Source:USFL Forever– the Stars vs the Showboats, from 1985.
“[Note: This is the COMPLETE game which replaces the short ESPN Classic version]
Walter Lewis ran for one touchdown and threw for two more in leading unbeaten Memphis to its third straight triumph in a 21-19 decision over the defending USFL champion Baltimore Stars.
With Memphis trailing 13-0, in the third quarter, Lewis scored on a one-yard run when he was chased into the corner by a horde of Baltimore defenders but managed to get the ball over the goal line before being tackled.”
From USFL Forever
I just looked it up and the Baltimore Stars were 10-7-1 in 1985 and yet they won the USFL Championship that season. Not exactly a great record for a championship team. That would be like a 9-7 record in the NFL. Teams with records like that generally barely make the playoffs and don’t do much in the playoffs, or just miss the playoffs. But generally don’t go all the way. But if you listen to the commentary of this game, they are talking about after the first two games of the season, the Stars were still winless. And turning the ball over a lot and not scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
The Memphis Showboats were 11-7 in 1985 and also made the playoffs, but didn’t go very far. Solid record with a solid team, but not exactly championship material as their record would indicate. A defensive oriented running team, that played fairly conservatively on offense.
The Stars were fairly similar in style, but with a better quarterback in Chuck Fusina, a better passing game and a great running back in Kelvin Bryant. Who would go on to the NFL with the Redskins. And be a major factor in the 1987 Redskins Super Bowl Championship team. So this was a very good matchup with two very tough teams with very good defenses.