The Dragons Fell Apart In The Second Half, Lost To The Renegades

As expected, with another week to rest his injured ankle, Brandon Silvers played better against Dallas than he did against Tampa. Also as expected, he still wasn’t all that great, and the Dragons blew an opportunity to improve to 2-1, in a 24-12 defeat.

Silvers threw for 204 yards on 62% passing, but there was yet another baffling interception, and he looked as incompetent as they get in the second half, as the Dragons were shut out for the final two quarters. Multiple people have said – on broadcasts and such – that Silvers has a “strong arm”, but I think that’s just a thing people say about you if you play the quarterback position. Saying Silvers has a strong arm is a lie, and therefore a totally meaningless phrase, because there has been zero evidence of that in the three games I’ve seen him play. On at least two different occasions in this game alone, he had guys WIDE OPEN for big gains, and if he had the arm strength to throw those balls on a line, the Dragons would’ve scored considerably more than what they managed. And that’s not even factoring in the two failed two-point conversions. It looked like we ran the same play both times, and it looked like he threw it to the same spot on the field, both with the same result: the ball getting there late and batted away by the defender.

Maybe since Silvers seems to THINK he has a strong arm, everyone just goes along with it because they want the XFL to succeed (and the only way to do that is if the quarterback play isn’t totally inept). I mean, every time he tries to load up for a deep ball, it looks like he REALLY has to jump-skip into it and give it all he’s got. There’s nothing smooth or fluid about him at all. He does nothing well, and a lot of things poorly, and I fucking KNEW we’d be here sooner or later. Jim Zorn, WHAT ARE WE DOING?! You’ve got a readymade leader and gamer in B.J. Daniels at your disposal, who – if nothing else – should be able to scare enough defenders with his legs to move the ball. Even if he isn’t the most accurate passer, I mean, what have you seen from Silvers that leads you to believe accuracy is anything he even remotely possesses? I would expect Daniels to probably struggle early in games, but come alive in the fourth quarter once he’s properly warmed up and in the flow of the game. And, at this point, I think that’s going to be significant if you want to see the Dragons actually win games (and vastly more important if you want to see the Dragons play exciting, fun, watchable football games).

What I’m most disappointed in, after three games, is how the Dragons are totally incapable of relying on their running game. Hard to blame defenses from loading the box and daring Silvers to beat them deep. But, too many times you see the Dragons’ running backs get totally stuffed on first or second down, putting them in a spot where they NEED competent quarterback play, and they’re just not getting it done. The offensive line is what it is – I don’t think there’s anything that can be done about that (this was always going to be a situation where the defensive lines – throughout the league – were vastly superior to their counterparts, given how few pro-style offenses you see in college) – but the Dragons’ running backs look TOO small, and TOO slow. I don’t mind small if you’re speedy, but these are all guys who look like they peaked in high school and never really grew into their adult bodies.

As for the Dragons’ defense, once again, no notes. Great job! They were tuckered out in the second half as things got away from this team, but that’s mostly thanks to the offense repeatedly shitting the G.D. bed. This unit is still generating turnovers at a fantastic clip, and playing the consummate bend/don’t break type of style we’re accustomed to around these parts (with another GREAT goalline stand to prevent a TD).

Credit where it’s due, getting back to Silvers: his two TD passes were pretty great, especially that first one to Austin Proehl with, like, three guys in his face. It was perfectly timed, perfectly thrown, and I think that’s what this team was expecting MORE of when they named Silvers their starter. But, he’s not playing this way nearly enough. The vast majority of the time, he’s playing timid, he’s chucking the ball straight into the turf, and those check-down passes seem to be his first, second, and third reads.

That was a game the Dragons should’ve won. This is a defense that – while it won’t carry us – is a viable squad that can keep us in every game. But, we need SOMETHING consistent out of the offense, and we’re simply not getting it, based almost exclusively on shoddy quarterback play.

In looking around the XFL, a lot of shake-ups around the league! Here’s your Seattle Sports Hell XFL Power Rankings as we head into Week 4!

  1. Houston Roughnecks, 3-0
  2. D.C. Defenders, 2-1
  3. St. Louis BattleHawks, 2-1
  4. Dallas Renegades, 2-1
  5. Los Angeles Wildcats, 1-2
  6. Seattle Dragons, 1-2
  7. New York Guardians, 1-2
  8. Tampa Bay Vipers, 0-3

The Roughnecks are 3-0 and their offense has looked GREAT for three straight weeks. Trouble is, their defense appears to really stink. But, as the only team that has reliably put up points in every game thus far, that’s a huge leg-up over the rest of the league. If they can get their defense to settle down even a little bit, they might run away with it (at the very least, I expect them to play in the championship game). If nothing else, bet the OVER in every Houston game and watch your winnings pile up!

D.C. lost their first game, getting drubbed by the Wildcats in L.A. I’m going to chalk this one up to a bad game by the Defenders and not worry about it. They had to go all the way across the country, and the Wildcats have proven to have at least a semi-competent offense, so it’s not totally shocking.

St. Louis is 2-1, with their only defeat a narrow loss in Houston. They’ve played tough and found ways to prevail in the clutch. This week, they absolutely dismantled the Guardians at home, and they look like one of the three challengers for the XFL championship. A lot of football yet to go, but don’t sleep on the BattleHawks.

Dallas, L.A., and Seattle all seem to be in that next tier down. I wouldn’t rule out the Renegades totally, but I also wasn’t super impressed with them (in spite of having Landry Jones as their QB). Jones looks over-paid and OVER-RATED (he also looks like he doesn’t come close to giving a shit, that this is an easy paycheck on his way back to being a backup in the NFL; the cheesiest job where you never really have to play). I’ll be curious to see if L.A. can parlay this victory into a nice little streak.

The Dragons, of course, look like they’re trending down to that bottom tier with the Guardians and Vipers, who look totally inept (New York & Seattle both have just one win each, over the winless Vipers, so that explains that). I’d expect the Dragons will stay down in the bottom two or three as long as Silvers keeps being Silvers.