For the second week in a row, the Tampa Bay Vipers offense cannot get the ball in the end zone. The Vipers defense kept them in the game – again – but turnovers were too much to overcome. The Vipers fall to 0-2 as the Seattle Dragons win 17-9.
We’re two weeks into a ten week season. For two weeks, the Tampa Bay Vipers have dominated the box score. The Vipers offense has generated more passing yards, rushing yards, first downs and better third down conversion percentage than their opponents. The defense has allowed less total yards in each of the first two games. The Vipers have beaten their opponents in so many of the minor battles that take place during a game.
Unfortunately, two of the most telling stats – the turnover battle and continued struggles in the redzone – have led the Vipers to an 0-2 start.
Defense shines again
“We’re certainly disappointed,” head coach Marc Trestman said to the media after the game. “I’m really proud of our defense. They played hard, finished the game. They tackled.”
The defense certainly brought it. Outside of one play, the 68-yard touchdown to Keenan Reynolds, the defense was outstanding.
After leading 3-0 heading into halftime, the defense started the second half with a Tarvarus McFadden pick six. The pick six was the first touchdown for the Vipers this season.
— Tampa Bay Vipers (@XFLVipers) February 15, 2020
Jerry Glanville was clearly more aggressive this week as the Vipers recorded their first two sacks of the season. Both sacks were recorded by defensive backs, Robert Priester and Marcelis Branch.
Vipers offensive woes continue
“Offensively, we just haven’t found ourselves,” Trestman said. “We haven’t had the play at quarterback that we need. We’re still working though that. We have to find a way to score. For the last two weeks we haven’t been able to finish drives. That’s certainly apparent to anyone who has watched up play.”
Oh, it’s very apparent. The Vipers offense is now 0-for-7 inside the redzone.
Taylor Cornelius drew the start with Aaron Murray sidelined due to an ankle injury. Cornelius completed 16/27 passes (59%) for 154 yards and two interceptions. He was spelled by Quinton Flowers throughout the game. Flowers went 3/7 passing the ball (43%) for 18 yards. He also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He committed two delay of games, although one was declined due to another penalty.
Life without Aaron Murray wasn’t what Twitter expected.
The awful travel schedule is finally over. The Vipers are set for their home opener at Raymond James Stadium on February 22nd at 2PM ET as they take on the undefeated Houston Roughnecks. The game can be seen on ABC.
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