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XFL Week 2: Battlehawks vs Sea Dragons Preview

St. Louis Battlehawks Quarterback A.J. McCarron (Ronald Cortes, Getty Images)

The St. Louis Battlehawks mounted a miraculous comeback on Sunday led by quarterback A.J. McCarron, who threw two touchdowns and converted a three-point attempt to wide receiver Austin Proehl in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. St. Louis took advantage of a rule that allows teams to attempt an offensive play on fourth-and-15, as opposed to kicking an onside kick after a touchdown. By converting on that fourth and forever, the Battlehawks managed to keep momentum in their favor, and wound up with an 18-15 victory in their season opener on the road. St. Louis struggled to contain quarterback Jack Coan and the San Antonio Brahmas from completing intermediate throws downfield, but the defense proved to be stout in red zone territory.

Seattle Sea Dragons Wide Receiver Josh Gordon (Scott Taetsch, Getty Images)

Quarterback Ben DiNucci of the Seattle Sea Dragons solidified a connection with former NFL standout wide receiver Josh Gordon in Sunday’s loss to the D.C. Defenders. DiNucci and Gordon connected six times for 74 yards and a trip to the end zone, but received little to no help from their teammates on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle’s defense allowed two different quarterbacks on the opposing team in D’Eriq King and Jordan Ta’amu to score touchdowns. The Defenders exposed weaknesses in the Sea Dragons’ defense, as King and Ta’amu used their dynamic rushing attack to move the ball into scoring position late in the contest. Despite controlling the game with what was once a double-digit lead, Seattle’s inability to protect the football in the second half led to a 22-18 final score in favor of the home team.

Game Prediction

The Battlehawks are back on the road Thursday night at Lumen Field against the Sea Dragons, who are desperate for a victory in front of a raucous home crowd. Lumen Field is notoriously known for its loyal fan base on Sundays at Seattle Seahawks games, and there will likely be a palpable energy inside the stadium for the city’s first home XFL game since 2020. St. Louis will be forced to shut down a talented wide receiver in Gordon, who is quite possibly the most accomplished professional athlete across the entire league. The Battlehawks proved their ability to fluster San Antonio’s backfield in week one, which should translate nicely to their matchup against Seattle, as DiNucci prevented his team from success by turning the ball over twice on Sunday night. If McCarron manages to connect with his litany of offensive weapons early in the game, St. Louis can cruise into their second consecutive victory before making the trek to our nation’s capital in week three of this young XFL season.

The Pick

St. Louis Battlehawks (+3)