Week 1 of the 2024 IFL season started with a bang, with two competitive games that came down to the wire. After Week 1, the Arizona Rattlers and the Massachusetts Pirates followed different paths to start the season with a victory. The Rattlers visited the Northern Arizona Wranglers and controlled the game’s pace to win their first game of the 2024 season. Massachusetts picked up their first win in Green Bay after trailing in the game until they took the lead with 15.5 seconds left.

In Week 2 of the 2024 IFL season, there will be six games, all between conference rivals, that should allow teams to have an opportunity to make their mark in the early part of the 2024 season. Among the Week 2 matchups, a budding rivalry game between the Tulsa Oilers and the Frisco Fighters has acquired the name “The Red River Rumble.” Also, Week 2 features an early season matchup between the Jacksonville Sharks and the Massachusetts Pirates, which could indicate how victorious the 2023 NAL Champion Sharks will be during their first season in the IFL.

We will examine all six games scheduled for Week 2 in the IFL, analyze the matchup, and predict the winner. In Week 1, our predictions were 2-0, and this week we hope to go 6-0. In addition to the game previews and predictions seen here, check in to the In the Alley channel on YouTube for more IFL insight, analysis, and commentary.

Note: All IFL games are available via live stream on the IFL Network YouTube channel and Caffeine TV.

Game #1

Date and Time: Friday, March 22nd at 8:05 pm EST

Home Team: Quad City Steamwheelers (0-0)

Visiting Team: Sioux Falls Storm (0-0)

Location: Vibrant Arena at the MARK in Moline, Illinois

DraftKings Betting Line: Quad City Steamwheelers -4.5, O/U 91.5 points

The first game of the Week 2 slate features a matchup between two teams that have played in the IFL National Championship game the last two seasons. Quad City lost in the championship game in 2022, and Sioux Falls lost in the championship game in 2023. Both teams are transitioning after significant changes to their teams this off-season.

The Sioux Falls Storm have a new head coach and a new quarterback, but they bring back many of their best role players. The Storm have also added some offensive firepower by signing IFL veteran wide receiver Kentrez Bell. The Storm also returns offensive coordinator Peyton Riggs and should be able to find some continuity on offense.

Many consider the Quad City Steamwheelers the favorite to win the IFL National Championship in 2023. The Steamwheelers found that many teams had adapted to their offense and relied heavily on quarterback EJ Hilliard. Hilliard is gone, and the Steamwheelers appeared to have overhauled their roster, but they do have playmakers Jarrod Harrington and Keyvan Rudd. The Steamwheelers also have a fierce home-field advantage and stability in their coaching staff.

Game Prediction: Quad City Steamwheelers 48, Sioux Falls Storm 43

Game #2

Date and Time: Friday, March 22nd at 8:30 pm EST

Home Team: Frisco Fighters (0-0)

Visiting Team: Tulsa Oilers (0-0)

Location: Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas

DraftKings Betting Line: Frisco Fighters -16.5, O/U 89.5 points

The game between the Frisco Fighters and the Tulsa Oilers has been dubbed the “Red River Rumble.” Tulsa was a first-year team in 2023 and improved over the course of the season. Recently, last-place teams winning national championships have become the norm in the IFL, but Northern Arizona and Bay Area had loaded rosters during their championship seasons. The Oilers should be better than 2023, but Frisco will be a difficult matchup for them to start the season.

Over the last several seasons, the Fighters have been the best “regular season” team in the IFL but have been upset at home in the playoffs. The Fighters do return IFL MVP quarterback TJ Edwards and should start the season hot. Frisco returns many of its players, and having a top-end quarterback is a huge advantage in the IFL.

