The second week of the USFL season kicked off on Saturday, with a matchup between the New Orleans Breakers and Houston Gamblers that was an absolute blast. New Orleans is getting into a rhythm, so let’s take a look at how they fared this weekend.
The second half is where McLeod Bethel-Thompson and the New Orleans Breakers offense shined. It truly was a battle of the offense today, an old fashioned shootout. MBT would start dishing it out to TE Sage Surratt and company, which would result in a score.
The New Orleans Breakers effectively ran the ball, as fans would see more carries for RB Wes Hills. Hills would absolutely thrash the Gamblers defense today for over 18 carries for over 100 yards rushing and three total scores. Wes Hills would score the game winning TD with around 40 seconds left in the 4th.
What a day it was for Wes Hills in his #USFL debut:
The @USFLBreakers pick up a big-time 38-31 win over the @USFLGamblers, largely due to Hill's outstanding efforts. What a game. pic.twitter.com/X8FnvhYOhi
— James Larsen (@JamesLarsenPFN) April 22, 2023
This New Orleans Breakers defense would come up big in the second half, with three interceptions. One of which would be the game sealing INT with around 20 seconds left, as Vontae Diggs sealed the deal. The Breakers would win the game 38-31 starting the season off 2-0.
What has stood out in both games for the Breakers is the stellar play and calmness from QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson. When you watch the game, or just film in general, you can see he doesn’t get rattled. This is, clearly, traits you want to see from a quarterback. That comes from years of experience in the NFL & CFL, and it shows up on game day. It is like night and day from this year and last year in terms of QB play.
Two players that stood out the most in this game were players that came into this season under the radar. It was RB Wes Hills and TE Sage Surratt. Let’s start with Wes Hills. Hills didn’t get a single carry in week one. Against the Gamblers he got the bulk of them and it was marvelous to see him carry the rock. Wes Hills just battered his way through the Gamblers defense, whether it was on power ISO plays up the A-gaps – or outside stretch plays – he was wreaking havoc across the board.
TE Sage Surratt may be the best all around TE in the league. Every time Bethel-Thompson looked his way, Sage caught the ball. Surratt was outstanding throughout the game. Hauling 11 catches on 11 targets is quite impressive. He will be a major factor for the Breakers offense going forward.
Though the defense for the Breakers may have not been the highlight of the game, they did come away with three interceptions; one of which was the final nail in the coffin. Going forward, they have to get better in coverage just a tad. All in all, a solid game from the defense.
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson | 23-34 / 67.6% / 251yds / 2 TDs
RB Wes Hills | 18 Carries / 110yds / 3 TDs / 3 Catches, 17yds
TE Sage Surratt | 11 Catches / 11 targets / 121yds / 1 TD
WR Johnnie Dixon | 4 Catches / 52yds / 1 TD
New Orleans Breakers Defense | 54 tackles / 2 sacks / 3 INT
John DeFilippo’s Breakers will have a true test next week, facing off against the Birmingham Stallions.
What did you think of the New Orleans Breakers performance on Saturday? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!