2022 USFL season
United States Football League (2022) logo.png
LeagueUnited States Football League
SportAmerican football
DurationApril 16 – July 3
Number of games43 (40 regular-season games, 3 postseason games)
Number of teams8
TV partner(s)Fox, FS1, NBC, Peacock, USA
Season MVPKaVontae Turpin
2022 USFL Championship
ChampionsBirmingham Stallions
  Runners-upPhiladelphia Stars
Finals MVPVictor Bolden Jr.
Seasons
2023 →

The 2022 USFL season was the inaugural season of the United States Football League, and the first season of a league using that name since 1985. The season began on April 16 and concluded on July 3. The league's eight teams represent various geographical locales and associated team names that were part of the 1984 season of the original USFL. For 2022, all regular-season games were played in Birmingham, Alabama, at Protective Stadium (Weeks 1–7, 9) and at Legion Field (Weeks 8 & 10).

The USFL played its postseason at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Birmingham Stallions won the USFL Championship game against the Philadelphia Stars on July 3.

Location

The city of Birmingham and the USFL announced that the city would host all eight teams. Regular-season games are played at Protective Stadium and Legion Field.[1]

The choice of Birmingham as the league's sole city led to substantial crowds for the Birmingham Stallions and to very small crowds for games involving only teams named after other cities and states. The opening-week matchup between the Tampa Bay Bandits and Pittsburgh Maulers, rescheduled to Monday night, was played in an almost entirely empty stadium.[2] USA Today reported that during the Week 2 matchup between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, crowd shots included more Fox broadcast staff members than fans.[3]

On February 16, 2022, the league announced that the 2022 playoffs would be held in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium instead of Birmingham due to schedule conflicts with the 2022 World Games. Playoffs were held on June 25 and July 3.[4]

Draft

The 2022 USFL Draft occurred on February 22 and 23, 2022, and had a format similar to the 2020 XFL Draft, where players were selected in phases based on positions.[5]

Teams

The eight teams competing in the USFL's 2022 season all feature the names and colors of USFL teams that existed in 1984.[6] During the 2022 season, all regular-season games were held at Protective Stadium (Week 1–7, 9) and Legion Field (Week 8 & 10) in Birmingham, Alabama.[1][7]

Team[8] Head coach
North Division
Michigan Panthers Jeff Fisher
New Jersey Generals Mike Riley
Philadelphia Stars Bart Andrus
Pittsburgh Maulers Kirby Wilson
South Division
Birmingham Stallions Skip Holtz
Houston Gamblers Kevin Sumlin
New Orleans Breakers Larry Fedora
Tampa Bay Bandits Todd Haley

Standings

North Division
# W L PCT GB DIV PF PA STK
1 New Jersey Generals 9 1 .900 - 6–0 232 182 W9
2 Philadelphia Stars 6 4 .600 3 4–2 262 243 L1
Eliminated from postseason contention
3 Michigan Panthers 2 8 .200 7 2–4 211 236 W1
4 Pittsburgh Maulers 1 9 .100 8 0–6 147 243 L5
South Division
# W L PCT GB DIV PF PA STK
1 Birmingham Stallions 9 1 .900 - 5–1 224 169 W1
2 New Orleans Breakers 6 4 .600 3 3–3 196 164 L1
Eliminated from postseason contention
3 Tampa Bay Bandits 4 6 .400 5 2–4 162 195 L2
4 Houston Gamblers 3 7 .300 6 2–4 196 208 W2

Season schedule

The league announced in November 2021 that teams would each play a ten-game schedule, with each team facing divisional opponents twice and non-divisional opponents once. The champion and runner-up of each division will qualify for the playoffs, which will consist of two semifinal games played on June 25 and a championship game played on July 3.[9] Most games were played on Saturdays and Sundays, with some "special broadcasts" on Fridays.[10] On January 6, 2022, the league announced on its website that the season would begin on April 16.[11]

The full 2022 season schedule was released March 7, 2022, with the highlights including a doubleheader of Week 1 games on Easter Sunday.[12][13][14]

Regular season

All games at Protective Stadium during Weeks 1–7 and 9, and at Legion Field during weeks 8 and 10. All times listed are EDT. All games on NBC are simulcast on Peacock.

