The Sea Dragons return to Seattle in Week 8 for their second game of the year against the D.C. Defenders. Additionally, this is the most important game so far for both teams, with playoff seeding on the line in the super-competitive North Division.
D.C. Defenders (6-1) at Seattle Sea Dragons (5-2)
Kickoff: Sunday, April 9th, at 4:00 pm PT.
Where: Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: ESPN2 / ESPN+ / ESPN Xtra on Sirius/XM
Broadcast Team: Roy Philpott (Play-By-Play), Eric Maclain (Analyst), Tiffany Blackmon (Sideline Reporter), Dawn Davenport (Sideline Reporter)
Sunday’s forecast around Lumen Field calls for a 95% chance of rain leading up to kickoff, with winds up to 15 mph.
Betting Odds Per DraftKings Sportsbook
- Seattle Sea Dragons: -1.5
- D.C. Defenders: +1.5
- Seattle Sea Dragons: -130
- D.C. Defenders: +110
Seattle Sea Dragons Week 8 Depth Chart
|QB||Ben DiNucci – 6 (Captian)||Stephen Montez – 12||Harrison Frost – 14|
|RB||Darius Bradwell – 23||Phillip Lindsay – 30|
|WR||Josh Gordon – 0||Damion Willis – 15|
|WR||Jahcour Pearson – 3||T.J. Hammonds – 19||Kelvin McKnight – 86|
|WR||Blake Jackson – 80||McLane Mannix – 82|
|WR||Juwan Green – 4||Jordan Veasy – 88|
|TE||Charlie Tamoepeau – 89|
|OT||Barry Wesley – 69||Liam Jimmons – 71|
|OG||Mike Menet – 72||Paul Gratten – 65|
|OC||Jared Thomas – 73||Tejan Koroma – 56|
|OG||Chris Owens – 55||Josh Seltzner – 70|
|OT||Colin Kelly – 67|
|DE||Niko Lalos – 97||Chris Smith – 42||Daniel Joseph – 96|
|DN||Antwuan Jackson – 52||Sama Paama – 50|
|DT||Austin Faoliu – 58|
|OLB||Elijah Ponder – 44||Shareef Miller – 48|
|ILB||Tre Walker – 8||Jardan Evans – 26|
|ILB||Clarence Hicks – 9||Tyrell Adams – 40|
|OLB||Tuzar Skipper – 51||Sharif Finch – 22|
|CB||Chris Payton-Jones – 5||Rojesterman Farris – 17||Mykael Wright – 16|
|CB||Linden Stephens – 21||Zafir Kelly – 36||Shabari Davis – 24|
|S||Bryce Thompson – 1||Qwynnterrio Cole – 32|
|S||Antoine Brooks – 2||Alijah Holder – 33|
|K||Dominik Eberle – 11|
|P||Cameron Nizialek – 10|
|LS||Thomas Fletcher – 45|
|KR||Kelvin McKnight – 86|
|PR||Kelvin McKnight – 86||Jahcour Pearson – 3|
DC Defenders Week 8 Depth Chart
|QB||Jordan Ta’amu – 10||D’Eriq King – 3||Eric Dungey – 2|
|RB||Abram Smith – 4||Ryquell Armstead – 23||Pooka Williams Jr. – 13|
|WR||Josh Hammond – 0||Brandon Smith – 16|
|WR||Jaquez Ezzard – 12||Jazz Ferguson – 8|
|WR||Lucky Jackson – 11||Chris Blair – 1|
|TE||Ethan Wolf – 82||Briley Moore – 88||Alex Ellis – 18|
|OT||Kyle Murphy – 53||Antonio Garcia – 62|
|OG||Liam Ryan – 63|
|OC||Ty Clary – 66|
|OG||Liam Fornadel – 77||Bruno Reagan – 64|
|OT||D’Marcus Hayes – 78||Gunnar Vogel – 72|
|DE||Jacub Panasuik – 96|
|NT||Caruan Reid – 97||Gabe Wright – 98|
|DT||Joe Wallace – 99||Jarrell Owens – 95|
|DE||Fadol Brown – 6||Malik Fisher – 92|
|Mike||Francis Bernard – 43||Jamal Brooks – 20|
|Will||Reggie Northrup – 5||Anthony Hines III – 57||Ferrod Gardner – 27|
|Edge||Davin Bellamy – 17||Andre Mintze – 48|
|CB||Michael Joseph – 15||Travon Fuller – 22||Isaiah Johnson – 33|
|CB||DeJuan Neal – 26||Anthoula Kelly – 24||Nydair Rouse – 38|
|FS||Kentrell Brice – 29||Cam Lewis – 31|
|SS||Santos Ramirez – 39||Montae Nicholson – 21||D.J. Swearinger – 36|
|K||Matt McCrane – 34|
|P||Daniel Whelan – 19|
|LS||Trae Berry – 80|
|KR||Jaquez Ezzard – 12|
|PR||Jaquez Ezzard – 12|
Seattle Sea Dragons
- Jahcour Pearson – Foot – Probable
- Bryce Thompson – Hip – Questionable
- Antwaun Jackson – Thumb – Probable
- Niko Lalos – Shoulder – Probable
- Jordan Evans – Hamstring – Out
- Sharif Finch – Hamstring – Questionable
- Liam Jimmons – Knee – Out
- Daniel Joseph – Groin – Out
- Kentrell Brice – Toe – Probable
- Michael Joseph – Adductor – Probable
