The eighth week of the USFL season unfolds with a compelling clash as the New Orleans Breakers prepare to face the Michigan Panthers at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, viewable on FOX and the FOX Sports App.
- Game: Breakers (4-3) vs. Panther (3-4)
- Weather Forecast: Sunny, 79 degrees, Humidity 54% Wind 3MPH
- Location: Protective Stadium – Birmingham, Alabama
- Day/Time: Sunday, June 4th, 3:00 p.m. ET
- Spread: NO -3.5 (-110), MICH +3.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: NO -160, MICH +140
- Total Over/Under: 43.5 (-110)
In Week 7, both teams faced different fates. The Panthers managed to pull themselves out of their losing streak with a narrow 25-22 victory over the Generals. Meanwhile, the Breakers were handed their third consecutive loss, falling short against the Stallions in a close 24-20 game.
Last week, the Panthers broke their four-game losing streak with a remarkable performance by quarterback Josh Love, bolstered by the advantage of facing a depleted Generals team. Now, the Breakers find themselves in a similar situation that the Panthers were in, having lost three straight games since their impressive 4-0 start.
The Breakers’ losses have each been by a touchdown or less, indicating that they’ve been involved in high-variance games, where a single play can shift the outcome dramatically.
Key Storylines for Breakers:
With the experienced McLeod Bethel-Thompson at the helm as quarterback, the Breakers seem poised for a comeback. Given the recent roster changes and key players to watch, it seems like the Breakers might be in a favorable position to break their losing streak and return to their winning ways.
The New Orleans Breakers will face the challenge of containing the explosive offense led by McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Wes Hills, and Sage Surratt. Bethel-Thompson leads the league in passing yards, Hills in rushing yards, and Surratt in receiving yards. Despite their offensive prowess, the Breakers have struggled to convert yards into points in recent weeks. While averaging a league-leading 342 yards per game, they have only managed an average of 13.3 points over the last three games. In contrast, the Panthers have consistently scored at least 24 points in their wins but have struggled offensively in their four losses, averaging just 10.75 points per game. The Breakers’ defensive efforts, led by their key player Speaks, will be crucial in slowing down the Panthers’ potent offensive attack.
The New Orleans Breakers have been active in shaping their roster for the upcoming season. They signed talented strong safety James Wiggins as a free agent, showcasing their commitment to fortifying the defense. However, Wiggins was later transferred to the inactive roster, leaving his future with the team uncertain. The Breakers made a surprising decision to release safety Jamar Johnson, providing opportunities for other players to step up. Furthermore, safety Greg Eisworth II was placed on the injured reserve list, creating challenges but also opening doors for emerging talents. The impact of these roster moves will be closely watched as the Breakers prepare for the upcoming season.
The Panthers’ quarterback, Josh Love, is coming off his two best games of the season and is looking to extend his hot streak against a Breakers’ defense that has shown signs of vulnerability recently. In Week 7, the Breakers allowed nearly 70% passing completion to the Stallions’ McGough, setting up a potentially favorable matchup for Love.
The Breakers, despite their recent struggles, continue to flaunt a potent offensive arsenal. However, they’re up against a Panthers’ defense that can make things particularly challenging, especially for the passing game. The Panthers allow the second-fewest passing yards per game (167.7) and have accumulated 15 sacks this season.
But there’s a silver lining for the Breakers’ running back, Wes Hills. The Panthers have been yielding 4.7 yards per carry and have conceded nine rushing touchdowns, suggesting that Hills may have an opportunity to make significant ground gains.
Despite their recent string of losses, the Breakers have been installed as 3.5-point favorites for this game. This is an excellent opportunity for the Breakers to regain their footing and return to their early-season form. They’ll need to make the most of their strengths while also addressing their defensive weaknesses to secure a victory. 24-21