BY Matthew Feimer
For the second week the Tampa Bay Vipers came in as a road favorite. For the second week in a row the Vipers offense out performed their opposition. For the second week in a row the Vipers performed better on defense in yards given up. For the second week in a row the Vipers won almost every statistical category. The Tampa Bay Vipers also managed to lose both games. So much for being the league’s favorite to win it all.
Welcome to the home opener for the Seattle Dragons. Just under 30k fans attended the first XFL game at century link stadium. Seattle Seahawks hero Jim Zorn returns to Seattle to coach the Dragons. After a tough loss to the DC Defenders, the Dragons were looking for their first win against Vipers. Both teams coming off tough road losses and looking to turn things around..
The game was a defensive battle. Both offenses couldn’t get anything going. The Vipers for the second week in a row were plagued by turnovers despite being over 50% on third down conversions. They cant blame Aaron Murray this week. He sat out the game with a foot injury. Taylor Cornelius got the start and looked worse than Aaron Murray . When Quintin Flowers came in, it was just as bad. Both of them turned the ball over 3 times just like last week.
The Seattle offense looked even worse as Brandon Silvers was having a forgettable home debut. Despite that Seattle missed a opportunity to score first when Ernesto LaCayo missed a 48 yard field goal, wide left. The first half ended with a 3-0 Tampa Bay on top with Andrew Frank’s 36 yard field goal, the only points.
Brandon Silvers woes continued as he threw a interception to Tavarus McFadden for a 78 yard return for a touchdown . Tampa Bays first touchdown in franchise history came on defense. Vipers now lead 9-0, as the PAT failed, you could almost sense that Silvers maybe replaced by BJ Daniels.
Brandon Silvers finally found a crack in the Vipers defense. He hit Former Navy midshipmen Keenan Reynolds for a 68 yard touchdown pass and the Dragon fans had something to cheer about. Later in in the 3rd quarter the Vipers offense made their biggest mistake when they gave up the lead. Taylor Cornelius at his own goaline threw an interception to Marcell Frasier for a 8 yard return. The two point conversion from Silvers to Reynolds was good. The Dragons taken the lead for good.
After a late field goal by Dragons Ernesto Lacayo was good, the Vipers still had one last chance. A late Tampa touchdown with four seconds left was called back for offensive pass interference. A hail mary was intercepted in the end zone and 30k Seattle fans went home happy. A happy Jim Zorn expressed his gratefulness to the Seattle fans that helped the Dragons to the first ever franchise win.
As for the Vipers you can see the frustration on coach Trestman face. For 2 weeks in a row the dominated every category except the scoreboard . The Vipers will return home to be what looks like a home underdog against the 2-0 Houston Roughnecks. It will be Tampa Bay’s home opener and it can’t come at a better time. The league’s preseason favorite to win it all may be looking at 0-3 and fading fast from any playoff opportunity.
For the Seattle Dragons they will remain home and play their first divisional game against the Dallas Renegades. With Landry Jones back in the lineup, the Dragons will need a great defensive game plan. Coach Jim Zorn and Brandon Silvers need to figure out fast how to improve their offense. As for for now atleast they left the Vipers snake bitten.
feature image credit: XFL