Too little, too late to beat the BattleHawks – as the Dragons lost 23-16 – but it was a furious and (finally!) entertaining comeback in the second half to pull it to just the one score (and cover the 11.5-point spread!).
God, I can’t wait to bet on the XFL in a couple weeks …
The Dragons’ first half offense was a fucking trainwreck of epic proportions. And yet, we were somehow only down 11-3 early in the second quarter thanks to some pretty stout bend-don’t-break defense. Until the BattleHawks ripped off a 7-minute, 78-yard touchdown drive to make it 17-3 at half.
That’s when Jim Zorn finally did what I didn’t think he had the guts to do: bench Brandon Silvers’ incompetent ass! 4 for 10 for 27 yards; 4 punts in 5 possessions (the lone field goal drive started at the St. Louis 45-yard line), so not exactly an inspiring performance.
B.J. Daniels came in and immediately looked 1,000% better. The Dragons’ first drive ended in a punt (thanks to a clear drop by Keenan Reynolds), but after that the offense was humming along nicely.
A Dragons TD made it 17-10. After giving up a field goal, the Dragons pulled to 20-16 (there was some confusion about why Zorn chose to go for three after the score; I’m STILL not convinced he knows basic math, but God bless him, he’s doing his best out there … without an offensive coordinator, no less!).
That bend-don’t-break defense gave up another field goal to make it 23-16, which left the Dragons with a primo opportunity to take the lead. Unfortunately, another promising-looking drive this time ended up with an interception down the middle of the field. There was still nearly four minutes left in the game, but the defense for the life of ’em couldn’t stop the BattleHawks, who ran out the rest of the game in pretty impressive fashion.
At this point, there’s just no damned excuse for Silvers to be back in the starting lineup next week. I’ve been saying all along: the XFL needs to dedicate itself to RUNNING QUARTERBACKS! Oh, by the way, you’re telling me Houston’s quarterback is the MVP frontrunner … and he just so happens to be exactly the type of quarterback I’m talking about?
LET B.J. COOK!!!
Here’s my XFL Power Rankings as we head into Week 5:
- Houston Roughnecks, 4-0
- St. Louis BattleHawks, 3-1
- Dallas Renegades, 2-2
- D.C. Defenders, 2-2
- New York Guardians, 2-2
- Los Angeles Wildcats, 1-3
- Seattle Dragons, 1-3
- Tampa Bay Vipers, 1-3
Houston is running away with this league, which is unfortunate timing because this week the Dragons head there. If B.J. Daniels is starting, I give us a fighting chance. If it’s back to Silvers, they can’t make the spread high enough, give me the Roughnecks all day.
St. Louis looks strong all across the board and they more than deserve to move up in the rankings. The Defenders, on the other hand, just lost to the erstwhile-winless Vipers, so bump them down (the Defenders are 2-0 at home, 0-2 on the road, for what that’s worth). The Renegades leapfrog the Defenders for playing Houston pretty tough last week. The Dragons move down closer to the absolute cellar because I’m still moderately afraid I haven’t seen the last of Silvers (it’s FUN having a terrible Seattle sports whipping boy again!). Tampa got the surprise shutout of the Defenders, but I still need to see more.
After this week, the schedule gets a lot easier for the Dragons. So, I don’t want to say all hope is lost just yet, but we’ll need to rip off a significant winning streak to get into the playoffs.
The downside is: it’s the top two teams per division who make the playoffs, and the Dragons share a division with the Roughnecks. Granted, we get two cracks at them (but that’s also a bad thing, if they go undefeated).
The plus side is: we also get two cracks at the Wildcats, who don’t look amazing. If we beat up on the teams we need to beat up on, then it’s just a matter of leapfrogging the Renegades. At that point, it’s just a playoff game against (probably) the best team in the league.
No big whup.