For the first time in two weeks, FOX Sports‘ digital cabler, FS1, will carry a USFL game. Your Sunday doubleheader starts in Michigan with the other hub tenant at Ford Field returning to action after a history-making afternoon last week.
New Orleans Meets Philly to Kick Off Sunday in the USFL
The New Orleans Breakers (4-1) seek to get back in the win column after sustaining their first defeat of the season last Sunday against the Memphis Showboats. They’ll travel up north to play the Philadelphia Stars (2-3.)
Philadelphia placekicker Luis Aguilar had a perfect day booting the ball on Mother’s Day against the New Jersey Generals, breaking the USFL record for most field goals converted in a game with eight. More on Aguilar in a moment.
Live coverage of New Orleans vs. Philadelphia begins at noon ET/ 11 am CT on FS1. For the first time this season, there will not be a game on an NBCUniversal-owned network, as FOX Sports proper airs the late game between New Jersey and Houston on Sunday.
Your Sunday To-Do List 🏈: pic.twitter.com/m7NfZEnbi4
— USFL (@USFL) May 19, 2023
No Threat of Rain for Tailgate Parties Outside Ford Field
With Ford Field being a domed stadium, there’s no weather concerns for the contest as a whole. At the same time, there are no worries to be had for any tailgating outside the stadium.
Current weather forecasts for Detroit call for a sunny morning on Sunday with minimal chances for rain. Temperatures prior to the game will get near 70 degrees with an afternoon high approaching 78.
Just to be on the safe side, take a light jacket with you to the tailgate.
New Orleans Breakers vs. Philadelphia Stars Betting Odds
As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have the New Orleans Breakers installed as a -7-point favorite on the spread and a -303 favorite on the money line. Philadelphia counters as a +225 underdog on the line.
The over-under for Sunday’s game is set at 47 1/2 points. If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening this weekend around the league, please wager responsibly.
Breakers Need to Feed Jonathan Adams the Ball
Despite New Orleans’ narrow defeat to Memphis last week, wide receiver Jonathan Adams had a great day on the stat sheet. The Arkansas State product by way of Alabama State caught four passes from McLeod Bethel-Thompson for 51 yards and no touchdowns.
So far this season, Adams has been averaging almost 48 yards per game. They’ve got a good guy to catch the ball, so the Breakers have to work on getting Adams open.
He can make an opposing defense pay if given the chance. Should Adams find some daylight down the middle of the field, the Breakers might have six points on the scoreboard in short order on Sunday.
Can Breakers Sack Cookus Regularly?
Last week, the New Orleans Breakers had trouble sacking Memphis quarterback Cole Kelley, taking him down twice all told. This week’s adversary under center, Stars quarterback Case Cookus, has been sacked quite often.
Through the first half of the season, the Stars’ offensive line has allowed 22 sacks of their starting quarterback, including at least four sacks in four of the five games this year. Breakers head coach John DeFilippo’s message in practice this week: Get to the quarterback.
The Breakers are a tough team, so can they bring Case Cookus down early and often? Only time will tell.
Luis Aguilar is NFL Ready
It isn’t that often when the impact player in a football game is a team’s kicker, unless, of course, the kicker’s name happens to be Adam Vinatieri. Last weekend, Stars kicker Luis Aguilar did something that not even “Automatic Adam” could do in his 24-year NFL career.
In last Sunday afternoon’s game, as previously mentioned, Aguilar, a product of Northern Arizona University, went 8-for-8 kicking the ball, including the game-winning field goal from 55 yards out at the stroke of zero. There’s no denying it: Luis Aguilar should be, and hopefully will be, kicking field goals in the fall.
Who needs a kicker? Luis Aguilar of the USFL's Philadelphia Stars went 8/8 on FGs on Sunday and accounted for all 24 points in a win over the NJ Generals.
Aguilar made kicks from 56, 55, 51, 49, 42, 36, 27 & 22.
Here's the game-winner from 55 yards out:pic.twitter.com/hAZgkUx9Rz
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 15, 2023
If there happen to be any teams around the NFL holding auditions for kickers later on in the summer after the USFL season ends, Aguilar has to be the recipient of the first phone call placed. Once the Stars get into field goal range, this young man will do the rest.
Can Stars Pounce on the Ball?
Aside from the kicking game, Philadelphia had a strong showing on defense last weekend. All told, the Stars made the Generals surrender the football four times in the Mother’s Day win.
The turnover battle is the deciding factor in a football game most often. When a team is able to take the ball away on four occasions, that’s a win.
With the Breakers having been as vulnerable as they’ve been all season heading into Sunday, anything is possible.
If the season were to end today, New Orleans would clinch the No. 1 seed in the South Division Championship at the end of June. The final question is simple: Can the Breakers play like the presumptive No. 1 seed in the division down the stretch?
Prediction: New Orleans 31, Philadelphia 28.