The Seattle Sea Dragons (1-2) are in the win column for the 2023 XFL season, and it’s all thanks to the Ben DiNucci-Josh Gordon combination.
DiNucci threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns (with one interception and a lost fumble) on 29/37 passing, and overcame his turnovers to lead a dramatic 30-26 win over the still winless Vegas Vipers (0-3) on a windy day in Sin City. Josh Gordon led all receivers with 6 catches for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including this remarkable 65-yard catch-and-run on 4th and 2 with the game on the line.
THE SEA DRAGONS DINUCCI TO JOSH GORDON. pic.twitter.com/qRVRa1tllF— Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) March 5, 2023
Now realistically, Gordon should’ve fallen at the 1-yard line so they could burn clock and kick the winning field goal. But this is also the Sea Dragons, a team that can’t stop fumbling, and this is not the NFL, where you can trust even the worst kicker to make a chipshot field goal even with windy conditions. This was cooler, anyway.
Seattle went for a 3-point conversion (as they stupidly do on every touchdown, no matter how often it fails) and missed, which gave the Vipers a chance to win. Brett Hundley’s desperation throw to the end zone neither reached the end zone nor was actually completed. Former Seahawks corner Linden Stephens saw to it that no miracle would happen.
DiNucci’s turnovers really were his only blemishes on the day, and I have my eye on Jahcour Pearson, who had a strong day with 99 yards and 7 catches. Perhaps DiNucci’s best throw was this dart over the middle to Blake Jackson for the 1st quarter score.
His first TD to Gordon wasn’t bad, either.
The Sea Dragons also had a quality rushing attack, with running back Morgan Ellison becoming the first XFL running back to exceed 100 yards in a game this season. Unfortunately he twisted his ankle in the 4th quarter and didn’t return.
Seattle’s defense allowed a couple of touchdown passes and a rushing score to Brett Hundley, but Tre Walker’s 3rd down blitz and batted pass with under two minutes left gave the Sea Dragons the chance they needed to win the game.
This was a pretty damn entertaining matchup!
Seattle returns home to Lumen Field to take on the San Antonio Brahmas (1-1) at 7 PM PT on FX and ESPN+.