The Las Vegas Vipers drop to 0-2 after an 18-6 defeat in their home opener Saturday night. It was a rainy and windy game, which made the game sloppy.
The Vipers jumped out a 6-0 lead after a strip-sack by Maximilian Roberts was recovered on the two-yard line, which led to a Las Vegas touchdown. The Vipers took a 6-0 lead into the half, then were outscored 18-0. So far this season, the Vipers have been outscored 37-6 in the second half.
“If I had that answer, it wouldn’t happen,” coach Rod Woodson said of what has gone wrong after halftime in the first two games. “If my players had that answer, it wouldn’t happen. It’s unfortunate that we play a half of football and then don’t want to play a second half of football.”
The Defenders ran the ball down the Vipers’ throats in the second half. D.C. ran for 173 yards in the second half. Defenders quarterback D’Eriq King rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Abram Smith and Ryquell Armstead rushed for a combined 129 yards, while quarterback Jordan Ta’amu added 68 yards.
“They came out and really only ran two plays,” Woodson said. “They ran outside zone and that quarterback dive—the whole second half. And we couldn’t stop them. “It was not easy to see that type of non-tackling performance our defense had in the second half. From two plays.”
Luiz Perez started the game at quarterback for the Vipers and went 1-5 for no yards. Las Vegas rotated quarterbacks; Brett Hundley also saw time and passed 98 yards on 11 of 18 passing.
“Every position is fluid right now when you haven’t won your first two games,” Woodson said. “Not just the quarterback position. We’re trying to figure out a way to score points on a consistent basis. Whoever can be the leader of the offense, which one can take the helm and show they want to be that guy, that’s the guy who’s going to be out there. Same thing goes for each position.”
The Vipers had 174 yards of offense and could not score any points in the second half. In addition, they struggled to run the ball in the second half after having some success in the first half.
Las Vegas’s defense forced three turnovers but failed to tackle in the second half, which helped cost them the game. In the future, the Vipers need to find an identity on offense and tackle better on defense.