Munich – On Saturday, the time had come. The United States Football League’s comeback was imminent. So while the NFL is in the offseason, the new USFL brought “spring football” to the United States.
The first match day is now played – at least in part. Six of the eight teams have already been deployed. A match will be moved Monday night. race Get an overview of the first few games and see what else the first day of play in the USFL brought with it.
USFL: Stallions vs. General’s opening match
The Birmingham Stallions and New Jersey Generals opened the USFL season on Saturday. All matches will be played at the Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama due to the league’s “corona bubble”. In front of a full audience, Stallions Generals defeated 28:24.
The match winner was quarterback J’Mar Smith, who came on the field for the injured Alex McGough and ran from two yards to a touchdown with 29 seconds left to give Stallions the win. At half time, the generals were still ahead by seven points – but the better end was reserved for the home team.
USFL: Gamblers beat the Panthers
On Sunday, the Houston Gamblers took on the Michigan Panthers. The Panthers won the match 17:12, which started late due to a storm in Birmingham. Running back Mark Thompson rushed to 71 yards on 13 carries and was instrumental in the victory.
The Panthers, on the other hand, still had a chance to make a comeback in the final game, but quarterback Shea Patterson’s attempt at passing was incomplete. But Michigan’s play was marked by a lack of ball safety – there were nine fumbles in the end.
The Panthers had a familiar face from the NFL on the sidelines. Jeff Fisher, former coach of the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams, could not do anything about his team’s defeat either. Paxton Lynch, a former first-round pick for the Denver Broncos, also got a few snaps for Michigan in the meantime. However, the quarterback made just two of his five passing attempts totaling 1 yard and threw a hair-raising interception.
Stars are subject to Breakers
In the second game Sunday, the Philadelphia Stars lost 17:23 to the New Orleans Breakers. The crucial figure from the start was New Orleans’ edge rusher Davin Bellamy, who fired the opponent’s quarterback three times alone in the first quarter.
Breakers defense totaled six sacks. Nevertheless, it was for a long time a balanced affair, and the stars also had something to say. In the third quarter, it was 5:17 p.m. The Breakers, however, got a touchdown in the fourth quarter and ensured that all three games went to a South Division team.
Storm causes game cancellation
Actually, the fourth match was also to take place on Sunday. The match between the Tampa Bay Bandits and Pittsburgh Maulers had to be postponed until Monday night due to bad weather in Birmingham. Let’s see if the fourth match is decided by a maximum of six points difference.
The weather also affected the spectators at the site. If the opening match between Stallions and Generals was played in front of an almost full house, the matches took place on Sunday in front of almost empty rows. Due to the bad weather and the consequent postponements of the game, some fans probably did not reach Protective Stadium.
Over 3 million watch the USFL season opener
Nevertheless, according to “FOX” and “NBC”, about three million Americans watched the match on Saturday night. A remarkable rate, given that the USFL is a new league and “spring football”, not the NFL.
The new USFL started Saturday night in a historic simulcast on FOX and NBC – delivering an expected 3 million viewers across the networks and their streaming platforms.
– USFL (@USFL) April 17, 2022
In addition to the exciting games, the millions of viewers should have noticed the new camera technology during the broadcast. Among other things, the USFL uses drones equipped with cameras to get even closer to the game.
The only question is when the first drone is hit by a ball or catches a player flying around.
Successful comeback for the USFL
In addition to the drone cameras, the USFL has also mounted cameras on some players’ helmets: The so-called “helmet cameras” allow spectators to see what is happening from the player’s perspective.
All in all, it was a successful season opener for the USFL with exciting matches, many spectators and new techniques. The only thing that did not bother to play with was the weather.
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