The Seattle Dragons Get Their First Victory In Seattle Dragons History

The Seattle Dragons hosted the Tampa Bay Vipers and came away with a 17-9 victory.

It was ugly for the entire first half, and most of the game, but the Dragons were able to make some plays in the third quarter to put it away. Brandon Silvers is still a mixed bag, to put it nicely. He gave up his second pick-six in consecutive games, while only completing 39% of his passes for all of 91 yards, 68 of which came when Keenan Reynolds broke free down the middle of the field for a touchdown to pull the contest to 9-6.

The defense, however, was pretty stout throughout. We had four sacks and three picks, including one with the Vipers backed up near their own goalline for an easy defensive TD. That and the 2-point conversion put us up for good at 14-9, with a late field goal to add insult to injury.

The Seattle crowd was predictably into it, pushing attendance to nearly 30,000. It’s cool to see some of that crossover with Seahawks fans, and the XFL’s faith in this market being rewarded accordingly.

You could argue the weather was crappy, and thus the reason for most of our offensive miscues. But, Silvers has to be better, plain and simple, or else we need to put B.J. Daniels in charge. I mean, the more Silvers sucks, the more the fans are going to call for a change!

On the Tampa side of things, I’d seriously consider going with their own backup quarterback, who looked way more mobile. Running quarterbacks should be eating this league for breakfast; if I were in charge of a team I wouldn’t even consider a guy unless he had wheels to escape the pocket and run for large chunks of yardage down field.

Like last week, I didn’t watch much of the other action around the league, but I’ll say this much: the Defenders look like the clear frontrunners on both sides of the ball. If sports betting were legal, I would’ve put whatever equity we’ve got left on the Taylor Family Farm on them to win it all. Feels like a no-brainer.

As a quick aside, here’s the Seattle Sports Hell Official XFL Power Rankings:

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

I don’t know how playoff seeding is gonna work, but if it’s possible, give me D.C. vs. Houston in the finals. I think everyone in the 3-6 range are pretty even. L.A. and Tampa look pretty bad so far (admittedly after only 2 games).

I can’t wait to get to Reno next month and put all my money on this league. Without knowing the line of the Renegades/Wildcats matchup, it looks like maybe 3/4 games went under again, for the second week in a row. I’m sure the oddsmakers will have it sorted out by next month, but it’s definitely something to watch.

The Seattle Dragons Lost Their Opener, The XFL Looked Okay

I’ll admit it, I slept in on Saturday and missed the first hour or so of the action. But, the Dragons hung tough! They were in it for about three quarters, then the back-breaking pick-six really ended any threat.

I thought Brandon Silvers looked okay. For what it’s worth, I didn’t love the offensive scheme – it seemed to lack much of a deep play aspect – and I thought the play-calling was suspect. For the life of me, I don’t know why we kept going for 1 on the point(s) after touchdowns, when it’s nearly impossible to run in those situations, from the 2-yard line. The defense is just going to run blitz and let the quarterback try to beat them one-on-one. I would be passing for every PAT and I’d be going for 3 every single time. I’m sure the analytics nerds would be with me on this one; but these are re-tread NFL, CFL, and college coaches who couldn’t find work anywhere else, so I’m sure anything even REMOTELY analytical is going out the window.

The only other XFL action I saw was the end of the Dallas/St. Louis game on Sunday. That game was a snooze, and the other two games were complete blowouts, so I don’t know if we have a real good handle on which teams are the best. I’d venture to guess that D.C. is pretty high up there, based on their quarterback play and their defense.

If we can figure out over the course of the next month which defenses are elite, we’ll figure out how to bet in this new ecosystem. D.C. looks like they have a strong defense. Seattle looks better than expected (if you expected them to be in last place). Tampa looks atrocious apparently (and a lot worse than expected).

For what it’s worth, it looks like only one game hit the OVER. I think a lot of prognosticators were expecting teams to go for 2 or 3 more on those PATs; and, you know, I think they expected defenses to be truly terrible when you factored in all the rule changes.

Speaking of which, I liked most of what the XFL had to offer in that department. I liked the new kickoffs. I like all the punt rules (really anything that encourages teams to go for it on 4th down more often). I generally like the PAT offerings, but I would say if you’re going to give them the option of going for 1, put it at the 1 yard line (and keep everything else the same). That way you could FEASIBLY expect a team to actually run it in.

I won’t say the weekend was a disaster for the XFL, but it was very far from a triumph. It sounds like the ratings and attendance numbers were okay, but as I said before, I would expect those to drop as the season goes on. This weekend was all about the novelty and the possibility of watching a trainwreck. Now that we know it’s not really a trainwreck – but just kind of okay – most football fans will be able to throw up their hands and say, “It was what we thought it was.”

As for the broadcast, it was a little much. I sort of liked hearing the play calls come in, and having the announcers explain what it all means. But, even when they heard the play come in, the announcers didn’t seem to have a great success rate actually predicting the play. Also, I mean, it’s gotta be pretty easy to have someone on the opposing team watching the game on TV and relaying it to the defensive coaches, right? If you’re allowed to be in the ear of players all the way through the snap … I dunno. If you’re worried about the integrity of XFL games, I guess you’ve got some life choices to make sooner or later.

I didn’t care one bit for the sideline interviews during the game. I don’t care what the players think, and they really have very little to say anyway. 1 out of 10 times you might get a thoughtful or interesting answer, and that’s just not a great ratio. And, what was with the sideline reporters just standing there and holding their mics out when the players posed and celebrated after a big play? It’s awkward, man! Give it a rest!

