The USFL’s Michigan Panthers will play their home games at Ford Field in Detroit this year, alongside the Philadelphia Stars. Both teams played at a single venue in Alabama during the league’s inaugural season, but are now expanding to their respective local markets. The Panthers, led by former NFL coach Jeff Fisher, will begin the 2023 season on April 30th. The schedule for the season has yet to be announced.

The history between Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars

The Panthers were part of the inaugural season in the USFL in 1983. Led by head coach Jim Stanley, the team finished the regular season with a record of 12-6, winning the Central Division. The Panthers offense was led by quarterback Bobby Hebert, who threw for 3,568 yards and 27 touchdowns.  The backfield would feature Ken Lacy, who would finish third in the league in rushing with 1,180 yards. Lacy was also the first player to go the NFL, as he signed with the Chiefs in 1984.

As far as receivers go, Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverine fans may remember Anthony Carter. The Former University of Michigan All-American Wide Receiver lead the team with 60 catches and just over 1,100 yards receiving.  In the playoffs, the Panthers defeated the Oakland Invaders to advance to the USFL Championship game against the Stars, led by Jim Mora. Yes, that Jim Mora.


The Panthers beat the Stars 24-22 on July 17, 1983, at Mile High Stadium in Denver.  Hebert would be the game MVP, going 20 of 39 for 314 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Carter caught 9 passes for 179 yards, including the game winning touchdown. As with Lions fans then and now, Panther fans traveled to Denver to watch the first football championship since 1957.

Panthers travel Panthers travel 18 Jul 1983, Mon Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan)

Photo credit: Eric Seals / USA TODAY NETWORK

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By Published On: January 26th, 2023Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL

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