[the board]
Week 4

by Gerald Udowiczenko

What a fiasco! What I here you ask? The England football team, I say. Kevin Keegan lasted just about 2 years. Why? Why can't we keep a manager longer than 2 years? Other countries seem to be able to. Craig Brown (the Scottish manager, just in case you didn't know) is in his 7th year, as is Republic of Irelands manager or is it coach? Out of interest does anyone know the difference between a manager and a coach? While England don't seem to have the same coach from competition to competition and now we've got that pilock Wilkinson saying that we shouldn't even bother with qualifying for the World Cup. Well I am looking for a job, so what the hell I've give Lancaster Gate a ring.

What about the Patriots? Go Pats Go. Who are on a two game winning streak after beating the Broncos & Colts. So who knows we may just, if we carrying on playing well and getting lucky breaks, get to the post season. Well that was my thinking until last night's game. Oh well we still could go 11-5 and win the division?

Thanks to Graham, Dave Jones, Jon & Julian for their contributions. Which helped make this newsletter what it is..... Four pages long.

KC (1-2 L2) @ MD (1-2 L1)
Gerald : Well after a good start the Chiefs have been pretty poor. But I wouldn't wright them off yet, even on the road to the Fish who themselves are not looking great. Can't see it being a high scoring game. Chiefs by 10
Graham : Looks like another false dawn for KC, so Fish should move back to .500. MD 10
Dave : Dolphins by 4.
Jon : Kansas appears to have flattered to deceive early on and Miami, despite their 1-2 record, should be too strong. MD by 6.

OR (0-3 L3) @ BB (3-0 W3)
Gerald : Both ends of the spectrum here, with current and past form. The Raiders could be a force, but like the England team will need a new outlook if they're to achieve anything. Even if they do that, I can't see them being the current Champs. Bills by 21
Graham : The champs shouldn't break too much sweat here. BB 17
Dave : Bills by 14.
Jon : 0-3 away to the 3-0 Superbowl Champs? A stroll in the park. BB by 17.

TT (2-1 W1) @ NJ (2-1 W1)
Gerald : An interesting match-up here. Both teams are trying to keep up with a (currently) unbeaten rival, who looks to be THE team in their respective division. So a win this week is all important. Tough one to call, but I think the Titans will just do it, but only just. Titans by 1
Graham : Big test for Titans' D. Could be a corker. TN 1
Dave : Jets by 3.
Jon : The Titans, as per last season, have started well. Though the Jets also have the same record, they don't look as strong. TT by 3.

CL (0-3 L3) @ NE (2-1 W1)
Gerald : No comment.
Graham : It doesn't get any easier for the Browns. NE 10
Dave : Patriots by 3.
Jon : This could be close, as Cleveland are better than their record. However the Pats are at home and have a strong squad after their excellent draft. NE by 3.

DB (2-1 W2) @ CI (1-2 L1)
Gerald : The Bungals D have conceded the most points in the league (so far), which must be a worry for Peter? If he can reverse that, then they have a very good change of post season action. But that change will have to happen soon. This week against the Broncos should be a good test, especially being at home. But I think they'll just fail. Broncos by 6.
Graham : Bengals need it badly, but can they find a defence in time? DB 6
Dave : Broncos by 10.
Jon : The Bengals are leaking points at the moment and look like they don't care. DB by 7.

SS (1-2 L1) @ PS (3-0 W3)
Gerald : Well this has got to be the surprise of the season so far? The Steelers being unbeaten. But I can't see it lasting, especially against a Seahawks team that needs to start winning in a competitive division. Hawks by 3.
Graham : Hawks have been disappointing, so Steelers should go 4-0. PS 10
Dave : Steelers by 10.
Jon : The Seahawks, as ever, are a threat but coach Ratcliffe seems to have got Pittsburgh on track. PS by 4.

