Week 1 of the United Football League has concluded. Looking at who stood in the first slate of games of the newly formed United Football League following the USFL and XFL merger. With so many roster moves over the offseason as the total number of teams reduced from 16 to 8 there was less predictability on what to expect. Wide receiver Marcel Ateman was one of the most impactful players for his position in week 1 despite not being listed as a starter.

Week 1PosFirst TeamTeamPos2nd Team
First TeamQBChase Garbers (SA)2nd TeamQBAJ McCarron (STL)
First TeamRBWes Hills (MI)2nd TeamRBAnthony McFarland Jr. (SA)
First TeamWRMarcell Ateman (STL)2nd TeamWRDeon Cain (BIR)
First TeamWRIsaiah Winstead (ARL)2nd TeamWRJontre Kirklin (SA)
First TeamWRTy Scott (DC)2nd TeamWRJonathan Adams Jr. (MEM)
First TeamTEJake Sutherland (STL)2nd TeamTECole Hikutini (MI)
First TeamLTJaryd Jones-Smith (MEM)2nd TeamLTChristian DiLauro (BIR)
First TeamLGJake Burton (MI)2nd TeamLGYasir Durant (DC)
First TeamCAlex Mollette (SA)2nd TeamCJack Kramer (HOU)
First TeamRGVadal Alexander (STL)2nd TeamRGDerwin Gray (BIR)
First TeamRTAlex Taylor (BIR)2nd TeamRTJuwan Bushell-Beatty (RT)
First TeamDEMalik Fisher (DC)2nd TeamDEGreg Reaves (MEM)
First TeamDETravis Feeney (STL)2nd TeamDEJonathan Garvin (BIR)
First TeamDTDaniel Wise (MI)2nd TeamDTJalen Redmond (ARL)
First TeamDTCarlos Davis (BIR)2nd TeamDTOlive Sagapolu (HOU)
First TeamLBMike Rose (STL)2nd TeamLBTavante Beckett (SA)
First TeamLBReuben Foster (HOU)2nd TeamLBFrank Ginda (MI)
First TeamLBWillie Harvey (STL)2nd TeamLBDamon Lloyd (BIR)
First TeamCBDarius Philips (SA)2nd TeamCBKyree Woods (MEM)
First TeamCBLorenzo Burns (BIR)2nd TeamCBCorn Elder (HOU)
First TeamSChristian McFarland (MEM)2nd TeamSJamal Carter (ARL)
First TeamSKameron Kelly (STL)2nd TeamSKai Nacua (MI)
First TeamKJake Bates (MI)2nd TeamKMatt McCrane (DC)
First TeamPSterling Hofricher (STL)2nd TeamPBrad Wing (SA)
First TeamRETDarrius Shepherd (STL)2nd TeamRETJuwan Manigo (ARL)

Offensive Players Stats

QB Chase Garbers (SA)  

19 completions on 25 attempts for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns.

QB AJ McCarron (STL)

24 completions on 37 attempts for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns.

RB Wes Hills (MI) 

11 rushes for 85 yards (7.73 average), 1 reception for -1 yard.

RB Anthony McFarland Jr. (SA)

9 rushes for 47 yards (5.22 average), 1 reception for 28 yards.

WR Marcell Ateman (STL)  

7 targets, 6 receptions for 60 yards, and 1 touchdown.

WR Deon Cain (BIR)

6 targets, 3 receptions for 66 yards and 1 touchdown.

WR Isaiah Winstead (ARL)  

2 targets, 2 receptions for 80 yards and 1 touchdown.

WR Jontre Kirklin (SA)

9 targets, 8 receptions for 61 yards and 1 touchdown.

WR Ty Scott (DC)  

6 targets, and 4 receptions for 87 yards.

WR Jonathan Adams Jr. (MEM)

5 targets, and 4 receptions for 49 yards.

TE Jake Sutherland (STL)

3 targets, 3 receptions for 45 yards and 1 touchdown.

