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USFL Week 10 Preview/Prediction: New Jersey Generals Look To Punch Ticket Back To The Playoffs

The New Jersey Generals are coming off their best effort of the 2023 USFL season. A thrilling 37-33 victory over the Stars in Week 9. However, to make it count, they must beat the Pittsburgh Maulers in Week 10 to punch their ticket back into the USFL playoffs.

CURRENT USFL STANDINGS (Overall Record/Divisional)

North Division

  1. Philadelphia Stars — 4-5, 2-3
  2. New Jersey Generals — 3-6, 3-2
  3. Pittsburgh Maulers — 3-6, 3-2
  4. Michigan Panthers — 3-6, 2-3

USFL Week 10: New Jersey Generals (3-6) vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (3-6), Saturday, June 17th, 1 PM ET, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio, USA Network/Peacock

Point Spread: New Jersey Generals favored by 3.5 points. Over/Under: 40.5

Weather Forecast: A mainly sunny sky. High 76F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph.

Pittsburgh Maulers Vs. New Jersey Generals Week 10 Depth Chart/Injury Report

Maulers Game Status Report: TE Matt Seybert: Probable (R Hamstring) S Bryce Torneden: Probable (L Achilles) WR Bailey Gaither: Probable (R Ankle)

The Maulers are exceedingly healthy coming into the final week of the regular season. Getting WR Bailey Gaither should help Pittsburgh’s passing attack.

Generals Game Status Report: DL Tyshun Render: Out (R Big Toe) DL Hercules Mata’afa: Probable (R Knee) DB Paris Ford: Probable (Tooth) S Shalom Luani: Probable (R Knee) DL Tyrone Truesdell: Probable (L Finger, R Shoulder) WR Warren Newman: Probable (R Toe) OL Brandon Haskin: Full Go (R Elbow) OL Saige Young: Full Go (Back)

The big news coming out this week is that RB Trey Williams is out. He posted a cryptic tweet signifying the potential end of his run as a player. Sources are indicating that he has left the team. The Generals have not disclosed, as of press time, the reason for Williams’s absence. He provided a great spark last week in returning to New Jersey’s lineup.

  • Update: Although there was some frustration with his inactive status and being a healthy scratch. Trey Williams has not left the team. Team sources indicated that cooler heads have prevailed in this situation.

USFL 2023: Keys To A New Jersey Generals Victory In Week 10

The Generals are facing the best overall defense in the USFL this Saturday. The Pittsburgh Maulers are first in the league against the rush (78.7 allowed per game) and pass (258.7). Jarren Horton’s Maulers’ defense is also second in the league in sacks (22) and tied for first in interceptions (11).

Running the football against Pittsburgh, even with New Jersey’s twosome of DeAndre Johnson and Darius Victor back up to full power, will not come easy. The Generals must stay patient with their ground attack and play disciplined football. Getting yards on the ground will be a grind.

Beyond the Maulers’ top-tier defense is an equally stellar special teams unit. Marc Hull’s group leads the league in kick (28.7) and punt return average (18.7).

In what profiles as a smashmouth low-scoring football game. Field position and big plays on special teams could determine the outcome.

In Week 9, the Generals’ return game finally came to life. Thanks to an 85-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown by Cameron Echols-Luper. It was a necessary spark for a team last in the USFL in kick and punt return average this season. A stark contrast from what the Generals’ return game was like in 2022 with NFL Pro Bowler KaVontae Turpin.

One area that was troubling a week ago, and that could factor into Saturday’s game, was that New Jersey allowed a 41-yard punt return to the Stars and 32 yards per kick return. Against dangerous top-notch return specialists like Isiah Hennie and Josh Simmons, that type of coverage play could prove disastrous.

You combine elite play from defense and special teams with a league-leading plus-six turnover ratio. And you wonder how Ray Horton’s Maulers are only 3-6.

It’s because the Maulers are last in the league in total offense. Last in yards and points scored (148).

To his credit, quarterback Troy Williams has thrown only three interceptions this season. Although the numbers haven’t been flashy through the air. He does lead the team in total yards and touchdowns. Williams is a legit dual threat that has played under control.