- Ethan Wolfe – Ankle – Probable
- Caraun Reid – Knee – Probable
- Trae Barry – Knee – Probable
- Nydair Rouse – Ankle – Probable
- Jequez Ezzard – Hamstring – Probable
- Anthoula Kelly – Hamstring – Out
Seattle Sea Dragons (5-2) – D.C. Defenders (6-1) Prediction
Seattle comes into Week 8 on a 5-game winning streak, having just defeated the Arlington Renegades. The Sea Dragons still sit at 3rd place in the North Division, but they’ll have a real opportunity to shake up the playoff race with a win over the D.C. Defenders on Easter Sunday, who only sit 1 game ahead of them in the standings.
D.C. is coming off their first loss of the year, which came from the Orlando Guardians. While the Guardians have been the worst-ranked team in the league for most of the season, they’ve started to find their way with quarterback Quinten Dormady at the helm. Additionally, the Defenders didn’t play poorly against Orlando, they actually posted 488 yards of total offense and 5 total touchdowns, only to be outscored by a singular point in their loss. D.C. will undoubtedly be looking to hold their playoff positioning with a win this weekend.
Seattle’s offense has looked solid over the last few weeks, with Ben DiNucci playing some of his better ball of the year and not turning the ball over nearly as much. Additionally, the Sea Dragons’ deep wide receiver room continues to step up and make plays. In the ground game, Morgan Ellison has seemingly been phased out of the offense due to issues with fumbling and pass protection. However, Seattle’s run game should become a bit more stable with the addition of former NFL running back Phillip Lindsay, who signed with the Sea Dragons officially last Monday.
Seattle’s defense has played well in recent weeks, but they’ll have to improve against the run if they want to beat the Defenders. Over the last few games, D.C.’s continued their dominating season on the ground and started to unlock their passing game too. In their Week 7 loss to Orlando, the Defenders’ offense still threw for 297 yards and 4 touchdowns, gaining another 195 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. Needless to say, the Sea Dragons will have their work cut out for them against their North Division rival.
Despite D.C.’s loss to the Orlando Guardians, the Defenders are still the best team in the XFL by many margins. The offensive ground attack has not slowed down, leading the league with 1,181 total rush yards and 13 rushing touchdowns on the season. Additionally, the Defenders’ have started to figure out their air attack, passing for 546 yards and 6 total touchdowns over the last two weeks.
Defensively, the team’s played well all season, ranking 3rd in the league in interceptions (7), 1st in forced fumbles (8), and 1st in fumble recoveries (8). Additionally, they’ve totaled the most interceptions returned for touchdowns out of any team this season (3). The team is getting banged up on the defensive side, but the recent addition of former NFL safety D.J. Swearinger should help on their path to the playoffs.
Overall, this should be a very exciting matchup between two of the XFL’s most prolific offenses. Seattle was very close to coming away with a victory the first time these two met, but with rain in the forecast, I expect the run-heavy team to come away with the win in this game. Expect Seattle to lean on running backs Phillip Lindsay and Darius Bradwell quite a bit, but don’t think that offensive coordinator June Jones will shy away from the passing game just because of some rain.
Prediction: Seattle Sea Dragons 22 – D.C. Defenders 28
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