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XFL 2023: Seattle Sea Dragons (2-2) Week 5 Preview/Prediction, Depth Chart

In Week 5, the Seattle Sea Dragons play at home for the second straight week, this time taking on the undefeated Houston Roughnecks.

Houston comes into this game with the league’s highest-scoring offense and top-ranked defense. However, Seattle comes into this game with the league’s most yards through the air and the league’s leading rusher in Morgan Ellison. Unfortunately, Seattle also leads the league in turnovers, which has been a major factor in both of their losses.

Seattle has the talent to keep up with Houston on offense. The real question is, can the Sea Dragons play a clean enough game to actually pull off a win against the XFL’s best?

Houston Roughnecks (4-0) at Seattle Sea Dragons (2-2)

Kickoff: Thursday, March 16, at 7:30 pm PT

Where: Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington

TV: ESPN / ESPN+ / ESPN Deportes / ESPN Xtra on Sirius/XM

Broadcast Team: Lowell Galindo (Play-By-Play), Sam Acho (Analyst), Ian Fitzsimmons (Sideline Analyst), Taylor McGregor (Sideline Reporter)


Thursday’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures around 45 degrees and winds around 8 mph. No precipitation is expected.

Betting Odds Per DraftKings Sportsbook


  • Seattle Sea Dragons: +3
  • Houston Roughnecks: -3


  • Seattle Sea Dragons: +140
  • Houston Roughnecks: -165

Over/Under: 41.5

Depth Charts

Seattle Sea Dragons Week 5 Depth Chart

QBBen DiNucci – 6 (Captian)Stephen Montez – 12Harrison Frost – 14
RBMorgan Ellison – 25T.J. Hammonds – 19Darius Bradwell – 23
WRJosh Gordon – 0Damion Willis – 15
WRJahcour Pearson – 3T.J. Hammonds – 19Kelvin McKnight – 86
WRBlake Jackson – 80McLane Mannix – 82
WRJuwan Green – 4Jordan Veasy – 88
TECharlie Tamoepeau – 89
OTLiam Jimmons – 71Barry Wesley – 69
OGMike Menet – 72Paul Gratten – 65
OCJared Thomas – 73Tejan Koroma – 56
OGChris Owens – 55Josh Seltzner – 70
OTColin Kelly – 67
DENiko Lalos – 97Chris Smith – 42Daniel Joseph – 96
DNAntwuan Jackson – 52Sama Paama – 50
DTAustin Faoliu – 58
OLBElijah Ponder – 44Shareef Miller – 48
ILBTre Walker – 8Emmanuel Smith – 43
ILBJordan Evans – 26 (Captian)Clarence Hicks – 9
OLBTuzar Skipper – 51
CBChris Payton-Jones – 5Rojesterman Farris – 17Zafir Kelly – 36
CBLinden Stephens – 21Shabari Davis – 24Mykael Wright – 16
SBryce Thompson – 1Qwynnterrio Cole – 32
SAntoine Brooks – 2Alijah Holder – 33
Special Teams123
KDominik Eberle – 11
PCameron Nizialek – 10
LSThomas Fletcher – 45
KRMorgan Ellison – 25
PRJahcour Pearson – 3Kelvin McKnight – 86

Houston Roughnecks Week 5 Depth Chart

QBBrandon Silvers – 12Cole McDonald – 14Kaleb Eleby – 5
RBMax Borghi – 22Brycen Alleyne – 26Dejoun Lee – 20
WRJontre Kirkland – 13Justin Smith – 10
WRTravell Harris – 6Nich Holley – 9
WRDeontay Burnett – 1Aaron Nelson – 19
WRCedric Byrd – 2Ben Putman – 80
TEGarrett Owens – 21
OTJames Moore – 79Sage Doxtater – 76
OGJack Snyder – 64Desmond Noel – 65
OCAlex Mollette – 55John Yarbrough – 70
OGDareuan Parker – 56Dylan Pasquali – 78
OTTommy Champion – 73Ryan Pope – 77
NTGlen Logan – 97Jack Heflin – 96
DETrevon Mason – 99
DEC.J. Brewer – 98Charles Wiley – 57
SAM – LBDeandre Johnson – 17Chauncey Rivers – 47Trent Harris – 33
WILL – LBTim Ward – 89John Daka – 45
MIKE – LBEmmanuel Ellerbee – 52Aaron Donkor – 53
MOTavante Beckett – 11Caliph Brice – 36
CBRaleigh Texada – 16Ajene Harris – 3
CBKary Vincent – 0William Likely – 4David Tolentino – 31
SA.J. Hendy – 29John Brannon – 25
SSean Davis – 23Jordan Mosley – 18
Special Teams123
KHunter Duplessis – 8
PRace Porter – 46
LSBrian Khoury – 42
KRBrycen Alleyne – 26Max Borghl – 22
PRWilliam Likely – 4Ajene Haris – 3