Game Prediction: Frisco Fighters 56, Tulsa Oilers 40

Game #3

Date and Time: Saturday, March 23rd at 7:05 pm EST

Home Team: Green Bay Blizzard (0-1)

Visiting Team: Iowa Barnstormers (0-0)

Location: Resch Center in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin

DraftKings Betting Line: Green Bay Blizzard -9.5, O/U 91.5 points

The Iowa Barnstormers spent most of the 2023 season in a tailspin due to injuries to most of their playmakers on offense. Quarterback Darius-James Peterson is back for the Barnstormers, but it appears new players on offense will surround him. Defensively, there is more continuity, but it is rare for an IFL team to win with a solid defense but an ineffective offense. It will take time for the Barnstormers to recover from a disastrous 2023 season.

The Green Bay Blizzard came into this game with a Week 1 game. Against the Pirates in Week 1, the Blizzard dominated the game for the first three quarters but then collapsed in the 4th quarter, allowing Massachusetts to steal a win in Green Bay. This week, the Blizzard and quarterback need to bring the same energy they brought in Week 1 but finish drives in the 4th quarter.

Game Prediction: Green Bay Blizzard 44, Iowa Barnstormers 36

Game #4 – Upset Special

Date and Time: Saturday, March 23rd at 7:05 pm EST

Home Team: Massachusetts Pirates (1-0)

Visiting Team: Jacksonville Sharks (0-0)

Location: Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts

DraftKings Betting Line: Massachusetts Pirates -5.5, O/U 98.5 points

The Pirates and Sharks come into the 2024 IFL season with a history of battling one another in the NAL. Since leaving the NAL, the Pirates have become a consistent contender in the IFL, but they stole a win in Green Bay in Week 1. The Sharks came to the IFL after winning the NAL championship in 2023. The Sharks expect to hit the ground running, but the Pirates play their best football at home.

The Pirates need to avoid the struggles they experienced in the first three quarters against the Blizzard to win. The Pirates have a talented defense and an impressive running game with Jimmie Robinson. If the Pirates start slow again, they may find themselves staring at a home loss to open the 2024 season.

Game Prediction: Jacksonville Sharks 55, Massachusetts Pirates 49

Game #5

Date and Time: Sunday, March 24th at 6:05 pm EST

Home Team: Arizona Rattlers (1-0)

Visiting Team: Vegas Knight Hawks (0-0)

Location: Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona

DraftKings Betting Line: Arizona Rattlers -13.5, O/U 96.5 points

The Vegas Knight Hawks come into the 2024 IFL season with a shroud of mystery. What we do know about them is that, like many seasons, they have had significant roster changes. They also have three quarterbacks: Ja’Rome Johnson from Green Bay, Jorge Reyna from Arizona, and Joe Mancuso, who returns to the Knight Hawks.

The Arizona Rattlers started their 2024 season with a 51-40 road win at Northern Arizona. Last week, the Rattlers played quarterbacks Dalton Sneed and Garrett Kettle, who both made a positive impact on the offense. Running back Shannon Brooks also provided balance for the Arizona offense. Defensively, the Rattlers are solid and should provide a challenge for a Knight Hawks team trying to build chemistry.

Game Prediction: Arizona Rattlers 59, Vegas Knight Hawks 38

Game #6

Date and Time: Monday, March 25th at 8:05 pm EST

Home Team: Duke City Gladiators (0-0)

Visiting Team: San Diego Strike Force (0-0)

Location: Rio Rancho Event Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

DraftKings Betting Line: Duke City Gladiators -1.5, O/U 92.5 points

The San Diego Strike Force upgraded its defense several times over the offseason. On offense, it returns prolific IFL quarterback Nate Davis. Due to personnel changes, the Strike Force is expected to improve as it progresses through the season.

The Duke City Gladiators are in a situation similar to the Vegas Knight Hawks. They have made several personnel changes, and most of their team is new to the Gladiators. Duke City does have a solid coaching staff, with head coach Fred Griggs and co-head coach Dominic Bramante. Due to their experience, they should find a way to be competitive, especially at home.

Game Prediction: San Diego Strike Force 45, Duke City Gladiators 42

Follow me on X: @AaronSauter7

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Aaron Sauter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.

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