2024 UFL Week 7 Power Rankings

Week seven of the 2024 UFL season has been the biggest week yet for playoff implications. The USFL Conference Championship has been set, featuring Birmingham and Michigan. Meanwhile, the XFL Conference playoff race has narrowed down to three teams: St. Louis, San Antonio, and D.C. Week eight’s set of games will be huge for determining what the postseason will look like on the XFL side.

The following is a breakdown of where each team stands in the UFL playoff push, if at all, through seven weeks of the season:

Birmingham Stallions

1. Birmingham Stallions (7-0)

  • Week Seven Result: W 30-26 vs. STL

The Stallions got the job done against the Battlehawks in an absolute thriller of a game that saw five lead changes. As many expected, St. Louis, the top team in the XFL Conference, gave the Stallions a run for their money; however, they came up just short.

MVP frontrunner Adrian Martinez went 21-for-33 passing with 230 yards and three touchdowns in the shootout. Former Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. scored a 40-yard touchdown, which turned out to be the game-winner, off a short pass from Martinez that saw Austin Jr. do most of the work after the catch.

Defensively, the Stallions secured the win after forcing a turnover-on-downs from the Battlehawks with less than a minute left during their last offensive drive. Birmingham held A.J. McCarron, another MVP candidate, to just 161 passing yards on 32 attempts in his Alabama homecoming.

With Saturday’s win over the Battlehawks, the Stallions’ quest for an undefeated season is 58.3% complete. Birmingham faces the Roughnecks next, a team Skip Holtz’s squad handled thoroughly in a game earlier this season.

Michigan Panthers

2. Michigan Panthers (5-2)

  • Week Seven Result: W 22-9 @ DC

Despite being down to their third and fourth quarterbacks of the season, the Panthers handily defeated the Defenders on Sunday. 

Both Brian Lewerke and Bryce Perkins thrived in the Panthers’ simplified offensive game plan that took pressure off both quarterbacks in their first-ever professional starts. Matthew Colburn II also played a big role in the win, netting 137 rushing yards on 16 carries. Credit to Michigan’s offensive line as well, for creating the rushing lanes for Colburn II and keeping the quarterbacks upright throughout the game. The offensive line’s performance lately is even more impressive when you look at how much the unit has improved since the beginning of the season. They allowed eight sacks in the first two games, but only eight more over the last five games.

On the defensive side, despite missing 2023 USFL DPOY Frank Ginda, who is out for the rest of the season, the Panthers impressed on Sunday. Michigan held the Defenders to just nine points and 235 offensive yards, including 58 rushing yards. Kai Nacua, Noah Dawkins, Bryce Torneden, and Nate Brooks have continued to be key contributors to Michigan’s defense.

With a win and a Roughnecks loss, the Panthers have punched their ticket to the USFL Conference Championship game, where they will face the undefeated Stallions.

XFL St. Louis Battlehawks

3. St. Louis Battlehawks (5-2)

  • Week Seven Result: L 30-26 @ BHAM

A.J. McCarron’s first football game back in Alabama since the 2013 Iron Bowl, was spoiled by the unbeaten hometown Stallions. While Birmingham did a good job keeping McCarron in check throughout the game, an injury sustained in the fourth quarter evidently hindered him down the stretch.

In their recent games, the Battlehawks have shifted focus away from the run, even though they had notable success with their ground game earlier this season—recording three consecutive 100+ rushing-yard performances from weeks two to four. Nonetheless, in the past two weeks, lead-back Jacob Saylors’ role has decreased significantly, with just 18 carries for 56 yards. Fewer run plays and more pass plays has added more pressure on McCarron and St. Louis’ passing attack.

The Battlehawks had two masterclass defensive efforts in their two previous contests, allowing just 20 combined points between the Defenders and Roughnecks. However, St. Louis struggled against the Stallions’ high-octane offense, allowing 349 total yards and 30 points.

After the game, Battlehawks Head Coach Anthony Becht told Stallions Head Coach Skip Holtz that they would see each other again, alluding to the UFL Championship game next month.

