The Memphis Showboats made an impressive entrance at Protective Stadium on Mother’s Day, prepared to face a New Orleans Breakers team that had remained undefeated thus far in the USFL. Let’s take a look at what happened, as an upset went down which surprised many fans.
The game commenced in favor of the Memphis Showboats, while the New Orleans Breakers struggled to find their footing. The Showboats’ steadfast defense effectively thwarted the Breakers, who seemed to be lacking their usual tenacity.
Notably, the Showboats defensive unit forced the Breakers’ offense to commit three turnovers within the first half, which was an unprecedented event considering that the Breakers had only committed three turnovers all season.
In this game, QB Cole Kelley demonstrated his exceptional abilities, effectively decimating the Breakers’ defense. While Breakers QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson is usually a steadying presence, he failed to overcome the challenges posed by Memphis’ stout defense, resulting in two fumbles and an interception. USFL’s league rushing leader Wes Hills was also held in check, rushing for only a little over 30 yards.
One unexpected outcome for the Breakers was the understated performance of RB Anthony Jones, who filled in for an injured Wes Hills on one series and managed to score on a flat route in the red zone during that drive.
As the game came to a close, Memphis forced a stop on 4th and 5, as Jermaine Kelly made an incredible play on the ball. Then, an offsides penalty negated a stop, which resulted in the Showboats coming away victorious.
It was a tough fight that the Breakers were unable to overcome. Throughout the game, the Breakers played sloppily, while Cole Kelley and the Showboats demonstrated poise, something we didn’t see through the first few weeks.
Moving forward, the Breakers must focus on tightening up their defense, especially in the secondary. Too many plays during the game demonstrated a lackadaisical attitude in coverage or too much cushion on the WR. Although there was one highlight play, which was a tipped pass for an interception by CB Neville Clarke, the rest of the secondary was not up to par.
Moreover, the offensive line did not perform adequately, contributing to MBT running for his life for a majority of the game. Despite these challenges, Coach Flip’s leadership should help the team rebound in their upcoming match against the Stars.