The San Antonio Brahmas pulled off an incredible comeback scoring 2 touchdowns in the final minute. The DC Defenders continued to defend their home field as they extended their at-home win record to 10 games. Power Rankings following week 2 of the UFL.

#1 Birmingham Stallions (2-0)

Week 1 result: Defeated Arlington on the road 27-14.

Week 2 result: Defeated Michigan on the road 20-13.

Previous rank: #1

The Birmingham Stallions remain undefeated after beating the Michigan Panthers 20-13 in a game that came down to the final minute. 

The Stallions defense was highly impressive as they held Michigan to 205 total yards. A large chunk of Michigan’s offensive production came on a 76-yard go route from Marcus Simms for a touchdown. Outside of that explosive play Michigan only had 139 total yards of offense.

Birmingham’s defensive line had a day to remember. Defensive end Taco Charlton led the way in sacks as he picked up 3 of Birmingham’s 7 sacks. Carlos Davis had 2 sacks and 2 solo run stops at nose tackle. Defensive ends Jordan Thompson and Dondrea Tillman both had a sack.

The run-stopping was highly effective as Wes Hills was held to just 11 yards on 7 carries. The Stallions’ defensive line essentially canceled Michigan’s run game as they made sure holes did not open up for him. Linebacker DeMarquis Gates had 2 run stops and Scooby Wright had a run stop as well.

On offense, the Stallions looked a little bit more mortal than they did in week 1 which saw Matt Corral named the quarterback on Pro Football Focus’s Team of the Week. Corral was held to completing just 5 of his 12 passes for 53 yards with an interception. Alex Martinez played much of the game and completed 8 of his 15 passes for 88 yards. The combined QBR between the 2 was only 48.53 in week 2. The 2 quarterbacks did add quite a lot of offense on the ground combining for 94 rushing yards on 12 carries.

C.J. Marable rushed 14 times for 54 yards (3.9 average) while Ricky Person Jr. was held to just 14 yards on 7 carries.

The Stallions will play the Memphis Showboats on Saturday for their home opener.

#2 San Antonio Brahmas (2-0)

Week 1 result: Defeated DC at home 27-12

Week 2 result: Defeated Memphis on the road 20-19.

Previous rank: #2.

The San Antonio Brahmas pulled off a remarkable comeback in week 2 to stay undefeated. They entered the 2-minute warning trailing 19-8 on the road in Memphis. With 48 seconds left, Chase Garbers completed a 5-yard pass to Jontre Kirklin for a touchdown setting the score to 14-19. The Brahmas converted the alternative on side kick completing a 4th and 12 conversion with a yard pass to Jontre Kirklin.

With 8 seconds left in the game, Garbers completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cody Latimer to take the lead for the first time in the game and win the game. San Antonio entered the 4th quarter trailing 16 to 0.

Chase Garbers had 190 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter. He had 97 in the third quarter after having only 12 passing yards in the first half. While he played spectacularly in the 2nd half, San Antonio’s offense will need to start faster moving forward.

The run game was kept in check by Memphis as John Lovett rushed 3 times for 10 yards and A.J. McFarland rushed 5 times for 6 yards.

Receiver Marquez Stevenson had the second most receiving yards in the UFL in week 2 as he led the team with 103 yards receiving and a touchdown on 6 catches. Tight end Cody Latimer had the most yards among tight ends as he caught 8 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.

San Antonio got pretty good play out of their starting safeties as Jordan Mosley had 10 tackles and A.J. Hendy had 8 tackles. Both safeties got involved in the run stop and saw to it that passes resulted in incompletions such as a breakup by Mosley swatting the ball away from Sage Surratt in the third quarter. Hendy had a breakup and by my count had a solo run stop and 2 assisted run stops.

The Brahmas will host the St. Louis Battlehawks on Sunday in a crucial divisional battle.

#3. St. Louis Battlehawks (0-1)

Week 1 result: Lost to Michigan on the road 16-18.

Week 2 result: Defeated Arlington at home 27-24.

Previous Rank: #4

The St. Louis Battlehawks got their first win of the season by beating last year’s XFL champions at home. They beat the Arlington Renegades 27-24 in a game that came down to the final play which was a 22-yard walk-off field goal from Andre Szmyt.