Changes to game schedules or broadcasting are listed in notes after each week's matchups.

All matchups will be officially announced by the league no later than 2 weeks ahead of game time and may be flexed from cable to broadcast if needed.

The playoff bracket was set after the Week 9 contests, rendering Week 10's games to be effectively exhibition games. In an effort to avoid tanking, the USFL declared that the two lowest-ranked teams—both coincidentally set to play each other that day—would be playing for the rights to the first overall pick in the 2023 USFL Draft, with the winner receiving that selection.[15]

Week 1

Week 1
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Ref.
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
April 16, 7:30 p.m. New Jersey Generals 24–28 Birmingham Stallions Fox and NBC 3.07 1.8 [16][17][18]
April 17, 12:50 p.m.[W1 1] Houston Gamblers 17–12 Michigan Panthers NBC 2.15 1.1 [19][18]
April 17, 5:00 p.m.[W1 2] Philadelphia Stars 17–23 New Orleans Breakers USA 0.77 0.4 [20][18]
April 18, 7:00 p.m.[W1 3] Tampa Bay Bandits 17–3 Pittsburgh Maulers FS1 0.27 0.2 [21][22][23]
  1. ^ Game originally scheduled for 12 pm ET start but delayed due to weather.
  2. ^ Game originally scheduled for 4 pm ET start but delayed due to earlier game being delayed.
  3. ^ Game originally scheduled for 8 pm ET start on April 17 but rescheduled to April 18 due to earlier game delays and weather risk.

Week 2

Week 2
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Ref.
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
April 22, 8:00 p.m. Michigan Panthers 6–10 New Jersey Generals USA 0.36 0.2 [24][25][23]
April 23, 12:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Maulers 23–30 Philadelphia Stars Fox 1.06 0.7 [23][26][25]
April 23, 7:00 p.m. Birmingham Stallions 33–28 Houston Gamblers FS1[W2 1] 0.42 0.2 [25][27][23]
April 24, 3:00 p.m. New Orleans Breakers 34–3 Tampa Bay Bandits NBC 0.81 0.5 [23][25][28]
  1. ^ Game started on FS2 due to MLB coverage on FS1.

Week 3

Week 3
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
April 30, 4:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Bandits 27–26 Houston Gamblers Fox 0.83 0.5 [29][30][31]
April 30, 8:00 p.m.[W3 1] Birmingham Stallions 22–13 New Orleans Breakers 1.11 0.7 [25][29][32][31]
May 1, 2:30 p.m.[W3 1] Pittsburgh Maulers 0–24 Michigan Panthers USA 0.29 0.2 [29][25][33][31]
May 1, 8:00 p.m. New Jersey Generals 24–16 Philadelphia Stars Peacock N/A [34][31]
  1. ^ a b The Stallions–Breakers game was moved to Saturday night (with coverage by Fox) with a corresponding move of the Maulers–Panthers to Sunday afternoon (with coverage by USA), part of an effort by the league to air "some of its better games on network television."

Week 4

Week 4
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
May 6, 10:20 p.m. Philadelphia Stars 26–25 Michigan Panthers FS1 0.21 0.1 [35][36][37]
May 7, 2:30 p.m. New Jersey Generals 21–13 Pittsburgh Maulers Peacock N/A [35][36][37]
May 7, 7:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Bandits 10–16 Birmingham Stallions Fox 1.05 0.6 [35][37][36]
May 8, 3:00 p.m. Houston Gamblers 16–23 New Orleans Breakers NBC 1.16 0.7 [37][36]

Week 5

Week 5
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
May 13, 8:00 p.m. Michigan Panthers 20–27 Tampa Bay Bandits USA 0.25 0.2 [38][39]
May 14, 3:00 p.m. New Orleans Breakers 17–27 New Jersey Generals Fox 0.72 0.5 [38][39]
May 15, 12:00 p.m. Birmingham Stallions 30–17 Philadelphia Stars NBC 0.91 0.6 [38][39]
May 15, 4:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Maulers 21–20 Houston Gamblers Fox 0.69 0.4 [38][39]

Week 6

Week 6
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
May 21, 1:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Bandits 28–35 Philadelphia Stars NBC[W6 1] 0.79 0.5 [40][41]
May 21, 7:30 p.m. Michigan Panthers 17–33 Birmingham Stallions 1.20 0.7 [40][41]
May 22, 12:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Maulers 16–26 New Orleans Breakers FS1 0.28 0.2 [40][41]
May 22, 4:00 p.m. Houston Gamblers 25–26 New Jersey Generals Fox 0.67 0.4 [40][41]
  1. ^ Game concluded on CNBC due to live airing of Saturday Night Live on NBC.

