After the high of a dramatic 2nd half comeback to win their first XFL game last week, the Seattle Dragons (1-2) completely fell apart in the 2nd half against the Dallas Renegades (2-1).
More than 22,000 at CenturyLink Field saw the Dragons start strongly but fade badly on both sides of the ball, as Dallas overcame a halftime deficit and prevailed 24-12. Brandon Silvers played better than he did last week while simultaneously playing poorly, especially in the 2nd half. He was worse than the 21/34 for 204 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT stat line suggested. While the defense fared well for much of the game, they too fell apart in the late stages. They should get credit for the three turnovers forced, one of which led to a Seattle touchdown and another one denied Dallas at least a field goal.
The Dragons struck first on a nice touchdown pass from Brandon Silvers to Austin Proehl. If you were like me, you thought this would’ve been a sack and possibly a fumble. Instead, six points on the board.
What a throw from Brandon Silvers. What a catch from Austin Proehl. Touchdown pic.twitter.com/ocjTYgmtYT— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 22, 2020
Dallas responded thanks to a quick throw from Landry Jones to Flynn Nagel, but the drive was extended twice on third down pass interference penalties. One of them was extremely silly since it was 3rd and 14 and an underneath route.
Landry Jones to Flynn Nagel touchdown pic.twitter.com/jCalcn4MF8— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 22, 2020
Scoring dried up for much of the 2nd quarter, with both quarterbacks throwing interceptions. Brandon Silvers’ interception was remarkably ugly, but there would be no punishment for it. With Dallas driving to take the lead, Landry Jones’ throw down the middle to Flynn Nagel was tipped in the air and picked off by Godwin Igwebuike.
Godwin Igwebuike gets the pick off the deflection on an underthrown ball from Landry Jones to Flynn Nagel, tipped by Steven Johnson pic.twitter.com/dvbPl9zIDq— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 22, 2020
I should note that prior to this, Landry Jones got a double pass play after his initial throw was batted back to him behind the line of scrimmage. In the XFL, you can throw it again, and he found Lance Dunbar for a first down.
Ladies and Gentlemen... the XFL pic.twitter.com/mDriFPtIJl— William Cornell (@raincityseries) February 22, 2020
Silvers shook off the pick and led an 88-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a nice strike to Kenneth Farrow on a jerk route.
Fantastic throw from Brandon Silvers to Kenneth Farrow for a touchdown pic.twitter.com/8WIdFO0nT5— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 22, 2020
Jones threw another interception before halftime to Channing Stribling, as the pass rush did an excellent job of getting home and forcing Landry to underthrow the pass on the stroke of halftime.
Seattle received the ball to start the 2nd half and had a promising drive going, with Silvers in rhythm and twice finding Keenan Reynolds on third down conversions. Unfortunately, a 4th and 3 attempt from Dallas’ 35 ended in a sack and turnover on downs.
The Renegades tied the score on a Jones TD to gigantic TE Donald Parham, who proved to be a massive target (literally and figuratively) in the 2nd half.
Landry Jones to Donald Parham touchdown pic.twitter.com/qdwYIWMlOP— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 23, 2020
As Silvers kept going three-and-out, Bob Stoops’ offense got into gear and got their running backs Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar heavily involved. The Dragons defense was getting worn down and the Renegades were able to take the lead on a chipshot field goal after Seattle’s impressive goal line stand early in the 4th quarter.
Parham tormented Seattle again on this 65-yard catch-and-run that put them up 21-12, which is still a one-possession game in the XFL.
Landry Jones to Donald Parham for a 65-yard touchdown pic.twitter.com/fBvYQvARrl— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 23, 2020
Last week’s hero, Marcell Frazier, gave the Dragons life on a strip-sack of Landry Jones, forcing the fumble and recovering it himself.
Marcell Frazier forced fumble pic.twitter.com/6L3a31BjRV— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 23, 2020
Unfortunately, Silvers and company moved five yards and turned it over on downs. Dallas ripped off some big rushing plays (similar to how they won at Los Angeles last week) and kicked a field goal to secure the 24-12 victory.
I cannot imagine that fans will tolerate seeing Silvers out there when they play their next home game. Jim Zorn certainly didn’t help matters with conservative coaching decisions that would make Pete Carroll blush.
The Dragons are on the road next week against the St. Louis Battlehawks (1-1), starting at 5 PM ET on FOX.