The season opener for the Pittsburgh Maulers last week went just about how we all feared it might. Some solid defensive play, but an offense that couldn’t adequately complement their efforts to staying in the game. The Maulers defied all football odds in the worst way possible, scoring on defense and special teams, and still not picking up the victory versus the Breakers. Losing 22-15 in Birmingham, Alabama last weekend.
This weekend they debut their new home at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio against the 0-1 New Jersey Generals. Hopefully they’ll fair better than last week, but they got some work to do before then.
Line: Generals -2.5, O/U 36.5
Date/Location: Sunday April 23rd, 2023 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio
Kickoff Time: 1:00 PM EST
Weather Forecast: Cloudy, 45 Degrees, Humidity 53%, Wind 11MPH
Key Storylines for Maulers
Last week was an offensive disaster. There’s no way of getting around it. Quarterback changes that got you nowhere, no semblance of a run game, bad drops, it was just a disorganized mess. The story for Pittsburgh in this one is to just clean it up. Let Morgan or Williams start and finish this game. Don’t just switch them out in weird, inopportune positions. And try out running the ball, because three attempts to your starting back just isn’t going to cut it. It makes you one dimensional.
The Maulers defense and special teams looks to be good enough to hang around and even score for you. If the offense can just capitalize on their great defensive play and solid field position, instead of stalling consistently, they should handle the Generals just fine in their home opener.
The Generals didn’t look a whole lot better than the Maulers last weekend. They scored just twice against the Stallions in a 27-10 defeat. All in the second quarter. They also tried two quarterbacks with D’Andre Johnson who went 4/13 for 29 yards, and Dakota Prukop, who was much more effective with going for 13/17 for 148 yards. They also had a better run game than Pittsburgh, Darius Victor led the way with 84 yards. The Maulers defense should be able to hold strong again, but it’ll be a test of two less than ideal units with the Pittsburgh offense and the New Jersey defense.
I’m going to call a Maulers get-right win here, but it’ll be a slugfest, decided by one or two big plays. Not so much good defense, but bad offense keeping this game competitive. I hope that they prove me wrong, but after one game there isn’t a whole lot of optimism about this Maulers squad.
Final Score: 17-13 Maulers win (1-1)