You just knew the Seattle Dragons would provide the first dramatic game of the XFL season, right?
A poor first half on offense had the Dragons down 3-0 against the Tampa Bay Vipers despite suffocating defense and great field position. Quarterback Brandon Silvers was misfiring like crazy and the running game was doing nothing.
BUT CAN YOU WIN GAMES IN THE FIRST QUARTER?! CAN YOU WIN GAMES IN THE SECOND QUARTER?!
...Well Silvers tried to give the game away early in the 3rd quarter. A rotten pick-six extended Tampa’s lead to 9-0 when it should’ve been at least a field goal attempt for the Dragons. At this point, a section of the 29,272 fans at CenturyLink Field had seen enough of Silvers.
Chants of BJ filling the stadium after that pick-6— Tyler Alsin (@TylerjAlsin) February 15, 2020
The people have spoken, and they are done with Silvers pic.twitter.com/U8HdvrgaUP
BJ Daniels wouldn’t be put in the game, as Silvers responded with a 68-yard pass in stride to former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Keenan Reynolds for a touchdown.
(Silvers is still bad though)
As an answer, Brandon Silvers finds Keenan Reynolds for a 68-yard touchdown, just shy of nice pic.twitter.com/9kVlIMpuDg— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 15, 2020
Seattle took the lead for good to cap off a wild third quarter thanks to an unreal sequence. A 3rd and 13 turned into 3rd and 24 after an unnecessary roughness penalty on a Vipers offensive lineman. Former Seahawks UDFA Marcell Frazier snagged a short throw from Cornelius Flowers right near the goal line and got himself a pick-six.
Unbelievable sequence for the Seattle Dragons— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 15, 2020
* Delay of game on Tampa Bay Vipers calls the play dead
* Marcell Frazier runs into Quinton Flowers, no call
* Isaiah Williams headbutts Frazier in response, flagged
* Frazier intercepts Flowers at the end zone, touchdown Seattle pic.twitter.com/QiVRHSJBY4
The Vipers fought back and were able to drive all the way to Seattle’s 1. Two stuffed runs forced 3rd and goal, but the pass was dropped at the goal line. Marc Trestman opted for the field goal, and the results were disastrous. A fumbled snap aborted the attempt altogether and the Vipers wound up with no points.
Seattle’s defense swarmed Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks throughout the game and forced a turnover on downs late in the 4th quarter, with a blitz leading to a sack of Cornelius. Of course, much like the Seahawks, the Dragons skipped over the “close the game out like a normal” team portion of the handbook and ran it into a brick wall three times before kicking a field goal.
With the score 17-9, Tampa Bay could tie or win it with their final possession. They thought they had a late touchdown but offensive pass interference was rightfully called on Daniel Williams. On the game’s final play, Cornelius was picked off in the end zone to seal a dramatic first XFL win.
Taylor Cornelius ends the game on an INT to Kyle Queiro pic.twitter.com/AffhI8V3vb— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 16, 2020
Full highlights can be seen in the video below. WERE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!
Seattle’s next game is home against the Dallas Renegades on February 22nd at 2 PM PT on FOX.