With the conclusion of week 5 of the UFL, we are now halfway through the regular season. The playoff picture is beginning to take form after a weekend in which the team with the stronger record won every game despite being the visiting team in all 4 games.

#1 Birmingham Stallions (5-0)

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.

Week 5 result: Defeated Houston on the road 32-9.

Previous rank: #1

The Stallions continue to be the team we thought they were as they extended their winning streak to 12 games dating back to last season. Unsurprisingly they defeated the Houston Roughnecks and they did so by a wide margin by a score of 32-9.

Quarterback Arian Martinez passed for 155 yards and a touchdown and added 138 rushing yards on 9 rushes. Runningback Larry Rountree III had a rushing touchdown and 50 yards with Ricky Person Jr. adding 25 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Jace Sternberger led the way in receiving for the Stallions with 46 yards and a touchdown on 2 receptions.

On defense cornerback Mark Gilber led the team in tackles with 11, 9 of which were solo tackles.

The Birmingham Stallions are the clear number 1 team in the league until proven otherwise. They will have their first meeting against the St. Louis Battlehawks in week 7 which is a matchup to circle the calendar for on May 11. In the meantime, their next game could be shaping up to be another beatdown as they prepare to travel to take on the Memphis Showboats who have lost their last 4 games.

#2 St. Louis Battlehawks (4-1)

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.

Week 5 result: Defeated the DC Defenders on the road 45-12.

Previous Rank: #2

The St. Louis Battlehawks won in week 4 against Memphis by what was at that point the largest margin of victory by any team so far this season. 

The DC Defenders had won all of their games at their home field, Audi Field. They made good on their name defending their home turf and winning their first 10 home games. Week 5 saw the Battlehawks put an end to their undefeated at-home status embarrassing the Defenders in their own building. It was the 4th meeting between these two teams and the first time the Battlehawks had defeated the Defenders.

A.J. McCarron passed for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns with Hakeem Butler leading the way in receiving catching 6 passes for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the ground Jacob Saylors rushed 12 times for 52 yards and a touchdown. Wayne Gallman II and Manny Wilkins also had a rushing touchdown. Andre Szmyt tacked on 12 more points making all 4 of his field goal attempts.

On defense, linebacker Mike Rose led the team in tackles with 11 including a tackle for a loss. He also had an interception and a pass breakup. Brandon Sebastian and Kameron Kelly also both added an interception and a breakup. Defensive end Pita Taumoepenu added 2 sacks bringing his total to 4 on the season.

The Battlehawks will host the 1-4 Houston Roughnecks on Saturday.

#3. San Antonio Brahmas (4-1)

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.

Week 5 result: Defeated the Arlington Renegades on the road 25-15.

Previous rank: #3.

The San Antonio Brahmas increased their odds of making the playoffs in week 5 by beating the Arlington Renegades 15-25 on the road. They now sit in second place in the XFL Division 2 games ahead of the DC Defenders.

Despite quarterback Quinton Dormady throwing for 3 interceptions with 1 touchdown and 164 yards, the Brahmas came out on top through a dominating performance from the run game. Runningback John Lovett rushed 13 times for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns with Morgan Ellison added 84 rushing yards on 7 carries.

On defense, Tavante Becket led the team in tackles with 14 with Jordan Williams at second with 9. Zach McCloud recorded a sack while Tim Ward and Delontae Scott were both in on a sack together.

San Antonio will travel to DC to play the Defenders on Sunday.

#4 Michigan Panthers (3-2)

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.

Week 5 result: Defeated Memphis on the road 35-18.

Previous rank: #5

The Michigan Panthers won by their largest margin so far this season against a divisional opponent the Memphis Showboats by a score of 35-18. It was a key game for the Panthers putting them in a 2 game lead in a playoff position over Memphis and Houston.

When the Panthers acquired running backs Matt Colburn II and Wes Hills in the offseason through the UFL Dispersal Draft it seemed like they were putting an emphasis on the run game as they acquired 2 of the best running backs available in the dispersal draft. The Panthers did some smashmouth football in week 5 as Hills rushed 16 times for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns and Colburn rushed 15 times for 68 yards. Quarterback Danny Etling was efficient through the air completing 14 of his 21 passes for 175 yards and also added a rushing touchdown.

On defense, the pass rush ate very well with Breeland Speaks helping himself to 3 sacks. Kenny Willekes, Bryce Torneden, and Ron’Del Carter all had sacks as well. Safety Kai Nacua and cornerback Adonis Alexander both had an interception and 2 pass breakups.

The Panthers will host the 0-5 Arlington Renegades on Sunday. Despite the winless record, the Renegades were the XFL Champions last year and possess a pretty solid passing game.

