Have a case of the offseason blues? Well, fear not, football fans, for the season lives on with football making its triumphant return to the nation’s capital. Saturday, Feb. 8 marks opening day of the XFL 2020 Season, as the Seattle Dragons are in town to take on the DC Defenders.
Matchup: Seattle Dragons (0-0) vs DC Defenders (0-0)
Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at 2 p.m. EST
Location: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Weather: 46 degrees and mostly sunny
Livestream: WatchESPN and the ESPN App
Radio Broadcast: 106.7 The Fan
This game figures to be an exciting matchup as players from both teams appear to be hungry to prove themselves. While fans may recognize familiar names like Cardale Jones (Defenders QB) and Rashaad Ross (Defenders WR), Saturday’s game will provide opportunities for lesser-known players to make an impact.
Some of those impactful plays could be on special teams—see XFL rules—because in this league the punting team isn’t allowed to release past the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. In contrast, the NFL allows special teams “gunners” to sprint downfield once the ball is snapped. But this XFL rule should reduce fair catches, giving punt returners an opportunity to showcase their speed and agility in the open field.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this game will be the chess match between Defenders’ head coach Pep Hamilton and Seattle’s legendary player-turned-coach, Jim Zorn. Both men are well known in collegiate and NFL circles alike, having worked with a pair of Pro Bowl quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck, respectively. But Zorn, who’s making his first coaching appearance in D.C. since serving as the Redskins head coach from 2008-2009, has been out of coaching since 2012. It will be interesting to see what kind of scheme or new wrinkles Zorn’s team will employ.
Elsewhere in the XFL, the Los Angeles Wildcats will be in Houston to face the Roughnecks on Saturday at 5 p.m. EST. On Sunday, Feb. 9, the Tampa Vipers will visit the New York Guardians at 2 p.m. EST. Both games will be broadcast on FOX. The St. Louis BattleHawks will also face the Dallas Renegades Sunday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. EST on ESPN.
For more news regarding the DC Defenders and the XFL, follow me @CutNaPromo.