Paxton Lynch's XFL experience has not gone as he had hoped. The former NFL first-round pick has been benched in each of his first two starts with the Orlando Guardians, who fell to 0-2 after dropping a 30-12 decision to the San Antonio Brahmas on Sunday.
Things started well enough for Lynch, who was the Broncos' first-round pick (26th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. In his XFL debut, he threw a touchdown pass on the game's opening drive against the Houston Roughnecks. He was pulled, however, after throwing a costly interception late in the third quarter of Week 1 with his team trailing by double digits. The Guardians ultimately fell, 33-12.
Sunday's Week 2 game followed a similar script. Lynch started the game with a touchdown pass but was benched after the Guardians gained a total of one yard on their next two possessions. Lynch was relieved in both games by Deondre Francois, who was unable to provide enough spark to Orlando's sleepy offense.
In the Week 1 loss, Lynch threw for 136 yards with a touchdown and a pick on 15 of 21 passing. In Week 2, he was just 9 of 19 for 79 yards and a score in three series of work. He was sacked a total of six times in those two games.
The XFL struggles are the latest in a series of on-field setbacks for Lynch, who went 1-3 during his brief stint as the Broncos' starting quarterback. After parting with Denver after the 2017 season, Lynch spent an entire year as a free agent before failing to make Seattle and Pittsburgh's regular season rosters the following two summers.
Lynch spent the 2021 season as a third-string quarterback in the Canadian Football League before getting injured during his lone season with the USFL's Michigan Panthers.
Lynch's pro career has obviously failed to live up to what he accomplished at Memphis, where his success (he threw 59 touchdowns against 23 interceptions in three seasons) led to him being the NFL's 26th overall pick.