[the board]
Week 15
2003

by Gerald Udowiczenko

Well we've only two weeks of the regular season left and still three division titles have yet to be decided. Granted, that in the AFC East, all the Bills need to do is win one of their remaining two games, or for me to loss either and it's all over. But it's still possible for me to win the title, which I gave up so many years ago. In the AFC Central, though it is mathematical possibly for the Browns to lose the title, I think they've safely got it (famous last words?). The AFC West title has gone to the Broncos again. While in the NFC East its probably going to go to the last week of the season, between the Skins & Eagles. As will the battle in the NFC Central, between the Bears & Vikes. And it comes as no surprise that the NFC West has gone for the umpteenth time to the Rams.

The Wildcards are a little clearer. In the AFC we've got our first wildcard place for some five(ish) years. While the Titans, Steelers & Hawks are still chasing the last wildcard. In the NFC, its probably down to whoever losses their divisional battles. The Skins or Eagles will be there, then its down to either the Bears or Vikes with the 49ers. And not forgetting the Lions, Falcons and Saints (though they are outside bets).

Well the votes and have been counted and it seems that not too many of you care when the newsletter goes onto the website. So from this issue, the newsletter will appear on http://brucey.net/nflab/ as and when Bruce gets the time. I usually get the newsletter in the post for the Monday before the deadline and send Bruce a copy, that evening. So I'm guessing it should appear Tuesday/Wednesday?

Some of you will notice we have a new predictor this week. You may also notice that the name doesn't appear anywhere in the league. That's because its not a person, it's Bruceys (S)tupid (P)redictor (L)oses (A)ll (T)he (T)ime program, generated from his AB web site. So lets see how it does and let the battle commences.

Thanks to Graham, Jon & Brucey for their contribution this week, as always I am lost without them.

DB (11-3, W8) @ MD (5-9, W2) Last time : wk 9, 2002 (38 - 35 OT)
Gerald : The Broncos will be hoping for the Bills to carry on their downward spiral (as do I), so they can nick homefield. But first they will need to keep winning. Can't see that wining streak being lost this week. Broncos by 13.
Graham : Dolphins starting to show a bit of form, but you've got to back he Broncos right now. DB 7
Jon : The Broncos are on a roll and still have a slim chance of homefield. DB by 7.
SPLATT : Denver by 6.

SS (6-8, L2) @ BB (12-2, L2) Last time : wk 13, 2002 (20 - 39)
Gerald : The Bills have lost their last two games. A win this week will give them the division and bring them one step closer to homefield for the play-offs. The Hawks need the win to have a slim chance of the last wildcard spot. This could be an interesting game, but I feel that the Hawks have lost their edge and I can't see the Bills losing three straight games (thought it would make it very, very interesting). Bills by 10.
Graham : Bills won't lose three straight. Hawks have been a bit disappointing this campaign. BB 17
Jon : Two loses in a row for the Bills and the Seahawks must win to have any chance of post-season action. An upset on the cards? Nah. Bills by 3.
SPLATT : Buffalo by 15.

CI (3-11, L1) @ NY (4-10, L1) Last time : wk 11, 2002 (28 - 32)
Gerald : The Bengals will probably be looking to the draft, as will the Jets. Tough one to call as both teams can play well at times. So I'll have to go with homefield and the Jets by 10.
Graham : Jets looked a bit unlucky last week, but might edge this one. NJ 3
Jon : Signs of life in Cincy, but do they want to drop down the draft? Maybe. CI by 1.
SPLATT : New York by 7.

PS (7-6-1, L4) @ NE (10-3-1, W1) Last time : wk 4, 2002 (31 - 31 OT)
Gerald : No comment.
Graham : Steelers are in freefall and their offence won't fancy facing the Pats. NE 10
Jon : Faltering Steelers are no longer looking good for the playoffs, but coach Ratcliffe loves a challenge. PS by 1.
SPLATT : New England by 9.

