2024 Week 1 Predictions

by Jeff Gunn

Warhawks at savage

Game Prediction: Warhawks 20 – Savage 12

The Warhawks have more turnovers than any team in the league. No, not their TO Margin last season, I’m talking about their roster. And for good reason. They were about as exciting as watching paint dry last year. I’m really looking forward to watching Josh Lopez spin it in Week 1. He’s an athlete. And maybe I have him a lil’ overrated, but with that line, or lack there of, there might not be many opportunities to watch him this year. Adding 3 ex-Guardian OL ain’t gon’ do it patna’. They really need to bribe Sigi back into business to be what DeSean Jackson was to Mike Vick in 2010. I dunno how, but I can speak primally to how soft Rob Castleman’s lips are, just sayin’. Speaking of, the defense is a pretty nice bright spot. They lost 2 All-Stars on D, and still got better on that side this offseason. Mr. Garrison can actually ball. Jowsh Stewart will steal your girl, and Seth Stahl will post about it fishing for likes, and you know Trevor Clausen will give it to him, while Cody Tubbs is in the back crunchin’ some Pork Rhinds with his favorite 2nd cousin/girlfriend. God, why can I not stop? Bro… just be nice. You know a guy is losing his mind when he starts talking to himself on a post. How about them new Warhawks jerseys?!?!? Ah, naw, fuck that ain’t it either... Jordan Parham! Nice guy, good player, I like him.


1. Blitz. Early and often. Which I already know is Castlemans Cook Book. 

2. Force them run the rock. If you get up early, they’ll panic and abandon the run game. If that happens, game over. 

3. Avoid penalties. I know, cliché’. But if it wasn’t true, it wouldn’t need to be said. Especially for your group.

Ok ok, Team Savage. New Leaf. Your new unis actually make the Warhawks look alright. Baby blue? Really? Isn’t your primary color red? How you not even gonna have a red jersey? Postin’ polls about “Which one you like best?” Make a vote option for 2023’s. At least they didn't make my sphicter curdle. Soooo what do I say? Tony Parsons, Mason Wells, and Kevin Archangel would literally rather not play at all. Jared Hicks and Blake Wingert literally left the State to play elsewhere. Seth Stahl left for a winless team. Ok, that's it. I’m never chuggin’ Buckd Up while writing these things ever again. Paul, I apologize sincerely. I don’t want you message me “Fuck You” again like you did last year. Haha. The Savage have some athletes in RJ Williams, Damian Reynolds, and Taco. The problem is you don’t have anyone to block for them. Why exactly is Kevin Archangel not playing? Let’s get back out there brotha, your “pride” needs ya. I really hope Allen Gallegos starts under center in the interim while Koby Spencer is injured. Allen spent most the preseason with us, and is such a great kid. The kind of coachable, eager to learn, perfect attitude guy you want leading your team. He’s a lil’ raw, never having played tackle before. But he really isn’t bad. Good luck brotha.


1. Keep Lopez in the pocket. I know he’s an athlete, his gift is his legs, so make him prove he can throw. 

2. If Sigi shows up (he’s still on the roster) double him. Nobody else will hurt you. 

3. Run away from Roach. He’s #34. Find him, audible to the opposite side.

Best Match Up – Savage DB’s vs Warhawk Pass Game.

Biggest Mismatch – Warhawk Front 7 vs Savage Run Game

Bold Prediction – Last years opening game of the season pitted the Guardians vs the Hawks. There was something like 15 total turnovers in that game, and no, I’m not exaggerating. Weather looks a lil’ sus out in Parma Saturday. I don’t think there will be 15 again, but expect 5+.

Aztecs at matadors - Game of the week!

Game Prediction – Matadors 36 – Aztecs 14

This has been the best Rivalry in the ICFL the last 2 years. The infamous missed/made FG, etc. Some really great battles. The Aztecs are my biggest bummer this year. They’ve been so good, right on the cusp of greatness. And I think they’re the only Big 3 that didn’t get substantially better this offseason, creating a bit of a parity gap. Donny is a nice pick up, but he doesn’t quite cover the losses. Frank, you have ‘till Wednesday at Midnight to get yo' shit together. If the ink ain’t dry come 12:01AM Thursday morning, you ain’t playin’. This is a game you’re going to want to grind. I know Colt-Hull on a deep out/comeback on 3rd n 10 is ole’ reliable. But the Dors will plan for that. And if you put the ball in their court, they can score quickly. So let Barber and D7 eat chains. Personally, I’m a fan of toss toward Ben, and counter toward Cole. Both your backs are built for dive, but Joe vs Sasa isn’t a battle you want to bet on. On defense, you gotta take away Ho. The Dors can do it all, but they WANT to throw. They’ll get bored letting Tokioka churn butter. I promise you those WR’s will be in QB & Coaches ear, I know first hand. They will take chances over the top with Gabe n’ Tay, and Oz in space. Just like we did. Them taking chances, and your INT League Leader taking them away is how you stay in this game.