Injury Report

Seattle Sea Dragons

  • Antwuan Jackson – Thumb – Probable
  • Bryce Thompson – Chest/Rib – Probable
  • Morgan Ellison – Knee – Questionable
  • Jordan Evans – Hip – Probable
  • Charlie Tamoeapeau – Calf – Probable
  • Linden Stephens – Knee – Questionable

Houston Roughnecks

  • No Injuries

Seattle Sea Dragons – Houston Roughnecks Prediction

Seattle and Houston come into Week 5 with two of the league’s best offensive attacks. Seattle currently has a 2-2 record and sits at 3rd place in the North Division, with Houston sitting at the top of the South Division at 4-0.

Thursday’s matchup has the potential to be one of the better games of the year. Both Seattle and Houston have extremely high-powered offenses and should be expected to score quite a bit.

While Seattle’s turnover issues continue to hold them back, they have slightly improved every week so far. Quarterback Ben DiNucci has missed some throws and made some poor decisions at times, but he has played well overall, and currently looks more comfortable in June Jones’ offense than he has all season.

In recent weeks, the Sea Dragons’ receiving core has continued to show why they’re the best group in the league, with Jahcour Pearson and Josh Gordon leading the league in receiving yards. Additionally, running back Morgan Ellison still leads the league in rushing yards.

Unfortunately, Ellison was listed on the injury report again as questionable for Thursday’s matchup after playing through a knee injury he suffered in Week 3. Hopefully, Ellison will be good to go as he’s an asset for Seattle and would play a critical role in Thursday’s matchup against a talented Houston defense, especially with Seattle’s other back, Brenden Knox, still on injured reserve. If Ellison can’t play, expect running backs T.J. Hammonds and Darius Bradwell to share the backfield.

Defensively, Seattle’s coming off their best game of the year, recording a season-high of 4 sacks, and completely shutting down the San Antonio Brahmas rushing attack. The addition of former NFL defensive end Chris Smith did seem to add a spark to Seattle’s defense, but penalties were an issue late in the game and nearly allowed San Antonio to rally late. Additionally, players still made some simple mistakes, like forgetting to touch an opposing player down after they’ve caught the ball. These issues have to be cleaned up if Seattle wants to win on Thursday. While these mistakes haven’t led to a loss over the last two weeks, making the same mistakes against Houston won’t be as forgiving.

The undefeated Houston Roughnecks come into this game as the XFL’s team to beat. Quarterback Brandon Silvers has exceeded the expectations of many and leads the leagues highest-scoring offense. Wide receiver Jontre Kirkland currently sits at 4th in the league in receiving yards, leads the league in touchdown receptions (4), and even threw a touchdown pass in their Week 4 win over the Orlando Guardians. Additionally, Roughnecks running back Max Borghi is currently tied for 2nd in rushing touchdowns and has the 7th most rushing yards in the league.

On the defensive side, Houston has one of the better units in the XFL. The Roughnecks currently lead the league in sacks (17) and are tied for the league’s most interceptions (5). Defensive backs Sean Davis and Ajene Harris have been a problem for opposing offenses, with linebacker Trent Harris leading the league in sacks (6) and defensive lineman Tim Ward only one spot behind him (4).

Overall, this primetime matchup should be a good one between two of the league’s more talented teams. Houston currently looks like the most well-rounded team in the league, and Seattle’s had the league’s most explosive offense headed by the league’s best receiving core. Ultimately, Seattle’s been held back by self-inflicted wounds even in their two victories. While they’ve improved on their issues each week, the Sea Dragons have yet to show us a game where they stay out of their own way and because of this I give Houston the edge.

Since Week 1, Houston’s looked like the most well rounded team in the league and that hasn’t changed through the first 4 games of the season. If Seattle plays a clean game, meaning no turnovers, penalties get cleaned up, and clock management continues to improve, then this is definitely a winnable game for Seattle. That said, the Sea Dragons haven’t showed they’re capable of that yet.

Prediction: Seattle Sea Dragons 28 – Houston Roughnecks 36

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Matt Lyons is a Writer/Contributor for XFL News Hub, USFL News Hub, & CFL News Hub, covering the XFL, USFL, ELF, and TSL since August of 2020.

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