The XFL heads into Week 2 of their re-birth with a Thursday night showdown filled with former NFL talent when the St. Louis Battlehawks take on the Seattle Sea Dragons.
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St. Louis Battlehawks (1-0) @ Seattle Sea Dragons (0-1)
- Location: Lumen Field in Seattle, WA
- Time: Thursday, February 23rd at 9:00 p.m. ET
- Channel: FX and ESPN+
- SPREAD: SEA -3
- OVER/UNDER: 36.5
- MONEYLINE: SEA (-155), STL (+135)
The St. Louis Battlehawks pulled off the comeback of the XFL’s opening weekend when they overcame a 12-point deficit in the final 90 seconds to beat San Antonio 18-15 in front of 25,000 hostile Texas fans.
St. Louis quarterback, and NFL alum, AJ McCarron was inaccurate for almost the entire game, finishing with under 200 yards passing while also taking five sacks. However, the former Alabama national championship winner woke up late, throwing a beautiful deep ball to Marcell Ateman and then a pinpoint touchdown strike to Hakeem Butler.
That’s when things got interesting.
Since the XFL doesn’t kick extra points, St. Louis had the option to go for a three-point conversion, allowing McCarron to hit former Buffalo Bill Austin Proehl to cut things to a three-point lead with 1:25 left. We then got to see another unique XFL rule when the Battlehawks opted to try a fourth-and-15 rather than attempt an onside kick. McCarron bought time and found Prohel again which allowed St. Louis to keep possession and eventually take the lead when McCarron hit Prohel – yet again – for the game-winning touchdown.
Seattle almost had a wild comeback of their own after DC decided to go for it on 4th and 2 from the 50-yard line in the final minute of the game. The Sea Dragons got a stop and then former Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci found former Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon twice to get down to the 1-yard line with Seattle trailing by four points.
However, DiNucci fumbled on a quarterback option, and DC recovered to win the game.
Overall, DiNucci dropped back to pass 56 times, completing 35 passes for 282 yards. Josh Gordon had six receptions for 74 yards and attracted a lot of attention, which allowed his teammates to have strong games too. Jahcour Pearson had 12 catches for 95 yards and Blake Jackson had eight catches for 51 yards.
It was all going swimmingly for the Sea Dragons, who had an 18-8 lead, but Gregg Williams’ DC Defenders defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions to set up easy touchdown drives. In fact, two of the Defenders’ three touchdown drives went for a combined total of 14 yards.
If Seattle is able to limit turnovers, they are going to be a problem for XFL teams to stop on offense. Given that their defense also looked dominant against a Defenders team that was playing in front of a rowdy home crowd, I feel good about taking Seattle here now that they will be the ones playing at home. St. Louis’ comeback last week was great, but I can’t bet on a team because of a good two-minute stretch.
Sea Dragons 26 Battlehawks 16
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