Bonus

XFL Sets Stage For Year-Round Football

XFL Seattle Dragons

Seattle, WA — The score stands at zeros. The records all show goose eggs across the board. The slate is clean as the XFL starts with the Seattle Dragons and DC Defenders for its first game of the season. Seattle is on the road at Audi Field with an 11:00 AM PT kickoff. There’s a second game on Saturday and another two on Sunday – Giving no off-season for football in 2020.

Eight teams compete in the XFL – Four in the West Division and four in the East Division as well as a Team 9 surprise in week 5. There’s a 10-game schedule with no bye week until the playoffs; each team plays division foes twice and the opposing division’s teams once. The top two teams in each division compete in the playoffs with the XFL Championship a day after the NFL draft ends.

While this is an inaugural season for the XFL, it’s a new and improved league stemming from a failed XFL season in 2001. Success stems from failures, and owners Vince McMahon of the WWE and XFL CEO Oliver Luck have done the work to avoid another $35 million money pit.

The main complaint of the early 2000’s shadow of the XFL was the theatrics – Not surprisingly as the WWE thrives off the gimmicks. Speaking of which, it’s doubtful the Championship game will be named The Million Dollar Game. Besides a football forward approach, the rules are more fan-friendly.

Here are a few of the innovative rules and the why:

  • The new kickoff rule aims to stint the number of touchbacks while maintaining player safety. Encouraging returns means more football.
  • While some NFL kickers would rather forget about PATs, the XFL eliminates the kicking point all together replacing it by a 1, 2, or 3 point conversion after a touchdown. It increases the risk-reward thought-process for coaches and fans alike.
  • Punt plays give the punter and returner more time – incentivize returns. In addition, “major” touchbacks at the 35-yard line will be issued for the ball going out the end zone or out of bounds within the 35-yard line.
  • Bring on the theatrics… In a good way! Double. Forward. Pass. As long as the ball remains behind the line of scrimmage, a double forward pass play will no doubt make SC Top 10 if executed.
  • To read more about the rules, here is the XFL take.

The Dragons get to breathe fire to the new league first. Jim Zorn leads the charge as head coach with Clayton Lopez heading the defense. The duo has over 45 years of coaching experience, including stints in the NFL.

Quarterback Brandon Silvers has won a starting spot for Seattle. It speaks volumes of his flexibility as a player. The Troy alum was an UDFA in 2018 and joined the AAF with the Memphis Express in 2019 where he started two games, competing with Johnny Manziel before the league collapsed. After one month with the Jets, he was once again without a home until landing in Seattle.

While Silvers will be leading the offense, Dragon players selected their own team captains. Running back Kenneth Farrow was picked as the team captain on offense. On defense, linebacker Steven Johnson was picked. Receiver Keenan Reynolds and long snapper Noah Borden are co-captains on special teams.

A complete week 1 preview from the inside the XFL of the Seattle Dragons and DC Defenders can be found HERE.

Bring on the football.

See below for a full 2020 XFL schedule:

Week 1

Feb. 8 – Seattle Dragons at DC Defenders, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Feb. 8 – Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Feb. 9 – Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians, 2 p.m. ET (FOX)

Feb. 9 – St. Louis BattleHawks at Dallas Renegades, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 2

Feb. 15 – New York Guardians at DC Defenders, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Feb. 15 – Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Feb. 16 – Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats, 3 p.m. ET (ABC)

Feb. 16 – St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)

Week 3

Feb. 22 – Houston Roughnecks at Tampa Bay Vipers, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Feb. 22 – Dallas Renegades at Seattle Dragons, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Feb. 23 – New York Guardians at St. Louis BattleHawks, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Feb. 23 – DC Defenders at Los Angeles Wildcats, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)

Week 4

Feb. 29 – Los Angeles Wildcats at New York Guardians, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Feb. 29 – Seattle Dragons at St. Louis BattleHawks, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Mar. 1 – Houston Roughnecks at Dallas Renegades, 4 p.m. ET (FS1)

Mar. 1 – DC Defenders at Tampa Bay Vipers, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Week 5

Mar. 7 – Seattle Dragons at Houston Roughnecks, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Mar. 7 – New York Guardians at Dallas Renegades, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Mar. 8 – St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders, 3 p.m. ET (FS1)

Mar. 8 – Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 6

Mar. 14 – Houston Roughnecks at New York Guardians, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Mar. 14 – St. Louis BattleHawks at Tampa Bay Vipers, 5 p.m. ET (FS2)

Mar. 15 – Dallas Renegades at DC Defenders, 4 p.m. ET (FS1)

Mar. 15 – Los Angeles Wildcats at Seattle Dragons, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 7

Mar. 21 – Dallas Renegades at Tampa Bay Vipers, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Mar. 21 – Los Angeles Wildcats at St. Louis BattleHawks, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Mar. 22 – New York Guardians at Seattle Dragons, 3 p.m. ET (ABC)

Mar. 22 – DC Defenders at Houston Roughnecks, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)

Week 8

Tampa Bay Vipers at DC Defenders, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

St. Louis BattleHawks at New York Guardians, 5 p.m. ET (FOX)

Houston Roughnecks at Los Angeles Wildcats, 3 p.m. ET (ABC)

Seattle Dragons at Dallas Renegades, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)

Week 9

Apr. 2 – Dallas Renegades at Houston Roughnecks, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Apr. 4 – DC Defenders at New York Guardians, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Apr. 5 – Tampa Bay Vipers at St. Louis BattleHawks, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Apr. 5 – Seattle Dragons at Los Angeles Wildcats, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)

Week 10

Apr. 9 – Los Angeles Wildcats at Dallas Renegades, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Apr. 11 – Houston Roughnecks at Seattle Dragons, 2 p.m. ET (ABC)

Apr. 12 – DC Defenders at St. Louis BattleHawks, 3 p.m. ET* (ABC)

Apr. 12 – New York Guardians at Tampa Bay Vipers, 6 p.m. ET* (FS1)

Conference Finals

Apr. 18 – East No. 2 at East No. 1, 3 p.m. ET (FOX)

Apr. 19 – West No. 2 at West No. 1, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Championship

Apr. 26 – East vs. West, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

*Game times subject to change

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Jamie Council
Jamie Council
Reporter -- Emphasis on Seattle Dragons XFL coverage
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