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Tampa Bay Vipers vs. Los Angeles Wildcats XFL live blog

Taylor Cornelius and the Vipers cross the country to take on Josh Johnson and the Los Angeles Wildcats

Josh Johnson of the Los Angeles Wildcats adjusts his helmet in between plays during the second half of their XFL game against the New York Guardians at MetLife Stadium on February 29, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Guardians won 17-14. Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

12:35 a.m. That’s going to wrap it up for us here, as the Wildcats get the win.

Josh Johnson ends up with 32.42 fantasy points via 288 yards passing and four touchdowns against just one interception.

Ironically Taylor Cornelius does get to 300 yards passing, but he was 22-34 for two TD’s and two INT’s. You can tack on seven carries for 45 yards rushing as well.

Jalen Tolliver led all receivers with 95 yards on four catches and a TD, which translates to 19.5 DFS points. But Reece Horn for the Vipers picks up 24 fantasy points due to nine catches for 90 yards.

Hope you enjoyed our look at the game from a bit more of a wagering perspective. We’ll see you next week for Week 6 of the XFL!

12:20 a.m. “Corn Dog” just got eaten, and it might have ended the Vipers postseason hopes in Week 5.

Cornelius is picked off in the end zone by Jack Tocho after leading a nice drive to tie-go ahead, and the XFL overtime period remains a beautiful idea that has yet to happen.

It was Cornelius’s third turnover of the day, and the Wildcats head into victory formation to hang on for the 41-34 victory. LA is now 2-3 and still has a pulse for the playoffs, while the Vipers fall to 1-4, and might be out of the hunt for postseason already.

12:11 a.m. We’ve got some #WeirdFootball on the east coast, as the Vipers force a punt and take over at their 20-yard line with 1:49 remaining.

Could we see the first overtime in XFL history? If the Vipers score, you know Trestman is going for one instead of two, which is really dumb but absolutely happening. Right?

12:03 a.m. Is anything really ever over in the XFL?

A six-play, 83-yard drive from Cornelius gets the Snakes back in the end zone, and it’s now 41-34 with 3:11 to play. And with the two-minute timing rules in the XFL, it’s harder to kill off a game like LA would like. Let’s see what happens.

11:55 p.m. That’s a shumble-scoop-six from Cornelius. A sack by Cedric Roberts, a forced fumble for him too, and a scoop and score from Boogie Roberts of the Wildcats.

The two-pointer from Johnson to McBride is good, and a team that was once a 15.5 point favorite on in-game wagering now trails by 14 points on the field. Amazing.

With 5:26 left, it’s 41-27.

11:44 p.m. On 4th and 1 from the seven yard line, Marc Trestman kicks a field goal. Good for Andrew Franks fantasy owners, terrible for things like “math” and “trying to win a football game.”

Tampa Bay breaks the string of 27 unanswered, but it’s still 33-27 Los Angeles with 9:25 to play.

LA is -560 on the live money line, while TB is +340.

11:38 p.m. Josh Johnson just went off. He made this play.

And then did this.

Literally hanging up on Norm Chow, who’s been an offensive coordinator almost twice as long as Johnson has been alive. Amazing stuff, and what makes the XFL so terrific.

11:34 p.m. LA gets their 27th unanswered point as Johnson hits Saeed Blacknall in the right corner of the end zone for a 17-yard TD.

A penalty forces the 1-pointer back five yards and it’s no good, but LA leads 33-24 with 14:00 minutes left. An amazing turnaround.

Not good for LA as Brandon Barnes is carted off with an air cast on his left leg. It would seem he won’t return, let’s hope he’s ok.

11:28 p.m. And Cornelius starts the quarter with an interception, and a bad one at that. And it’s another shallow crossing route, usually one of the easiest throws for a QB to make.

“Corn Dog” Cornelius is now 13/20 for 133 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT with 14:50 left in the fourth quarter.

11:23 p.m. We enter the 4th quarter, and it’s 27-24 Los Angeles, but Tampa Bay has the ball and just picked up a first down.

The Vipers run game, which was lights out in the first quarter, now has 30 carries for just 98 yards. Credit adjustments to the LA defense, which Vipers backup QB Aaron Murray just said was a switch to a “Bear” front, named after the look of the Bears of Buddy Ryan in the 80’s.

For fantasy players, there’s been some good things, but not enough to get you the win this weekend tonight. Josh Johnson has been the best numbers guy on the field so far.

11:14 p.m. The comeback is complete, as Johnson hits Tre McBride (who had a big fumble on a punt return earlier) on a fade for a TD from 11 yards out. It’s 27-24 ‘Cats, something that seemed ridiculous about an hour ago.

That’s 21 unanswered points for Los Angeles, and those that rode the wave of Tampa Bay momentum early from an in-game betting perspective are for sure hurting now.

Johnson is now 18/28 for 259 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT with 1:42 left in the third quarter.

11:08 p.m. When the plays are great in the XFL, they are great. But when they’re bad... woof they can be bad. Taylor Cornelius just gift-wrapped a Pick 6 throwing behind his receiver on a drag, but then defensive end Cedric Reed just straight up dropped the present. Yikes on both sides.

Vipers punt, and Johnson and the Wildcats take over at their 14 yard line.

11:00 p.m. Yet another drop by LA, as Jalen Greene drops a gift where he was wide open. And then kicker Giorgio Tavecchio gives us what might be our first XFL doink (??) as hits the left upright just over the crossbar. It’s still 24-20 with 7:52 left in the third quarter, and that second half under is looking good for now.

10:44 p.m. Some halftime DFS numbers:

Jacques Patrick: 12.4 points
Jalen Tolliver: 11.5 points
Vipers Defense: 7 points (1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries)

And the halftime lines: Tampa Bay is -2.5, and will receive the kickoff. And the over/under that started at 42.5 is now 67.5.

