2024 UFL Week 6 Power Rankings

Six weeks of the 2024 UFL season have been completed, and one team, Birmingham, has already clinched a playoff berth. Another team, St. Louis, has a chance to clinch a ticket to the postseason with a win next week. But aside from that, it’s a toss-up regarding who the other two playoff teams will be. Here’s a breakdown of how each team has fared through six weeks of the season, and also, an idea of who those other playoff teams will be.

Birmingham Stallions

1. Birmingham Stallions (6-0)

The Stallions picked up their thirteenth straight victory, extending a winning streak that traces back to the 2023 USFL season. With the win, Birmingham clinched a playoff berth with three weeks of the regular season left. The team’s 39-21 win also signifies its season sweep over the Showboats.

Stallions quarterback Adrian Martinez started consecutive games for the first time all season and continued to dazzle. Birmingham has outscored opponents 104-44 in games where Martinez has started. Both Martinez and Matt Corral have started the same number of games, yet Martinez has essentially doubled Corral’s passing yardage and more than tripled his rushing yardage and touchdown passes thrown.

While Martinez has been great for the Stallions, Birmingham’s league-best rushing attack and offensive line have certainly been great complements. Excellent things can also be said about the Stallions’ defensive unit, which has allowed just 14.8 points per game and has the highest PFF grade in the UFL (90.3).

XFL St. Louis Battlehawks

2. St. Louis Battlehawks (5-1)

The Battlehawks got their fifth win in a row with a 22-8 victory over the Roughnecks on Sunday.

In the win, Hakeem Butler continued putting the league on notice as one of the best receivers in the UFL and as a name to watch in NFL training camps this summer. Butler had six receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the winning effort. Meanwhile, the Battlehawks’ backfield duo of Jacob Saylors and Wayne Gallman Jr. totaled just 28 yards on 11 combined carries. St. Louis’ offensive line, which has been a victim of injuries, struggled to create rushing lanes, forcing the Battlehawks to stay away from running the ball.

Next week against the Stallions, St. Louis cannot be one-dimensional offensively like they were on Sunday. The Battlehawks will need to be able to rely on both its passing and rushing attacks to keep up with Birmingham. To add, while the Battlehawks’ defense looked good against the Roughnecks, allowing just one score, Birmingham is a whole different beast.

XFL San Antonio Brahmas

3. San Antonio Brahmas (4-2)

John Lovett broke the UFL record for rushing yardage in a game, racking up 153 yards on 23 carries against the Defenders. However, Lovett’s efforts weren’t enough as Quinten Dormady and the Brahmas’ passing attack struggled, accounting for just 93 yards. On eight targets, San Antonio standout wide receiver Jontre Kirklin hauled in just three catches for 19 yards in the loss. Cody Latimer was the Brahmas’ leading receiver with six catches for 35 yards.

Meanwhile, the Brahmas’ defense played well but not well enough in a low-scoring battle. Defenders wide receiver Kelvin Harmon’s 13-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was the difference-maker in the XFL Conference matchup that saw San Antonio lose 18-12.

Next week is a new week for the Brahmas, who will get a shot to get back on track against the struggling Roughnecks (1-5).

Michigan Panthers

4. Michigan Panthers (4-2)

For the second time this season, it all came down to the leg of Jake Bates, who nailed a 42-yard walk-off field goal to give the Panthers a 28-27 win over the Renegades.

While the game was probably closer than the Panthers would have liked the winless Arlington, Michigan’s offense has continued to look better and better under new quarterback Danny Etling. Etling took over as the Panthers’ starting signal-caller after E.J. Perry went to the Injured Reserve after week four. On Sunday, Etling threw for a season-high 202 yards while completing 16 of his 28 passes.

Defensively, the Panthers allowed the Renegades to trade scoring punches. However, it came down to a key stop where Michigan held Arlington to a 48-yard on the second-to-last drive of the game, making the score 27-25. Three plays later, the Panthers kicked a field goal of their own to take the lead as the clock hit all zeros. 

Mike Nolan’s squad faces the Defenders next, who are coming off a big win over the Brahmas.

XFL D.C. Defenders

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

The Defenders got a much-needed win on Sunday, defeating the Brahmas 18-12. With the victory, D.C. evened its season series with San Antonio at 1-1.

While Jordan Ta’amu and the Defenders’ offense hasn’t been at the same elite level as last season, it did just enough against the Brahmas as D.C. came out victorious on Sunday. Kelvin Harmon was Ta’amu’s top receiver in this game, racking up eight receptions for 101 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Tailback Darius Hagans, whose workload had been limited over the past couple of weeks, led the Defenders in rushing with 13 carries for 63 yards.

On the defensive end, the Defenders had arguably their best performance all season, conceding just 12 points, forcing three turnovers, and making big third-down stops when it mattered most down the stretch. 2023 All-XFL cornerback Michael Joseph made 13 tackles, including one for a loss, and had one pass breakup in the winning effort.

Memphis Showboats

6. Memphis Showboats (1-5)

On Saturday, the Showboats lost to the undefeated Stallions for the second time this season, dropping their fifth straight game and falling to 1-5 on the season. Coming into the season, I expected the Showboats to be one of the teams on the cusp of the playoffs, if not in. However, they have certainly not lived up to those expectations through six games. 

On offense, the Showboats have struggled to find any consistency, graded last in offensive efficiency on PFF (53.5). Neither Case Cookus nor Troy Williams, who have been part of playoff spring football teams in the past, have found a rhythm due to arguably the worst offensive-line situation in the UFL. Memphis’ pass-blocking and run-blocking are graded sixth (47.4) and eighth (42.0), respectively, on PFF. The defensive unit certainly hasn’t helped things, as it has allowed each of its last four opponents to put up 30+ points and total 300+ yards.

John DeFilippo’s squad must win next Saturday’s contest against the winless Renegades if they want to keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive. 

XFL Houston Roughnecks

7. Houston Roughnecks (1-5)

The Roughnecks are ranked here because they were the better team for 60 minutes against the Renegades, who were at their worst, in week four. However, is Houston the better team based on what we have seen in other weeks? In my opinion, no.

While their defense kept the Roughnecks alive for most of Sunday’s game against the Battlehawks, the offense looked as stagnant as ever, accounting for just 210 total yards. Overall, Houston has been outscored 54-17 over its last two games against St. Louis and Birmingham, two of the better UFL teams. 

I don’t think it will get much easier against the Brahmas (4-2) next week. A loss would almost certainly eliminate Curtis Johnson’s squad from playoff contention.

Arlington Renegades

8. Arlington Renegades (0-6)

The stars are yet to align for the winless Renegades, who suffered yet another heartbreaking loss on Sunday, this time to the Panthers on a walk-off field goal.

Sunday’s loss essentially summed up Arlington’s entire season, with unforced errors and penalties being the downfall of Bob Stoops’ squad. For context, Panthers kicker Jake Bates had two attempts at the game-winner that he eventually drilled; the first kick he missed, but he got another attempt due to a penalty on the Renegades during the first one.

Other than penalties, there’s not much to complain about with how the Renegades’ offense performed against Michigan. It committed zero turnovers, had no issues getting scoring drives going, and capitalized on those drives with touchdowns. Arlington went three-for-three in the red zone on Sunday. However, the Renegades’ defense allowed the Panthers to keep up in scoring and folded on crucial possessions in the fourth quarter.

The Renegades are basically eliminated from the playoffs with an 0-6 record. However, I am confident they can get their first win next week against the Showboats, another struggling team.

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