The Michigan Panthers will play their final home game against the Memphis Showboats. The Showboats are riding a 6 game losing streak while the Panthers are on a 3 game-winning streak. 

Game Details:

Date/Location: Saturday, May 18 /Detroit, MI, Ford Field
Kickoff Time: 4 PM ET, 1 AM PT
Channel: Fox

If you do place bets please do so responsibly and seek help if you have a gambling problem.

Odds for this week currently pending, will update when they are out.

Michigan Panthers (5-2): 

The Michigan Panthers are coming off a decisive victory on the road against the DC Defenders 22-9 despite having quarterbacks E.J. Perry and Danny Etling both injured. Week 7 saw ex-Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke pass for 37 yards and add a rushing touchdown with quarterback Bryce Perkins completing 11 of his 13 passes for 116 yards. The offensive success was in large part due to effective play on the ground from Matthew Colburn II who rushed 16 times for 137 yards.

On defense, Michigan limited DC’s runningbacks to -4 yards on 4 rushing attempts. 3 defensive ends recorded a sack in the game from Breeland Speaks, Kenny Willekes, and Ron’Dell Carter.

It was only the 2nd time the Defenders lost at home in franchise history.

Memphis Showboats (1-6): 

The Memphis Showboats are more than lost at sea, but rather the 2024 season has already sunk. They won a close game in week 6 against Houston 18-12 in which there were red flags of issues for them as a football club despite winning the game in their pass protection and run blocking. The defensive quality of play has only slid backward as the Showboats have allowed over 30 points in all of their last 5 games.

The Showboats season is a sinking ship but they still have 3 games left to solve their issues and redeem how their season will be remembered as they try to finish on a positive note.

Panthers Keys to the Game

Win the Battle at the Line

The Panthers just need to keep doing what they are doing. Keep putting the pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run. The Showboats have struggled in run blocking and pass protection. The Panthers have had one of the stronger pass-rushing and run-stopping units and it’s been paired with pretty good play from the cover defense as well. Everything we have seen so far this season is in favor of the Panthers.

If all of this was not concerning enough for Memphis, the Panthers also just yesterday signed defensive tackle Levi Bell who was the highest-graded defensive lineman last year by Pro Football Focus. He was with the Seattle Seahawks last season on their practice squad. He was the 17th highest-graded defensive lineman in the NFL preseason by PFF.

Keep Running the Ball

Last week the Panthers handed the ball off to their runningbacks 26 times and had 26 pass attempts. The balance of run and pass plays worked well for the Panthers last week against one of the worst run-stopping defenses. It will be important for the run game to continue to be successful to help keep Memphis’ defense off balance and complement the passing game.

Showboats Keys to the Game

Block For The Love of All That Is Holy

The Memphis Showboats have the third-lowest pass-blocking grade and the lowest run-blocking grade per Pro Football Focus. Last week again saw their quarterbacks pressured often as Case Cookus was pressured on 7 of his 17 dropbacks and Troy Williams was pressured on 12 of his 24. Last season saw running back Darius Victor 

Quick Passing Plays

When you’re struggling to protect your passer getting rid of the ball quickly will elevate the offense. Receivers need to get open quickly on short routes and hopefully, for their sake, the Showboats pick up some YAC. Do this effectively enough and you may start to get the defense on their heels a bit which will help running back Darius Victor pound his way forward.

Panthers to Watch

#19 QB Brian Lewerke

Last week Lewerke got the start and completed 5 of his 13 passes for 37 yards. Quarterback Bryce Perkins completed 11 of his 13 passes for 116 yards last week so expect to see some of both quarterbacks. Lewerke is a player many Panthers fans are already familiar with as he played his collegiate ball with Michigan State.

#9 WR Samson Nacua

Samson Nacua led the team in receiving last week with 6 catches for 45 yards.

If you’re not already aware his brother Kai Nacua plays safety for the Panthers. One of their other brothers, Puka Nacua, just had 1,486 receiving yards as a rookie on the Los Angeles Rams.

#26 RB Matt Colburn II

Colburn II is coming off a big game with 137 yards on 16 carries for an average of 8.6 yards per carry.

#55 DT Garrett Marino

Currently is the 4th highest-ranked defensive tackle in pass rushing by Pro Football Focus. He does not have a sack but has 11 total pressures. He also has 15 total tackles including 5 run stops.

#21 S Kai Nacua

He led the team in tackles last week with 8. He currently leads the team in tackles with 35 and also has 3 interceptions on the season.

#57 DT Levi Bell

He signed with the Panthers on Wednesday. He played in 6 games for the Panthers last year before signing with the Seattle Seahawks. He was the highest-graded defensive lineman by PFF last year among both the UFSL and the XFL. In the NFL preseason, he was the 17th graded defensive lineman across the NFL although he spent the season on the practice squad.

Showboats to Watch

#10 QB Case Cookus

Cookus had 2,295 yards and 15 touchdowns last season with Philadelphia over 10 games. So far this season he has 810 over 6 games with 6 touchdowns.

#27 RB Darius Victor

Victor had 1,128 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns over the 2022 and 2023 USFL seasons with New Jersey. This season with Memphis he has 206 yards and a touchdown over 6 games.

#2 WR Daewood Davis

Davis had 7 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown last week. He has 35 catches for 357 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.

#92 P.J. Hall

Hall has 9 total tackles and a sack on the season. He also has 9 total pressures per PFF.

#9 DE Max Roberts

Roberts has 11 total tackles and 3 sacks on the season. He has 13 total pressures per PFF.

#21 Delrick Abrams Jr.

Abrams Jr. is the team leader in total tackles with 36 and has 1 interception.

Depth Charts, Injuries, Inactives

image 1

Score Prediction:

Predicting a Michigan victory 33-16.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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.

Leave a comment

Sign Up Now

Become a member of our online community and get tickets to upcoming matches or sports events faster!
UFL News Hub