Making big plays in big moments is the way to make a splash in the USFL.
Let’s take a look.
Offensive Player of the Week: Kyle Sloter, QB, New Orleans Breakers
Through seven weeks, Sloter has built a case as potentially the league’s top quarterback this season. He leads the USFL in passing yards (1,499) and passing yards per game (214.1), has an excellent QBR of 118, and perhaps most importantly has been the offensive catalyst behind a 5-2 Breakers team that is closing in on a postseason berth.
He also seems to have a habit of coming up big in the most crucial moments, most notably his 29-yard game-winning toss to beat Houston earlier this season.
Kyle Sloter finds Jonathan Adams on a 29-yard game-winner
Kyle Sloter found Jonathan Adams for a 29-yard game-winning touchdown as the New Orleans Breakers defeated the Houston Gamblers 23-16
He did it again in Week 7. With the Breakers trailing 27-24 with less than two minutes remaining, Sloter drove his team 48 yards on 11 plays to set up the tying field goal.
Then, in an overtime shootout, he converted two scoring plays to win the game, first hitting Anthony Jones for a score, then scrambling into the end zone himself to ice it.
It doesn’t get more clutch than that.
Defensive Player of the Week: Donald Payne, LB, Houston Gamblers
While the Gamblers have struggled on the way to a 1-6 mark so far this season, Payne has been as steady as they come.
The 27-year-old out of Stetson has been a force at his linebacker position, racking up tackles like Sloter racks up passing yards. Payne doesn’t just lead the USFL in tackles (85) this season, he’s practically lapping the field. In fact, the second-most prolific tackler in the league — New Orleans’ Jerod Fernandez — has just 69.
On top of this, Payne also has two sacks and two interceptions this season, one of which he returned 39 yards for a touchdown last week against the Stars.
Houston’s Donald Payne takes it to the house!
Houston linebacker Donald Payne intercepts Case Cookus and takes it back for the touchdown to give the Gamblers a 7-0 lead over the Philadelphia Stars.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Cole Murphy, K, Michigan Panthers
Murphy earned this honor for the second straight week, as he keeps setting field goal records along the way. In Week 6, he nailed a 56-yarder to earn this award. In Week 7, he drilled one from 60 yards out.
The Panthers are only 1-6, but it’s certainly not Murphy’s fault. Over the past two weeks, he’s 5-for-6 on field goals and 3-for-3 on PATs.
Cole Murphy drills a record 60-yard field goal!
Cole Murphy drills a 60-yard field goal to give Panthers a boost heading into halftime.
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