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Michigan Panthers vs. New Jersey Generals Breakdown

12 days ago


After week seven of the USFL ends on Sunday, there will only be 12 regular season games left. Now that you’ve heard the bad news regarding the sophomore season of the league, here’s some good news: The postseason race is up for grabs.

As we mentioned earlier on in the week, no one is mathematically out of the playoffs just yet, and nobody has clinched a playoff berth. This is a far cry from where the league was a year ago in relation to the playoff picture.

In 2022, all four available playoff berths had been accounted for by the end of week nine, making the last weekend of last season meaningless, save for an alteration in draft rules before the Maulers/Panthers season finale. This is a scenario that the USFL is internally rooting against happening for the second season in a row.

It just might turn out that the playoff race comes down to the last week of the regular season in 2023, given that the leads in both divisions are not larger than a single game. To close out week seven, FS1 broadcasts another rematch in the North Division.

Panthers Battle Generals in Canton to Wrap Up Week Seven

Immediately following Sunday’s Houston/Memphis tilt on USA, viewers will change the channel to FOX Sports‘ cable network for the last game of the weekend. After a few games in the friendly confines of Ford Field, the Michigan Panthers (2-4), tied for the worst record in the league, travel down south to Ohio, where they’ll be taking on the New Jersey Generals (2-4).

Both teams enter the game having tasted defeat last weekend. Michigan lost at home against the Birmingham Stallions (4-2), while New Jersey dropped a 16-10 result to the Houston Gamblers (4-2).

Kickoff time for the late game on Sunday is set for just past 5:30 pm ET/ 4:30 pm CT on FS1. Big FOX will be occupied Sunday evening thanks to coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte.

Nice Evening in the Forecast for Canton

All throughout the season in the USFL, there’s been one constant in the weather department: The refereeing crews have not yet had to send the teams back to the dressing rooms due to lightning in the area of an outdoor stadium. They won’t need to on Sunday.

Current weather forecasts indicate that high temperatures Sunday will top out in the mid-70s with only a small threat of rain. Readings will cool off to the low-70s by the time the final whistle sounds.

A slight east breeze at nine MPH will be expected for Sunday. Leave the jacket at home if you have tickets to the game.

Michigan Panthers vs. New Jersey Generals Betting Odds

As of late Friday afternoon, the oddsmakers have the New Jersey Generals installed as a -6 1/2-point favorite on the spread and a -303 favorite on the money line. Michigan counters as a +220 underdog on the line.

Your over-under for the second game of the doubleheader is set at 39 1/2 points. If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening this weekend in the USFL, please wager responsibly.

When Last They Met…

As previously stated, this is a rematch from earlier on in the season. Back in week three, New Jersey went to Ford Field and came out victorious, 28-13.

That afternoon, Generals quarterback DeAndre Johnson threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns en route to the team’s second win of the year. How will the rematch play out?

Panthers Need to Get Trey Quinn Open

Michigan wide receiver Trey Quinn entered week six of the USFL season in need of a breakout game. The SMU alum by way of LSU was held in check for much of the season.

Last Saturday afternoon, however, Quinn was unleashed to the tune of seven receptions for 108 yards. The Panthers have found a good guy to throw to. If he finds a seam downfield, he can make an opposing defense pay.

If he plays this Sunday like he did last week, it’ll be impossible for the Generals to cover him.

Can Frank “The Tank” Ginda Have Another Awesome Night?

While Panthers defensive end Breeland Speaks is a legitimate candidate for USFL Defensive Player of the Year, his teammate on the D-line is an impact player for Michigan in his own right.  Enter linebacker Frank Ginda.

Nicknamed “The Tank”, he notched a whopping 18 tackles last weekend, alongside teaming up with Speaks on a quarterback sack of Alex McGough of the Stallions. Ginda’s efforts were certainly noticed by fans of the league.

On Monday, the Twitter vote for the USFL Defensive Player of the Week was finalized, resulting in Ginda, a San Jose State product, splitting the honors with Pittsburgh LB Kyahva Tezino. If that wasn’t enough, Friday was his birthday.

Another effort like the one he had last week would be a great birthday present. Can his performance get him another look by NFL teams?

Darius Victor Eager to Rebound

Throughout the USFL season, Generals running back Darius Victor has been known to be a bruiser in the backfield. However, the past couple of weeks have been a rough go of things.

Last Sunday’s game was especially challenging for the Towson alum. Victor only rushed for a season-low 38 yards on 10 carries.

This is a man who’s been bottled up in recent weeks. He’s past due to bust loose. If the Generals’ offensive line can create decent blocking for him, Victor’s off to the races.

Watch For D’Juan Hines

Defensively speaking, the Generals were led by linebacker D’Juan Hines. The former Houston Cougar recorded eight tackles last Sunday.

Hines is in his second year with the New Jersey organization and had bounced around several NFL rosters before having a stint with the then-New York Guardians of the XFL in its abbreviated 2020 season. After the pandemic forced the league to halt play, Hines had been out of football for a couple years.

D’Juan Hines can be an impact player for New Jersey both this week and in the rest of the season. It’s all up to him.

Final Thoughts

Although neither team has been eliminated from the playoffs at this stage, both Michigan and New Jersey have to treat Sunday’s game like a postseason affair. All room for error is gone.

Prediction: Michigan 31, New Jersey 20.

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