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New Jersey Generals vs. Philadelphia Stars Breakdown

18 days ago



This Mother’s Day, you’ve got a choice as to how to spend the day with Mom. You could go to a nice brunch or you can also spend an afternoon watching hard-hitting football.

After a night where the XFL crowns its first champion in San Antonio, the second day of action in week five of the USFL sees the league heading back to its Detroit hub for the first half of a Mother’s Day doubleheader. Ford Field serves as the setting for a tri-state area rivalry in the North Division.

New Jersey Takes on Philadelphia Sunday Afternoon

The New Jersey Generals (2-2), fresh off of a loss against the unbeaten New Orleans Breakers,  travel up to Michigan to take on the other hub tenant, the Philadelphia Stars (1-3).  A week ago, Philadelphia got blown out by the Houston Gamblers.

Live coverage begins at noon ET/ 11 am CT on NBC Sports. As with all NBCUniversal-aired games in the USFL, Sunday’s first game will be streamed on Peacock.

Cooler Weather Expected for the Drive to Ford Field

If you’ve got tickets to the game, be prepared for cooler weather conditions while making the drive to this domed stadium. Current weather forecasts for Sunday morning indicate a mostly cloudy sky.

Temperatures are expected to hit 60 degrees around 10 am. You’ll need a jacket as you wait to get inside Ford Field. High temperatures are projected to top out around 66 degrees.

New Jersey Generals vs. Philadelphia Stars Betting Odds

As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have the New Jersey Generals installed as a -6 1/2-point favorite on the points spread and a -278 favorite on the money line. Philadelphia counters as a +210 underdog on the line.

If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening over the weekend in the USFL, please wager responsibly.

New Jersey’s Offense Has to Wake Up

The 2023 version of the New Jersey Generals is markedly different than their 2022 counterparts– and not in a good way. A week ago, New Jersey scored 17 points against New Orleans.

This is problematic for the Generals. Last season at this time, the team was 3-1 heading into a game versus the Breakers in the Birmingham hub.

That weekend, New Jersey took care of business, 27-17. This year, it’s been another story, with the Generals only having scored 20 or more points twice. What can be done to arrest the problem?

Simply, the Generals have to get wide receiver Cam Echols-Luper open in the field. A product of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green by way of TCU and Arkansas State, he led the charge with two catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.

To catch the Philadelphia defense napping, New Jersey will have to shift away from the running game. While their halfbacks do an admirable job, one would surmise that the Stars are expecting a steady diet of running plays on Sunday.

If New Jersey can put the ball up top regularly (Generals quarterback DeAndre Johnson only threw 14 passes last week), they’ll surprise Philadelphia’s D-line and the Stars will need to adjust.

Can Chris Orr Continue Hot Start?

On defense, the Generals are anchored by linebacker Chris Orr. Through week four, he ranks No. 1 in the USFL in tackling with 41.

A week ago, he notched 13 tackles. Orr is off to a brilliant start to the season. With Case Cookus serving as the opposing quarterback this Sunday, you’d expect Orr and the defense to have another banner day.

Will they be able to capitalize on any miscues that the Stars might have? Tune in and find out.

Stars O-Line Can’t Let Cookus Get Sacked

Throughout the season in the USFL, there’s been one constant on offense for Philadelphia: Their offensive line has done a poor job in protecting Case Cookus. Last week, the Stars’ line allowed six sacks against Houston.

All told, Cookus has been sacked 20 times through the team’s May 6 game. You don’t have to be a math major to know that the offensive line is giving up five sacks a game.

This is entirely too much. At this point in the season, Philadelphia can no longer afford to allow their starting quarterback to get taken down.

Expect the offensive line to beef up its protection of Cookus. If not, a switch needs to be made at quarterback, and it needs to be made yesterday.

Philadelphia Needs to Neutralize Generals’ Running Game

The Philadelphia Stars had another major problem on the other side of the football last week. If you watched Philly’s defeat to Houston last Saturday afternoon on FOX, you saw a rushing defense in shambles.

Aided by halfback Mark Thompson, the Houston Gamblers torched the Stars on the ground, to the tune of 212 yards. Given the fact that New Jersey has two great running backs, the Stars have quite the dill of a pickle this week.

If Philly can close the lanes for Darius Victor and/or Trey Williams to run through, they’ll have a shot. It’ll be a rerun of last week if either of these guys find daylight.

Final Thoughts

By the end of Sunday’s game, we’ll know which of these two teams is for real this season. Keep in mind that both clubs were in the playoffs last year.

Prediction: New Jersey 28, Philadelphia 14.

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