SEATTLE — The Seattle Dragons (1-1) had some first-half jitters in their first home game in XFL history, but they came out on top in a frantic second half to topple the Tampa Bay Vipers (0-2) on Saturday, 17-9, at CenturyLink Field.
An XFL-record 29,172 in attendance were rewarded with a duel of big plays after the halftime break, with the Dragons coming through on two big scoring plays.
The ground combo of Jacques Patrick (73 yards on 14 carries, 5.2 average) and De’Veon Smith (11 carries, 46 yards, 4.2) proved more useful in this tight game than their Week 1 blowout loss. Tampa Bay won the battle in time of possession the pace with 32 runs and had an especially churning drive to close out the game.
McFadden had the highlight with his Pick-6, but safety Marcelis Branch had 12 tackles (five solo) with a sack. His day was marred, however, with a key unnecessary roughness penalty that extended Seattle’s final scoring drive.
Reynolds broke loose in the second half, but the run game played a lower-key role in sustaining Dragons drives. After netting 97 ground yards in the opener, Seattle’s backfield topped 100 with distribution once again, with Trey Williams and Kenneth Farrow each contributing 45 yards.
Linebacker Steven Johnson racked up another busy week, collecting nine tackles after an eight-tackle Week 1; he’ll likely rank among the leaders in that category by weekend’s completion.
VIPERS DISCUSS DEFEAT
“As far as the Vipers go, I got a locker room full of guys who can’t wait to get home and play at Raymond James [Stadium] this week. I can tell you that. We’re certainly disappointed. Really proud of our defense. They played hard, they tackled and they did everything we could. Offensively, we just haven’t found ourselves. We haven’t had the play at quarterback that we need, and we’re still working through that. And we need to find a way to score.”
Vipers head coach Marc Trestman“We have to play better ball on offense. The defense went out and played great. They played great at the end of the day, but we keep getting in the red zone. We have to score. We have to find a way to score. The offense, we have to come together and we have to do better. We have to find a way to score.”
|Touchdown||Tarvarus McFadden interception returned 78 yards (12:18 – 3rd Q)|
|Sack||Marcelis Branch sacked SEA QB Brandon Silvers for -2 yards (00:48 – 1st Q)|
|Turnover||Tarvarus McFadden interception from SEA QB Brandon Silvers (12:18 – 3rd Q)|
|Interception||Tarvarus McFadden interception from SEA QB Brandon Silvers (12:18 – 3rd Q)|
|Defensive Touchdown||Tarvarus McFadden interception returned 78 yards (12:18 – 3rd Q)|
Above was a list of firsts for players on the Vipers.
UP NEXT: WEEK 3
- Vipers head for their home opener on Saturday, Feb. 22, against the Houston Roughnecks at 2 p.m. ET on ABC.
- Dragons welcome in the Dallas Renegades at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 22, on FOX.
*Some information in this story was provided by the Vipers PR department.