KC (5-9, L2) @ TT (7-6-1, W3) Last time : wk 1, 2002 (14 - 19)
Gerald : If the Titans win this one, they've a very good chance of the last wildcard spot. The Chiefs have probably given up for the season, but could just surprise. So I'll go with the Old War Horse. Chiefs by 3.
Graham : Titans could virtually wrap up a wildcard spot with a win here and a Steelers loss. TN 3
Jon : Must win for the Titans.
SPLATT : Tennessee by 4.

OR (4-10, W1) @ CL (9-4-1, W8) Last time : wk 15, 2002 (0 - 12)
Gerald : After last weeks win, their 8th in a row, the Browns clinched the AFC Central. They'll want to keep that winning streak going into the post season and shouldn't have too many problems. But the Raiders, after their first win, could surprise them, but I feel the Browns will be too strong. Browns by 10.
Graham : Neil's first win back at the Raiders last week but a hiding in store this week I fear. CL 21
Jon : Can the Raiders carry last weeks improvement into Cleveland? Probably not. CL by 6.
SPLATT : Cleveland by 13.

SR (14-0, W16) @ WR (13-1, W9) Last time : wk 15, 2002 (24 - 6)
Gerald : This is probably the last chance of someone stopping the Rams having a prefect season. No doubt about it, this is the Game of the Week. The Skins have a mean 'D' and can score points, the Rams are also very good, but have been lucky. So I feel that will change this week. Going to be close, possibly even overtime? Skins by 2.
Graham : No comment.
Jon : Huge & probably the last threat to a 16-0 season for the Rams. I hope the Skins do it (and I win as well) to set up wk.16. it'll be tough, but the Skins by 1.
SPLATT : St Louis by 4.

SF (7-6-1, L5) @ PE (13-1, W1) Last time : wk 15, 2002 (19 - 29)
Gerald : Both teams need the win, but more so the 49ers. Who need it to stay ahead in the race for the last wildcard place, though they do have a half game advantage. The Eagles are in a battle for the NFC East and will not want to slip up here. But on form there is no contest. Eagles by 10.
Graham : Niners now look unlikely to make playoffs after looking certs just a few weeks ago. PE 14
Jon : I've got to win to have a chance at getting the East. So I hope I do.
SPLATT : Philadelphia by 14.

MV (7-7, L1) @ DC (3-11, L9) Last time : wk 15, 2002 (19 - 12)
Gerald : The Vikes need the win as they're in a battle for both the NFC central & the last wildcard spot. Unless they totally fall apart in the last two games, they should see post-season action. But whether it's as a wildcard or divisional winner is unclear at present. The Boys will probably have an eye on the draft. Vikes by 10.
Graham : Cowboys seem to have minds on next year so the Vikes should bounce back. MV 7
Jon : Last weeks slip could prove costly for the Vikings and they have to win this. MV by 4.
SPLATT : Minnesota by 7.

TB (2-12, L1) @ AC (1-13, L11) Last time : wk 4, 2002 (27 - 0)
Gerald : The No.1 & 2 draft picks are probably going to be between these two teams, with the Cards having the edge. Neither team will want to win, as it could prove costly. Buccs by 3.
Graham : Wooden Spoon decider? Hard to predict, but Buccs impressed me more. TB 3
Jon : This should be a break for coach Jones. TB by 3.
SPLATT : Arizona by 2.

NS (5-9, L1) @ CB (7-6-1, W2) Last time : wk 9, 2002 (24 - 22)
Gerald : The Bears need the win to stay ahead in the battle for the NFC Central. The Saints with a win here could just be in with a shot of a wildcard place. However forms says Bears, but only just. Bears by 2.
Graham : Can the Bears handle the pressure now they're top? Saints are a good test. CH 3
Jon : After a great effort last week will the Saints have anything left in the bank? The Bears will be hoping the answers no. CH by 1.
SPLATT : Chicago by 2.

