Through two XFL reboots — first in 2020 and once more in 2023 — the Houston Roughnecks had not lost a single recreation no matter who was sporting their uniform. That streak finally ended on Thursday night by the hands of the Seattle Sea Dragons, however not before a wild ending.
The Roughnecks had scored essentially the most points in the XFL entering the Week 5 matchup, but the Sea Dragons held them scoreless through three quarters in Seattle, thanks partly to 2 blocked punts, the first resulting in the game’s first landing.
In fact, the Sea Dragons led 21-6 with somewhat beneath two minutes left within the game — it might’ve been worse had Seattle quarterback Ben DiNucci not been picked off ultimately zone twice — however that’s when issues went off the rails.
Roughnecks quarterback Brandon Silvers hit Justin Smith for a 47-yard landing with 24 seconds left, and a two-point conversion made it 21-14. In the XFL, rules enable teams to attempt to convert a 4th-and-15 to retain possession, quite than try an onside kick, and Houston did just that, as Deontay Burnett caught a 17-yard pass to keep the Roughnecks’ hopes alive.
And that they had a chance. A pass interference penalty put the ball on the Sea Dragons’ 27-yard line for one final play. But a Seattle hit on Silvers caused the ball to float and get picked off by the Sea Dragons’ Niko Lalos:
The Roughnecks had began 5-0 in the 2020 version of the XFL before the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and had started 4-0 this season. Houston’s loss leaves the D.C. Defenders as the league’s last remaining unbeaten. The Sea Dragons improved to 3-2 on the season (you can check out the standings right here, together with all of the scores and 2023 season schedule).
Here’s a take a look at what’s on tap for the rest of Week 5 in the XFL:
Seattle Sea Dragons 21, Houston Roughnecks 14
D.C. Defenders at St. Louis BattleHawks, 7 p.m. ET | TV: FX
Orlando Guardians at Vegas Vipers, 10 p.m. ET | TV: FX
Orlando Renegades at San Antonio Brahmas, 10 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN2