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X Cup 2022 Game Preview: Chicago Blitz vs Atlanta Empire

Thu, Sep 08, 2022

The historic inaugural season of the X League comes down to the league’s sole remaining undefeated teams, the Chicago Blitz and the Atlanta Empire. The winner will go down in the records books and history of the X League as its first-ever X Cup champion while the loser will have a devastating end to what otherwise would be remembered as a magical season.

The Chicago Blitz enter the game as a 4.5pt favorite primarily due to its No.1 ranked offense and a banged-up Atlanta Empire QB1 in Bailey Hodgins who is nursing an ankle injury that may hinder her mobility. While it was the Blitz defense getting all the headlines coming into the 2022 season, it has been Chicago’s No.1 ranked offense that has impressed behind the surprising play of its QB1 Stephanie Raymond who has beaten impressive teams with their arm and legs. Raymond is 2nd in the league in rushing (trailing Miriah Lopez of LA) and 4th in passing. In addition to Raymond, Chicago’s run-game also features Javell Thompson who quietly has had a very strong season averaging an impressive 6.7yds per carry. The Chicago defense is led by middle linebacker Kristin Kampa who is tied for the league lead in tackles with Austin’s Whitney Palmer.

Atlanta Empire may be asking X League analysts to put some ‘Respect’ on their name, here’s a team who has performed well all season as perhaps one of the most well-rounded rosters in the X League. The two major stories out of Atlanta for the 2022 season has been the emergence of its future Franchise QB in Bailey Hodgins, the 19yr old comes into the X Cup with a 109 QBR. Additionally, the Empire have ridden the legs of League MVP nominee Jessica Salazar to the X Cup, Salazar has registered dominating play on both sides of the ball. Many believe Atlanta’s fate will come down to the play of its defense who features Defensive Player of the Year nominee Keyon Harrison in the middle and a secondary that has evolved led by safety Cali Stanley.

On the sidelines, both teams feature impressive coaching staffs as both head coaches Dane Robinson of Atlanta and Sidney Lewis of Chicago are Coach of the Year nominees. Robinson would get the slight edge due to his experience.

Expect perhaps the most physical game of the 2022 season as both teams are carbon copies of one another, physical front lines with a power run game, and a blue-collar approach on the defensive side of the ball.


What: X Cup
Date: Saturday, September 10
Where: H-E-B Center at Cedar Park (Austin, TX.)
Time: 8pmET Kickoff
Injuries: Bailey Hodgins ATL (Ankle) Probable, Kayla Weller ATL (Broken Finger) Probable
Betting Line: Chicago -4
Score Prediction: Chicago 38 Atlanta 30
Watch: LIVE on FANPASS
Tickets: Click Here


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