Week 7

Week 7
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
May 28, 12:00 p.m. New Jersey Generals 20–13 Tampa Bay Bandits USA 0.23 0.2 [42][43]
May 28, 9:00 p.m. New Orleans Breakers 31–27 (OT) Michigan Panthers FS1 0.27 0.2 [42][43]
May 29, 2:00 p.m. Birmingham Stallions 26–16 Pittsburgh Maulers Fox 0.83 0.5 [42][43]
May 29, 6:00 p.m. Philadelphia Stars 35–24 Houston Gamblers Peacock N/A [42][43]

Week 8

Week 8
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
June 3, 8:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Maulers 18–29 New Jersey Generals USA 0.21 0.1 [44][45]
June 4, 3:00 p.m. New Orleans Breakers 9–10 Birmingham Stallions Fox 0.63 0.4 [44][45]
June 5, 12:00 p.m. Michigan Panthers 24–46 Philadelphia Stars 0.77 0.5 [44][45]
June 5, 4:00 p.m. Houston Gamblers 3–13 Tampa Bay Bandits Peacock N/A [44][45]

Week 9

Week 9
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
June 11, 1:00 p.m. New Jersey Generals 25–23 Michigan Panthers NBC 0.82 0.5 [46][47]
June 11, 6:00 p.m. Houston Gamblers 17–15 Birmingham Stallions USA 0.21 0.2 [46][47]
June 12, 4:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Bandits 6–17 New Orleans Breakers Fox 0.74 0.5 [46][47]
June 12, 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia Stars 17–16 Pittsburgh Maulers FS1 0.39 0.2 [46][47]

Week 10

Week 10
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
June 18, 12:00 p.m. Philadelphia Stars 23–26 New Jersey Generals USA 0.24 0.2 [48][49]
June 18, 4:00 p.m. Birmingham Stallions 21–18 Tampa Bay Bandits Fox 0.65 0.4 [48][49]
June 19, 12:00 p.m. Michigan Panthers 33–21 Pittsburgh Maulers USA 0.28 0.2 [48][49]
June 19, 8:30 p.m. New Orleans Breakers 3–20 Houston Gamblers FS1 0.18 0.1 [48][49][50]

Playoffs

The playoffs started on June 25 and ended with the championship on July 3. All games were played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Division Finals USFL Championship
      
N2 Philadelphia Stars 19
N1 New Jersey Generals 14
N2 Philadelphia Stars 30
S1 Birmingham Stallions 33
S2 New Orleans Breakers 17
S1 Birmingham Stallions 31
Division Finals
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
June 25, 3:00 p.m. Philadelphia Stars 19–14 New Jersey Generals Fox 0.96 0.6 [51][52]
June 25, 8:00 p.m. New Orleans Breakers 17–31 Birmingham Stallions NBC 1.00 0.7 [51][52]
USFL Championship
Date and time Away team Score Home team Broadcast Refs
Network Viewership
(millions)
Rating
July 3, 7:30 p.m. Birmingham Stallions 33–30 Philadelphia Stars Fox 1.52 0.9 [53][54]

Awards and statistics

All-USFL Team

The following 25 players were selected by the league as "athletes who played consistently well over the course of the season".[55]

Offense

Position Player(s)
Quarterback 10 Kyle Sloter, New Orleans
Running back 27 Darius Victor, New Jersey
3 Reggie Corbin, Michigan
Wide receiver 7 Victor Bolden Jr., Birmingham
5 KaVontae Turpin, New Jersey
Tight end 80 Sal Cannella, New Orleans
Offensive tackle 72 Terry Poole, New Jersey
77 Jarron Jones, Tampa Bay
Guard 78 Cameron Hunt, Birmingham[b]
51 Garrett McGhin, New Jersey
Center 65 Jared Thomas, New Orleans

