San Antonio Brahmas still alive in hunt for XFL playoffs heading into final week of regular season

If Brahmas defeat Defenders and Renegades lose to Roughnecks, San Antonio likely clinches playoff berth

SAN ANTONIO – Following the San Antonio Brahmas’ thrilling comeback victory over the Orlando Guardians on Saturday night, an exhausted Hines Ward took the podium and let out a sigh of relief.

“What a hell of a game, man. Being a head coach, I almost a heart attack multiple times.”

Thanks to a 302-yard passing performance from quarterback Jack Coan and a pick-six from Drew Beesley, the Brahmas overcame a 14-3 second-quarter deficit to defeat the Guardians 25-23. Four of the Brahmas’ six losses this season have been decided by a single possession, including all three of their prior home games. The team was thrilled to get over the hump at home and win a must-win game in front of their fans in the Alamodome.

“We didn’t know how to win those games,” Ward said. “Today, we found a way to win it. We didn’t say, ‘Oh no, here we go again.’ Instead, we embraced it. Guys in the locker room were fired up. We came out, made our adjustments and competed until the very end.”

“It means a lot to us,” Coan explained. “We were waiting to have a big performance like this. It’s been a very difficult season for us and the team as a whole. To see everyone on the same page for most of the plays in the game was awesome, and hopefully we can build upon it.”

WATCH: Highlights from the Brahmas’ comeback victory over the Guardians

The stakes will be just as high next week thanks to the result of Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Arlington Renegades and DC Defenders. The Defenders helped the Brahmas by defeating the Renegades 28-26 in overtime, which means San Antonio still has a chance to qualify for the XFL playoffs.

The path to the playoffs is simple. San Antonio (3-6) currently trails Arlington (4-5) by one game in the XFL South standings with one week left to play. A Brahmas win and a Renegades loss next week means San Antonio clinches the XFL South’s second and final playoff spot. The Brahmas would likely own the tiebreaker thanks to a greater combined record of the opponents they defeated. The top two teams from the XFL South will then square off in the Division Championship round.

The first step will likely be the most difficult. San Antonio must defeat the Defenders (8-1) in the Alamodome on Saturday. DC has already clinched the top spot in the XFL North and will host the Division Championship. Their only loss of the season came in Week 7 against the Guardians 37-36.

WATCH: Drew Beesley breaks down game-winning pick-six

Provided San Antonio wins, the second step is out of their control. The Houston Roughnecks have already clinched the XFL South crown, which means their only motivation heading into Week 10 would be to knock the Renegades out of the playoffs. Houston did defeat Arlington 23-14 in their first meeting of the season back in Week 2, and the Roughnecks swept both games against the Brahmas. If the Brahmas lose, then the Renegades would clinch the final playoff spot without needing a win on Sunday, and the game would merely be a playoff warmup.

It all comes down to the final week of the regular season. Kickoff between the Brahmas and Defenders in the Alamodome is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on KSAT 12.

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