Last Saturday, the Vipers were a quarter away from winning their first game of the season against Seattle. That’s until Ben DiNucci (QB) and Josh Gordon (WR) decided they had one more big time score left before the game was finished.
Ben tossed a huge game winning touchdown (65 Yards) to former NFL vet Josh Gordon for his 2nd touchdown of the day and the Sea Dragons ended up winning 30-26. Now 0-3, Vegas needs a win badly this Saturday against a tough Defenders team who has already beat them in what was a disastrous game in Week 2.
Vegas Vipers (0-3) @ DC Defenders (3-0)
Start (Kickoff): Sunday, Mar. 12th/ 7PM E.T.
Location: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Injury Reports & Roster Moves
In a 3 team trade on March 6th, the D.C. Defenders traded T.J. Storment (OL) to the Guardians. The Guardians traded JaVonta Payton (WR) to Arlington while Arlington gave D.C. Alex Ellis (TE).
The same day the D.C. Defenders also traded Joshua Allen (DB) to the Vipers for Antonio Garcia (OL).
They also went on to sign Montae Nicholson (Safety), Terrill Hankins (LB), and Denzel Chukwukelu (DT). Then on March 9th they removed Rod Taylor from the roster (OG).
Vegas Vipers: March 8th, the Vipers activated (OL) Tony Adams off the reserve list.
Injury Report For Sunday’s Game
Vegas Vipers (0-3) @ DC Defenders (3-0) Preview & Prediction
For Vegas to even try to get a good record by the end of the season they need to win this game. The last time they played the Defenders, they faced horrific conditions in Cashman. A bad field, rain, and wind all played a part in the Vipers downfall. Now the Defenders get the Vipers at home whilst being undefeated throughout the whole season so far.
Brett Hundley has to 100% be the starter after doing well in his first ever start in the XFL.
Brett Hundley Game Stats Against Seattle:
Passing: 13 For 28 / 224 Yards / 2 TDs
Rushing: 8 ATT / 66 Yards / 1 TD
So with this in mind him and Badet along with Sexton will try to keep the rhythm going on offense throughout the game. Although they did well they couldn’t get the win in the end after a heartbreaking play from the Sea Dragons.
The Defenders have an offense that can do it all. From doing QB designed runs, wildcat formations, using Abram Smith (2nd in Rushing YDs in the XFL currently), and Ta’amu and King have both done solid as passers. D’Eriq and Abram Smith torched the Vipers defense in their last meeting by just simply doing fake running back handoffs.
The Vipers pass rush has progressively gotten worse over the weeks with less pressures and less sacks. Along with their pass rush their run defense has also went down in terms of degression, because although they had 5 TFL’s, they allowed Morgan Ellison to go crazy for 103 rushing yards. They also allowed DiNucci to throw 4 TDs along with 377 passing yards (2 to Josh Gordon).
Vegas went from having a feared defense to progressively getting torched on all ends even if Adam Sparks had a INT against DiNucci last week. The lone bright spot for the defense is in the tackling where they lead the XFL in tackles.
D.C. completely shutdown the Vipers run game when the passing game was no longer working in the heavy rain. Vegas scored 6 in the 1st quarter and never put up even a FG through the last 3 quarters. Not to mention they pulled 2 INTs, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles against the Battlehawks in Week 3.
Final Score Prediction:
Vegas Vipers: 19
DC Defenders: 25
The Defenders have been dominant on both sides of the ball and have constantly caused havoc to any team they have faced thus far. With Brett completely taking over QB1 duties the Vipers offense could run smooth again like last week. The 2 problems the Vipers could face this week is the Defenders run game and defense overall.
Vegas really could win this game if they can keep it together throughout the whole game and stay hot, but in their 3 games this season they have allowed teams to comeback even when it seems hopeless that the other team will comeback. The Vipers could end up due to not converting in big time downs and when given the opportunity the Defenders usually capitalize on most of those occasions.
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