2024 UFL Week 5 Power Rankings

We are at the halfway point of the 2024 UFL season and the postseason race is already starting to heat up, as we have a pretty good scope of where each team stands with one another. Here’s a breakdown of how each team five weeks through the regular season.

Birmingham Stallions

1. Birmingham Stallions (5-0)

The Stallions continued their dominance on Saturday with an imposing 32-9 victory over the Roughnecks. The win adds to Birmingham’s impressive streak of twelve straight victories, which began in week six of the 2023 USFL season. 

Adrian Martinez, who has rotated as Birmingham’s starting quarterback with Matt Corral, threw for 155 yards plus one touchdown and ran for 138 yards in the winning effort. Although Martinez has looked better statistically, Head Coach Skip Holtz is expected to continue to have both of his quarterbacks split starting reps.

Next, the Stallions head to Memphis for a rematch of week three, where Birmingham defeated the Showboats 33-14. Bluntly, it’s hard to see Skip Holtz’s squad losing this one.

XFL St. Louis Battlehawks

2. St. Louis Battlehawks (4-1)

Like the Stallions, the Battlehawks have been rolling. The only difference between the two teams is that Birmingham won its first game of the season, and St. Louis didn’t – losing to the Panthers 18-16 on a 64-yard walk-off field goal. But the Battlehawks have been on a tear ever since, on a four-game winning streak and coming off their biggest win yet having beat the Defenders 45-12 on Sunday. 

A.J. McCarron had the Battlehawks’ offense firing on all cylinders, as it scored the most points by any team in a game this season. McCarron is just one of the two UFL quarterbacks who hit the 1,000-yard passing mark in week five. St. Louis’ defensive unit has also looked good, especially lately, holding opposing offenses to an average of 145.0 yards over its past two games.

Overall, the Battlehawks have outscored their last two opponents by a combined score of 77-29. St. Louis is heavily favored against the Roughnecks this week.

XFL San Antonio Brahmas

3. San Antonio Brahmas (4-1)

John Lovett and Morgan Ellison combined for 179 rushing yards as the Brahmas picked up their fourth win of the season, beating the Renegades 25-15.

The passing attack in Quinten Dormady’s second start of the season also looked solid, except that he threw three interceptions. No matter the quarterback, Jontre Kirklin remains the top target in San Antonio’s offense. Kirklin is third league-wide in receiving yardage with 314.

Overall, the Brahmas have been good in all phases this season but not quite to the level of the Stallions or Battlehawks, who are blowing teams out. St. Louis also defeated San Antonio in a close game in week three, which is why they are the higher 4-1 team in these rankings. But both teams will see each other again in week ten in a contest, which will likely determine home-field advantage for playoffs.

The Brahmas are focused on the Defenders for their week six matchup. San Antonio can create some real separation in the XFL Conference standings with a win.

Michigan Panthers

4. Michigan Panthers (3-2)

The Panthers moved back over .500 with Sunday’s 35-18 victory over the Showboats. Danny Etling went 14-for-21 with 175 passing yards in his first season start, while Wes Hills and Matthew Colburn II combined for 150 rushing yards and four touchdowns in Michigan’s best ground-game performance yet.

Defensively, the Panthers had seven sacks as well as forced four turnovers – two fumbles and two interceptions. They held the Showboats to just 41 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, 2023 USFL Sack Leader Breeland Speaks has continued to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks, totaling three sacks in Sunday’s contest. 

With the win, the Panthers are now two games ahead at the No. 2 seed in the USFL Conference. Michigan returns home to face the winless Renegades next week.

XFL D.C. Defenders

5. D.C. Defenders (2-3)

The Defenders lost their first home game in franchise history on Sunday, falling to the Battlehawks 45-12. While D.C. entered halftime trailing by one possession, the team experienced a second-half meltdown and was outscored 28-0. 

Not much went right for Reggie Barlow’s team, especially in that second half. Throughout the game, the Defenders committed four turnovers and had two punts blocked. On offense, they totaled just 79 yards through the air and 84 yards on the ground. 

The only good news for the Defenders is that they have next week to bounce back. The bad news is that they are facing the Brahmas, who took care of D.C. 27-12 in week one.

Memphis Showboats

6. Memphis Showboats (1-4)

The Showboats started their season strong with an 18-12 win over the Roughnecks but have dropped four straight games since. Memphis even opted to go with a change at quarterback with Troy Williams starting against the Panthers, but the change seemingly didn’t work as the offense continued struggling.

Showboats Head Coach John DeFillipo went 7-3 during the 2023 USFL regular season with the New Orleans Breakers. After the merger, DeFillipo even brought some key contributors from his old team to Memphis, including wide receiver Jonathan Adams, linebacker Vontae Diggs, and safety Jarey Elder, but the team just hasn’t found the same success DeFillipo had with the Breakers last year.

Things won’t get any easier as the Showboats will take on the undefeated Stallions on Saturday. A win, although unlikely, would be big for Memphis, while a loss would move them to 1-5 and would make a potential late-season playoff push very hard.

XFL Houston Roughnecks

7. Houston Roughnecks (1-4)

After picking up their first of the season last week against the Renegades, the Roughnecks reverted back to their old ways, suffering a blowout 32-9 loss to the Stallions at home. 

Roughnecks star tailback Mark Thompson only had four touches in the loss, which was questionable on the coaching staff’s behalf. Houston recorded four fumbles in the loss, two of which were recovered by the Stallions. Meanwhile, the Roughnecks’ defense let up 358 yards from scrimmage and struggled to make plays.

The Roughnecks have the Battlehawks up next at The BattleDome in what should pose a challenging matchup for Curtis Johnson’s team. Like I mentioned with the Showboats, a loss would not be ideal for their playoff hopes.

Arlington Renegades

8. Arlington Renegades (0-5)

Luis Perez and the Renegades remain the only winless UFL team after losing to the Brahmas 25-15 in primetime on Saturday. While the defense has struggled all season, Arlington’s offensive output, which looked promising at the beginning, has also taken a dip lately – averaging just 16.0 points and 252.0 yards over the past two games. 

The Renegades’ defensive efficiency is graded the worst out of all UFL teams on PFF (60.2) through five weeks. There are individual stars on Arlington’s defensive unit like linebacker Donald Payne Jr. and defensive lineman Jalen Redmond. However, the defense will need to come together and rally as a whole if it wants to turn things around during the latter half of the season.

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