Dragons lose inaugural game against DC 31-19

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Photo credit: @xfldragons

Well it wasn’t the result that the Seattle Dragons were hoping for, but in the dog days of February where sports fans are waiting for baseball to arrive, a pleasant distraction in the new XFL kicked off and gave fans a fascinating show. There was a juiced up crowd in DC, big plays by both sides, and even some swearing during the 31-19 Dragons loss.

Former Ohio Sate QB Cardale Jones got the best of the Seattle Dragons, but before the game started, he got to one up the legendary Vince McMahon who 20 years ago proclaimed “this is the XFL!!!!!” Jones was able to take the mic and pump up his fans with a better more inspiring quote:

“This is for the love of football, enjoy.”

Head Coach and former Seattle Seahawk QB, Jim Zorn took his west coast offense to the field to mixed results. QB Brandon Silvers struggled to get into the flow of the game with 21-40 passing with just 217 yards and 1 pick 6 touchdowns. Silvers did show some promise with 3 touchdowns including two to Austin Proehl (son of former NFL star Rickey Proehl). The ground game was pretty effective with 97 yards on 21 attempts; however, the turnovers were too much to overcome.

The overall game looked very much like an standard NFL game with a couple curiosities. The first being the kickoffs. While the kicker lined up in their standard positions, we had the opportunity to see the kick coverage team line up just 5 yards from the defenders 35 yard line.  We suspect this is to reduce injury, but could also introduce some interesting dynamics for returns.

Fans were also treated to a fascinating new extra point mechanic that does away with the extra point kick. Rather, extra points now score 1, 2, or 3 points from a scrimmage play. That is, if you want to go for 3 extra points, you have to run an offensive play from the 10 yard line. If you wish you can go for 2 extra at the 5 yard line or 1 point at the 2 yard line.

“It’s definitely different,” Proehl said. “After you score a touchdown or make a big play or whatever it may be, I think it’s fun to kind of go over there and celebrate with your teammates. You’re not really expecting to have cameras. … I think it’s a good addition to this league. I think it makes it fun.”

While the talent level is somewhere at maybe a Power 5 level in college, the passion was definitely there. The winners get a bonus for winning and while there was some swearing going on, you cant say that the players don’t care. And that is something that fans of sports find refreshing. Expect moments like this to get bleeped faster in the future, but you can see that these players want to be there and want us the fans to root for them.

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