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XFL Ratings Revealed for Cardale Jones, DC vs. Brandon Silvers, Seattle Opener

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Cardale Jones #12 of the DC Defenders looks to pass against the Seattle Dragons during the first half of the XFL game at Audi Field on February 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The XFL had a promising start to its first weekend, including averaging 3.3 million viewers for its kickoff game Saturday night between the D.C. Defenders and Seattle Dragons:

ESPN PR @ESPNPR

The @xfl2020 on ESPN/ABC is off to a strong start! https://t.co/ZjAzmTLmz9

The big market from Seattle isn't a surprise considering the city's involvement and that it's home to the NFL's Seahawks. Those fans saw quarterback Brandon Silvers throw three touchdowns with two interceptions in a 31-19 loss.

Interestingly, Cleveland and Cincinnati, two cities without an XFL franchise, produced high ratings. Those fans were no doubt tuning in to see former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones play for the Defenders.

Jones is best known for leading the 2014 Buckeyes to the national championship, but his NFL career was a disappointment, with short stints with the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks. He appeared in just one regular-season game, throwing 11 total passes.

In his XFL debut, Jones finished with 235 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Of course, the big challenge for the league will be to sustain viewership. According to Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc., the original XFL in 2001 had 14 million viewers and a 9.5 rating in its debut. However, the ratings continued to drop, with just a 2.1 mark in its final week.

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