The Birmingham Stallions, St Louis Battlehawks, and San Antonio Brahmas all won their games adding to their success early on this season. The Houston Roughnecks entered week 4 winless and defeated the 2023 XFL Champions, the Arlington Renegades to now find themselves 1 game out of a playoff spot. Recapping what happened for each team and how things changed in our power rankings.

#1 Birmingham Stallions (4-0)

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

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

Week 3 result: Defeated Memphis at home 33-14.

Week 4 result: Defeated DC at home 20-18.

Previous rank: #1

The Stallions extended their win streak to 11 games. To oversimplify things, good teams find a way to win.

The Stallions had 2 key second-half turnovers that created significant adversity to overcome. On 3rd and goal at the Defender’s 2-yard line, Matt Corral fumbled the football resulting in a turnover. DC scored a touchdown on their drive following the fumble. Early in the 2nd quarter another fumble resulted in a turnover this time when they were at DC’s 3-yard line.

Despite the adversity in the game, the Stallions prevented DC from running away with the game early. DC was poised to score as they started a drive in the 2nd quarter at Birmingham’s 36-yard line following a blocked punt. Thanks to a big run stop from Jordan Thompson and Dondrea Tillman on 4th and 1 the Stallions did not allow DC to score on the drive. Birmingham held DC to 251 yards of total offense over the game.

Birmingham scored their first touchdown late in the first half which is extremely late for them. The score came on a 50-yard catch from Amari Rodgers spinning off a would-be tackler and charging for the end zone. The Stallions offense was on point on their final drive as they took the field with a little over 1 minute left at their 41-yard line. In 1 minute of the game clock, they moved the ball 31 yards downfield to set up for a 46-yard game-winning field goal from Ramiz Ahmed

Matt Corral finished the day with 19 completions on 29 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. Amari Rodgers led the team in receiving catching 4 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Ricky Person Jr. had another nice game on the ground rushing 11 times for 57 yards, an average of 5.2 yards per carry.

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

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

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

Week 3 result: Defeated San Antonio on the road 31-24.

Week 4 result: Defeated the Memphis Showboats at home 32-17.

Previous Rank: #2

The St. Louis Battlehawks have been flexing their muscles since a jaw-dropping 64-yard field goal sealed their defeat in week 1. They have since earned themselves a 3 game winning streak and are coming off their largest margin of victory after clobbering the Memphis Showboats at home.

Despite allowing the first touchdown of the game the Battlehawks’ defense took control of the game as the match progressed. With 3 minutes left in the first half, the defense took the field deep in their own zone at the 14-yard line following an interception by Quenton Meeks. Despite the great field position the Battlehawks held Memphis to a field goal and proceeded to not give up any points in the 2nd half. Memphis was held to just 127 total yards in the game.

A.J. McCarron threw the ball a lot in this contest as he completed 35 of his 45 passes for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. Jacob Pearson led the team in receiving as he caught 10 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Hakeem Butler recorded 8 receptions for 61 yards.

On the ground, Jacob Saylors rushed 15 times for 103 yards highlighted by a 57-yard breakout down the middle with some good blocking. Wayne Gallman rushed 2 times for 7 yards and recorded his first UFL rushing touchdown.

St. Louis will hit the road to take on the 2-2 DC Defenders on Sunday.

#3. San Antonio Brahmas (3-1)

Week 1 result: Defeated DC at home 27-12

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

Week 3 result: Lost to St. Louis at home 24-31.

Week 4 result: Defeated Michigan at home 19-9.

Previous rank: #3.

The San Antonio Brahmas put on a defensive show led by their highly effective pass rush. The Brahmas racked up 6 sacks over the course of their victory and it could have been even more if not for the mobility of Michigan quarterbacks E.J. Perry and Dannyl Etling. The Brahmas actually did have 7 sacks if you count Garrett Nelson’s sack on a 1-point convert attempt. Defensive ends Tim Ward, Wyatt Ray, and defensive tackle Jalen Dalton all had 4 hurries or more by my count in addition to recording a sack.

On offense, Quinten Dormady played well in his first start for the team. He completed 23 of his 37 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown with 1 interception.

 San Antonio’s starting running back John Levett was held to just 2.7 yards per carry against the Panthers’ run defense that has been very good all season. Despite not having a strong game on the ground the passing game was able to keep the offense moving. Levett did finish the game on a high note with a fantastic 11-yard run to finish the game kicking breaking 3 tackles as he kicked an outside left run all the back to the right to pick up a first down.

Wide receivers Jontre Kirkling and Justin Smith both recorded over 100 yards receiving. Justin Smith made a couple of highlight plays such as breaking 2 tackles and an 18-yard run or shortly after when he leaped over a defender on a 17-yard pickup.

San Antonio will play Saturday on the road against the 0-4 Arlington Renegades.

#4. DC Defenders (2-2)

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

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

Week 3 result: Defeated Arlington on the road 29-28.

Week 4 result: Lost to Birmingham on the road 18-20.

Previous Rank: #5

This would be a frustrating game for Defenders fans although it could inspire hope to lose by only 2 points against the Stallions. The opportunity was there to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Birmingham Stallions but the Defenders failed to seize it. Birmingham had 2 drives end due to unforced fumbles when they had possession within DC’s final 5 yards of the field in the first half. Additionally, DC came up without any points after starting a drive in the 2nd quarter at Birmingham’s 36-yard line.

