The Seattle Dragons are back! The Dragons and their Game of Thrones-esque logo will descend on CenturyLink Field for a second home game in a row. They’ll take on the Dallas Renegades on Saturday, and it’ll be covered by FOX again at 2 PM local time.
As the XFL is new, there’s still extremely little information out there compared to its titanic football older brother. For example, nothing on the ESPN app regarding XFL is even clickable. There are a smattering of recaps, highlights, podcasts, and review pieces available to interested fans willing to look.
But you, most newest of XFL fans deserve better, and so we are proud to present one of the only preview pieces for the Renegades’ trip to Seattle on the entire Internet! Consider yourself blessed beyond measure.
How they’ve done thus far
Both teams are 1-1, while the Dragons holds a slightly better point differential by one touchdown. Seattle is coming off their biggest win streak in franchise history, having beaten the Tampa Bay Vipers 17-9 last Saturday.
In Week 1, the Dragons got off to a decent start before falling victim to what will probably be the runaway leaders of the XFL’s maiden voyage - the D.C. Defenders. The Defenders look very good - like they could compete with LSU good - and Seattle’s quarterback Brandon Silvers could not do in 40 attempts what DC’s Cardale Jones did in 26 attempts.
Dallas fell in their opener as well, before taking down the Los Angeles Wildcats 25-18 in Week 2. After a short recovery, Landry Jones was back at quarterback for the Renegades, though he didn’t play any better than his replacement until the 4th quarter.
Week 2 stars to watch
Clark had a huge game against the Vipers last Saturday. Not only because of the interception, which was as poorly placed as a Jared Goff deep ball when a defender gets within, say, seven yards of his release. Clark was also in on a sack late in the game, and had a huge pass defensed on a very, very open receiver in the second half. He’s currently being utilized a bit like Bradley McDougald if that helps, playing up on the line of scrimmage with some regularity in addition to being the second to last guy back most of the time.
Obviously Reynolds is one of the most familiar Seattle Seahawk names of recency, with only Kasen Williams being a bigger preseason hero in his day. In Week 2, Reynolds had 87 yards and a touchdown on only three receptions. He was targeted eight times, as he demonstrated to 30,000 fans that Brandon Silvers is quite poor throwing the football. Reynolds was just plain getting open. It was unfortunate that he couldn’t have an even bigger game. It’s clear that he is at least as big a part of the offense as Austin Proehl, the leader of Week 1. Reynolds also secured Seattle’s two-point conversion after their defensive touchdown on a quick slant.
Landry Jones: Before the season started, the league and media began hyping things up with Dallas’s Landry Jones as one of the front-runners. The well-known college star and former backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers started Week 2 for the Renegades. Contracts have been not fully released yet, but rumor is that Jones is at the top of the list, and is somewhere around $500k for the season. He seemed to improve as the game went on, leading the Renegades to their first victory last week and finishing with 300 passing yards.
But is he any good?
I report. You decide.
The XFL is going to be littered with guys that make you go “hey why does that name sound familiar....” and Artis-Payne is that guy for Dallas. You’ve heard of him because he was in the NFL for four seasons, and because running backs with hyphenated names are really cool. He sat behind the likes of Jonathan Stewart, and never became a starter.
However, he averaged 7.1 yards per carry last week on the way to two touchdowns and a prototypical run-the-clock-out-because-our-guy-can victory over the Los Angeles Wildcats. He’ll be highly involved in the Renegades’ offense this weekend.
What’s on the line?
I was going to say I have absolutely no idea, and then out of nowhere XFL released a chart of playoff implications following a Week 3 game:
However, Dallas’ defense looks to be nothing special yet. They’ve tallied four sacks on the year and have yet to record an interception. The Dragons already have five sacks and two interceptions. Expect more of the same this week, with Seattle trying to run the ball, and the defense hoping to contain the Renegades’ two primary former NFL players.
But we mentioned before, the overall atmosphere is far better than anticipated. Who knows if anyone will still be into it by Week 10 if the Dragons turn out to be at the level of a 3-7 team. Yet it remains true that the Pacific Northwest is good at fandom, and it’s absolutely worth the $24 to experience a game at CenturyLink Field.
Field Gulls will be at the game again, so whether you’re in person, on TV, or following on Twitter, you can count on 1) poor quarterback play and 2) lots of orange.