XFL San Antonio Brahmas

4. San Antonio Brahmas (5-2)

  • Week Seven Result: W 15-12 @ HOU

The Brahmas somehow overcame the four turnovers they committed and emerged victorious over the Roughnecks on Sunday—bouncing back from a tough loss to the Defenders last week. San Antonio kicker Ryan Santoso was the hero, drilling a 51-yard walk-off field goal for the win.

The Brahmas limited a struggling Roughnecks’ offense to zero touchdowns and just 185 total yards, which can be considered more-or-less impressive. However, San Antonio has encountered offensive issues of its own over the past few weeks. 

Quinten Dormady has thrown six interceptions over four starts since week four, and San Antonio’s overall offensive output has been underwhelming with him at the helm. On Sunday, the Brahmas benched Dormady in favor of Kevin Hogan, who led San Antonio on both the game-tying drive and the game-winning field goal drive. Hogan also threw an interception during the game.

The Brahmas will likely be one of the teams in the XFL Conference Championship. However, if San Antonio wants to have success in the postseason, its quarterback situation will need to be resolved.

XFL D.C. Defenders

5. D.C. Defenders (3-4)

  • Week Seven Result: L 22-9 vs. MICH

Unlike in 2023, the Defenders have had no identity on offense and have suffered from inconsistent defensive play this season.

After a horrible defensive start that saw the Defenders get down 13-0 in the first quarter, D.C. was able to buckle down somewhat and fix its defense against the Panthers. However, outside of a one-play drive that ended in a 70-yard touchdown from Ty Scott, the offense struggled to get going all game long. It didn’t help when the Defenders had to bring in their emergency quarterback, Jalan McClendon, in the fourth quarter after starter Jordan Ta’amu and backup Deondre Francois went down with injuries.

With a 3-4 record, the Defenders have entered desperation mode. Their next game against the Battlehawks is a must-win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Arlington Renegades

6. Arlington Renegades (1-6)

  • Week Seven Result: W 47-23 vs. MEM

It’s been a long, painful road, but the Renegades are finally in the win column after an imposing 47-23 win over the Showboats on Saturday. 

Luis Perez went 27-for-32 passing with 296 yards and three touchdowns in the winning effort. While Perez has had some solid performances in close losses, this was by far his best showing yet, as the Renegades scored the most points by any UFL team in a game this season. Tailback De’Veon Smith also had his best showing yet, netting 101 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, while JaVonta Payton and Sal Cannella combined for 13 receptions, 154 yards, and four touchdowns. 

Unfortunately, even though the Renegades won this week, they were eliminated from playoff contention with a Brahmas win. Arlington will get to face San Antonio next week in a rematch from week five.

XFL Houston Roughnecks

7. Houston Roughnecks (1-6)

  • Week Seven Result: L 15-12 vs. SA

Despite a strong defensive performance that saw the Roughnecks recover three fumbles and force an interception, Houston couldn’t pull out a win against the Brahmas. When push comes to shove, offensive struggles have been the main culprits of Houston’s unsuccessful season which will end without a playoff berth.

The Roughnecks’ offensive woes continued in week seven with Jarrett Guarantano retaking the reins at quarterback. Guarantano went 11-for-18 passing with 121 yards; however, he exited the game in the second half due to injury. Houston, who led for most of the game, had two red-zone drives that ended in field goals and two more field goal-ending drives. The rest of the team’s drives ended in punts.

Going forward, the Roughnecks have nothing to play for but pride, as they have been eliminated from playoff contention. Things won’t get any easier as they travel to Birmingham to face the Stallions next week.

Memphis Showboats

8. Memphis Showboats (1-6)

  • Week Seven Result: L 47-23 @ ARL

The Showboats have been a disaster since the second half of their week two matchup against the Brahmas, dropping six straight games after starting the season with a 1-0 record.

Excluding their 20-19 loss to the Brahmas, where they blew a 16-point lead, the Showboats haven’t even been competitive lately. John DeFillipo’s team’s average point differential since week three has been -18.8. In the same stretch, the defense has allowed 37.6 points per game.

With a loss and a Panthers win, the Showboats have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. They will spend the remaining weeks of the season trying to figure out what could work for next year.

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