#5 DC Defenders (2-3)

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.

Week 5 result: Lost to St. Louis at home 12-45 

Previous Rank: #4

After winning their first 10 home games at Audi Field the Defenders have finally taken their first L at home and it came in a big way. The Defenders fell 12-45 to the Battlehawks.

It was not a banner game for quarterback Jordan Ta’amu as he completed 12 of his 23 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown with 3 interceptions. On the ground, both runningbacks were held under 2.5 yards per carry as Zaquandre White rushed 15 times for 33 yards and Cam’Ron Harris rushed for 25 yards on 11 rushes with 1 touchdown.

On defense defensive end Malik Fisher picked up 3 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble. Cornerback Michael Joseph led the team in tackles with 11 including 2 tackles for a loss and had a pass breakup.

The Defenders will aim to get back to .500 on Sunday when they host the 4-1 San Antonio Brahmas.

#6. Houston Roughnecks (1-4)

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.

Week 5 result: Lost to Birmingham at home 9-32.

Previous rank: #6

The Houston Roughnecks were on the receiving end of a major defeat losing by 23 points to the Birmingham Stallions. Their playoff chances are beginning to look a little bleak as they sit 2 games behind the Michigan Panthers for a playoff position but they still have 5 games to catch up.

Quarterback Reid Sinnett completed 27 of his 38 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown with 1 interception. Justin Hall led the team in receiving catching 11 passes for 93 yards. Keke Chism caught 7 passes for 88 yards. On the ground, the Roughnecks couldn’t get it going against Birmingham. T.J. Pledger rushed 6 times for 15 yards (2.5 average) and Mark Thompson rushed 4 times for 11 yards (2.8 average).

On defense safety Markel Roby led the team in tackles with 10. Markel Roby, J.T. Tyler, and Colby Richardson all broke up a pass. They struggled to stop the Stallion’s stampeding run game as they allowed 213 rushing yards.

The Roughnecks have a tough challenge this weekend as they play St. Louis on the road on Saturday.

#7. Arlington Renegades (0-5)

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

Week 2 result: Lost to St. Louis on the road 27-24.

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

Week 4 result: Lost to Houston on the road 9-17.

Week 5 result: Lost to San Antonio at home 15-25.

Previous Rank: #7

The Arlington Renegades held Quinten Dormady to 1 touchdown with 3 interceptions but were unable to win despite winning the turnover battle 3-1. They held San Antonio to 160 passing yards but were unable to stop the run as they allowed 190 rushing yards on their way to a 15-25 loss.

Quarterback Luis Perez completed 26 of his 36 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown with J.P. Payton leading the way in receiving catching 7 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Dae Hunter rushed 9 times for 33 yards (3.7 average) with Leddie Brown rushing 5 times for 16 yards (3.2 average).

On defense, Donald Payne led the team in tackles with 7 with Myles Dorn and Story Jackson close behind each recording 6 tackles. Myles Dorn, Storey Jackson, and Marquel Lee all had 1 interception. Cornerback Delontae Hood had 3 pass breakups. 

The Renegades will try again to get their first win of the season on the road against the Michigan Panthers on Sunday. To have a realistic shot at making the playoffs the Renegades need to win their next 5 games which is not unfeasible despite their abysmal record if they can get some better run defense going. The unrealistic part in their playoff pursuits will be hoping for either the Battlehawks or the Brahmas to win 1 game or less the rest of the season which is likely not going to happen. However, I am saying that there is a chance.

#8. Memphis Showboats (1-4)

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.

Week 5 result: Lost to Michigan at home 18-35.

Previous rank #8

The Showboats find themselves lost at sea in a storm of a 4 game-losing streak. They suffered another big loss this time in their own building losing to divisional opponents the Michigan Panthers 18-35. All 3 of their last games have been losses by 15 points or more.

It only took 4 games into the season for quarterback Case Cookus to be unable to play in a game due to the many hits he has been taking this season. In his place, Troy Williams got the start and completed 19 of his 37 passes for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. Daewood Davis recorded 6 receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Adams and Sage Surratt also had receiving touchdowns.

The pass protection concerns that have been there since week 1 have not seemed to improve as Memphis allowed 6 sacks. It was also a difficult game for them on the ground which has been a continuous pattern as well as Darius Victor was held to 17 yards on 9 rushes.

On defense P.J. Hall, Jordan Ferguson, and Greg Reaves all recorded a sack. T.J. Neal, P.J. Hall, and T.J. Green were all tied for a team-leading 6 tackles.

The Showboats may still be in rough waters this weekend as they host the Birmingham Stallions on Saturday who are riding a 12-game winning streak.

@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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