Welcome to the Dragon’s Lair where we talk about everything about our beloved Seattle Dragons. As a
3 day long life long fan of the Dragons of the pacific northwest, I’ll be here week in and week out discussing everything I can about the Dragons. The Dragon’s Lair is a safe place for everyone to let out all of their Seattle Dragons’ joy and frustration. It’s a judgment-free lair and we’re going to keep it that way.
Two days ago, the XFL had their second ever opening day and our glorious Seattle Dragons debuted for the first time. They went across the country to play the nation’s capital, D.C. Defenders in what ended up being a very fun game to watch. I’m not sure about you, but I was quite jazzed to finally watch Dragon football and though the outcome is not how any of us wanted it to go, the Dragons left me with the sense that oddsmakers have it wrong when they say they have the worst chance to hoist the…. whatever Vince McMahon calls the championship trophy.
It was also enjoyable and at times, confusing, following the new rules of this brand of football. Together, we’ll all learn as we go and be as informed as possible. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t understand what was going on. I’m pretty sure the referees didn’t know what they were doing either. They’ll figure it out or maybe they won’t. Who knows?
Ultimately, this was a landmark afternoon for our Dragons. They got the first game under their belt. But, we all can see that there is much work to do. The biggest thing Seattle has to do is clean up mistakes and reduce the self-inflicting plays. They gave many points away and if they can cut those in half, well then, the Dragons have the chance to shock the world. Here’s what I saw.
Right off the bat, I think it was a missed opportunity not to have this man lead the Dragons out. His energy would have had D.C. shaken and scared.
Here it is the opening kickoff to the most extreme football league in the universe;
It was weird to look at, but the XFL style kickoff is pretty damn neat. This will reduce injuries on the most dangerous play in sports and opens up the door for really unique returns once everyone gets comfortable with it. I expect to see some teams attempt some reverses and swinging gate type returns in the coming weeks. I like that Keenan Reynolds is back returning kicks. His elusiveness, creativity, and nose for the endzone will pay off for the Dragons. I actually wish we saw more of him on offense. Get the ball in his hands through the air, the ground and let him throw some passes. He has that gear and the team needs it.
And here it is, the first points ever for the Seattle Dragons;
Austin Proehl, son of the underrated Tecmo Super Bowl and actual Super Bowl-winning receiver Ricky Proehl, for a minute, was the XFL’s all-time leading scorer. QB Brandon Silvers threw a rope and Proehl, took a shot and held on. I have a feeling that Proehl is going to have several catches this year where he gets lit up after a catch. It’s sort of the nature of his position. Proehl ended up having a very good start to his XFL career. He finished with 5 catches for 88 yards and two TDs including this Thanos like balancing act;
Hopefully, Bill Belichick was out at a radio shack testing out equipment instead of watching Proehl. Needless to say, one of his minions, surely, showed him this footage thus leading the hooded one drooling over Proehl’s game and genetic makeup.
Brandon Silvers, a Troy story product, had an up and down game. He started off like a guy who needed to shake off those XFL opening day jitters before settling in. He finished 21-40 for 3 TDs and 2 back-breaking INTs one of them that led to a game-sealing pick 6. Proehl fell down, but I don’t think it would have been on target anyways. Silvers got hurt late in the game, so we’ll have to see what his availability is for next week’s home opener. Either way, Silvers is going to have to up his game if he wants to make it in this league.
I never got the feeling like Silvers had the “goods” to lead the Dragons. Let this be the bulletin board material he needs to prove me wrong and take the league by storm. So, make sure he gets this, reads this, and is prepared to let out a big “how do ya like me now.”
In what can be called the easiest call of 2020, the first fuck spoken during an on-filed interview occurred. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind if there was a betting line for fucks said on camera by guys who don’t give any. Take the over.
I know I’m going to sound like an old man yelling at a cloud, but I’m not very interested in interviews immediately following any play made on the field. Sure, it’s funny to see a guy drop an f-bomb, but that’ll get old. Plus, these guys want nothing to do with talking to a reporter when they’re trying to put back oxygen into their bodies. I hope the reporters get told to tone it down on the player interviews. I don’t expect that to happen.
Kenneth Farrow, my guy from the defunct Awesome As Fuck League, and the guy I took as my #1 running back in my XFL fantasy draft, you gotta do better than this;
I wish coach Zorn stuck with the running game a bit more. The game was never out of hand and the Dragons, who averaged around 5 yards a carry, were getting a good push from the big men up front. Farrow averaged 5.9 yards a carry and the shifty Trey Williams averaged 5.3. Williams and Farrow ran as if the L1 and R1 buttons were permanently locked in due to many times being thrown at the wall. Next week, I hope to see more of the two-headed Dragon in the backfield. We’re workshopping the two-headed dragon backfield line.
If you were sick of the full team celebration after every TD in the NFL, you’re going to be equally upset about it happening after TD and big moments in the XFL.
Give it up to the Seattle market for loving the life out of your Dragons. Hopefully, next week’s game doesn’t bleed into SNL and take down the league.
I knew Cardale Jones running prowess was going to be an issue. I hoped I would be wrong, but I wasn’t. Jones’ ability to extend plays and take off consistently kept the Dragon defense on the field to often.
4th down defense is going to be huge in this league due to the penalties you can have for punting poorly. So, the Dragons are going to have get tighter when it comes to that. The Defenders were 2/2 on 4th down. To much.
14 of the Defenders 31 points were on a returned blocked punt and a pick 6. This means the defense played a pretty good game. But, Cardale Jones and the Defenders offense had too many chunk plays. Their yards per pass was 11.2 and it seemed that whenever Jones needed and wanted a big play, they got it. The double reverse flea flicker was like watching poetry in motion with how effortlessly the Defenders ran it. The XFL is going to be all about plays like that. I know it’s hard to gameplan for every type of play, but the Dragons need to go into every game expecting the unexpected. There’s no other way to do it.
I’m not sure how wise it is to have the coaches mic’d up. I mean, I can’t be the only one thinking that if I can sort of know what the play is then the opposition definitely knows what the play is. Is it that hard to have some dude on a couch on the sideline watching the broadcast I am and relaying what the mic’d up coach is saying to a coach? Seems like you’d want to not have the other team knowing what you’re doing.
I love the idea of the 1pt, 2pt and 3pt conversions. You can be down 18 points and it’s still a two possession game. That’s going to cause a lot of gambling related aneurysms. But I’m here for it as long as it’s not my brain bursting all over the place.
Just when you thought the Dragons were going to put serious pressure on the Defenders, the exact opposite happened.
I hope this doesn’t start a trend of the Dragons screwing up in clutch moments. I’ll chalk this up to solely being a miscommunication between Silvers and Ja’Quan Gardner. Yep, gonna tell myself that all week.
I think it’s pretty simple why the Dragons didn’t win. You can’t turn the ball over three times in any football league and expect to win. The XFL is no different. Three extra possessions are major especially when you don’t get any. It puts to much pressure on everybody. Coach Zorn knows now is not the time to panic. Most thought the Dragons would be a pushover and even with turning the ball over three times, they had a realistic chance to win. Clean up the easy stuff and let the rest fall into place.
God have mercy on the Tampa Bay Viper’s souls as they travel to Seattle next week. The amount of fire breathed by the Seattle faithful should be at near Vietnam napalm levels. Expect the Dragons to come out and TCB next Saturday. Until then, keep the slayers at bay.