The last time the Generals and Maulers squared off was in Week 2. New Jersey held Pittsburgh’s offense to three points and 166 total yards. Ted Cottrell’s defense registered five sacks and forced three turnovers in New Jersey’s 20-3 victory.

For New Jersey to win in Week 10, they must repeat that type of performance because points and yards on the other side of the ball won’t come easy against Pitt’s defense.

USFL Week 10 Prediction: New Jersey Generals vs. Pittsburgh Maulers

In Week 9, Mike Riley’s troops finally flipped the switch against Philly and played/coached their best game of the 2023 season. No question that unleashing a healthy DeAndre Johnson helped matters immensely.

Johnson and the Generals’ key players will need to play at a high level for New Jersey to get back into the playoffs. They are facing a dangerous opponent in Pittsburgh, who, if they get any semblance of positive production from their offense, can win it all. As ludicrous as that sounds when discussing a three-win team.

One of these teams will be 4-6 and stay in Canton to play next Saturday’s North Divisional Championship Game.

It will be close, but I think the Generals make enough plays offensively to march back into the USFL postseason.

New Jersey Generals 19 Pittsburgh Maulers 17

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  1. ThatCommenter

    June 17, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Or not

  2. Ken Granito

    June 18, 2023 at 1:24 am

    Short and not so sweet, but definitely to the point and the perfect way to state it. I have no choice, but to defend Mike here, though. He had it as a close game and to be honest, I felt that it would be tight. I did take the Maulers I felt pretty good about them beating the spread. Who would win or lose was up in the air, but he has to make a call. I actually feel bad for the Generals players because they played hard and the game was tight. The problem is that the team realized that when the team realized Johnson could. ot win the game for them, they quit. This is likely the 3rd time that I am writing what comes next. This is how I felt it happened this year. I feel that Mike Riley was stuck. De’andre Johnson was the incumbent quarterback. Upper Deck made two different football cards of De’andre Johnson as he was expected to be the starter. Riley showed conviction last year to have to stick with Perez after Johnson who had great numbers returned…and he was right. Not only did Perez lead the USFL in passing efficiency, made play after play that expanded his skill set, and also won the XFL Championship game. After trying to give the full-time job to Johnson, he could see his limitations. Although Johnson can make every throw, has a good idea of when to run and when not to run, has the heart of a lion, he still does a poor job reading defenses. He should have packages for him, but not necessarily be the starting QB. Two weeks ago, I wrote how happy I was that the Lauletta experience was over, but I thought we were moving on to Prukop, the most talented QB on the roster. If he did nit work out I felt Johnson could step in, because that is what Johnson does. He never causes himself to fail. The good news is that when I wrote this I knew Lauletta was done. Although he has an accurate arm , I feel he gets in his own head. I think that became clear to Riley and likely to Lauletta. Just like I knew he was over with the Generals, I feel Johnson is now over with the Generals. I feel Riley realized earlier in the season that he can run the ball and go deep, but he has trouble moving the chains. Under Johnson, they consistently lose the TOP battle and run far fewer plays than their opponents, something that has to give. I think Johnson will be traded for a receiver maybe Bailey Gaither, Ryan McDaniel, Anthony-Ratliff Williams or Tight Ends like Josh Pederson or RB TJ Pledger. I hope Dakota Prukop, Eric Barriere, Adrian Martinez or another veteran will fight it out to see who can move the chains on a consistent basis. I wish Johnson well and I hope he is somewhere. If he could feel comfortable running some packages, I would like him with Generals, but not to start. As the only coverage the league has I ask all the writers across country to be open minded when watching the games and write what you see. I know I have been watching football a longer time than most, but I am sure I am far from the sharpest crayon in the box and I can see it. I feel Mark Perry does a great job of writing what he sees and uses stats to tell a story. He is an amazing ambassador for the league. Reading him, I could be wrong, but I feel he never played organized ball, which says a lot about how good he is. I think a great young talent is James Larsen, truly a good love for the game really brings out the story. Lastly Mike you are the best one in the country. I know I gave you a hard time last week, but you connect the dots like no one. Stay well….I look forward to seeing what the Generals do next year, but I will enjoy the playoffs. Really hoping for 10 teams next year.

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