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).
@ 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
@ 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
@ 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
Graham : Should be a great game. Homefield
maybe crucial? DB by 1
@ 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
@ 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
@ 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
@ 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
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
@ 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
@ 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
@ 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
@ 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
@ 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)
||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!)
||The AFC's (predictable) success this week mainly came from offence,
so (though it was against the Lions) the Steelers are this weeks D
||Maybe this is the year the Chiefs finally return to the form we
||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!
||Again, not much to shout about here. Although they lost the Skins
efforts against that terrific Bills offence were in my opinion the
||Only NFC winners against top notch opposition.
|Barry Switzer Award
||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
Jon to Richard : (In case I forgot last week)
Congratulations on your win in the Superbowl. Your patience finally paid
Jon to Graham : Another season, another Superbowl
Jon to Paul M : Congratulations on the birth.
Hope things are going well. Fun, isn't it?
End of Season predictions
By Jon Heath
- Bills. Still strong & now wiser.
- Jets. Because the coach always seems to get the best out of
- Pats. Because they're possibly the next best team in the division.
- Dolphins. Things are just a bit too tough.
- Steelers. I've seen coach Ratcliffe in another league. And
he's got a good squad.
- Bengals. Just.
- Titans. The rookie QB makes the difference.
- Browns. Barring the appearance of a new coach.
- Seahawks. Always a contender.
- Broncos. They'll push the Seahawks all the way.
- Chiefs. I'm bored of predicting a resurgence by Kansas.
- Raiders. Because that's what always seems to happen.
- 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!
- Eagles. I don't think anybody's at home with the Cowboys anymore,
so I've still got a chance.
- Cowboys. Slightly too strong to come last.
- Cardinals. Probably let down by the offence again.
- Vikings. Came good last season & have a good squad. A realistic
threat to the Rams.
- Lions. Bruce tends to underachieve, but at least his team
- Bears. Less irritating than the Buccs.
- Buccs. Badly need a coach.
- Rams. Would you bet against them?
- 49ers. A good coach and a solid squad.
- Saints. Slowly getting back into shape.
- 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
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
So until next time, all the best with you're opening games.