Philadelphia Stars Season in Review: The Attempted Comeback

Philadelphia Stars Season in Review: The Attempted Comeback

The Philadelphia Stars had a rough start to the 2023 USFL season. With a 1-3 start, only beating the Memphis Showboats in a close 27-23 game, the Stars then rallied a three game win streak. This was short-lived however, only to lose their last three games, finishing the season 4-6.

Quarterback

Case Cookus jumped right back into the saddle after his heart wrenching injury in the 2022 USFL championship game as the starting quarterback for the Stars. He threw for a total of 2,294 yds, second only to Matthew Bethal-Thompson with the New Orleans Breakers. Cookus was also the only quarterback in the league to have more rushing yards, hitting a total of 278 yds, than his top running back (Matt Coleburn II).

Although the Stars had some issues throughout the season with getting into the end zone, Cookus managed to average 1.5 touchdowns per game this season. Even with 9 interceptions on the year, Cookus kept the Stars at 4th in the league with an overall turnover rating of -1. All in all, Case Cookus had a solid return to the USFL after his potentially career ending injury and could lead the team to being a championship contender for the 2024 season.

Offense

The Philadelphia Stars offense had an inconsistent showing this season. One of the only teams in the league to have a game without a single touchdown, the Stars were still second in the league with 15 passing touchdowns. RB Matt Colburn II lead the team with 4 rushing touchdowns while WR Corey Coleman had 4 passing touchdowns. RB Dexter Williams and WRs Dionadre Overton and Terry Wright each had 2 receiving touchdowns. The offensive line started the year off rough, allowing 21.5 sacks in the first five games. The Stars were able to improve in the back half of the season, though, only allowing 6 sacks in the last five games.

Defense

The Stars defense struggled along side the offense. The defense only managed to hold the opposing team to an average of 25.8 points per game. DE, Adam Rodriguez, led the team with 6 sacks on the year. The secondary for the Stars had a bit more success. Each cornerback and safety had at least one interception, with CB Amani Dennis leading with 3. LB Joey Alfieri had a total of 63 tackles, 34 of which were solo while S Cody Brown lead the Stars with 40 solo tackles and 61 total tackles for the season

Special teams

The Stars special teams really shined bright this season. Luis Aguilar had a stellar year, scoring at total of 94 points. In one of what was arguably the most standout games of the Stars season, in Week 5 Aguilar kicked 8/8 field goals, the only points scored by the Stars in the game, to beat the NJ Generals. Aguilar also had a 32.6 yard punt average. WR Terry Wright returned a total of 754 yds, averaging 31.4 yds per carry with Corey Coleman totaling 83 yds in point returns.

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