[the board]
Week 1
2004

by Gerald Udowiczenko

Generally positive feedback on the new lay-out of the newsletter, wish I'd done this sooner, as it creates a lot more column inches, so I can fit in all your contributions.

No real surprises with the pre-season games, as most predicted winners, won. But now comes the real thing & I think you'll see a few changes. Especially from us, as our offensive performance against Jon was poor.

I've also jazzed up the Rammys and other bits and pieces a bit, let me know what you think.

As always thanks to Dave Jones, Graham, Stuart, Brucey & Richard for their contributions.

2003 Final Standings
Name Correct /
Predicted
Pct
Graham 151/201 75
Jon 55/79 70
Gerald 122/194 63
Dave 50/83 60
Richard 19/37 51
SPLATT 16/24 67
Julian 3/6 50

Week 0
Name Correct /
Predicted
Total Pct
Gerald 10/11 10/11 91
Graham 10/11 10/11 91

BB (0-0, L1) @ PS (0-0, L6) Last time : wk 11, 2003 (31 - 16)
Gerald : The Steelers are still dreaming and have yet to win a game, since the return of Coach Ratcliffe. The Bills showed us that their 'O' works against good 'D's, and will be hard to beat. But I can't see the Steelers challenging them this week. Bills by 10.
Graham : Bills looked vulnerable last week but still showed they are real winners!! BB 10.
SPLATT : Buffalo by 10.
Richard : Steelers by 3.

NE (0-0, W3) @ CI (0-0, W2) Last time : wk 13, 2003 (21 - 28)
Gerald : No Comment.
Graham : Two Kings of the Diddley make this hard to predict. Pats one of AFC favourites. NE 3.
SPLATT : New England by 13.
Richard : Bengals by 3.

MD (0-0, W4) @ DB (0-0, L2) Last time : wk 15, 2003 (23 - 10)
Gerald : Good solid performances from both teams last week, should make this an interesting game. Both will want a good start, but more so the Fish, who are in the tougher division. Fish by 3.
Graham : Should be a good game. Will either be more balanced than last year? DB 1.
SPLATT : Denver by 8.
Richard : Broncos by 7.

NY (0-0, L3) @ SS (0-0, W1) Last time : wk 9, 2003 (10 - 24)
Gerald : Both teams will want a good start to challenge for their divisions, as both were disappointing last season. Can't really seeing it being any different this year, but I could be wrong? Hawks by 7.
Graham : Both coming off disappointing years. Hawks look in slightly better shape. SS 3.
SPLATT : Seattle by 1.
Richard : Seahawks by 3.

CL (0-0, W10) @ KC (0-0, W1) Last time : wk 13, 2003 (39 - 17)
Gerald : Tough game for the Chiefs, but after their impressive game last week, they could upset quite a few teams? But I don't think they'll be able to slow down the Browns 'O'. Browns by 10.
Graham : Browns will be good. Chiefs will . . . who knows! Gotta go with the World Champs. CL 10.
SPLATT : Cleveland by 12.
Richard : Browns by 7.

TT (0-0, L1) @ OR (0-0, L2) Last time : wk 13, 2003 (38 - 12)
Gerald : Judging on pre-season form its hard to say. But I can't see many points being scored by either team, as 'D' will rule the day. Raiders by 3.
Graham : Raiders D was excellent last week but offence was so hapless they still lost! TN 3.
SPLATT : Tennessee by 9.
Richard : Titans by 3.

WR (0-0, W1) @ DL (0-0, L1) Last time : wk 9, 2003 (14 - 5)
Gerald : A poor performance from the Skins last week, as they turned the ball over 5 times, will not have been what Paul wanted to see. But at least it was only a pre-season game. Both teams have very good 'D's, but the Skins have an 'O'. Skins by 3.
Graham : Tough start for the much-vaunted (by them) Lions. Skins have really got to stop turning the ball over. WR 7.
SPLATT : Washington by 16.
Richard : Skins by 7.

PE (0-0, L1) @ TB (0-0, L1) Last time : wk 11, 2003 (28 - 3)
Gerald : If the Buccs can't stop the run, then it's going to be a long hard day in the field for their 'D'. The Eagles should carry on where they left off from last season. Eagles by 10.
Graham : Buccs will be looking for big improvement on last season but this is a tough start. PE 10.
SPLATT : Philadelphia by 16.
Richard : Eagles by 7.

