Shane McMahon and Oliver Luck
Shane McMahon and Oliver Luck prior to XFL game 1.

XFL 2020 Season Game 1: Hits & Misses (Seattle Dragons vs. DC Defenders)

2189
0

The 2020 XFL Football season officially kicked off. An eventful first game of post-NFL football provided for an assortment of hits, misses, and surprises. This is a condensed recap of the first regulation game which was held on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST.

Seattle Dragons vs DC Defenders (-9.5) (O/U 51.5)

"Seattle

Let’s first break out the introduction of the XFL Football on ESPN & ABC. The production felt like an NCAA football game and provided an immediately exciting impact. This wasn’t XFL Football of the past. No scandalous cheerleaders, no outrageous names on jerseys, and no Vince McMahon to open the first game. Well done, XFL and ESPN.

Hits:

From the start, we noticed ESPN doing a phenomenal job of showing they care about the production value. This is a sports league production, with editing and graphics solidifying the sports atmosphere. The initial reaction is we aren’t dealing with an entertainment production team. Good job here!


The energy of the crowd, which looks to be 80% full to capacity at kickoff, is upbeat ready for a new game of football.


DC Defenders

XFL League officials have said they will be using a plethora of statistics and social media to fuel the games. As noted on the scoreboard ticket throughout the game and at the top of this article, this version of XFL Football is playing to the gamblers and sports analytical enthusiasts. Each game will have an Over/Under total score as well as the point score differential. This is huge for sports betters, and the XFL might uncover a real opportunity in sports betting and fantasy gaming.

The gameplay is crisp and legit! These athletes are former NCAA and NFL players. They know the game and have skills. The hits were big, the tackles were tight.


“We’re looking at high quality talent”

-Steve Levy (Play-by-Play Analyst)

Misses:

The energy was incredible throughout the game, however, the audio issues made it downright inaudible for most of the game. Seemed like they pumped up the volume on the crowd and left it like that throughout the entire game. This made it difficult to understand the announcers or even the piped-in audio from coach and players.


For a sports league that is fresh into a new decade, with the future of sports being studied by many leagues around the world and for an organization that touts “for the love of the game”, it’s missing women. This would be a great time to beat out the NFL and have a woman head coach in the league. Not only is it needed for sports leagues to prosper, but it’s also a downright missed opportunity to start the first XFL Football game without a woman as head coach.

QB Brandon Silvers
QB Brandon Silvers playing Game 1 of XFL Football 2020

ESPN went right into kickoff with very little pre-show action. I understand the need to solidify the sports league as an NFL alternative, it’s disappointing to see them miss on a grand opening ceremony or the introduction of the players for each team.

Let’s relax on sideline league sports reporters interviewing a player or coach after each play. Nice innovation, but let’s try to simmer it down a bit. Also, let the men breathe a bit before sticking a mic in front of their faces for a quote after a big play or stop.

Surprises:

The XFL officiating crew is far superior to their NFL counterpart. I am loving the way the officials let the players play, but also keeping the game safe.

The XFL Football kickoff formation is ingenious and will revolutionize the game of football. You heard it here first. Not only is it safer to play, but it changes the game in a great way. More opportunities to score, a better chance for an exciting pop in special teams. The kickoff dramatically reduces the impact on the players since they will be positioned within 5 yards and are at a standstill until the ball is caught. If successful, I believe the NFL adopts this method within 5 years.


It didn’t take long for an “F-bomb” to be heard on air. I’m not surprised the players would be airing some profanity. But I am surprised that ESPN’s production team missed their mark by airing it.

Listening in on the sports league official reviews/challenges, are a nice surprise to the game and will be great to listen to over time and throughout those big games.

The box score

The home team, DC Defenders win big over the Seattle Dragons, 31 to 19 in game 1 of XFL Football 2020. The crowd was completely behind their team and there wasn’t a dull moment throughout the game.


The first half was close at each drive, ending with a field goal to cut it to 13-12 as time expired at halftime. The second-half offensive explosion proved that Vegas might be on to something. Former Philadelphia Eagles DT Elijah Qualls found himself on top of a loose ball, for the only lost fumble of the game. A double flea-flicker for a TD for the Defenders, 2 turnovers by the Dragons, and we find ourselves an exciting game one of XFL football.

Kickoff was at approximately 2:30 pm EST.

Those who are sports betters, point spread covered by DC Defenders, and under the total points.


Team StatsSeattle DragonsDC Defenders
Total Net Yards310351
Offensive Plays6456
Yards Per Play4.86.3
Total First Downs1913
Rushing-Passing-Penalty5-11-33-10-0
Efficiency %
Third Down27%33%
Fourth Down60%100%
Red Zone33%0%
Goal to Go0%0%
Net Rushing Yards9768
Attempts2128
Yds Per Attempt4.62.4
Tackles for Loss/Yds2/25/7
Net Passing Yards213283
Gross Passing Yards217291
Completed/Attempts21/4116/26
Yards per Pass5.311.2
Sacks/Yards1/41/8
Interceptions20
Fumbles-Lost10

Stats provided by XFL.com

Trending Stories