United States Football League 2022

USFL Week One - Tampa Bay Bandits v Pittsburgh Maulers

What is the USFL?

The USFL is the newest pro football league to take place in the NFL offseason. It is owned by Fox Sports and exists as yet another attempt to make spring football exist in the United States. 2022 was its inaugural season but the USFL’s origins date back to the mid 1980’s when it was founded as a direct competitor to the NFL. It’s initial attempt was also a spring American Football league but was moved to the fall in 1986 at the behest of New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump. That decision cratered the league financially and caused it to disband. Now it is back with the original USFL franchises and a new battle plan.

What are the USFL teams?

The USFL teams are split into the north division and the south division. The two divisions are as follows.

North Division:

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits
  • New Orleans Breakers

Where will the USFL play in 2022?

Every team plays its games in Birmingham, Alabama to save costs. This is different from the now disbanded XFL which played every game in its home stadiums. The games are played at Protective Stadium and Legion Field, which have hosted various Alabama related American football games.

Are rules different in the USFL?

Like many other Spring Leagues, there are various rule changes to spruce up the football product and differentiate from the NFL. Some notable ones are:

  • The play clock has been shortened to 35 seconds
  • The clock will stop for first downs after the two-minute warning
  • All kick offs will be from the kicking team's 25-yard line, in an effort to increase opportunities for kick returns
  • Onside kicks have been replaced with 4th and 12’s which if converted will give the kicking team possession.
  • Two forward passes are allowed behind the line of scrimmage
  • The USFL’s replay center in New York can overrule any incorrect calls or fouls.

How does the USFL’s extra point system work?

The USFL also has a new point after touchdown system. After a touchdown, teams will have three options to score extra points. They can kick a place kick for one point, attempt a play from the three yard line, or attempt a play from the ten yard line for three points.

What are the USFL overtime rules?

The USFL also has differing overtime rules from its NFL counterparts. In an overtime period, both teams will have three two-point attempts and the team with the most points will be declared the winner. If there is still a tie, more rounds will be added until a winner is declared. If an interception or fumble occurs, the play is dead.

What are the USFL Playoff rules?

The USFL postseason will function the same as regular season games but within a single-elimination tournament format. The top two teams from each division’s standings will compete against each other to make it to the USFL championship game, where they will play for the USFL season title. The USFL playoffs will be held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio and will be aired on both Fox and NBC.

Who are some notable players in the USFL?

There are many notable former college and NFL players playing in the USFL, here are some of the highlights:

  • New Orleans Breakers QB Shea Patterson (Ole Miss/Michigan)
  • Michigan Panthers QB Paxton Lynch (Memphis)
  • Tampa Bay Bandits WR John Franklin III (Florida Atlantic University)
  • Tampa Bay Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu (Ole Miss)
  • New Jersey Generals RB Mike Weber (Ohio State)
  • Birmingham Stallions ILB Scooby Wright (Arizona)
  • Philadelphia Stars OLB Jordan Moore (UT-SA)