1. Cannot get beat over the Top. Driscoll, you ain’t what you once was, but you’re as good once as you ever was. 

2. Hoffman, make Jared think about you. Your helmet in his chest makes him think more about you than where the DB’s are. = mistakes. 

3. Run the GD Ball! Tribe beat a better BT team in the 2017 playoffs by feeding the Don 30+ scoops of in yo' face, and he’s in better shape now.

The Matadors had the #1 Scoring defense in the league last year and got Bigger and Stronger, and possibly more Athletic. Lab & Patty H are running the D now, and if I remember right, they’re both guys that like to overthink and get cute. They’ll disguise coverages to force you into mistakes, but sometimes the complication actually forces defenders to be confused. It won’t matter much, because even though I expect them to give up a Coverage error or 2, the Samoans up front with Garcia will stuff everything, Cole n’ Sower Power will take away pass lanes, and Lab will let punts bounce out of play. James, I’m saying you give Lab an ultimatum. He is an absolute weapon in PR. So either he catches them, or you find someone (*cough Osmer) who will. On offense, it’s Dors per usual. Blaze, Blaze, Garner, Blaze, Blaze, Garner. They load the box, you got Gabe on a 9 (cuz that’s the route he won’t forget), Pena in the seam cuz that’s what Pena do, and Oz in space. Taylor has a rep for the deep ball, but I actually think he's better after the catch on a slant or tunnel, or however you can get it in his hands.


1. I think I heard Garcia was going LG. Between him and Stiegs, I’d pack my lunch and go Power in that 3 hole all damn day. 

2. Man Press Hull with a S over the top. Tell the CB to jump everything that even looks like it might be an Out/Comeback and he will get 2 picks. Then even if he gets beat over the top, who cares, that’s what the safety’s for. 

3. Don’t get lazy on HB Screen. Colt will get tired of the Gold Flake all over his facemask and make you pay with Screens.

Best Match Up – Aztec RB’s vs Matador Run D.

Biggest Mismatch – Matador Run Game vs Aztec Run D

Bold Prediction – Not as close as some think it’ll be. I haven’t put my finger on it quite yet, but there’s something wrong in Aztec camp. Too many key guys shopping or not returning. There’s smoke, so there’s defly fire.

Black Tide at Guardians

Game Prediction – Black Tide 69 – Guardians 0

How come BT gets to open with a cupcake and nobody else does? They must run the league. I’ll bet the whole script is written. They prob even pay the refs. They cheat more than… No, don’t go back to that. You’ve been so good. Truth is, we actually had someone else we REALLY wanted Week 1. But that didn’t seem very fair to them. So we force the new teams to play each other, and let the Plinko chips fall where they fall. And I don't love our gauntlet headed into the playoffs.

BT is back at full strength, and then some, and lemme tell ya, BT is bored. They are so ready to see another color across from them since every one of you cowards refused to give us any preseason work. Yes, I knew every little scrimmage you lil’ pansies did, I know what the score was, I know what color your underwear was. Mostly brown when you chickens saw me ask for joint practices. B-B-But BT is sooo mean! Boo hoo, buncha bullies! Yeah? I heard about the Dors/Bandit 4 round boxing match. I heard about the Warhawk/Invader brawl. You ever hear about fighting at any of our shit? No. Never. Because we only fight each other. Ain’t that right captains?!?!? Ziiiiing! Jk, but you should know BT only has 1 goal this week. Break that stupid GD Guardian curse. Guardians have scored on us every matchup for like 5 in a row. If we don’t shut them out Coach Ackerman will bow to Wayne at the post game handshake. If they score on defense, I’ll tell Kia my deepest darkest secret. And if they score on ST, Coach Harris will get Guardian wings tattooed on his back.


1. Do not let Guardians score. 

2. Do not let Guardians score. 


I feel for the Guardians man. Like every year, they get gutted. And every year, they rebuild. I can’t imagine how monotonous that must feel. I admire it, but then again if you just gave people some sort of reason to stay, they might. Every single team is at 35+ players right now. Guardians are at 25. Don’t tell me the roster regulations don’t work, cuz if they weren’t there, we’d have 6 teams right now and the Dors would be 2 of them. Ok, lets gameplan for BT. Uhhh, I wish I didn’t have to write our own. Can’t someone else do these? I’d say just focus on you. This game isn’t winnable, it won’t be remotely close. So try and focus on getting better. Because if something works against us, it’ll only get easier going forward. Keep your eyes off the scoreboard and focus on the next play. Remember, you’re out there to have fun balling. So have fun, and don’t worry about what BT is doing. Because mother mercy isn’t going to come save ya.


