Yesterday was electric in Washington, DC as the XFL played its first game in league history. It all took place at Audi Field, a stadium designed specifically for Major League Soccer, that certainly has now proven itself as an exciting place to watch a football game. The DC Defenders, heavily favored in the match up, rewarded Vegas for their faith. The Defenders ultimately took away the win, besting the Dragons 31-19.
This was an entire team win for the Defenders, scoring a defensive touchdown, special teams touchdown, and showing some explosiveness on offense. The Dragons, in their own right, proved to be far more competitive than many experts believed they’d be. The Jim Zorn led Dragons kept the game extremely close until the 4th quarter. The Defenders walked away with some takeaways that their secondary needs some refinement, as they got burned on 3 touchdowns by Dragons QB Brandon Silvers.
The Defenders finished with 351 Net Yards of offense, were 5/15 on 3rd downs, and had 13 total first downs in the game. While the team has areas to improve, a strong performance by starting QB Cardale Jones should have fans coming back to Audi Field on February 15th against the New York Guardians.
QB Cardale Jones: 16/26 291 Yards / 2 TD’s / 0 / 125.6 QB Rating / 28 yards rushing
WR Eli Rogers: 6 Receptions on 6 Targets / 73 Yards
WR Rashad Ross: 2 Receptions on 2 Targets / 52 Yards / 1 Touchdown
TE Khari Lee: 1 Reception on 1 Target / 39 Yards / 1 Touchdown
LB Jameer Thurman: 8 combined tackles / 1 Tackle for Loss / 2 Pass Deflections
LB Jonathan Massaquoi: 3 combined tackles / 1 Sack / 2 Tackles for Loss
S Rahim Moore: 3 combined tackles / 1 Interception / 1 Pass Deflection
SPECIAL TEAMS STANDOUTS
S Tyree Kinnel: 3 Total Special Teams Tackles
RB Khalid Abdullah: 3 Total Special Teams Tackles
P Hunter Niswander: 4 Punts / 189 Yards / 47.3 Average / Long of 56 / 2 Inside 20
LS Brian Khoury: 1 Special Teams Tackle