Defense

Position Player(s)
Defensive end 93 Chris Odom, Houston
56 Davin Bellamy, New Orleans
Defensive tackle 70 Reggie Howard Jr., New Orleans
90 Toby Johnson, New Jersey
Linebacker 47 DeMarquis Gates, Birmingham
15 Donald Payne, Houston
45 Jerod Fernandez, New Orleans
Cornerback 8 Channing Stribling, Philadelphia
4 William Likely, Houston
Safety 25 Shalom Luani, New Jersey
22 Bryce Torneden, Pittsburgh

Special Teams

Position Player(s)
Kicker 10 Brandon Aubrey, Birmingham
Punter 16 Brandon Wright, Tampa Bay
Kickoff returner 13 Maurice Alexander, Philadelphia
Punt returner 5 KaVontae Turpin, New Jersey
Special teamer 7 Victor Bolden Jr., Birmingham

Players of the Week

The following Players of the Week were named the top performers (by the fans voting in a poll) during the 2022 season:

Week Offensive
Player of the Week
Defensive
Player of the Week
Special Teams
Player of the Week
Ref.
1 J'Mar Smith QB
(Birmingham Stallions)
Davin Bellamy DE
(New Orleans Breakers)
Chad Williams WR
(New Orleans Breakers)
[56]
2 Kyle Sloter QB
(New Orleans Breakers)
Vontae Diggs LB
(New Orleans Breakers)
Nick Vogel K
(Houston Gamblers)
[57]
3 Johnnie Dixon WR
(New Orleans Breakers)
DeMarquis Gates LB
(Birmingham Stallions)
Tyler Rausa K
(Tampa Bay Bandits)
[58]
4 Reggie Corbin RB
(Michigan Panthers)
Scooby Wright LB
(Birmingham Stallions)
Taylor Bertolet K
(New Orleans Breakers)
[59]
5 C. J. Marable RB
(Birmingham Stallions)
Demarquis Gates LB
(Birmingham Stallions)
Ramiz Ahmed K
(Pittsburgh Maulers)
[60]
6 Bo Scarbrough RB
(Birmingham Stallions)
JoJo Tillery S
(Birmingham Stallions)
Cole Murphy K
(Michigan Panthers)
[61]
7 Kyle Sloter QB
(New Orleans Breakers)
Donald Payne LB
(Houston Gamblers)
[62]
8 Case Cookus QB
(Philadelphia Stars)
Chris Odom DE
(Houston Gamblers)
Ramiz Ahmed K
(Pittsburgh Maulers)
[63]
9 Joe Walker WR
(Michigan Panthers)
Trae Elston CB
(New Jersey Generals)
Max Duffy P
(Pittsburgh Maulers)
[64]
10 Paxton Lynch QB
(Michigan Panthers)
Donald Payne LB
(Houston Gamblers)
Chris Odom DE
(Houston Gamblers)
[65][66][67]

Regular season

Offensive
Player of the Year
Defensive
Player of the Year
Most Valuable
Player of the Year
Sportsman
Player of the Year
Coach of the Year Ref.
Darius Victor RB
(New Jersey Generals)
Chris Odom DE
(Houston Gamblers)
KaVontae Turpin WR
(New Jersey Generals)
Matt Colburn RB
(Philadelphia Stars)
Mike Riley
(New Jersey Generals)
[68]

Playoffs

North Division
Final Player of the game
South Division
Final Player of the game
USFL Championship Most Valuable Player/Player of the game
Maurice Alexander WR
(Philadelphia Stars)
J'Mar Smith QB
(Birmingham Stallions)
Victor Bolden Jr. WR (Birmingham Stallions)

League finances

For the 2022 regular season, tickets cost $10 per person, with children aged 15 and under free. However, for the 2 division finals games tickets will cost $15 per person with children aged 15 and under $5, for the championship game those prices are increased by $5 (meaning $20 per person and $10 for children 15 and under)[69] Tickets provide access to all games scheduled for the same day.[70] On March 3, 2022, the league announced that 15 states have approved legal, regulated betting on USFL games.[71]

Compensation

USFL players and staff will be able to receive a college degree "tuition-free and debt-free", through a partnership with for-profit universities Strategic Education's Capella University and Strayer University. They will be able to take classes online or in-person.[72]