1. Double team Carlen. I’m not exaggerating when I say the league’s already D MVP might now be this years most improved player. 

2. Just kick the ball out of bounds. For the love of God please, BT will score 3 times on ST if you let them. 

3. Stay in coverage. I’ll let you in on a little secret. BT QB’s are waaay too quick to run. They think they’re RB’s. Like I would rather have the ball in their hands than Marco’s. Cuz they’re idiots. Haha. Jk. But I’m going to tell them they aren’t allowed to run very much this week, no matter how open it looks. They will be required to sit and throw. So stay in coverage and make these turds read coverages and find windows.

Best Match Up – Coach Gunn vs Coach Wayne. In a Keg Stand, Shotgun, Flip Cup marathon to see who passes out first. My money is on Wayne. The other dude’s like 4’1”

Biggest Mismatch – BT vs the Guardians…

Bold Prediction – After BT has scored once or twice on ST. I’ll bet returners catch a case of the snipers and start accidentally tripping over blades of grass so the offense can get work.

Sabers at alphas

Game Prediction – Sabers 34 – Alphas 22

2 new teams. Neither with any film. Home venue will only allow 3 games per day, DBax are off, so Sabers walk. And this won’t be just any walk in the park mind you. Because again, I hear everything. I heard from a team that did some preseason stuff with both teams. I heard from a guy that has practiced with both teams this offseason. Both of them told me they’re going Alphas. Which I’m honestly having a hard time wrapping my head around. But damn, that would be the Karmal sauce on the serves ya right puddin’.

Sabers tout their OL. I think it’s their offenses weakness. They’re big, but I hear they’re unathletic. They are boys that will for the first time, play against men. Hayden has been untouchable his entire career. And when he’s not, he can get a lil’ sour at the hog mollies at times. Then you add in his dad being their coach, and that’s a whole new sort of Deion Sanders belittling his own guys. So how long of KJ getting 2-3 yards per carry till they finally get nervous enough to put Bunn back there? On defense the Sabers have dudes…. In the back 7. Again, nobody upfront is very freighting. Especially with Santa headed back to the North Pole. (You didn’t get it, I know. Sabers did). The Sabers DB’s are pretty fire. Which would matter a lot more if the Alphas weren’t going to run the ball 40 times this weekend. So that leaves us with highly touted prospect Hunter Stephenson. He looks the part, and he better be the part. Or you’ll find yourself in a boat race your captain doesn’t wanna be in.


1. Keep Hayden upright. He is the Sabers. You better protect him better than the camper at Lazer tag. 

2. Don’t fight. Not with eachother. Not with the other team. And please not with the refs. It’s gonna get chippy. Please just represent well out there in the East. 

3. Spy Logan Bowers. Have someone follow him everywhere he goes. Because when y’all stuff the dive, they’ll get creative finding him the rock.

Alphas, I hear good things about you. If I’m being real honest, when I see a flag team join a tackle league, the first concern is physicality. But I hear you boys got a lil’ Thump in the Trunk. I hear that OL is pretty stout, and as predicted that boy Standley is pretty nice with both his arm and his feet. If I’m you, I put that gargantuan FB Min-Ho in front of BowWow and see if them Sabers are as sharp in the tooth as they act. And maybe they are. But I can tell you for certain their DB’s are hawks. So when you do throw, do it off play action, and slide the pocket. Let ole’ sweet feet use what his mamma gave him. On defense you gotta hit Hayden. Not to hurt him, let me make that shit clear right now. But he is nervous. He’s favoring that knee in the big ass brace. So don’t be cheap and hit him there, seriously that’s trash, but do pop him in the chest every shot you get. Do make him roll, and run. He doesn’t want to right now, I promise you. He will get mad. I’ve never seen Hayden slide in my life, and he doesn’t make mistakes, he’s too good, but he will if you make him think about you. If he starts to distrust his protection. And the Sabers just barely got into pads last week. They aren’t physically ready for you, so you better bring the wood.


1. Hit the QB every play you can (without being dirty obviously). 

2. Put your best cover guy on Brig Johnson. He’s the big WR in #9. He runs 9’s n’ outs. I haven’t seen him run a lot across the middle. Not that he can’t, Jared just couldn’t throw that. 

3. Kick the ball out of bounds. The last thing you need is Morris Bunn with the ball in his hands. Force them to make the call to pull KJ to do that. It creates controversy on their side. And you playin’ chess. The mental game is absolutely part of it.

Best Match Up – Both Trenches. This is where the game will be won/lost for either side.

Biggest Mismatch – Sabers DB’s over Alpha WR’s. Avoid it.

Bold Prediction – Alphas out to an early lead creates animosity, but Hayden is a hero and saves the day. Both teams will learn more from this game, both of your first, than any other all season. Honestly, it’s not GotW, but it is the one I’m most looking forward to.