Once again, the USFL kicked off an exciting football weekend with the Saturday slate of games. With the Breakers getting revenge on the Showboats and the Maulers muddying the playoff picture with their win, the USFL Sunday slate brought plenty of chaos too!
Birmingham Stallions vs. Houston Gamblers
Birmingham, the USFL defending champions, had the opportunity to clinch their playoff berth with a win over the Houston Gamblers on Sunday. And though it was a rocky start, they did not let the opportunity slip away. Alex McGough posted another 242 yards with 3 total TDs and an interception and a fumble. Houstons’ defense kept the Stallions’ rushing game almost obsolete, holding them to 84 yards on the game, most of which came late in the fourth quarter. In a game where the Stallions looked a little shaken up through three quarters, Alex McGough showed toughness and poise, and why he is a USFL MVP frontrunner.
Speaking of MVP frontrunners, The Houston Gamblers MVP candidate Mark Thompson was held well in check by the stiff Birmingham defense. Thompson only rushed for 56 yards on 17 carries and was held without a TD. Kenji Bahar once again showed some fl;ases of brilliance, but numerous drops by his receivers seemed to delate the Gamblers’ QB. He missed a couple of sure TDs, overthrowing just a bit. Bahar finished with 164 total yards and an INT, the Gamblers scored zero TDs on the day.
Philadelphia Stars vs. New Jersey Generals
Heck, we can keep the subject of MVP frontrunners up as we roll into the Stars game, with Case Cookus. The Stars had their chance to clinch their spot in the playoffs with a win over the Generals, but they came up just short. Case Cookus had arguably his best game of the season, throwing for 263 yards and 3 TDs and rushing for another 59 yards. At this point in the season, we can’t mention Cookus without mentioning Corey Coleman. Coleman had 9 catches for 98 yards and 1 TD. The Achilles Heel for the Stars once again reared its ugly head, turnovers. Cookus did a much better job in the passing game, eliminating the interceptions, but he fumbled twice, and the Stars as a whole fumbled four times, losing three. The Stars are a good team, but the mental mistakes and ball security continue to derail them.
New Jersey, when they are on, they look downright unstoppable! The problem is, they can’t figure out their identity. De’Andre Johnson tossed for 213 yards and added 29 on the ground. Darius Victor rushed for 51 yards and 2 TDs, and even threw the only passing TD of the game! Darrell Stewart Jr. topped the century mark (109) on just three catches! With the Genarls win, both North Division games next weekend are Win-and-In scenarios!
Bring on the CHAOS!