Takeaways from the Tampa Bay Vipers’ 17-9 loss at Seattle

The Vipers will be looking for their first win entering their home opener next Saturday against Houston at Raymond James Stadium.
A closeup detail view of the XFL ball. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
A closeup detail view of the XFL ball. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano) [ STEVE LUCIANO | AP ]
Published Feb. 16, 2020|Updated Feb. 16, 2020

Takeaways from watching the Fox broadcast of the Tampa Bay Vipers’ 17-9 loss to the Seattle Dragons Saturday in Week 2 of the XFL season:

* With Week 1 starter Aaron Murray out with a foot injury, Taylor Cornelius started at quarterback Saturday for the Vipers. He got off to a rough start and finished 16 of 27 passing for 154 yards and two interceptions, including one in the end zone on the game’s final play.

The biggest play of the game came late in the third quarter when Seattle defensive end Marcell Frazier intercepted Tampa’s Quinton Flowers at the Vipers 1-yard line and scored to give the Dragons a 14-9 lead. Flowers, a former USF star, finished 3 of 7 passing for 18 yards.

* Tampa Bay is still looking for its first offensive TD. The Vipers lost 23-3 in New York in Week 1. On Saturday, after a scoreless first half, defensive back Tavarus McFadden scored the first touchdown in Vipers history, intercepted Seattle quarterback Brandon Silvers and returning it 78 yards for the score.

“We finally got to play a little zone coverage," McFadden said after the play. “As soon as I got the caught the ball (I knew it was a touchdown). When the defense gets it, there’s only one mentality: go score.”

* Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville’s unit was solid except for one play. Former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds’s 68-yard touchdown run in the second quarter got the Dragons on the board. ... Jacques Patrick led Tampa Bay with 73 yards rushing on 21 carries. ... Tampa Bay racked up 99 yards in penalties.

Contact Mari Faiello at Follow @faiello_mari.