Vipers: 3 takeaways from Week 2
The Tampa Bay Vipers fell to 0-2 after a 17-9 to the Seattle Dragons at CenturyLink Field. Here are three takeaways from the second consecutive road loss:
1. QB play is unfinished business
In the locker room prior to the game, head coach Marc Trestman told his team to keep poise in the noise. Poise never came. He also encouraged them to play smart. That never came either.
How many QBs does it take to score a TD? The Tampa Bay Vipers have played three different QBs, and none of them have led their team to a score in eight quarters of play.
Not Aaron Murray.
Not Quinton Flowers.
Not Taylor Cornelius.
In order for the offense to score points, a leader needs to emerge. It’s painfully obvious that hasn’t happened yet, and the XFL season may prove to be too short for a productive solution.
2. Red zone woes continue
When the Vipers can keep a drive alive long enough to reach the red zone, they cannot execute. Tampa Bay has been in the red zone six times with nothing but field goals to show for it.
Whether the snap is muffed by the holder or critical penalties are committed, the team continuously shoots themselves in the foot after getting into scoring position.
What would have been the Vipers first TD on offense was negated by a pass interference on WR Dan Williams, who pushed off before catching the ball in the end zone.
3. The defense had ups and downs
The Vipers defense did their job in the first two quarters and pitched a shutout in the first half. They held the Dragons to 12 yards of total offense in the first quarter (the fewest yards allowed in an opening quarter of any game this season) and 41 yards of total offense in the first half.
The Dragons trailed the Vipers 9-0 with 11:26 left in 3rd quarter. From then on, the Dragons went on to score 17 unanswered points.
In a repeat of Week 1, the Vipers played aggressively on defense. Though more rushing yards were allowed from the Dragons (117 yards) than the New York Guardians (44), Tampa Bay held Brandon Silvers and his receivers to under 100 yards.
CB Tarvarus McFadden scored the Vipers first TD of the season, and he did it in style. McFadden intercepted the ball and took it 78 yards to the house.
Unfortunately for the Vipers, defense can’t do it all.