TE Cole Hikutini (MI)

2 targets, and 1 receptions for 41 yards.

Defensive End

Malik Fisher (DC) was very impactful in week 1. He recorded 4 solo tackles, 7 total tackles, a sack, 2 tackles for a loss. He also had a knockdown in the first quarter. By my count, he had 2 solo run stops and 2 assisted run stops.

Travis Feeney (St.Louis) had 2 solo tackles which were both for a loss. He had a run stop for a loss of 4 yards in the first quarter and had a sack in the 4th quarter. He caused a disruption late in the game pushing Michigan’s left tackle into Perry as well.

Greg Reaves (Memphis) recorded 3 solo tackles, 2 of which were sacks in week 1. In the 4th quarter, he strip-sacked the quarterback causing a turnover for his team.

Jonathan Garvin (Birmingham) was in Arlington’s backfield a lot in week 1. He shared a sack and had 4 pressures generated in addition to that.

Defensive Tackle

Daniel Wise (Michigan) generated 3 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles, 2 sacks, and a tackle for a loss. He played a big part in Michigan’s run defense getting involved in 3 run stops. Additionally, he had 3 hurries in the 4th quarter.

Carlos Davis (Birmingham) recorded 3 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles. He also had a strip sack in the first quarter that was recovered by a teammate. Additionally, he had a solo run stop and a shared run stop.

Jalen Redmond (Arlington) had 3 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles. He was impactful in run defense with 2 solo run stops and 2 shared run stops which saw 3 rushing yards generated over those 4 plays.

Olive Sagapolu (Houston) recorded 3 solo tackles. He made 3 solo run stops in what was an extremely dominant team performance from the Houston defensive line.

Defensive tackle honorary mentions: Keonte Schad (Houston), Garrett Marino (Michigan)

Linebackers

Mike Rose (St. Louis) made his presence known in the run-stopping department early with 2 solo stops in the first quarter. He was involved in 4 run stops, 2 of which were solo. He also had an interception early in the game over the middle.

Reuben Foster (Houston) had a tackle for a 1-yard loss against the run, picked off Case Cookus over the middle, recovered a forced fumble, and held another run to 0 yards late in the game. Foster recorded 6 total tackles, 4 of which were solo.

Willie Harvey (St. Louis) recorded 7 total tackles, 5 solo, 2 tackles for a loss, and 2 breakups. He also had a QB hit and a QB hurry.

Tavante Beckett (San Antonio) recorded 4 solo tackles, and 7 total tackles. He had a QB hurry in the 2nd quarter and was involved there were 2 run stops that stood out to me in which he assisted.

Frank Ginda (Michigan) recorded 2 solo tackles and 4 total tackles. He was involved in a shared run stop in the third quarter and made a good tackle on Sheppard to prevent a first down. In the 4th quarter, he had 2 QB hurries.

Damon Lloyd (Birmingham) recorded 3 solo tackles and 4 total tackles. He made a run stop in the 1st quarter keeping the play to 1 yard and made a stop against the pass keeping the play to 2 yards.

Cornerbacks

Darius Phillips (San Antonio) finished the day with 6 total tackles (2 solo tackles). He made some solid tackles such as an assisted tackle against a pass in the first quarter denying a first down and another in the 2nd quarter keeping a passing play to 1 yard. He was targeted 6 times in week 1 and only allowed 6 yards on 4 receptions. In the 4th quarter, he picked off Ta’amu and returned it from the Brahmas’ 6-yard line to the Defenders’ 6-yard line.

Lorenzo Burns (Birmingham) recorded 2 solo tackles and 2 breakups. There were 3 incompletions in the game in which his coverage was noteworthy to me. He was targetted 4 times and only allowed 1 reception for 5 yards.

Kyree Woods (Memphis) recorded 3 solo tackles and had a forced fumble which was recovered by McFarland for a defensive touchdown. He had a QB hit in the 4th quarter and an interception on a 3-point convert attempt.

