Seattle Sea Dragons (7-3) at D.C. Defenders (9-1)
Seattle fell short to the D.C. Defenders in the XFL’s North Division Championship by a final score of 37-21. All things considered, quarterback Ben DiNucci played a great game. However, most of the team made numerous game-changing mistakes, which handed the Defenders a ticket to the XFL Championship. Seattle abandoned the run game entirely from the start, had countless dropped passes throughout, and had a total meltdown defensively with penalties and blown coverages. After a great run in the regular season, the Seattle Sea Dragons end the year in disastrous fashion.
- QB – Ben DiNucci
- WR – Jahcour Pearson
- WR – Jordan Veasey
Honorable Mention(s): WR – Blake Jackson
- S – Antione Brooks
- S – Qwynnterrio Cole
- LB – Shareef Miller
Honorable Mention(s): S – Bryce Thompson, DT – Tariquious Tisdale, ILB – Tyrell Adams
|##||Seattle Sea Dragons||Comp/Att (%)||Yds||TD||Int||LG||Sack – Yds|
|6||Ben DiNucci||31/48 (64.5% Comp)||295||3||0||34||3-17|
|##||Team||31/48 (64.5% Comp)||295||3||0||34||3-17|
|##||Seattle Sea Dragons||Att||Yds||Avg||TD||LG|
|##||Seattle Sea Dragons||Rec||Yds||Avg||TD||LG||Tgts|
|##||Seattle Sea Dragons||Fum||Lost||Rec|
|##||Seattle Sea Dragons||Solo||Ast||Total||Sacks – Yds||TFL||INT||FF||FR|
Thoughts & Performance Grade
The Seattle Sea Dragons end their season disastrously against the D.C. Defenders in the North Division Championship. Quarterback Ben DiNucci played well and didn’t commit any turnovers. However, almost everyone else on the Sea Dragons, including some coaches, made many mistakes.
Offensively, the team performed poorly despite an excellent performance from Ben DiNucci. Offensive coordinator June Jones completely abandoned the run game from the start, allowing D.C.’s defense to blitz heavily throughout the game without any real issues. Seattle’s receiving core, which excelled as the league’s best overall unit throughout the regular season, began the game with several drive-killing drops, mainly from Juwan Green and Josh Gordon. That said, the leagues leading receiver, Jahcour Pearson, still put on a show, and Juwan Green scored two touchdowns despite his 8 drops. Receivers Blake Jackson and Jordan Veasey also performed well in Seattle’s loss.
Defensively, Seattle played well throughout the first half, holding D.C.’s offense to only 9 points and running back Abram Smith under 2 yards per carry. However, a plethora of penalties led to a complete meltdown after halftime, and the Defenders took control for the remainder of the matchup. Despite the collapse, safety Antione Brooks made some excellent plays, including a fantastic acrobatic interception, and linebacker Shareef Miller also grabbed a nice interception on a tipped pass. Seattle showed they could stop the defenders’ offense but completely blew the game in the 3rd quarter and beyond due to a total lack of discipline.
The Seattle Sea Dragons are a super-talented team that’s been fun to watch all year long, it’s a real shame things ended in such a disastrous way. Offensive playcalling and the decision to completely abandon the run is something June Jones should be thinking about all offseason. Someone might want to remind Jones his schemes are called the “RUN & Shoot”, not the “Shoot & Shoot.” The team’s had enough success with Jones leading the offense that they’ll likely stick with him, but this isn’t the first time this year Jones has left Seattle fans scratching their heads regarding his playcalling/decision-making.
All that said, the accomplishments of this year shouldn’t be completely overshadowed by this Sunday’s efforts. Despite the way things ended, Seattle can head into the offseason knowing they’re a talented squad in a good spot going into 2024. Some Sea Dragons’ players have likely earned opportunities from NFL franchises, while others who may not get NFL looks might’ve solidified their spot on a spring football roster next season.
At the end of the day, most of these guys just wanted to play again after being on the bottom half of NFL rosters or not having gotten another opportunity after their college careers. The fact we’ve gotten through an entire season, and so many people from players, coaches, front office people, equipment staff, trainers, ticketing people, media, concessions, and so many more people have gained opportunities from these leagues is amazing. Regardless of the season’s outcome for any individual team, this year has been a brilliant success.
An Amazing Run Ends In A Complete Collapse.
Performance Grade: D+
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