The Tampa Bay Vipers are on the road again in week two as they head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Dragons.
The Vipers (the pre-season favorites to win the XFL championship) had a very disappointing start to the season as they had a myriad of issues in losing to the New York Guardians 23-3.
The Dragons also come into this game 0-1 dropping a 31-19 decision to the DC Defenders on the road.
The Dragons also struggled with their quarterback play as Brandon silver completed 21/40 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Dragons pass defense was the worst in the league last week as they gave up 227 yards to the Defenders.
Vipers quarterback Aaron Murray was a disappointment in his XFL debut as he threw two interceptions that turned the momentum around in the game.
Murray also suffered a foot injury in the game and was a spectator as practice all week.
Today, Vipers head coach Marc Trestman aid that Murray would be out for this road contest and the team would go with a platoon of Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers at quarterback.
In practice this week, Cornelius took the majority of the reps at quarterback with Flowers also seeing some work at running back.
Seattle quarterback Brandon Silvers missed some practice time earlier in the week with an ankle injury, but is expected to start on Saturday.
Another USF quarterback, BJ Daniels is the backup to Silvers and the folks in Tampa would love to see a Flowers vs. Daniels matchup at quarterback.
If the Vipers are to win this game, they will need to improve in these three areas.
1. Better discipline on defense. Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville could not have been pleased with the penalties and the lack of composure his defense showed last weekend.
Defensive back Micah Hanneman was called for two pass interference penalties, and defensive linemen Ricky Walker was ejected for throwing a punch.
The Vipers will have to play with more discipline if they want to have a better outcome this week.
2. Better play in the red zone. The Vipers out gained the Guardians 394-226 yet were only able to put three points on the board.
The interception by Murray in the first quarter of last weeks game was a momentum changer and although the Vipers were good between the 20’s, the work in the red zone left a lot to be desired.
3. Over all better offensive play. The two interceptions by Aaron Murray proved very costly and the fumble by Nick Truesdell which was returned for a touchdown were all big contributing factors in the Vipers loss.
The Vipers had four turnovers in the game, while the defense did not force one turnover.
With Seattle having the worst pass defense in the league last week allowing 227 passing yards, the Vipers wide receiver Dan Williams and tight end Nick Truesdell should be bale to take advantage of the poor pass defense and find a lot of open space.
It should be a loud raucous crowd at Century Link Field as Seattle has sold over 25,000 tickets for their opener and are hoping to draw a crowd of 30,000.
The Dragons are two point favorites at home, but if the Vipers can cut down on the turnovers and get touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone, the Vipers should get their first win of the season.