Houston Roughnecks (4-1) at Seattle Sea Dragons (3-2)
In Week 5, the Seattle Sea Dragons hosted the Houston Roughnecks in what would be the biggest upset of the season so far. The Sea Dragons’ offense continued to deal with turnover issues, with quarterback Ben DiNucci throwing 3 interceptions throughout the game. Fortunately, Seattle’s defense played their best game of the year, holding Houston’s offense without a score through the first three quarters, sacking Houston’s quarterback Brandon Silvers three times (one of which was a strip sack), and picking him off once. Additionally, special teams came up big for Seattle, with outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper and safety Alijah Holder each blocking a punt. While there’s plenty to clean up moving forward, particularly on offense, Seattle played well enough to get the win and moves to a 3-2 record on the year.
- WR – Jahcour Pearson
- WR – Damion Willis
- WR – Jordan Veasy
Honorable Mention(s): RB – T.J. Hammonds, QB – Ben DiNucci
- OLB – Tuzar Skipper
- DB – Antoine Brooks
- DL – Niko Lalos
- S – Alijah Holder
Honorable Mention(s): DB – Bryce Thompson, DL – Daniel Joseph
|##||Seattle Sea Dragons||Comp/Att (%)||Yds||TD||Int||LG||Sack – Yds|
|6||Ben DiNucci||17/32 (53.1%)||209||1||3||33||2-11|
|##||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 and Houston Roughnecks met in one of the league’s most anticipated matchups of the season so far. Many expected this to be one of the highest-scoring games of the year due to these teams having the league’s top two offenses. However, this ended up as much more of a defensive battle than anyone anticipated, and the Sea Dragons pulled off the upset win, moving to 3-2 on the year and keeping their win streak alive after starting the season 0-2.
Seattle’s offense continued to struggle with turnovers, with quarterback Ben DiNucci throwing 3 interceptions on the day. Fortunately, Seattle’s wide receivers came to play, with Jahcour Pearson adding to his league-leading receiving totals and Damion Willis having his best game of the season. The outlier in the receiving core was Josh Gordon, who was basically shut down by Houston and only hauled in 2 receptions for 15 yards on 7 total targets.
Running back Morgan Ellison was active, but it was clear he’s still dealing with a lingering injury, so Darius Bradwell and T.J. Hammonds took over the majority of the rushing duties. Seattle’s three running backs only totaled 55 yards on the ground, but DiNucci helped add to the rushing totals with 33 rush yards and a rushing touchdown.
Defensively, this was Seattle’s best game of the year so far, which was a little easier with the Roughnecks’ top receiver, Jontre Kirkland, out for the game. The Sea Dragons held Houston’s offense without a score through the first three quarters, recorded three sacks (one of which was a sack/fumble), and picked off Roughnecks quarterback Brandon Silvers once. Additionally, Seattle’s front seven tipped or batted down several of Silvers’ passes at the line of scrimmage.
Seattle’s special teams unit also showed up in a big way, with outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper and safety Alijah Holder each blocking a punt.
Overall, Seattle’s defense and special teams played a great game and hopefully continue to build on this week’s success. The Sea Dragons’ wide receivers came to play, but the offense still needs to clean up the turnovers, which somehow didn’t ruin their chances of beating Houston.
Playcalling and game management seem to have improved again, but the run game is tough to lean on when both of your top two running backs are dealing with injuries.
Hopefully, the long week before Seattle’s next game against the Orlando Guardians will give the team enough time to rest and get their lead back closer to 100%, as they’ll definitely need Morgan Ellison down the stretch.
Defense & Special Teams Played Lights Out; Offense Still Can’t Get Out Of Their Own Way.
Performance Grade: B+
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