10:34 p.m. Running back Jacques Patrick, who has been a stud for DFS players today, comes off the field clearly shaken after a big hit with 27 seconds left in the first half. Patrick already has 12.4 DFS points today, with seven carries for 23 yards and a TD. We’ll keep an eye here.

TB does get a field goal attempt from Andrew Franks as the half expires, and it’s online but short from 57 yards. It’s 24-20 at halftime. Congrats if you had the over, we hope you find a way to parlay it on the second half lines!

10:30 p.m. Josh Johnson just showed why he was a prized player at the University of San Diego.

Tampa Bay could have run out the clock with under two minutes and their excellent run game but didn’t, and then Johnson hits a flawless post to Saeed Blacknall for 48 yards. And then the TD on a Y-choice to Brandon Barnes on the very next play from eight yards out.

The over gets there in the first half, but the conversion fails due to a penalty. It’s 24-20 Tampa Bay as we head to halftime.

10:23 p.m. LA won’t go away here, and the over is in jeopardy already.

A nice 10-play, 69-yard drive by Johnson. Eight of those plays were passes for LA, and the last was a DeQuan Johnson TD in the back of the end zone. With the conversion for two, it’s now 24-14 Vipers.

Johnson said to Molly McGrath right after the score that he was excited to “dog somebody” on that play.

For now, it’s Vipers -6.5 and total 60.5 on in-game at DraftKings Sportsbook.

10:10 p.m. Check out the very cool (and very fast!) work by the Vipers social media team, showing this 16-yard TD pass to Daniel Williams.

The one-pointer is good, and it’s 24-6 Vipers with 6:28 remaining. Cornelius and Patrick are on track for big DFS days, as is the Vipers defense. We’ll keep an eye peeled when those numbers start to stack.

10:05 p.m. Maybe they should rename them the LA 405’s-At-Rush-Hour, because this team has been a disaster tonight. A fumble on a punt return by Tre McBride gives Tampa Bay ideal field position at the +27, and now Jacques Patrick is just running people over to get the ball in the red zone.

9:56 p.m. A huge gain for the LA Wildcats, and at least they’re attempting to make a game of it. Johnson links up with Jordan Smallwood, who has a few tacklers fall off him while getting some YAC on a 49-yard reception. He gets it to the one-yard line, and DuJuan Harris does the rest on the next play to put the Wildcats on the board.

The two-point try is muffed, but it’s 17-6 with 10:17 left in the first half.

9:48 p.m. Another terrific drive for #FangUp led by the running game, and Taylor Cornelius zone-read keeps it and waltzes into the end zone while quarantined.

LA’s D-end is just hung out to dry here.

Quinton Flowers comes in for the changeup on the 1-point conversion, but he just hands it off to De’veon Smith who powers through to get it home. It’s 17-0 Vipers and this could get ugly quick.

The Vipers are now 42-0 the last 5+ quarters of XFL football.

9:43 p.m. After one quarter, it’s Vipers 10-0 over the Wildcats. And TB is driving once again to score. To be noted, we haven’t seen potential trade candidate Quinton Flowers yet today, either as a running back or as the changeup quarterback. He is active, but if he’s been on the field we’ve missed it.

9:40 p.m. Josh Johnson isn’t playing great, but that’s two downfield drops by his receivers that would have been chunk plays. On the second drive it was Adonis Jennings, and on the third it was Tre McBride.

And now center Patrick Vahe snaps the ball over Johnson’s head, and Tampa Bay recovers at the +42. LA might be falling apart here.

9:30 p.m. Running back Jacques Patrick and the Vipers O-line is dominating the Wildcats early, and it’s showing in the results. An eight-play, 65-yard drive highlighted by a powerful 24-yard scamper to the +1 by Patrick with defenders bouncing off him becomes the first TD of the game on the next play.

The Vipers continue to loathe math and go for one, and a zone run to the left for Patrick is good again as he bangs his way inside the pylon. It’s 10-0 Tampa Bay, and the Vipers are laying 6.5 on in-game betting.

9:16 p.m. The Vipers are stuffed in the red zone, and Andrew Franks field goal from 26 yards is good. But despite getting the ball back right away and scoring, Tampa Bay is still the underdog on in-game wagering. The spread is down to 1.5. at DK however.

9:13 p.m. Tampa Bay has kicked off to Los Angeles, and we are under way as Josh Johnson takes over from the 25-yard line... and he is immediately intercepted!

A simple out gets undercut by Tampa Bay’s Robert Priester. And the Snakes take over at the 27-yard line. What a rough start for Johnson and the home team.

8:50 p.m. The inactive players for each team today:

Tampa Bay
WR Seantavius Jones
G/T Daronte Bouldin
TE Pharoah McKever
DT Kellen Soulek
DT Ricky Walker
G/T Isaiah Williams

Los Angeles

WR Nelson Spruce
DE Devin Taylor
RB Elijah Hood
LB Tre’ Williams
Lene Maiava
Jaylen Dunlap

Also we’re just checking social media before the game. If you’re a Tampa Bay fan, this almost has to drive you crazy. How can you be 1-3 if stats like this matter?

7:00 p.m. Welcome to our live blog of the Tampa Bay Vipers and the Los Angeles Wildcats. The game will start in just two hours live from Dignity Health Sports Park, also home of the LA Galaxy.

Taylor Cornelius will be the starting quarterback for the Vipers, and Quinton Flowers might have an active trade request, but he has made the trip to LA with the team.

About two hours before kickoff, the Wildcats are -2.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 42.5. We’ll keep an eye on all the football, the wagering and fantasy implications, and even the beer snakes if they happen. Join us at 9:00 p.m.!

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