Seattle Dragons vs Houston Roughnecks: XFL Game Preview

The Houston Roughnecks are looking to go 5-0 against the visiting Seattle Dragons today at TDECO Stadium. Photo Credit: Angel Rick Leal

by Angel Rick Leal

Game Info
Seattle Dragons vs Houston Roughnecks
Saturday March 7 – 1:00 p.m. CST
TV: ABC
TDECU Stadium – Houston, Texas

Records Before Game
Seattle Dragons ( 1-3 )
Houston Roughnecks ( 4-0 )

The Seattle Dragons look to stop a three-game losing streak, and things aren’t going to get any easier for them this week. Seattle will head on down to play the blazing hot Houston Roughnecks at TDECU Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.  There could be a potential quarterback controversy at hand for the Dragons after B.J. Daniels came in to replace Brandon Silvers and nearly led Seattle to a win last week. The Dragons ended up losing to the St. Louis BattleHawks, 23-16, but Daniels threw for 100 yards, one touchdown, and one interception and cut the team’s deficit from 14 points to just seven in the second half. Quarterback run plays became more of an option with Daniels as he carried the ball seven times for 84 yards.  Getting off the field was an issue for the Seattle defense, with a very balanced St. Louis offense racked up 392 yards. They also had few answers for BattleHawks quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who threw for 264 yards and a touchdown while completing 74 percent of his passes.

Houston went on the road and picked up another invaluable win away from home last Sunday. The Roughnecks defeated the Dallas Renegades, 27-20, in the first installment of a fun in-state rivalry. P.J. Walker had another solid outing by completing 25-of-41 passes for 239 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Beniquez Brown stepped up in a big way defensively with nine tackles, including two tackles for a loss, and a pass breakup. Edmond Robinson’s 12-yard strip-sack fumble return for a touchdown gave Houston enough breathing room to get out of Arlington with the victory.

One of the more encouraging things about the last week’s win over the Renegades for Houston was their effectiveness throwing the football without needing to rely on Cam Phillips. Dallas kept Phillips in check with just one reception for nine yards. But Nick Holley stepped up with eight receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown, and Kahlil Lewis chipped in six receptions for 53 yards to offset the tough day for Phillips. Nine different players caught passes last week, which is how you want to be when operating a run-and-shoot offense. The offensive line did a good job of keeping Walker upright too, as they only allowed one sack against the Renegades defensive front, and they were able to keep drives alive with 6-of-13 successes on third downs. That allowed Houston to save keep their fresh which paid off for them as the game went along.

Prediction
Houston head coach June Jones and his staff will have an interesting challenge this week from a motivational perspective. The Roughnecks are coming off of the big rivalry game win over Dallas and they have an early kickoff against a team they should clearly beat. It will be interesting to see how the first quarter unfolds for Houston this week. Seattle needs to come out, play loose, and empty the tank playbook-wise in order to pull off the upset. But in the end, the Roughnecks will end up pulling away from the Dragons and improve to 5-0 overall.

Final Score
Seattle Dragons – 21
Houston Roughnecks – 42