced. There is sure to be a team meeting which will hopefully address the issues McGloin and the rest of the Guardians have.
The Guardians are once again on the road in week three, as they will face the St. Louis BattleHawks inside The Dome at America's Center. This will be the BattleHawks' home opener in football's return to St. Louis. The game will be on Sunday, February 23 at 3 p.m. ET