Seattle Dragons takeaways: Daniels provides spark, but too late for comeback
The Seattle Dragons had a chance late to try and complete a miraculous second half comeback against the St. Louis Battlehawks, but an interception on third and 20 and an inablity to once again stop the Battlehawks’ quarterback proved to be too much in the 23-16 loss.
Brandon Silvers again struggled, leading Seattle to just a field goal in the first half while St. Louis quarterback Jordan Ta’amu powered the Battlehawks to a 17-3 halftime lead and helping add on two field goals in the second half.
A change at quarterback to B.J. Daniels led to more success for the Dragons in the second half, when Kenneth Farrow ran in a touchdown and tight end Evan Rodriguez caught his first scoring pass of the year. But while down 7, Daniels’ pick on third-and-long after a holding penalty and some miscommunication on one of the plays effectively sealed the deal as Seattle never got the ball back.
Another killer for the Dragons was in the first half when the defense dropped an easy interception and then, after forcing fourth down, Marcell Frazier was flagged for roughing the punter, keeping the drive alive after a three-and-out. nine plays later, the Battlehawks scored their final touchdown of the game.
With the loss, the Dragons fall to 1-3 on the season and have some pretty tough games ahead.
The game, while disappointing in its result, did provide some notable moments. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Saturday’s game.
Bye bye, Silvers?
Silvers entered his fourth game of the season coming off his best performance, a 21/34, 204-yard game with two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Silvers struggled mightily, and was benched at halftime in favor of B.J. Daniels.
Silvers entered the game completing just north of 53% of his passes and had six touchdowns, but he also had four interceptions and has missed some open receivers and made poor mistakes.
He struggled out of the gate, and when halftime rolled around, he was just 4/10 for 27 yards. Head coach Jim Zorn had seen enough, for at least the game, and he turned the offense over to Daniels.
Speaking of Daniels …
Daniels shines in second half
Silvers’ loss may well be Daniels’ gain, as the former Seahawks quarterback and receiver turned in an impressive performance in just one half of football.
After taking over for Silvers, Daniels was 5/10 passing for 100 yards and a touchdown and he led the game with 84 rushing yards on seven carries. He was regularly making defenders miss, such as on the below play.
*Chris Berman voice"
— XFL (@xfl2020) March 1, 2020
The Dragons’ offense has been rough all year, scoring 19, 17 and 12 points heading into Saturday. The team scored just 16 against the Battlehawks, but 13 of those points were in the second half when Daniels was running the show.
— Seattle Dragons (@XFLDragons) March 1, 2020
Daniels provides a lot more to the offense with his ability to extend pass plays with his legs along with taking off on designed runs or broken plays, as he evidenced throughout the second half. Add in how poor Silvers has played and it leads you to believe that Daniels will be QB1 the rest of the way.
No answer for Jordan Ta’amu
The Seattle Dragons really couldn’t contain Ta’amu. There’s really no other way to put it.
The signal caller completed 20 of 27 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown. Add in his game-leading 16 carries for 63 yards and it’s clear to see the impact he had on the game.
To put into perspective both how good Ta’amu was, he had 327 yards of offense while the Seattle Dragons compiled just 253.
It seemed like every time Seattle had a chance to get a big stop to keep the game close or get the ball back, Ta’amu would either make a great throw or use his legs to move the chains.
If Seattle struggled to slow down Ta’amu’s dual-threat ability, they may be in store for a long game next week when they travel to Houston to take on the Roughnecks and MVP favorite P.J. Walker, who has 748 passing yards, 87 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns.
They may need to keep Daniels in at quarterback next week as it looks like, at least for one team, it’ll be a shootout of sorts.
For full stats from Saturday’s game, visit this link.
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