It bleeds. It is human.
Houston Roughnecks quarterback PJ Walker has received no shortage of high praise — to the point it’s almost difficult for fans to find fault in frontrunner for XFL MVP honors.
He’s considered to be the best and most versatile signal-caller in the league on the only team that remains undefeated.
But like every player does from time to time, he’s sputtered some.
Walker was able to gut through and right the ship in the Roughnecks’ 32-23 victory over the visiting Seattle Dragons in TDECU Stadium.
But things looked awry for a more than a mere moment, as Walker committed his fair share of turnover-worthy plays — two of which resulted in costly interceptions.
This was the first game of the season Houston looked to be in real danger of tarnishing its perfect record, heading into the locker room at halftime finally tied at 14-14 after playing from behind the largest deficit in the team’s existence.
Walker took ownership of his part in the initial struggle.
“The first interception was a bad read on my end,” he told me after the game. “I saw the guy running out there, and I thought with my arm strength I could get it past him, but he went out there and made a great play. The second one was just a bad throw, a bad decision. I’ve just got to lock in.”
Walker finished the game with a completion percentage of 71%, passing for 351 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The ex-Temple quarterback became the first player in XFL history to surpass 1,000 passing yards, now totaling 1,338 on the season.
The biggest takeaway from the victory should be Walker’s sheer bounceback ability and capability of getting his feet back under him in the face of adversity.
In times of hype and scrutiny alike, Walker is the same player mentally.
“It’s the same mentality every week,” Walker said. “I play with a lot of passion and a chip on my shoulder so the noise outside of this building, outside of this locker room, it really doesn’t matter to me. It is what it is.”
Walker wasn’t given a true chance to prove himself and make run for the starting role with the division rival Indianapolis Colts, but a now-retired Andrew Luck pushed for him to get a chance in the relaunch of Vince McMahon’s league.
Will Walker get another opportunity to be the franchise guy for a quarterback-needy NFL team?
Only time will tell if Walker can be successful in the NFL with a second stint, but there’s no other XFL player more deserving of the league’s attention.