Corn Elder (Houston) recorded 2 solo tackles and 5 total tackles in week 1. He was involved in 2 stops against the pass one of which was a solo stop keeping the play to 0 yards in the 2nd quarter. In the 4th he broke up a pass over the middle. He was targetted 6 times and only allowed 7 yards on 3 receptions his way although he did draw a pass interference call in the 2nd quarter.

Safeties

Christian McFarland (Memphis) had the most impactful play among safeties in week 1 which saw him scoop a fumble forced by Kyree Woods and score a touchdown. He had an all-around solid game not allowing really any plays his way. He made 3 solo tackles, 1 of which was a solo run stop.

Kameron Kelly (St. Louis) was well-positioned when the ball was thrown his way such as on one such play in which he forced a targetted receiver out of bounds. He made a good quick tackle on a 4-yard pass play as well. He made 3 solo tackles in week 1.

Jamal Carter (Arlington) was impactful early on as he had a knockdown and a good run stop in the first quarter. Carter had 2 solo tackles and 5 total tackles in week 1.

Kai Nacua (Michigan) did not have a high grade in week 1 from Pro Football as he was recorded to have allowed 4 receptions on 5 targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. However, he was highly impactful in week 1 and currently leads the league in tackles with 11. He got a sack in the first quarter on a well-timed blitz, prevented a catch from Darrius Shepherd forcing him out of bounds, and was involved in 2 shared run stops and a solo run stop.

Kickers

Jake Bates (Michigan) made a 64-yard field goal to give Michigan the lead with 3 seconds left. It had plenty of distance and was right down the middle. He made the kick twice the first time St. Louis called a timeout.

Matt McCrane (DC) went 4 for 4 in field goals accounting for all 12 of DC’s points. He made his kicks from 50, 34, 48, and 28 yards.

Punters

Sterling Hofricher (St. Louis) punted more times than any other punter in week 1. He punted 5 times averaging 39.2 yards. 3 of his punts pinned the Panthers inside the 10-yard line including one to the 2-yard line.

Brad Wing (San Antonio) punted 3 times averaging 51 yards per punt with 2 landing inside the 20.

Returners

Darrius Shepherd (St. Louis) returned 4 kickoffs averaging 30.3 yards per return and 2 punts averaging 14 yards per return. He had the longest kick return and punt return average.

Juwan Manigo (Arlington) had a great return to Birminham’s 48-yard line to open the game. He finished with an average of 22.4 yards per return over 5 kickoff returns.

If you would like a breakdown of all the special teams’ performances in week 1 I recommend Noah Beausoleil’s UFL Special Teams Week 1 Review with Between the Goalposts.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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author avatar
Jonathan Clink
Jonathan Clink will work as UFL News Hub's primary correspondent covering the Michigan Panthers for the 2024. He has written over 250 articles covering the Canadian Football League prior to joining UFL News Hub. Clink is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a background in several other sports as well having played soccer, basketball, and hockey competitively.

1 Comment

  • Posted April 5, 2024 2:44 pm 0Likes
    by Ken Granito

    Some UFL musings. They should really bring the Gamblers uniform to the Roughnecks brand and keep the rig on both sides of the helmet. Week 1 told us 50% of what we need to know about each team. I expect a great amount of growth between weeks 1 & 2. If you gamble and pick weekly games against the point spread, remember this being a hub situation both teams travel so the home dsignation means a little less than usual when it comes to travel. There is a coon flip win that must not be discounted. I still like games divisible by 7 better than 6. I still like 7 for XP, 2 for a play from the 1.5 yard line. and 3 from the 5. This would increase scoring. Fantasy #s look a little weak, but as tv ratings grow, I feel they will allow for additional times the clock stops allowing for more time. Also, like traditional kickoff with change of the live ball allowing for less high impact collisions. Overall, I definitely liked week 1. Looking forward to week 2

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