After a tough loss against the Renegades last Saturday the Vegas Vipers are looking to bounce back in a big time home game against the Defenders. Defense could be the major key for both teams this Saturday, Vegas and the Defenders could turn into a defensive game with how powerful both teams are on that side of the ball.
DC Defenders (1-0) @ Vegas Vipers (0-1)
Start (Kickoff): Saturday, Feb. 25th/ 7PM E.T.
Location: Cashman Field, Las Vegas, Nevada
Injury Reports & Roster Moves
Releases: DC Defenders on Thursday (2/23) released WR Chad Hansen
RB: DeAndre Torrey / Ankle / Probable
WR: Martavis Bryant / Illness (Non-Covid) / Probable
WR: Cinque Sweeting / Shoulder / Probable
OG: Isaiah Williams / Knee / Probable
DT: Destiny Vaeao / Leg / Probable
LB: PJ Dawson / Elbow / Probable
LB: Vic Beasley / Concussion Protocol / Questionable
TE: Briley Moore / Ankle / Probable
Center: Mike Maietti / Lower Leg / Out
DE: Jacub Panasiuk / Knee / Probable
DE: Fadol Brown / Hamstring / Out
CB: Michael Joseph / Adductor / Probable
FS: Kentrell Brice / Oblique / Probable
DC Defenders (1-0) @ Vegas Vipers (0-1) Gameday Preview & Prediction
A must win for the Vipers won’t come easy especially against a team like the Defenders. Jordan Ta’amu will also try to have a breakout game after only rushing for a touchdown and throwing a pick last week. Luis Perez, now 0-1 as a starter will look to bounce back against a tough defense after having an abysmal 2nd half last Saturday against the Renegades.
Last weeks games were up and down for both offensive squads. Both teams couldn’t get their RB’s going but in terms of passing game the Vipers were on a roll in the first half. 2nd half came around and the Vipers lost the hot streak but will look to fix the mistakes they made in last weeks game.
Jeff Badet (81 Rec YDs/ 2 Rec TD), Cinque Sweeting (64 Rec YDs/ 1 Rec TD), and Geronimo Allison (41 Rec YDs) were all in sync with Luis Perez last week and will try and do the same against the Defenders. To really impress they need to get the run game going early and fix any problems on the O-line or any issues with the RB’s.
Jordan Ta’amu did well but needs to find success in the passing game especially considering that all of his receivers couldn’t get over 30 receiving yards throughout the whole game. It also seems that D’Eriq King will be used in QB draw situations or fake run roll outs in the redzone.
Both defenses did great last week with run stopping and pass rushing in their games. The Vipers held up well in multiple 4th & goal and 4th & 1 moments. With Vic Beasley possibly missing the game, the Vipers could have a huge problem with the pass rush. Vic had 2 TFL’s and 0.5 sacks which is why if he doesn’t play, the Vipers will be missing a key part to their defense.
LaRon Stokes (1.5 Sacks/ 4 TFL’s) and Max Roberts (1 Sack/ 1 TFL/ 1 Forced Fumble) both shined in their XFL debuts which shows how much depth the Vipers really have all around on defense.
The Defenders also have their own star in Michael Joseph (CB) who recorded 2 INT’s against the Sea Dragons, 1 ended up becoming a pick 6 for 15 yards. Jarrell Owens (DE) along with Jamal Brooks (MLB) both had a sack and a TFL. Both were great in adding pressure to the QB and run game and ultimately helped shut down multiple offensive drives. Dejuan Neal (CB) not to mention was also the Week 1 league leader in tackles with 8 total tackles.
Final Score Prediction:
DC Defenders: 22
Las Vegas Vipers: 27
With both offenses looking to be fired up the Vipers could look to come out of a rough game with their first ever home win. The Defenders have serious weapons on both offense and defense but Ta’amu seemed to struggle against a decent defense last week. Perez, although he turned the ball over multiple times last week, he could throw for a few scores but could see himself at least having 1 turnover especially against the Defenders tough secondary.
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