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XFL Year-End Team Review – Recap Year 1 Of The Seattle Dragons

This article began as a midseason review of the Seattle Dragons XFL football team. The midseason suddenly became the end of the season after the team announced Saturday a Dragons player tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and the rest of the season would be suspended.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through America and the sports community began early in the week. On March 10 the Dragons announced plans to play in a stadium without fans due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. By the weekend as the virus cases continued to mount, the Dragons became a victim and this story quickly morphed into a season wrapup.

The XFL issued the following statement concerning the fans and teams impacted by the pandemic.

Look Back Year One Seattle Dragons

Seattle had an up and down first five games and its 1-4 record indicated more down than up. Offensively they were last in yards and sixth in points averaging 17.4 points per game.

If the season continued without time off I believe the Dragons could have righted the ship. Each game they played was competitive. The first half would be successful one week and then the second half the next. The Dragons struggled to play 60 minutes of consistent football.

The Dragons needed better production from the quarterback position and will need it once the team returns to the gridiron.

Quarterbacks

Quarterback Brandon Silvers and the entire offense flashed a few bright spots, but it wasn’t enough. Zorn decided to see what he had in quarterback BJ Daniels half way through their week four game in St. Louis.

Daniels showed dual-threat athleticism from the quarterback position with 17 rushing attempts for 94 yards and two touchdowns. 

The suspended season put a major damper on the rhythm he could have built down the stretch. If he is featured in the future he will have a chance to be successful.

Running Backs

Running backs Kenneth Farrow, Ja’Quan Gardner, and Trey Williams, also known as the three-headed Dragons, were the brightest spot on the offense. 

Seattle was fourth in the XFL in yards on the ground averaging 103.6 per game. All three backs had a similar number of carries each with more than 30. Farrow led the group with 4.1 yards per attempt. Gardner and Williams were not far behind both averaging 3.6. The Dragons could have used this even distribution down the stretch to wear out opponents and possibly catch Dallas and LA for the final playoff spot in the West.

Receivers

The Kasen Williams injury hurt the Dragon receiving corps, and they received blame over the early offensive struggles with Silvers at the helm. With the change to Daniels the receivers likely would have featured more sandlot football down the stretch and that pairing would have gone a long way in determining their success.

Defense

The Seattle defense was the best part of the team as their nine sacks and nine takeaways indicated. They were fourth in sacks and third in takeaways. This group did a good job of keeping the team in every game it played.

Not every moment was successful but the defense provided Seattle fans with hope the team could make a playoff run.

Will Sutton and Steven Johnson were two of the leaders of the defense. Sutton had four tackles for loss and five quarterback hits. Johnson led the XFL in tackles with 48 to go along with six tackles for loss. 

What If

We will never know how the season would have played out had the XFL played five more consecutive weeks. Seattle had a great chance to add wins and enter the playoff race. Houston all but clinched the first playoff spot in the West holding a three-game lead with five to play but the other three teams were all within one game with five to play.

Seattle was looking up at both the Dallas Renegades and Los Angeles Wildcats. The Dragons had one game remaining against Dallas and two against LA. The Renegades had been reeling since quarterback Landry Jones injured his knee in week four against Houston. LA looked great one week and inconsistent the next.

If Daniels continued to improve along with the defense, Seattle’s season likely would have been decided by the three division games. It would not have been out of the realm of possibility for Daniels to lead this team to a second-place finish in the West had things broken right for the Dragons.

The future of the XFL is bright and the current sense we all have for how this would have ended only adds to the intrigue and desire for more XFL football.

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