Quarterback A.J. McCarron completed 19 of his 29 passes for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Marcel Ateman led the team and the league in receiving yards in week 2 catching 4 passes for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Darrius Shepherd caught 9 passes for 82 yards.

After having the run game limited in week 1 St. Louis gave most of the carries to Mataeo Durant in week 2 who had the most rushing yards in the UFL this past week. Durant rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries averaging 7.4 yards per attempt.

St. Louis saw a strong group effort from their linebackers in the run-stopping department as Callahan O’Reilly and Willie Harvey got involved in 3 run stops by my count. Carson Wells and Lakiem Williams both helped on 2 run stops. 

Defensive end Pita Taumoepenu had a highly impactful day generating 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 tackles for a loss. By my count, he also had 5 additional pressures and a solo run stop.

The Battlehawks defense was able to neutralize the Renegades run game keeping their starting running back to 19 yards on 7 carries (2.7 average).

The Battlehawks will travel to San Antonio to take on the Brahmas Sunday.

#4 Michigan Panthers (1-1)

Week 1 result: Defeated St. Louis at home 18-16.

Week 2 result: Lost to Birmingham at home 13-20.

Previous rank: #3

The Michigan Panthers’ defense played really well against Birmingham in their week 2 loss however there are some question marks with their offensive production so far.

The Panthers’ defense as mentioned held the offensive production of the Stallions relatively low especially considering the fact that the Stallions controlled the time of possession at 37 minutes compared to Michigan’s 23 minutes. Michigan had 7 defensive players get a run stop by my count with linebacker Frank Ginda leading the way with 3 solo run stops and 3 assisted run stops. Defensive tackles Daniel Wise and Garrett Marino both had a part in 3 run stops.

Starting cornerbacks Nate Brooks and Keith Gipson both played well recording a pass breakup in the game. Birmingham’s combined QBR against Michigan was just 48.53 in week 2.

I see potential in the Panthers’ offense but there needs to be more production. E.J. Perry has 379 passing yards and 1 touchdown with 3 interceptions. Without the 76-yard TD to Marcus Simms, it’s only 303 passing yards after 2 full games.

Another concerning stat is the production of running back Wes Hills. He has 18 rushes for 95 yards so far this season which is a healthy 5.3 yards per carry. A lot of his yards came specifically on 4 explosive run plays in week 1. His other 14 rushes have been rather pedestrian recording just 16 yards on 14 carries. The rate at which defenders have been able to get to him and stop him at the line or before it has been too high over the first 2 weeks.

Kicker Jake Bates added 2 long field goals again in week 2 after making a 64-yarder in week 1. He made a 62-yard field goal and another from 52 in week 2.

Michigan will wrap up a 3-game homestead on Sunday facing the 0-2 Houston Roughnecks at Ford Field on Sunday. They can be a dangerous team in this league but they need to get a few aspects of their game fine-tuned.

#5. DC Defenders (1-1)

Week 1 result: Lost to San Antonio on the road 12-27.

Week 2 result: Defeated Houston at home 23-18.

Previous Rank: #7

The DC Defenders won a close game against the Houston Roughnecks to extend their at-home win streak to 10 games. They took the lead with a well-placed throw from Jordan Ta’amu to Ty Scott for 17 yards for a touchdown with 6 minutes remaining.

Ta’amu completed 16 of his 32 passes for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns with an interception. Ta’amu made a lot of good plays in week 2 but the frequency at which he overthrew receivers was high and his interception was returned for a 98-yard touchdown. Keke Coutee led the team in receiving with 3 catches for 40 yards.

DC’s offensive line had much more success in week 1 protecting their quarterback. They also saw improvement in their run game although there is still room for improvement. Cam’ron Harris rushed 9 times for 34 yards (3.8 average) and Darius Hagans rushed 11 times for 29 yards (2.6 average).

Defensive end Derick Roberson had the lone sack for DC. He also had 3 tackles, a QB hit, and assisted with a run stop as well as a stop against the pass. By my count, there were three other defensive linemen who all had 2 pressures including Trent Harris, Joe Wallace, and Niles Scott.

Safety Santos Ramirez made 3 tackles and a pass breakup. He also assisted with a run stop and made 2 solo stops against the pass.

DC will take on the Arlington Renegades on the road on Saturday.

#6. Arlington Renegades (0-2)

Week 1 result: Lost to Birmingham at home 27-14.