A low point of the game for the Defenders came after a lengthy lightning delay, a bad snap on a Defenders’ punt resulted in safety following a lightning delay.

Offensively the day was highlighted by Kelvin Harmon breaking a tackle on a reception 17 yards downfield to force the play into a 45-yard touchdown. Harmon finished the day with 93 yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown. Jordan Ta’amu completed 12 of his 22 passes for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Cam’Ron Harris led the team in rushing yards with 34 yards on 11 carries with Zaquandre White close behind with 32 yards on 10 rushes in large part due to a 22-yard run.

DC will host the 3-1 St. Louis Battlehawks on Sunday.

#5. Michigan Panthers (2-2)

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

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

Week 3 result: Defeated Houston at home 20-34.

Week 4 result: Lost to San Antonio on the road 9-19.

Previous rank: #4

In week 2 Michigan allowed 7 sacks to the Birmingham Stallions raising concerns in their ability to protect the passer. It was unclear if this was the result of Michigan’s offensive line performing poorly or just the result of how good Birmingham’s pass rush is. Michigan’s o-line had a much better game in week 3 against Houston but now the pass protection concerns have again returned after the Panthers gave up 6 sacks to San Antonio.

E.J. Perry left the game with what appeared to be a leg injury he sustained late in the 4th quarter although he did finish that particular drive. Perry completed 7 of his 13 passes for 77 yards and rushed for 49 yards on 4 rushes.

Danny Etling played a little over 17 minutes of the game and completed 11 of his 14 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. His performance was highlighted by a 41-yard touchdown to a wide-open Marcus Simms on a go route. Etling did have an interception that came on a 4th and 20 which was Michigan’s final offensive play of the game.

Frank Ginda led the team in tackles with 8. Several Panthers defenders had a tackle on a run stop on what was yet another good game against the run. San Antonio’s runningback John Levett rushed 13 times for 35 yards and if not for an 11-yard carry on his final rush he would have been limited to just 2 yards per carry.

Michigan will play on the road Sunday against the 1-3 Memphis Showboats.

#6. Houston Roughnecks (1-3)

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

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

Week 3 result: Lost to Michigan on the road 20-34.

Week 4 result: Defeated Arlington at home 17-9.

Previous rank: #8

Houston’s defense had a banner game against Arlington. They took the field at their own 21 following a fumbled punt and held Arlington to a field goal. Cornerback Kiondre Thomas came up with a big interception in the first quarter when Arlington had the ball at Houston’s 30-yard line and returned it to Arlington’s 40. The run defense was exceptional for Houston as they held Arlingto to 40 rushing yards on 18 rushes (2.2 average).

On offense, Reid Sinnett’s best play likely came in the 2nd quarter throwing as he got hit to Cyril Grayson for 44 yards who made a fantastic catch. Sinnett finished the day with 18 completions on 28 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. Mark Thompson rushed 9 times for 34 yards (3.8 average) and a touchdown in his first game of the season after missing the first 3 games due to injury.

Houston will host the undefeated Birmingham Stallions on Saturday.

#7. Arlington Renegades (0-4)

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

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

Week 3 result: Lost to DC at home 28-29.

Week 3 result: Lost to Houston on the road 9-17.

Previous Rank: #6

The Arlington Renegades went 4-6 last year and snuck into the XFL playoffs where they won the XFL Championship. They now find themselves 0-4 to start the first season of the UFL following the merger of the USFL and XFL. Week 4 felt like a must-win game for both Arlington and Houston who were both 0-3 heading into the match.

Arlington left some points on the board as a turnover in the 1st quarter when they had the ball at Houston’s 30-yard line ended a drive. The game ended for Arlington with another turnover in the form of a strip sack from Chris Odom when they had the ball at Houston’s 39-yard line.

Despite having the worst record in the league Arlington has shown flashes of playing well. They lost 2 very close games in weeks 2 and 3 and for the most part, their offense has played pretty well. There are 3 teams that have fewer points scored but no one has allowed more points than Arlington at 100 over 4 games.

Arlington will host the San Antonio Brahmas on Saturday.

#8. Memphis Showboats (1-3)

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

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

Week 3 result: Lost to Birmingham on the road 14-33.

Week 4 result: Lost to St. Louis on the road 17-32.

Previous rank #7

A positive way to look at last week for Memphis would be to point out that they were tied heading into the final minute of the first half. However, on the flip side, they didn’t score any points and lost by 15. Memphis generated 127 yards of total offense to St. Louis’ 355.

In week 1’s power ranking, I pointed out that Memphis’ inability to protect their quarterback is a glaring issue for them. Despite them winning in week 1 I had them among the bottom 3 teams in the league at that point based on the pass protection and concerns running the football. Unfortunately pass protection remains an issue for Memphis as they gave up 4 sacks against St. Louis and saw quarterback Case Cookus leave the game in the third quarter after taking a hard hit.

One positive was that we finally saw Darius Victor have strong yards per carry. Victor rushed 11 times for 58 yards and a touchdown averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Over the first 3 weeks he had only 56 yards on 29 carries for an average of 1.93 yards per carry.

Memphis now has the worst points differential in the league following a couple of beatdowns to the division leaders. The Showboats will host the 2-2 Michigan Panthers on Sunday in a crucial divisional matchup.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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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.

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