[the board]
Week 1
2002

by Gerald Udowiczenko

Well a slight typo last week, it should have been pre-season. But for some reason I thought it was week 1. Must be going slightly mad. Unfortunately due to a bumper postbag, but all of it electronic. I've had to leave out the Pro Bowl. Which may be a good thing, as it might give Paul Meskill a little more time to fill it out. But I think that is very unlikely, as he's not going to have much free time for, ohh about 12 years. Yes, as some of you may know. Paul & his girlfriend were expecting a little bundle of joy sometime around Halloween. And he turned up on the 2nd November.

So I guess the Falcons gameplan won't be changing that much for a while. But then again Paul could always see what his son thinks is best play to call. . .

Thanks as always go to Jon, Graham, & Stuart for their contributions and possibly to Pat (see messages).

BB (W3) @ PS (L1)
Gerald : Pat is going very well with his Buccs in NFLB. But this is another world. I can't really see the Bills going down to the 'Steel Curtain'. Bills by 13.
Jon :
A baptism of fire for new coach Ratcliffe against the new champs. It may be too early for him. BB by 3
Graham : What a start for Pat in Steeltown! BB by 10

NJ (L2) @ CL (L1)
Gerald : The Jets need (as do the rest of us in the East) a good start to the season, to stay in touch with the Bills. I can't see the Browns putting up much of a fight. Jets by 13.
Jon :
Another season with a relatively weak squad for the Jets, but they still perform well regardless. Cleveland should not be a problem. NJ by 10
Graham :
No-one home in Cleveland. Jets way too good. NJ by 10

NE (W1) @ DB (L2)
Gerald : No comment.
Jon : New season, new gameplan for the Pats. Will it help against the strength of the Broncos? Probably not. DB by 7
Graham : Should be a great game. Homefield maybe crucial? DB by 1

MD (L2) @ SS (W1)
Gerald : Tough game for the Fish, and I can't really see them winning on the road. Hawks by 10.
Jon : Coach Guard's Dolphins have struggled for the last couple of seasons and starting at Seattle is no way to get out of a rut. SS by 7
Graham : Seattle should have been a playoff team. That offence still rocks. SS by 7

TT (W2) @ KC (W1)
Gerald : Touch game for Ian, but with a little luck the Chiefs may just win. But I think the Titans are too strong for the Old Master. Titans by 10.
Jon : Can Ian get his Chiefs back up after 2 poor seasons? This may be a good indicator. But TT by 1
Graham : Another mouth-watering prospect. Titans coming off much better season. TN by 3

CI (W2) @ OR (L4)
Gerald : Bengals by 10.
Jon :
This could be just the start that the Bengals want in what is going to be a very tough division. CI by 10.
Graham : Bengals want that divisional title back and have big-play potential. CI by 7

WR (W3) @ DL (L3)
Gerald : The Skins 'D' looks good, the 'O' can work at times (but very patchy). The Lions even at home are going to find it a hard fought battle. But will falter in the 4th. Skins by 9.
Jon : North of the border bragging rights come early this season. WR by 6
Graham : Redskins D looks too good for Lions dodgy offence WR by 6

PE (W2) @ TB (L7)
Gerald : Would be nice to see some fresh blood in Tampa. But I fear the only blood, with be as the Eagles pound the Buccs into the ground. Eagles by 21.
Jon : New season, old gameplan. Hopefully it'll work as well as it has every other time. PE by 10.
Graham :
Buccs? Against Jon? Naaaaaaaaah. PE by 13

DC (L1) @ SR (W1)
Gerald : Even after all those reductions in his squad. The Rams will still be a force in the NFC. The Boys haven't looked all that impressive, but may just surprise us.... Rams by 3.
Jon :
The Cowboys collapsed badly last season and that's possibly due to an absent coach. Good start for the Rams. SR by 14
Graham :
Boys' D still looks ropey. Hopefully . . . SR by 10

AC (L1) @ SF (W1)
Gerald : The Cards need to find an 'O'. Their 'D' was very impressive last season, but had no help from the 'O'. If Dean can get the offence working, he may just surprise some of us. But this week, on the road I can't see the Cards doing it. 49ers by 3.
Jon : The Cards have been perennial underachievers, but had a good draft. Unfortunately I think it'll take another season for the new players to bed down. SF by 7.
Graham : Cards still can't score points so they shouldn't trouble Niners. SF by 10

MV (W3) @ NO (L1)
Gerald : The Saints shined in a couple of games last season. If they can carry on that form, they may well be a force in the NFC. The Vikings also looked to be a force in the tail end of last season. But I think homefield will seal this one. Saints by 6.
Jon : The Saints showed flashes of brilliance last year, whilst the Vikes had a storming finish to the season. This year they could be a real threat. MV by 3.
Graham : Should be explosive. If Vikes secondary holds up to the barrage they should edge it MV by 3

