Austin Proehl was electric in the Seattle Dragons season opener but it was not enough as the Dragons suffered their season opener 31-19 to the DC Defenders. Proehl a former North Carolina product opened the renewed XFL League with a bang, scoring the Dragons first touchdown in the first quarter.
Seattle (0-1) scored the league’s first touchdown, but it was D.C. who prevailed due to a stout defense. The Defenders defense dominated the Dragons offense scoring two touchdowns off turnovers to pick up the win in the XFL Leagues first game.
Proehl was part of the Dragons biggest offensive play of the game when he caught quarterback Brandon Silvers short pass and turned it into a a 57 yard score. The 24-year old finished with the game with 5 receptions, 88 yards , two touchdowns and a game-high 10 targets.
Silvers 21-for-40 passing, 210 yards, 3 touchdowns) was sluggish in his first start and struggled under throwing receivers several times during the game. Silvers two interception where to Defenders safety Rahim Moore.
Seattle linebacker Steven Johnson led the Dragons with 8 tackles (6 solo), and defensive linemen Will Sutton and Jacques Smith combined to bring down Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones for a half sack each.
Seattle coach Jim Zorn will have some work over the week, especially getting his quarterbacks and receivers timing down, before the team’s home opener at CenturyLink Field next week when the Dragons host Tampa Bay
It was has been two decades since the XFL closed its doors and stunned a legion of football-crazed fans looking for game action during the NFL off-season. From nicknames on back of jerseys to creating chaos on kickoffs, the one season of the XFL created a unique football experience.
The 2020 reboot of the XFL 19 years later looks to be a much more grown up version. Much has changed in the XFL since 2001.
Both kickoffs, the return and kickoff have teams start at the 30 and 35 yard lines waiting for the kick to be made and if the ball fails to cross the opponents 20 yard line, then opposing teams line up across midfield at the 45 yard line.
A 10-week schedule that gives players extra-incentive to win in the form of a $100,000 to split among the team, or how announcers interviewing players during games and in the locker room during halftime.
All in all, the package of the XFL has grown from the one that wanted to be seen as a rebel football league, that put spectacle over players health (an issue the NFL has been guilty of themselves).