The first two weeks of games to start the 2024 IFL season have been a mix of exciting, puzzling, and frustrating. Eight games were played during the first two weeks, two in Week 1 and six in Week 2. Many of those games have been one-score games, and two ended in overtime. The puzzling part has been defense-heavy games with scores more similar to NFL games rather than fast-paced offensive shootouts that are stereotypical of indoor football. The frustrating part has been technical difficulties with game audio and live stream feeds on the IFL Network.

Despite the technical issues and the slower-than-expected pace of offenses, the teams in the IFL have played competitive and entertaining games. The IFL’s problems are likely due to starting the season in Week 1 rather than having pre-season games for teams, facilities, and media feeds to work out the details of playing and presenting games to IFL fans. During Week 3, the IFL had six opportunities to show that they are a top indoor/arena football league.

While the first two weeks have been chaotic, we have made pretty accurate predictions about which team will come into each game ready to perform at a high enough level to pick up valuable wins early in the season. In Week 2, we went 4-2 with our predictions and 6-2 with our predictions for the season. The two losses came when the Massachusetts Pirates defended their home turf against the new IFL team, the Jacksonville Sharks, and when the Vegas Knight Hawks went on the road to give the Arizona Rattlers their first loss of the 2024 season.

If you are looking for additional commentary and analysis of each IFL game, check out the In The Alley podcast on YouTube.

Note: All IFL games are streamed live for free on the IFL Network and Caffeine.tv.

Game #1

Date and Time: Friday, March 29th at 7:05 pm EST

Home Team: Massachusetts Pirates (2-0)

Visiting Team: Sioux Falls Storm (0-1)

Location: Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts

Draft Kings Betting Line: Massachusetts Pirates -7.5, O/U 77.5 points

The Sioux Falls are on the road for a second consecutive week after losing in overtime at Quad City in Week 2 action. Offensively, the Storm had a slow start on offense but came alive in the second half while being led by quarterback Billy Hall, running back Xavier Jackson, and wide receiver Kentrez Bell. Defensively, the Storm could not consistently get stops, did not record any quarterback sacks, and only intercepted one pass, although the Storm returned it for a defensive touchdown.

The Massachusetts Pirates have already played two games, stealing a win on the road in Green Bay and holding off the Sharks in a low-scoring affair at home. For two weeks in a row, the Pirates have struggled to get their passing game firing on all cylinders, but running back Jimmie Robinson has carried the offense past their challenges. Defensively, the Pirates are talented but have a lot of room for improvement in pressuring quarterbacks and producing turnovers.

In this matchup, the Pirates have home-field advantage and are tough to beat at home. Sioux Falls ended the Pirates season in 2023, defeating the Pirates multiple times to end the season, including in the first round of the playoffs. Those Storm victories came at their home stadium with a different mix of players and coaches. If the Pirates come ready to play sound football, they should win this game, but after a crazy start to the season, anything can happen.

Prediction: Massachusetts Pirates 45, Sioux Falls Storm 38

Game #2

Date and Time: Friday, March 29th at 8:30 pm EST

Home Team: Frisco Fighters (1-0)

Visiting Team: Duke City Gladiators (0-1)

Location: Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas

Draft Kings Betting Line: Frisco Fighters -13.5, O/U 80.5 points

The Duke City Gladiators travel to Frisco for a short week after playing San Diego on Monday night in Week 2. Like many IFL teams, the Gladiators struggled to find a rhythm with their offense and are still looking to build chemistry with quarterback Javin Kilgo and his offensive weapons. Defensively, the Gladiators played a solid game but failed to pressure the Nate Davis of the Strike Force.

After getting down early to the Tulsa Oilers, the Frisco Fighters fought for a home win to open the 2024 season. In the 4th quarter, Fighters quarterback TJ Edwards took over the game, running the ball and forcing overtime. Frisco rode that momentum to an overtime win against the Oilers.

For the Fighters to get back to their dominant regular season form, they need their receivers to step up and get open. The Gladiators need to build chemistry on offense and are looking for leaders on defense. This week, the Fighters should bounce back from a slow start on offense against Tulsa and get back to showing why they are a top team in the IFL Coaches Poll every week.

Prediction: Frisco Fighters 45, Duke City Gladiators 31

Game #3

Date and Time: Saturday, March 30th at 9:05 pm EST

Home Team: Northern Arizona Wranglers (0-1)

Visiting Team: Tucson Sugar Skulls (0-0)

Location: Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona

Draft Kings Betting Line: Northern Arizona Wranglers -2.5, O/U 79.5 points

The Tucson Sugar Skulls are preparing to play their first game of the 2024 season. How quickly can the Sugar Skulls develop chemistry among their rookie quarterbacks and new offensive weapons? Most likely, the Sugar Skulls will struggle to score points on offense, which will make it challenging to pick up a road win to start the season.

