Believe it or not, the USFL is still going - unlike the AAF and the rebooted XFL, which had both folded by now in their inaugural campaign. There are just two weeks to go in the regular season with the promise of playoffs ahead.
The league has been dominated by the 8-0 Birmingham Stallions and 7-1 New Jersey Generals, who appear to be on a collision course to meet in the championship game. The Stallions beat the Generals 28-24 in the opener and both teams have gone unbeaten since then.
With most of week eight in the books, here are how some of the ex-Jets have been contributing:
Most of the main ex-Jet contributors play for the Houston Gamblers. Their wide receiver Isaiah Zuber is tied for the league lead with four touchdown catches and is fifth in the league for yards per reception. He has 18 catches in all, and has also averaged 23.2 yards per kickoff return.
His teammate, running back Mark Thompson, has been one of the league's best running backs. He's fourth in the league with 469 rushing yards and has also rushed for two touchdowns.
On Houston's defense, defensive tackle Domenique Davis has racked up 45 tackles and 1.5 sacks while edge defender Ahmad Gooden has two sacks and three forced fumbles (although he had both sacks and two of the three forced fumbles in the season opener).
Finally, Brandon Barnes was the first tight end selected but hasn't had a major impact. He had this touchdown last week though.
A couple of ex-Jet kickers have had differing fortunes. Taylor Bertolet has done quite well for the New Orleans Brawlers, making 9-of-12 field goals including a clutch kick in a recent overtime win. He has missed two extra points though. The Generals' Nick Rose has made all 10 of his extra points and was successful on a 54-yard field goal, but he's missed seven of his other nine field goal attempts.
Offensive tackle Corbin Kaufusi has been starting for the Tampa Bay Bandits and came up with one of the plays of the season on this tackle-eligible play:
Teams around the NFL, including the Jets, could be looking for players who might deserve another NFL shot. Here are some of the potential candidates:
- Defensive end Chris Odom of the Gamblers has eight sacks, five forced fumbles and two kick blocks;
- Wide receiver Lance Lenoir Jr. of the Michigan Panthers leads the league with 40 catches;
- Generals running back Darius Victor, who once tried out for the Jets, leads the league with 524 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns;
- His teammate, wide receiver KaVontae Turpin, leads the league with 444 receiving yards;
- Breakers cornerback Channing Stribling leads the league with five interceptions;
- Maurice Alexander has been the league's most productive return man, averaging 31.4 yards per kickoff return and 13 yards per punt return;
- Kickers Ramiz Ahmed of the Pittsburgh Maulers and Cole Murphy of the Panthers each made a 60+ yard field goal. Ahmed also leads the league in touchbacks and Murphy leads in field goal accuracy; and
- Bandits' punter Brandon Wright leads the league with a 47.0 yard punt average, including a 76-yarder.