The kickoff to season two of the USFL begins this weekend as the Pittsburgh Maulers travel to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the New Orleans Breakers on Sunday.
2022 was not a great debut for the Pittsburgh Maulers. They held a 1-9 record. Posted the second-worst rushing and passing offense, and were bottom three in passing and rushing defense. After a disastrous first season, the Maulers made significant changes to the coaching staff. Letting Kirby Wilson walk and hiring former Super Bowl champion Ray Horton. They’ve also overhauled their roster, which can be outlined in my piece from earlier this week. This weekend represents a new chapter for Pittsburgh Mauler football, and I’m excited to get started.
Line: Breakers -4.5, O/U 37.5
Date/Location: Sunday, April 16th, 2023, at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee
Kickoff Time: 6:30 PM EST
Weather Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 64 Degrees, Humidity 42%, Wind 10 mph
Key Storylines for Maulers
The big story out of the Steel City this weekend is an improvement. It can’t get too much worse than what happened last year. One win simply isn’t good enough if they want to be taken seriously in the USFL.
Last year in this matchup the Maulers took a 26-16 loss to the Breakers following their lone win of the season the week before. Things are very different out of Pittsburgh though. New uniforms, new front office, new coaching staff, and most importantly; new players! Quarterback James Morgan will lead the charge of this offense, replacing Vlad Lee and Roland Rivers III. Meanwhile former NFL first-round pick linebacker Reuben Foster makes his return to football holding down the defense. It’s a new chapter for the Maulers, and they’ll be looking to make sure this season ends substantially better than 2022.
Obviously, the Maulers will come into this game as underdogs. New Orleans was at the top of the USFL last season with a 6-4 record. Pittsburgh was at the bottom. But the Maulers have improved significantly, and I think that they’ll at the very least keep this game interesting.
Everything the Maulers do, they need to do better than before. So it’ll be interesting to see how this team compares to the last out of the gate. Because it’s week one and we’re all learning about these teams as they go, give me the upside on the Maulers. Their off-season additions will work out beautifully and they take home a big win and put the USFL on notice.
Final Score: 24-21, Pittsburgh Maulers Victory (1-0)