USFL players receive weekly salaries of $4,500 for active roster players, $1,500 for practice squad players, and $600 during training camp. Players also receive bonuses of $850 per regular-season or postseason win and $10,000 for winning the championship.[73][74] Players must cover their own housing costs. The league offers hotel rooms at a discounted price of $75 per room per day, with an option for two players to share a room.[75]

Media

Telecasts for the 2022 season were produced by Fox Sports and NBC Sports. Fox broadcast 13 regular season games (1 simulcast with NBC), 1 semi-final, and the championship game.[76] NBC broadcast 8 regular season games (1 Simulcast with Fox) and 1 semi-final. Peacock broadcast 4 games exclusively and simulcast all NBC games (including the opening game simulcast with Fox and NBC). Other games air on Cable networks USA Network (8 games) and FS1 (7 games).[77]

The opening game was broadcast on April 16, 2022, at 7:30 PM Eastern time on both Fox and NBC. Fox produced the game and NBC produced all studio coverage. It was the first football game to be simulcast across two major American broadcast networks since the 2007 New England Patriots–New York Giants game.[78]

Fox brought back its lead XFL broadcast team from 2020, Curt Menefee and Joel Klatt, for USFL coverage.[79] Kevin Kugler and Mark Sanchez serve as the second broadcast team. Brock Huard reports from the sidelines during selected games.[80]

The NBC crew features Jac Collinsworth and Paul Burmeister handling play-by-play duties alongside analysts Jason Garrett, Michael Robinson and Cameron Jordan. Zora Stephenson and Corey Robinson are sideline reporters and Sara Perlman hosts halftime and post-game coverage.[81]

Signees to the NFL

The following is players signed with NFL teams following their involvement with the USFL in 2022:

Player Position USFL team NFL team Ref.
Christian Sam LB New Orleans Breakers Dallas Cowboys [82]
DeJuan Neal CB New Jersey Generals Washington Commanders [83]
Channing Stribling Philadelphia Stars [84]
Doug Costin DT Birmingham Stallions Pittsburgh Steelers [85]
Jeremiah Pharms Pittsburgh Maulers New England Patriots [86]
Isaiah Zuber WR Houston Gamblers Las Vegas Raiders [87]
Isiah Brown CB New Orleans Breakers [88]
Sal Cannella TE Green Bay Packers [89]
Carlo Kemp DT Pittsburgh Maulers Los Angeles Chargers [90]
Victor Bolden Jr. WR Birmingham Stallions Arizona Cardinals [91]
Luis Perez QB New Jersey Generals Los Angeles Rams [92]
Kyle Sloter New Orleans Breakers Jacksonville Jaguars [93]
Domenique Davis DT Houston Gamblers Cincinnati Bengals [94]
Tegray Scales LB [95]
Osirus Mitchell WR Birmingham Stallions Green Bay Packers [96]
Rashard Davis Tampa Bay Bandits New York Jets [97]
Tino Ellis CB Michigan Panthers Miami Dolphins [98]
Lance Lenoir WR Philadelphia Eagles [99]
Bailey Gaither Pittsburgh Maulers Baltimore Ravens [100]
Garrett McGhin OG New Jersey Generals New York Giants [101]
Ishmael Hyman WR Michigan Panthers Green Bay Packers [102]
KaVontae Turpin New Jersey Generals Dallas Cowboys [103]
Bug Howard TE Philadelphia Stars Tampa Bay Buccaneers [104]
Darrin Paulo OT Tampa Bay Bandits Detroit Lions [105]
Shakur Brown CB Pittsburgh Maulers Tennessee Titans [106]
Tomasi Laulile DT Houston Gamblers San Francisco 49ers [107]
Alex Akingbulu OT Philadelphia Stars Washington Commanders [108]
Sage Surratt TE Birmingham Stallions Los Angeles Chargers [109]
Derrick Dillon WR Tampa Bay Bandits Cleveland Browns [110]
Maurice Alexander Philadelphia Stars Detroit Lions [111]
Terrell Bonds CB Pittsburgh Maulers Tennessee Titans [112]
De'Vante Bausby New Jersey Generals Washington Commanders [113]
Darrius Shepherd WR Denver Broncos [114]
Tae Hayes CB Birmingham Stallions Carolina Panthers [115]

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