CH (W1) @ AF (L5)
Gerald : After last season experiments, I wonder who will be writing the Gameplan? Farther or Son? Whoever does the Falcons should break that 5 game loosing streak. Falcons by 7.
Jon :
A distracted coach could spell trouble for the Falcons. But then again, they should be able to win this one. AF by 3.
Graham : Bears started Falcs slippery slide last year so Paul should be fired up. AF by 7

by Graham Canwell (Pre-Season)  
AFC
Offence Seattle Honourable mentions to the Titans, but they didn't score enough points and lost, so the Hawks performance against the Niners comes out tops (and as a Hawks fan I'm biased!)
Defence Pittsburgh The AFC's (predictable) success this week mainly came from offence, so (though it was against the Lions) the Steelers are this weeks D winners.
Coach Currie (KC) Maybe this is the year the Chiefs finally return to the form we expect.
NFC
Offence Atlanta Oh dear, the NFC was generally crap. Rams got a lot of yards but made too many cockups and didn't score enough points. Nor did the Bears so let's say . . . Falcons!
Defence Washington Again, not much to shout about here. Although they lost the Skins efforts against that terrific Bills offence were in my opinion the best.
Coach Whitfield (MV) Only NFC winners against top notch opposition.
 
Barry Switzer Award The NFC Even in "friendlies" we get blown out. Dismal.

 

Gerald to Stuart : Glad to see you're still with us. But then again. Knowing that the AFC East is fully coached (and one of us is the Superbowl Champion), its going to make it even harder to get a W/C. As I can't see either the Jets or Bills slipping up. But one can hope and pray. . .

Gerald to Pat : While finishing typing the newsletter up at work. I suddenly thought that maybe you did write in? If you did then I can only apologise, as though I only had e-mails this week. Please don't take this as a snub to real post (compared to electronic), I appreciate everyone contributions however they come. I do however prefer them via the post office, as it make it look like I have friends. Well to the postman anyway.

Graham to Gerald : Sorry, I thought traditionally it was the Superbowl winner who wrote the report, and Richard's covered all the bases just fine. And I never said we were unlucky. I said that if we hadn't thrown that late first half interception we might well have won (which I reckon is true) - but we'd have been lucky to do so because overall the Bills (as I said) were the better team, both on the day and over the season.

Graham to NFC : Well, we have six weeks to try and raise the standards and avoid another butt-kicking.

Graham to Pat : Well you got your wish to meet Richard pretty swiftly. Be more careful what you wish for next year!

Graham to All : Well preseason wasn't very encouraging. Maybe my D isn't better after all. Hopefully (for me) they were just still traumatised after that Superbowl mauling.

Graham to Jon : Liked your apology to Tim. I'd apologise for still having Chris Miller but (in real life at least) who else would want him??

Graham to All : Not sure how much use that last-pick kicker is going to be. Haven't had one for ages (I usually prefer punters). Anyone who's got one care to offer any thoughts? Do they help prevent returns?

Jon to Richard : (In case I forgot last week) Congratulations on your win in the Superbowl. Your patience finally paid off!

Jon to Graham : Another season, another Superbowl appearance?

Jon to Paul M : Congratulations on the birth. Hope things are going well. Fun, isn't it?


End of Season predictions

By Jon Heath

AFC East

  1. Bills. Still strong & now wiser.
  2. Jets. Because the coach always seems to get the best out of his team.
  3. Pats. Because they're possibly the next best team in the division.
  4. Dolphins. Things are just a bit too tough.

AFC Central

  1. Steelers. I've seen coach Ratcliffe in another league. And he's got a good squad.
  2. Bengals. Just.
  3. Titans. The rookie QB makes the difference.
  4. Browns. Barring the appearance of a new coach.

AFC West

  1. Seahawks. Always a contender.
  2. Broncos. They'll push the Seahawks all the way.
  3. Chiefs. I'm bored of predicting a resurgence by Kansas.
  4. Raiders. Because that's what always seems to happen.

NFC East

  1. Redskins. Finally took the division crown from the Eagles last season and have a strong squad to defend that title. Maybe they'll win a playoff game this year as well!
  2. Eagles. I don't think anybody's at home with the Cowboys anymore, so I've still got a chance.
  3. Cowboys. Slightly too strong to come last.
  4. Cardinals. Probably let down by the offence again.

NFC Central

  1. Vikings. Came good last season & have a good squad. A realistic threat to the Rams.
  2. Lions. Bruce tends to underachieve, but at least his team is coached.
  3. Bears. Less irritating than the Buccs.
  4. Buccs. Badly need a coach.

NFC West

  1. Rams. Would you bet against them?
  2. 49ers. A good coach and a solid squad.
  3. Saints. Slowly getting back into shape.
  4. Falcons. Building for next season & a distracted coach.

I was a little bit disappointed that no one entered last week's competition. So I'll hold it over for one more week. Just to remind you, the competition was to guess who our mystery contributor, the "Shannon Sharpe" of Gameplan was.

I'll also try and do my predictions on who will finish where come week 16, to add to Jon's from this week. Anyone else who wants to join in is more than welcome, as it would be nice to see not only who is the best tipster from week to week. But how good you really are by prediction from the start of the season. I also should also be able to include the Pro Bowl.

So until next time, all the best with you're opening games.



The Editor can be contacted at magestones@yahoo.co.uk, or for mails with attachments, magestones@aol.com

The NFLAB website takes no responsibility for any errors in the newsletter, spelling or otherwise. Any problems, feel free to get in touch with the editor, who will be happy to help. Right Gerald ?