The USFL released their 2022 schedule on Monday with the Houston Gamblers learning more about who and when they will play.
Houston will be playing the Birmingham Stallions, Tampa Bay Bandits, and New Orleans Breakers twice in the season while playing the rest of the teams once. The season begins for Houston on April 17th when they face the Michigan Panthers. They will play ten games in the season before finishing the regular season on the weekend of June 18th against the Breakers.
Here is the full breakdown of the schedule and what to watch out for with each of the ten games.
2022 Houston Gamblers Regular Season
Week One at Michigan Panthers
While there are questions regarding if Shea Patterson or Paxton Lynch will start at quarterback for the Panthers, Houston fans will see Clayton Thorson take the field for the first time. Every team comes into the season with questions, but if it’s safe to say that the Gamblers’ secondary will be tested early. Bother Patterson and Lynch are athletic quarterbacks who can sling the ball. Look for Jamar Summers and the Houston secondary to showcase if they are the real deal or not.
Week Two vs. Birmingham Stallions
The strength of the Stallions comes from their defense with many of their questions coming from their offense. Veteran linebackers Scooby Wright and Demarquis Gates will make life hard for the Gamblers to run the football. The pressure will be on Thorson to make enough plays through the air and outside the pocket to help Houston get a win.
Week Three vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
Houston gets the first taste of Jordan Ta’amu and tries to contain him. Most of the rust should be shaken off by that time so this could be the first game that Ta’amu hits his stride and shows the USFL his full potential. This has the potential of a high-scoring game between two quarterbacks that can throw all over the field.
Week Four at New Orleans Breakers
New Orleans on paper looks like one of the most complete teams in the USFL. Their roster has strengths on all three phases of the game. Houston’s secondary will be tested once again with an experience receiving core that has a lot of speed to the unit. Another case of a game that has the potential of lots of points being put on the board.
Week Five vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
Pittsburgh running back De’Veon Smith has been a spring football staple and has a strong offensive line in front of him. A focus for Houston will be their front seven including Chris Odom and Ahmad Gooden. The game plan changes for the Gamblers as they will need to stop the running game to have a chance to add a win to their record.
Week Six at New Jersey Generals
Another week of Houston’s front seven dealing with a strong running game. The Generals go into the season with the best running game in the league that would surely make life tough for the Gamblers. If Houston can hold New Jersey until 150 yards rushing, a win is realistic for the Gamblers, but it all starts with stopping the run.
Week Seven vs. Philadelphia Stars
One of the league’s best quarterbacks, Bryan Scott, hits the field for Philadelphia giving the Gamblers a new challenge. The Stars should have a strong passing game which means Summers and crew are back at being the focal point for the defense. Thorson’s arm will be tested and used often to keep up with Scott and the Stars’ passing attack.
Week Eight at Tampa Bay Bandits
This kicks off the final three games of the season against their division foes for potential playoffs spots. It’ll be the rematch with the Bandits who many are looking at to be the favorites based on head coach Todd Haley and Ta’amu leading the offense. A win against Tampa Bay could go a long way in Houston making the playoffs.
Week Nine at Birmingham Stallions
The host city’s team faces off with Houston once again. With a better understanding of how the first game went, Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin should be better prepared to stop the running game for Birmingham. Offensively, Houston looks to Thorson to take care of business in the air and use his legs to make some big plays.
Week Ten vs. New Orleans Breakers
This game could determine who earns one of the two playoff spots in the South Division. Tampa Bay is expected to be one of the two southern teams in the playoffs so this game should determine the second and final spot. If Thorson doesn’t have his best game of the season, New Orleans could find themselves in the playoffs.