The Playoffs are In the Stars for Philadelphia

The playoffs are in the Stars for Philadelphia. With their 3rd win in a row, the surging Philadelphia Stars (5-3) locked up the final playoff spot in the Northern Division punching their ticket to the 2022 USFL Playoffs in Canton Oh. The USFL has been in operation for four seasons (counting the 1983, 84, and 85 seasons).  With their win today the Stars are the only team in USFL history to qualify for the playoffs in every season the league has operated.

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To the Action

Sunday against the Panthers saw the Stars dominate offensively in the first half. But to the amazement of the team, they were only able to take a 21-18 halftime lead.  The Panthers erased a 14-point deficit in the 2nd quarter to give them hope to head into the 2nd half. 

The playoff-bound Stars came out of halftime and had an explosive second half en route to a 46-24 victory over the Panthers. Channing Stribling (interception) and Gabriel Sewell (forced fumble) came up with big turnovers. Philadelphia quickly turned into points to put the once-close game out of reach. With the loss, their 5th in a row the Michigan Panthers (1-7) were knocked out of the playoff race this season. 

QB Breakdown

Quarterback Case Cookus continues to dominate since he was inserted as the Stars QB for injured starter Bryan Scott who went down with knee and ankle injuries 4 weeks ago. He dominated the Panthers finishing 20-for-26 with 247 passing yards, 118 rushing yards, and five total touchdowns.

Panthers QB Paxton Lynch, a former NFL first-round draft pick, finished 27-for-40 for 251 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He added seven rushes for 20 yards, a touchdown, and a fumble lost. 

Stars Dominate

A second-half fumble inside the 3-yard line was symbolic of Michigan’s day: Close but no cigar. After Philly regained the momentum, Lynch led a long drive and attempted to rush for his second touchdown. If successful, the Panthers would have trimmed the game to a two-score gap. All this with nearly the full fourth quarter to play.

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But after the no-huddle snap was delivered, Sewell brother of the Lions’ 2021 top pick Penei Sewell leaped across the line of scrimmage and punched the ball from Lynch’s arms, into the end zone where it was recovered by Philadelphia. 

Every time Michigan threatened the Stars countered and did what was necessary to secure the victory.  With the win, the Stars will be one of four USFL teams to make the trip to Canton OH. The USFL playoffs will begin on June 25. The playoffs are in the Stars for Philadelphia.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.