Week 1 result: Lost to St. Louis on the road 27-24.

Previous Rank: #5

The Arlington Renegades fell to 0-2 after losing a barn burner in St. Louis 24-27.

Luis Perez was calm cool and collected completing 21 of his 29 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown in the hardest stadium to play in as a visitor. J.P. Payton led the team in receiving catching 5 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Vaughns had 5 catches as well for 58 yards and even completed a 2 point conversion attempt as a passer.

Arlington will need a stronger run game moving forward in order to be a multi-dimensional offense. Week 2 saw Leddie Brown limited to 19 yards on 7 carries with De’veon Smith rushing 9 times for 23 yards and a touchdown. The combined average rush between the two was just 2.6 yards per rush.

On defense defensive tackle Jalen Redmond recorded 4 tackles and 2 sacks. By my count, he also added 2 additional pressures and had 2 run stops. Outside linebacker Donald Payne led the team in tackles with 7. Payne had a run stop, and 2 stops against the pass and added a QB hurry.

Returner Juwan Manigo had 3 returns that stood out to me in which he broke a tackle or made a man miss. He returned 5 kickoffs averaging 27.6 yards per return.

The Renegades will host the DC Defenders on Saturday.

#7. Memphis Showboats (1-1)

Week 1 result: Defeated Houston on the road 18-12

Week 2 result: Lost to San Antonio at home 19-20

Previous rank #6

In week 2 Memphis entered the 4th quarter leading 16-0. They entered the 2-minute warning leading 19-8. On the positive, they had a strong handle on this game for most of the game. However, they had the win taken from them in the final moments as San Antonio pulled off an unlikely comeback. Losing is never fun but this was a tough way to lose in a home opener.

Memphis did show improvement in week 2. Despite winning in week 1, the offensive line play struggled as Cookus was pressured a lot. The rate at which he was pressured in week 2 was much better although there is still room for improvement.

The run blocking had a lot more success for Memphis in week 2. In week 1 runningback Darius Victor had only 3 yards on 10 carries. In week 2 he had 54 yards on 17 carries, an average of 3.2 yards per rush. They will want to get him closer to last year’s 5.5 yards per carry but things seem to be moving in a positive direction.

Case Cookus looked composed again in week 2 completing 17 of his 31 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Adams led the way in receiving as he caught 3 passes for 76 yards.

Outside linebacker Maximillian Roberts recorded 2 tackles that were both sacks including a strip sack in the 1st quarter which saw him recover the fumble. Defensive tackles John Atkins and Dillon Faamatau both had 2 run stops.

Memphis will have a tough test as they travel to Birmingham to take on the Stallions on Saturday.

#8. Houston Roughnecks (0-2)

Week 1 result: Lost to Memphis at home 12-18.

Week 1 result: Lost to DC on the road 18-23.

Previous rank: #8

The Roughnecks lost another close game in week 2. Unfortunately starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano left the game early with what appeared to be a back injury. Guarantano is expected to miss at least a month.

Reid Sinnett looked good coming into the game completing 19 of his 30 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown. There were some plays in which he was pressured but remained poised in the pocket.

Runningback Kirk Merritt led the team in receiving yards with 5 catches for 79 yards. He had a long 57-yard reception with a lot of YAC but unfortunately, the play ended with a fumble, turnover, and an injury for Merritt in the form of a dislocated wrist which is likely season-ending. Receiver Keke Chism had 3 catches for 57 yards.

Runningback T.J. Pledger led the team in rushing yards rushing 11 times for 47 yards, an average of 4.3 yards. A significant improvement over his average of 2.5 yards per rush last week.

The greatest area of weakness for Houston in week 1 was the offensive line play which saw significant improvement in week 2. There were 3 false start penalties in the 4th quarter from the tackles. The pressures are still on the higher side but it seems to be improving at least from week 1 to 2.

On defense cornerback Corn Elder had possibly the best game among cornerbacks which was highlighted by a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown. Elder also had 3 tackles and 3 pass breakups including a breakup in the 4th quarter near the endzone.

Linebacker Reuben Foster had an impressive game leading the team in tackles with 6 including 2 for a loss and added 2 pass breakups. By my count, he made 2 solo run stops and 3 assisted run stops. 

Defensive end Ethan Westbrooks had 3 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 3 additional pressures, and assisted on a run stop.

@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