Defenders storm back to win 22-18 over Sea Dragons

February 20, 2023 / By Brayden Nazarian

Breaking down the D.C. Defenders' Week 1 win over the Seattle Sea Dragons.

On Sunday, the D.C. Defenders took down the Seattle Sea Dragons in epic comeback fashion by a score of 22-18.

The Defenders' defense held firm late in the fourth quarter, stopping the Sea Dragons multiple times on the one-yard line. With just 20 seconds left and the game on the line, linebacker Jamal Brooks stripped Sea Dragons' quarterback Ben DiNucci of the football and recovered it to seal the game.

None of the above would be possible without D.C.'s stellar defensive play in the second half. Down 18-8 with just over six minutes to go in the third quarter, Defenders' cornerback Michael Joseph returned an interception for a touchdown. Joseph also snagged a second interception to start the fourth quarter. This eventually led to another touchdown, giving the Defenders their first lead of the game.

Despite a sloppy start on offense, the Defenders found a rhythm later on thanks to quarterback D'Eriq King. Their offense became limited with Jordan Ta'amu on the field, so D.C. used King almost how the New Orleans Saints use Taysom Hill. He ended the game with just 21 total yards, but his presence on the field allowed the Defenders to get more creative. Plus, he scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Defenders start the season 1-0 after their Week 1 performance, while the Sea Dragons fall to 0-1. They won't meet again until Week 8 in Seattle.

A fitting end to a great first week of the XFL season.