NO (1-2 L2) @ WR (3-0 W3)
Gerald : Well it looks like this could be the year of the Redskins (sorry Paul, that might just be the Kiss-of-Death?). They finally seem to have an offence and defence at the same time, can it last? Well for this week at least I think it will, even with the unexpected arrive of a new coach. After reading last weeks results I don't think Coach Taylor wanted the Skins for his first game, but who would? Skins by 17.
Graham : Rather a stiff test for the new Saints coach. Too stiff one fears. WR 13
Dave : Redskins by 10.
Jon : Washington are looking pretty awesome so far which means this is a difficult start for the Saints new coach. WR by 6.

AF (1-2 L2) @ PE (3-0 W3)
Gerald : Well the Eagles have had a very good start to the season, whilst the Falcons haven't faired so well. It looks like Coach Meskill has taken over writing the gameplans, from Baby Nat, which could be the problem? The Eagles 'D' have been real mean so far, which I think will spell disaster for the Falcons. Eagles by 12
Graham : Philly look back to their old selves. Falcons new QB still learning. PE 7
Dave : Eagles by 3.
Jon : Usually a messy game.

CB (0-2-1 T1) @ DC (1-2 W1)
Gerald : Again the NFC Central looks to be the weakest division in the league with no team having a winning record (Oh to be in the Central, rather than the Division of Death). Much is expected of Bears this season but I'm not too sure (so far). Its going to be close but I think homefield will win it. Cowboys by 3.
Graham : Both but in good performances last week. Homefield edge to Boys maybe. DC 7
Dave : Cowboys by 7.
Jon : With a fairly new coach facing a completely new one this is hard to call. So homefield takes it. DC by 1.

DL (0-3 L3) @ AC (1-2 W1)
Gerald : Could the Cards emulate the Patriots & Steelers (in the NFL) and after a bad start (and poor last season) start to win and have a winning streak greater than 1? I think so. Cards by 10.
Graham : Which Cards will turn up this week? Lions may finally have their day. If not. DL 1
Dave : Cardinals by 10.
Jon : Unusually, Arizona are playing a team with a worse record. AC by 1.

SR (3-0 W3) @ MV (1-2 L1)
Gerald : Well they're the highest scoring team in the league (only just) and their 'D' is as mean as the Eagles. Doesn't look good for any of us does it? The Vikings will need a lot of luck to break that unbeaten record and find their form from last season. But I can't see it (unfortunately). Rams by 11.
Graham : No comment.
Dave : Rams by 14.
Jon : A repeat of the championship game last season, but the Rams, as usual, look more like champions. SR by 4.

SF (2-0-1 T1) @ TB (1-2 L1)
Gerald : After last weeks game beating the Buccs will want to do better. But its going to be hard against the 49ers who are among the leagues best teams, still being unbeaten. But saying that, they did struggle to score many points last week. So the Buccs could be in with a chance? So I'll go with them. Buccs by 3
Graham : How has last week's pounding affected the Buccs? Niners probably too solid. SF 7
Dave : 49ers by 10 (but I'm willing to be wrong on this one).
Jon :
Steve's experience should be enough to see the 49ers move to 3-0-1. SF by 3.

by Graham Canwell (Week 3)  
Offence Pittsburgh No turnovers, no sacks, plenty of yards, good balance, and a big win. Bills and Broncos were good too.
Defence Tennessee The Titans look much improved on last year, and it takes a lot to shut down the Seahawks so effectively.
Coach Ratcliffe (PS) Rapidly putting last year's disappointments behind him.
Offence San Francisco Every now and then the Cards do something like this to show how good they could be. Maybe one day they'll keep doing it . . . .
Defence Washington The NFC's best, still hitting like hell.
Coach Garrod More please.
Barry Switzer Award The Chiefs For getting our hopes up of a KC revival in week 1.


Gerald to Graham : I don't know what happened, but you did have a message for Davies & Taylor - I just couldn't see it..... So don't worry you're not going to need all those tablets.