AF (5-9, W1) @ DL (5-9, W1) Last time : wk 13, 2002 (9 - 0)
Gerald : Both teams are better than their records show. With the edge, I feel just going to the Birds. Falcons by 5.
Graham : Both these teams have potential to be better than 5-9 and this could go either way. DL 1
Jon : The Lions haven't lost by more than 9 points since week 5 and have been quietly getting better (you mean they keep loosing by less? Ed). DL by 3.
SPLATT : Atlanta by 4.

by Graham Canwell (Week 14)  
AFC
Offence New England Drew throws 3 TDs and 0 INTS!!! That has to deserve an award in anyone's books.
Defence Cleveland I reckon the Browns are a good bet for the Superbowl given their form, and this was another devastating display.
Coach Udowiczenko (NE) A first playoff victory is surely beckoning on the evidence of this magnificent performance.
NFC
Offence Chicago A great offensive performance and a sensational final period comeback in a huge, huge game.
Defence Washington Simply the best.
Coach Parratt (CH) Its been a fair old while since the Bears made the playoffs but that could be about to change.
 
The Diddley St. Louis My turn again this week. The Saints were the better team for the first 40 minutes - result Saints 20 points Rams 6. We were the better team for the last 20 - result Rams 21 points Saints 0. Final score Rams 27 Saints 20. We only actually had the ball for 23:51for heaven's sake!!! OK we took our chances well, but it was definitely a Diddley.

 

Gerald to Brucey Boy : Nice cop out with the computer picking the winners each week. Personally I think it's you hiding behind your PC.

Gerald to All : I will sort out in the next few weeks the predictor's table. I know I've said that before, but I've been real busy. Anyway, it's coming to the end of the season, so I had better pull my finger out and do it.

Gerald to Paul Gregory : For someone whose trying to lose their remaining games, you've came awfully close last week to winning. Looks like you could be a real handful next season.

Gerald to Julian : Congrats on wining the division (baring a disaster).

Gerald to Julian : So where's the contributions you said you do when you had won the AFC Central?

Gerald to Paul Spence : Another great defensive display. The only question is whether you can continue like this come post season? Or will the cruse hit you again? Come to think of it, I've still to overcome it as well.

Gerald to Richard : The result was fare, but the score didn't reflect how close it was. But hell I don't mind. If you could lose this week (assuming I win), that would make the week 16 games real interesting. Though I can't see that happening.

Gerald to Richard : So what was the result of that benchmark test for your offence against a good defence?

Graham to Paul S : I'm not looking forward to this so I'm hoping you remember you're a Rams fan!!.

Graham to Martin : Tough luck. I always know my divisional rivals are going to give me a really hard game and it's good to see you're no exception. Look forward to our next meeting.

Graham to Gerald : I haven't been keeping score. How do we match up in Diddleys now?

Gerald to Graham : In the Diddleys series, its 4 -3 to us. But the Bengals have also won it twice. So it's not quite a two horse race. But I think I'll be hard catch, but we'll just have to wait and see. I'm guessing that you'll be doing the Rammies in the post season, what about the Diddleys? I guess if you want to take the title away from me, you're going to have to. But if I progress any further than the first wildcard game and break the cruse. I'll have done it via the Diddley, so I can't see you catching me.

Jon to Dave C : Sorry, should have realised it was you but I didn't have my results in front of me when I wrote last week.

Jon to Gerald : Awesome and unexpected. Well done.

Jon to Paul S : Good luck and see you in Washington next week. It's my division and I want it back ;-)

Jon to Gerald : The team did turn up, for one half. Then they decided to rest for the playoffs (?). I hope!

Gerald to All : Not bad. The first 4-page newsletter for quite a while. Hopefully we can keep it up.

Just a short reminder about the pub meet. We're meeting on Friday 6 April, at the Fulmar & Firking Pub in Holborn (Central & Piccadilly Lines), Central London. When you get out of the station, cross Kingsway, turn left down Kingsway and its the 1st or 2nd street on the right, about 30 yards. For those that don't know me (you lucky, lucky people), I will be wearing an old style Patriots Jacket (blue). So hopefully see you there from 7pm onwards.



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 ?