Last night in the first round of the USFL playoffs, the Birmingham Stallions trounced the New Orleans Breakers in a 31-17 win. I keep saying it, because it keeps happening but this team absolutely dominated in all 3 phases. The offensive, defensive and special teams units all scored TD’s, and it looks like things are really clicking as they head into their championship bid.
J’Mar Smith was absolutely incredible last night. He went 17-27 passing for 190 yards and a score, while leading the team in rushing with 48 and another TD on the ground. There was a second there towards the end of the regular season where he looked a bit out of rhythm at times but J’Mar is fully in command of this offense, and it shows on the field.
We were on our A game last night 🐎— Birmingham Stallions (@USFLStallions) June 26, 2022
Rewatch the highlights from our South Division Final win ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1erGZH0v66
While there wasn’t much doing in the run game, the defense stepped up in a big way. Demarquis Gates, ever dominant had a key pick 6, and CB Tae Hayes had an interception of his own.
While they didn’t record a sack, this pass rush unit was all over Kyle Sloter, and both picks came on plays where he was feeling the heat. Scooby Wright III looked good, and appears to be back up to speed.
While J’Mar and the defense are the big storylines here, Victor Bolden Jr uncorked a beautiful 90 yard return TD, another nail in the coffin for New Orleans. All-USFL indeed.
It’s just so much fun watching a team play complementary football, and it’s as much a credit to the quality of coaching as it is the quality of talent.
For many of us, the Stallions’ wild ride has kept the USFL’s return exciting to watch, but for the city of Birmingham it is a long time coming. The Stallions made two straight playoff pushes with Cliff Stoudt back in ‘84-‘85, making it past the Divisional round just to be denied at the Conference Championships in back to back years.
Now, under Skip Holtz the team has a chance to right history and bring a championship home to Birmingham. They’re on to Philadelphia, 1-0 every week.
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