The Northern Arizona Wranglers come into Week 3 after losing a home game to the Rattlers in Week 1. During that game, Wranglers wide receiver Arsiah McCorker made exceptional plays on offense and special teams to get the Northern Arizona offense rolling. As quarterback Josh Jones finds his stride in the IFL, a more cohesive offense performance should be expected.

Home-field advantage is a fundamental factor in the IFL, and the Wranglers have already played a game. The Sugar Skulls may eventually be a playoff-quality team in 2024, but they will have to do a lot of work to reach that level of play. If the Wranglers can avoid turning the ball over and protect their quarterback, they should be able to pick up their first home win of the season.

Prediction: Northern Arizona Wranglers 45, Tucson Sugar Skulls 36

Game #4 – Upset Special!

Date and Time: Sunday, March 31st at 6:05 pm EST

Home Team: Bay Area Panthers (0-0)

Away Team: Arizona Rattlers (1-1)

Location: SAP Center in San Jose, California

Draft Kings Betting Line: Bay Area Panthers -1.5, O/U 88.5 points

The Arizona Rattlers travel to the Bay Area Panthers in Week 3 with a strong defense and a questionable quarterback situation. Dalton Sneed was expected to be the Rattlers’ starting quarterback in 2024, but he did not play against the Vegas Knight Hawks. In Sneed’s absence, Garrett Kettle struggled to find his rhythm and found himself on the bench in favor of long-time IFL superstar quarterback Lorenzo Brown Jr.

According to the IFL Coaches Poll, the Panthers are still considered the best team in the IFL after winning the 2023 National Championship. The Wranglers feature IFL veteran quarterback DaQuan Neal on offense and a loaded defense. Can the Panthers successfully start the 2024 season by picking up a key home win against the Rattlers?

The Rattlers have had a week to figure out their quarterback situation. They bring an effective running game and an aggressive defense. The Panthers have yet to play a game, so they will need to establish themselves on both sides of the ball early in this game.

Prediction: Arizona Rattlers 42, Bay Area Panthers 37

Game #5

Date and Time: Sunday, March 31st at 6:05 pm EST

Home Team: Vegas Knight Hawks (1-0)

Visiting Team: Jacksonville Sharks (0-1)

Location: The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada

Draft Kings Betting Line: Vegas Knight Hawks -6.5, O/U 80.5 points

The transition for teams moving from the NAL to the IFL tends to take a few weeks. Jacksonville struggled to produce yards and points in Massachusetts in its first game of the season. Defensively, it played a solid game, including an interception for a touchdown.

Vegas could be the surprise team of the IFL in 2024. Quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson put the Knight Hawks offense on his back in Arizona and found ways to avoid the Rattlers’ pressure package while making plays through the air and with his legs. The Knight Hawks defense will need to come ready to play their best football against a Sharks offense that could find its rhythm and become explosive on any given week.

With an IFL game under their belt, the Sharks should show significant improvement on offense this week. If the Sharks defense can find a way to shut down Ja’Rome Johnson, they will have a chance to pull off an upset. This game is an opportunity for the Knight Hawks to show that their first win was not a fluke and that they are a championship-caliber team.

Prediction: Vegas Knight Hawks 40, Jacksonville Sharks 32

Game #6

Date and Time: Monday, April 1st at 9:05 pm EST

Home Team: San Diego Strike Force (1-0)

Visiting Team: San Antonio Gunslingers (0-0)

Location: Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California

Draft Kings Betting Line: San Diego Strike Force -2.5, O/U 75.5 points

Like the Jacksonville Sharks, the San Antonio Gunslingers are transitioning from the NAL to the IFL. That can be a difficult transition, especially on offense. If Gunslingers quarterback Sam Contreras can get a hot start to the season, they have a chance to be a tough team in the IFL.

The San Diego Strike Force had a successful first game of the 2024 season, picking up a hard-fought win at Duke City. Strike Force quarterback Nate Davis played well against the Gladiators, but San Diego’s lack of running game could limit their ability to finish drives on offense consistently. Defensively, the Strike Force produced turnovers in their first win of the season, giving their offense a chance to pull ahead in the second half against Duke City.

The Strike Force has home field advantage, and they should have more chemistry with their offense and defense than the Gunslingers. It would be reasonable for the Gunslingers to struggle early in the season while they transition to IFL rules. Getting a road win is always a tall task in the IFL, and the Strike Force will need to find balance in their offense to win this game at home.

Prediction: San Diego Strike Force 35, San Antonio Gunslingers 33

Follow me on X: @AaronSauter7

Help Us Improve!

We value your feedback and want to make the UFL News Hub better for you. Please take a moment to complete our survey and share your thoughts with us.

Thank you for your support!

author avatar
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.

Leave a comment

Sign Up Now

Become a member of our online community and get tickets to upcoming matches or sports events faster!
UFL News Hub