What the XFL needs is the offenses to pick it up in a significant way. I keep coming back to that thought, to which my counter is: if football fans only watched for the offense, why wasn’t the Arena Football League a bigger success? I can’t answer that. I really enjoyed the Arena league! I thought it was fun and exciting and different-enough to feel more like a basketball game played with footballs. But, I do believe you need defense to be successful in this environment. You just need something that’s not a 15-9 slugfest, or a 23-3 rout.

The Seattle/D.C. game was probably the best of the bunch. If we can just open up the playbook a TAD, I think they’ll do an okay job of holding down a decent percentage of viewers from week one.

Seattle hosts Tampa this week. Tampa is favored by 2 to 3 points, depending on where you look. Tampa was one of the heavy pre-season favorites, so they might still be riding on that gravy train. I just can’t see how a team that only scored 3 points is going to fly all the way to Seattle and put up much of a fight. But, they’re the experts and I’m not, so while I’ll defer to them, I think I’d bet at least 25% of the Taylor Family Farm on Seattle to cover.

Are You Ready For Some XFL?!

When I first heard that the XFL was coming back (my fingers keep wanting to type XLF, which sounds like the 2020 reboot of ALF, starring his derelict, estranged son he didn’t know about until later in life), of course I immediately dismissed it. The XFL was dumb in 2001, and surely it would be dumb now!

Then, when I heard Seattle was getting one of the inaugural eight teams, I don’t know if there’s a word to describe my feelings, so I just came up with one: bewildertained. I’m bewildered that this is happening in the first place, but I’m thoroughly entertained that the Seattle Dragons are a thing, and that I get to write about them on a weekly basis for the next however many weeks!

The XFL figures to be the most bewildertaining thing in my life through the end of April!

I’m also loving the fact that the Dragons might be legitimately the worst team in the league (at least, in the eyes of Vegas, as we head into the start of the season on Saturday). Of course we finally get included in something everyone’s going to take seriously for a while, and OF COURSE we’re going to be the laughingstock of it all!

Here’s what I know about the Seattle Dragons:

  1. I know Jim Zorn is the head coach. He had a 12-20 record with the Redskins over two seasons. We never could be sure if that’s because he’s bad at coaching, or if that team is bad at everything, but why can’t it be both?
  2. I know that Mike Riley is the offensive coordinator, and that every time he’s left Oregon State, he’s fallen on his ass, so that doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.
  3. I know someone named Brandon Silvers is the quarterback. He was at Troy in college, then played one season in the Alliance of American Football. He played some, but ultimately never distinguished himself against the likes of Johnny Manziel, Christian Hackenberg, and Zach Mettenberger.
  4. I know that B.J. Daniels is the backup quarterback, he’s only 30 years old, and will almost certainly be starting for this team by week 3.
  5. I know that Kasen Williams is the big draw, and that there’s a non-zero number of Seahawks fans who wish he was still with the team.
  6. I know other ex-Seahawks are also on the team, like Keenan Reynolds, Isaiah Battle, and Mohammed Seisay (among others, probably). Don’t remember those guys? I DON’T BLAME YOU!

That’s about all of the Seattle Dragons Wikipedia page I care to go through.

I don’t totally understand why Seattle has a team, other than to pad out the western half of the United States. Granted, Seahawks fans are pretty fervent, and Sounders fans are maniacal about their team, but the Seahawks are 40+ years old, and there was already a solid base of soccer fans in the area when the MLS came to town. I feel like, while Seattle certainly has an influx of young, intelligent professionals (exactly the type of people you want to cater to if you’re a new business), if the product is terrible and/or boring, I could easily see this market fizzle out in a hurry.

You can certainly be bad and entertaining, and that’s obviously what the XFL is doing with all their rule changes (quicker pace, shorter play clock, encouraging kickoff/punt returns as well as going for it on 4th downs), but other than having the stadium in place, Seattle seems like a terrible spot for this. Why wouldn’t you go after smaller markets with the potential for a stronger attachment? Seattle has sports up the wazoo. Los Angeles has even more. If I were running the XFL, I would’ve planted the bulk of the league east of the Mississippi, and probably wouldn’t have ventured any further west than Texas.

I think they got it right with the two teams in Texas, as well as St. Louis, D.C., and Tampa. I think you have to have one in Atlanta or New Orleans, one in Pittsburgh, and shit man, why not Green Bay? Or Milwaukee or something. Hit the old-school football towns. Even if you go with Chicago, you’re going to get devoted Chicagoans to buy in early and often!

I think most football fans will avoid it altogether. Bigger football fans will tune in the first week or two, but I fully expect the ratings to fall off in a big way by week 3, regardless of how good or bad the product is. I just don’t think there’s a market for second-rate football in the springtime. We have 32 NFL teams, each with 53-man rosters and 10-man practice squads. That’s over 2,000 players, not counting guys on IR and the proverbial Ghost Rosters out there, who aren’t signed, stay in shape, and join up with a team in need as injuries mount. The XFL is essentially made up of those Ghost Rosters. In other words: the football players not good enough to crack the Top 2,000 in America.

We’re probably heading in the right direction, but I think at some point the NFL has to relax its standards on having players stay in college for two years and allow high school players go directly to the pros. I also think that instead of an XFL, the NFL should just set up a minor league system a la baseball, and not allow any of those high school players into the NFL proper until they’ve played 2 years in the minor league system they’ve set up (or college, if that’s their choice). This way, the players who want to get paid CAN get paid, and the players who want to go to college can do that instead.

Why is this so difficult?

Anyway, I’m ready for the Seattle Dragons to STINK, and I’m ready to watch them stink every single week. I’ll be watching, if for nothing else, than to bone up on who to bet AGAINST when I go to Reno in mid-March. Here’s a hint: their team colors are navy, green, and orange, and they’re THE FUCKING DRAGONS!

What is this, the football league from Any Given Sunday?