Gerald to Dean : Well done. I did say your offence had to improve greatly, and a combined yardage of 428 was a great improvement. Could this finally be your season?

Gerald to Ian & M : Welcome to the league hope to hear from you both soon, telling us all about yourselves?

Gerald to Richard : Hope everything is well?

Gerald to Paul Spence : Looked like a great game and it looks like you got both an offence and defence this season? Well so far you have, but you'll have to keep it up all season. Especially in the play-offs and you don't do very well in them, do you?

Gerald to Graham : So how depleted is your team this season?

Graham to Coaches Davies & Taylor : Welcome to the league. Hope you have a long and successful stay (but not at my expense please!).

Graham to Gerald : I've decided predicting my own games just makes me more paranoid about potential cockups I've made in my gameplan. I'd rather write it and forget it until it turns up in the post!

Gerald to Graham : I know you were a but pushed for time, but you could have at least changed the Barrys, if not the team at least what you said?

Dave Jones to Ian Davies & M Taylor : Welcome and good luck for the rest of the season.

Dave Jones to All : Ouch!! Watch out for them Skins their defence is awesome!

Jon to M Taylor & Ian Davies : Welcome to the league. I hope you enjoy it. do us all a favour and beat the Rams!

Jon to Tim : Excellent game and damn close. However I was a little irritated by being intercepted in the endzone twice and then having one of them returned 83 yards!

Jon to Paul S. : Looking good so far and for once your offence is scoring freely. I see I'm going to have a real fight on my hands if I want to regain the division.

Jon to Dean : Great win!



Cleveland Browns Press Release No 2 of 2003

Horne upbeat despite miserable start

Browns coach Julian Horne is upbeat about his team's prospects despite their 0-3 start to the 2003 season. Cleveland has opened with losses to Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Denver and is currently dead last in the AFC Central. So far this season we've played 2 playoff teams, including the Superbowl champions, and the division leader," Horne said. "I think it gives us a pretty good idea of where we are: if we were a top team we wouldn't be 0-3 but I don't think there's any reason to write off the rest of the season. Wait until the middle of the season before you make your decision: any team at .500 after week 8 has a very good chance."
But that would mean the Browns winning their 4 of their next 5 games, and although they've had it tough so far the schedule doesn't get much easier. The next few weeks see Tennessee, Atlanta and the Jets roll into Cleveland Stadium, where the Browns have been less than awesome so far this season. The Bills took them apart in a game the home team never had a chance to control, and last week Denver's offence put 21 points on the board before the Dawg Pound could draw breath. Week 8 matches the Browns with the Bengals, last season's division champions, and this week Cleveland must travel to much-improved New England.
"They're a much better team than last year in terms of results," Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch said Friday.
"Their defence is mid-table but they're solid against the run and their offence makes very few mistakes. You have to respect the fact that their only loss was to Buffalo and they gave the Bills much more of a fight than we did."
But there have been bright spots so far for the young Browns. Both WR Dennis Northcutt and OLB Jamir Miller have picked up their play, Northcutt recording his first 100-yard outing in the Denver game. Rookie RB Travis Prentice has 190 yards rushing in the last 2 games and has started to fit into the Browns' passing game as well. And while the Bills were too much for them, the Browns fought back well against Denver and controlled the Steelers with a solid defensive performance. Only special teams mistakes blew what would have been their first win.
"We've talked about some of the mistakes from the Pittsburgh game," Horne explained. "The last game was better and I'm hoping this is an area where we're really going to improve. The players have the talent, they're young and they want to get better. Hopefully New England this week is a chance for them to show what this team can do."

Well that's all for this week, I'm just off to the hospital to get my wrist x-rayed. I fell on it a badly couple of months ago, and I get twinges every now and then when I push open doors, which isn't good. So here's hoping everything will be ok. I wonder how many other coaches in AB have seen a hospital in the past couple of months? I do hope not too many of us.

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 ?