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New Jersey Generals vs. Michigan Panthers Breakdown

40 years ago, the original USFL began to play with some of its teams sharing stadiums/ domes with NFL clubs. One such club that shared its venue with an NFL franchise was the Michigan Panthers. During the 1983 and 1984 seasons, the original Panthers franchise held its home games inside the Pontiac Silverdome, the longtime stadium for the Detroit Lions.

There’s an adage out there that goes “What’s old is new again.” Here we are in 2023, and the USFL is back for its second season. Much like the team’s 80s counterparts, the current version of the Panthers is sharing its home ballpark with the Lions.

While the Pontiac Silverdome was demolished five years ago and the land surrounding the arena has since been acquired by Amazon, the Lions’ current house, Ford Field, will serve as the Detroit hub and home stadium for the Panthers. Sunday will be opening day, and the primary tenants for the USFL have done well away from Ford Field to begin the season.


Panthers Come Home to Detroit Sunday vs. Generals to Close Out USFL Week Three

The final game of week three in the USFL sees its final home opener of the season this Sunday afternoon. Last year’s runners-up, the New Jersey Generals (1-1), will head up north to Detroit to take on the home-standing Michigan Panthers (2-0) in the second game of a doubleheader.

FOX Sports will carry the game live at 4 pm ET/ 3 pm CT from Ford Field. Those attending the game will see a familiar face, especially to fans of WWE.

Superstar Big E (real name Ettore Ewen), who most recently performed on Friday Night Smackdown with his stablemates in The New Day before going on hiatus from sports entertainment due to a broken neck, will work as the in-stadium host for every Panthers home game this season. No word on whether Big E plans to implore the fans with the phrase “Clap for your Michigan Panthers and feel the power!” ahead of kickoff.

Crisp Weather For the Trip to Ford Field

While Ford Field is a climate-controlled ballpark, the weather outlook for the drive up to the domed stadium calls for a chilly day. Current forecasts indicate a 50 percent chance of rain on Sunday. High temperatures will top out around 54 degrees.

New Jersey Generals vs. Michigan Panthers Betting Odds

As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have the home-standing Michigan Panthers installed as a -4 1/2-point favorite on the spread and a -213 favorite on the money line. The New Jersey Generals counter as a +160 underdog on the money line.

When it comes to the over-under for this particular ballgame, it’s set at 43 1/2 points. If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Darius Victor Level With Reggie Corbin as Top Halfback in USFL Heading into Week Three

This game is going to be predicated on the battle at running back. It’s a pretty decent head-to-head showdown on Sunday since New Jersey halfback Darius Victor is tied with his adversary, Reggie Corbin, for No. 1 in rushing yards at 160.

A week ago, Victor and the Generals took advantage of sloppy play from the Pittsburgh Maulers in the Canton hub en route to a 20-3 victory. The Towson alum rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown last Sunday. He’ll have to pick up the pace if the Generals are to go on a two-game winning streak.

Anything under 100 yards rushing might not be enough to come away victorious this time around, especially considering that the Panthers have proven to be among the toughest teams to beat in the USFL.

New Jersey Has to Pressure Josh Love

The New Jersey Generals won last Sunday afternoon versus the Maulers thanks in part to their ability to sack the quarterback. All told New Jersey’s defense brought the lunch pail to the job site in the amount of five sacks.

This week’s opposing quarterback, Josh Love of the Panthers, has turned around the Michigan offense. Heading into week three, they’re a far cry from the 2-8 squad that limped across the finish line at the end of last season, having already matched their win total from 2022 in just two weeks of play.

However, the Philadelphia Stars were unable to bring Love down last Sunday night on FS1 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. If the Generals’ D-line can do what Philadelphia’s could not, the Panthers will drop from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Panthers Have to Feed the Ball to Reggie Corbin This Week

Home-field advantage goes to Michigan this week. Although the maximum capacity for USFL games at Ford Field wasn’t definitively known at press time, with the Panthers’ 2-0 start to the season, you’d have to imagine that every available seat will have been spoken for ahead of Sunday’s game.

One way to get the fans to stand up and roar is to keep giving the rock to Reggie Corbin. The former Illinois product went over the 100-yard plateau last weekend with 131 and two touchdowns.

Simply put, the Michigan offensive line has to create seams for Reggie Corbin. All this young man will need is a lane to run through and he’ll be crossing the goal line with regularity once again.

Defense (Hopefully) Wins Championships in Michigan

Here’s another key statistic to ponder as you get ready to watch the Generals/Panthers contest on Sunday: After only two games, they’ve forced eight turnovers.

When a team can average four turnovers per contest and it’s the early going of the season, that’s as good of an indicator as any that they’re off to a fantastic start. If they can keep this up, look out, because the Panthers might be able to deliver Detroit’s first playoff win by a professional football team since Jan. 5, 1992.

Let’s not get too far ahead here: Michigan has to take this one game, quarter, and play at a time. Their mission continues again this week.

Final Thoughts

This should be a satisfying game to close out week three of the season. Get your popcorn ready because you don’t want to miss any of the big runs by the halfbacks.

Prediction: Michigan 24, New Jersey 17.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

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