The Seattle Dragons (1-3) might have lost again in this 2020 XFL season, but at least we got to see a glimpse of something resembling a competent offense in the 2nd half.
In Saturday’s 23-16 loss to the St. Louis Battlehawks (3-1), head coach Jim Zorn finally pulled the plug on quarterback Brandon Silvers after a dismal opening half in which the Dragons repeatedly squandered great field position and only put up a field goal. He was a dismal 4/10 for 27 yards, although for once he didn’t turn the ball over.
Down 17-3 at halftime thanks to impressive play by the Battlehawks’ Jordan Ta’amu, the Dragons turned to former Seahawks quarterback/wide receiver BJ Daniels to lead the comeback. It proved unsuccessful but not for lack of trying and genuine success.
After a Keenan Reynolds drop led to a punt on his first drive, Daniels engineered a beautiful touchdown drive to pull Seattle within 17-10. Running back Kenneth Farrow finished off the drive from a yard out.
Leads a touchdown drive pic.twitter.com/ZiBNF486Sx— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) February 29, 2020
The rushing capability of Daniels changed the whole dynamic of the game, as his scrambles and designed keepers led to 84 yards on just seven attempts. Even the mere threat of him running created a cool play like this one.
A Seattle classic: POP Pass for 50 yards. Threat of the run opens up a pass and puts corner in run conflict— Arif Hasan, leap day enthusiast (@ArifHasanNFL) March 1, 2020
BJ Daniels getting yards pic.twitter.com/o0mq8vBOVy
Daniels finished the game 5/10 for 100 yards, a touchdown pass to TE Evan Rodriguez, but a costly interception on 3rd and 20 to Will Hill. A critical holding penalty put Seattle behind the sticks late in the 4th quarter, and Daniels’ throw down the middle to get all of that yardage was expertly read by Hill.
Seattle’s defense, which had major issues defending the option plays from St. Louis, could not get any critical stops to give Daniels a final chance to lead a tying or winning touchdown drive. Christine Michael, who was held to 27 yards on 12 carries, was able to convert on 2nd and 4 to get the Battlehawks into victory formation. Ta’amu was an impressive 20/27 for 264 yards and a touchdown pass, along with 63 yards rushing.
There is no good reason for Silvers to be in the starting lineup at least through next week. Daniels moved the ball effectively and consistently while posing as a dual-threat in ways that SIlver was a non-threat.
It doesn’t get easier for Seattle, as they’re on the road on Saturday, March 7th at 11 AM PT (ABC) against the undefeated Houston Roughnecks, led by MVP frontrunner PJ Walker. Hopefully Daniels gets the nod so the country can witness the PJ vs. BJ showdown.