UFL MVP power rankings: Stallions' Adrian Martinez stays on top after Week 7


by RJ Young | FOXSports.com

Week 7 of the UFL season featured another game-winning field goal and a couple of dominating performances.

The Birmingham Stallions remained undefeated on the year with their 30-26 victory over the St. Louis Battlehawks (5-2) at home. On the other side, the Arlington Renegades secured their first win of the season with a statement 47-23 home win against the Memphis Showboats (1-6).

Elsewhere, the Michigan Panthers (5-2) dominated the DC Defenders (3-4) on the road, 22-9, and the San Antonio Brahmas (5-2) narrowly escaped the Houston Roughnecks (1-6) in the game's final seconds, 15-12.

That said, here's a look at which players stood out in Week 7 for the MVP race.

1. Adrian Martinez, QB, Birmingham Stallions

Week 7 result: Defeated the Battlehawks, 30-26

Week 7 stats: 21 of 33 (63.6%) for 230 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, 60 rushing yards on seven carries

Martinez might have locked up this year's MVP honors after an outstanding performance in Week 7 against the best team in the XFL Conference, St. Louis, in Birmingham’s only regular-season meeting against the Battlehawks.

Martinez accounted for 290 total yards (230 passing, 60 rushing) and three passing touchdowns in the 30-26 win. The Stallions have scored at least 30 points in every game that Martinez has started this season.

2. AJ McCarron, QB, St. Louis Battlehawks

Week 7 result: Lost to the Stallions, 30-26

Week 7 stats: 19 of 32 (59.4%) for 161 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 24 rushing yards on two carries

McCarron is the most important player in the league for his team, and he has made the Battlehawks the No. 1 team in the XFL standings through seven weeks.

He has passed for 1,467 yards with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions. McCarron has also passed for at least 200 yards and two scores in five games this season, and Weeks 6 and 7 are the only times he has thrown back-to-back picks.

3. Jake Bates, K, Michigan Panthers

Week 7 result: Defeated the Defenders, 22-9

Week 7 stats: 3 of 3 (100%) with a long of 51

Bates made all three of his field goal attempts, including a long of 51 yards in the Panthers’ 22-9 win in Week 7. His 64-yarder was the difference in the Panthers’ signature win against the Battlehawks at Ford Field earlier this season.

In a league where the best kicker in the USFL last year became a first-team All-Pro selection as a rookie, no one has a better chance to make an NFL roster than the 24-year-old budding star.

What's more, Bates has been the best of a loaded group of kickers this season. Six of 10 UFL kickers have makes of 52 yards or more, two have had makes of 61 yards or more and no kicker has missed more than twice this season.

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast "The Number One College Football Show." Follow him at @RJ_Young and subscribe to "The RJ Young Show" on YouTube.


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