DC (0-0, W1) @ SR (0-0, W18) Last time : wk 1, 2003 (3 - 38)
Gerald : Tough one to call, but I just can't see the Cowboys slowing down that Rams 'O', especially after their (Rams) display last week. Though they might be bale to exploit a weaken 'D'? Rams by 10.
Graham : Boys' squad looks good I must say. Opening Day is always exciting and I was very pleased (for once) by our preseason display.
SPLATT : St Louis by 16.
Richard : Rams by 10.

AC (0-0, L13) @ SF (0-0, L7) Last time : wk 1, 2003 (17 - 24)
Gerald : Neither team won last week, but both 'O's showed they can score and if they can clean up their mistakes, then they could have a good run. The Cards are still on a terrible streak in regular season (L13) and I don't think it will improve this week, 49ers by 10.
Graham : Niners collapsed last year but really ought to have too much savvy for the Cards. SF 6.
SPLATT : San Francisco by 9.
Richard : 49ers 7.

CB (0-0, W4) @ NS (0-0, W1) Last time : wk 15, 2003 (26 - 10)
Gerald : Both teams will want to forget last week's per-seasons games and look to the future. But after a great show from the Bears in the post season, I'm not going to go against them (yet). Bears by 3.
Graham : Bears might be pushed to repeat last year's heroics. Saints are a still a bit of a mystery. NS 3.
SPLATT : Chicago by 4.
Richard : Bears by 3.

MV (0-0, W2) @ AF (0-0, L2) Last time : wk 9, 2003 (26 - 6)
Gerald : A fantastic display of 'O' last week from the Vikes. Which if they can keep it going will be a nightmare for the NFC. The Falcs had a good day on 'D', though their inability to getting much going on offence must be a bit worrying for Paul? But the signs are there that the Dirty Birds could be back? This should be a great game and probably Game of the Week? Falcons by 1.
Graham : Another year of hope for Atlanta but the Vikes were breathtaking in preseason and have a lot to prove after last year. MV 7.
SPLATT : Minnesota by 4.
Richard : Vikings by 10.

by Graham Canwell (Preseason)  
Offence Kansas City Tough call between the Chiefs and Browns, but plumped for KC for sheer efficiency (and, let's face it, Cleveland have won enough gongs recently!).
Defence Oakland Seattle put in a strong bid but the Raiders were just too stingy to ignore (not stingy enough mind you!).
Coach Currie (KC) But are they for real this year ??
 
Offence Minnesota A devastating all-round display of power which just edged out a threatening showing from Philly for this award.
Defence Atlanta No offence to speak of but what the heck - D by the bucketful!!!
Coach Heath (PE) Maybe this is going to be Jon's year . . .
 
  The Diddley Cincinnati Paul hasn't been in the league long but has already shown he's really good at this!  

 

Brucey to Paul S. : Congratulations on your great start to the season.

Brucey to All : Feel free to offer data for games before Week 4, 1995.

Gerald to Jon : Not quite the game either of us was looking for? You never know perhaps we'll meet again?

Gerald to Richard : Looks like you offensive still works well. Glad to see that your 'D' seems a little vulnerable. Gives the rest of us in the East a chance.

Gerald to Ian : Looks like your 'O' has carried on where it left off last year? Which is scary, especially if you've sorted out your 'D'?

Gerald to All : Here's to a good campaign!

Gerald to Julian : So we'll meet in week 3 and you're coming to my house. Should be fun. I wonder how close it will be?

Gerald to Ian : Looking forward to our clash in week 7. Though it would be nice to play in our regular week 15 slot. But I guess we'll both have to do well this season for that to happen?

Gerald to Past Master (Pat) : So we met in week 9. It's been a long time, in a galaxy far far away.

Gerald to Dave J : So did anyone contact you about the last Claymores game? How did they do?

Gerald to Brucey : Hope you don't mind me using your NFLAB logo, from your web site?

Gerald to Richard : So After tipping me to win the division (last week), and also mentioning that the Fish where your 'Dark Fish' team. You tipped against all of the division on the opening week of the season?

2004 PREDICTIONS
By Graham Canwell

AFC East New England (though it wouldn't surprise me at all if Richard can pull it off again)
AFC Central Cleveland (scary thought, but they should be even better than last year)
AFC West Denver (unlike the Chiefs and Hawks the Broncos are at least pretty reliable)
 
NFC East Philadelphia (second place schedule gives them big edge over Skins)
NFC Central Minnesota (great squad - really ought to threaten to go all the way)
NFC West St. Louis (it's Chris Miller's last season - surely he won't let me down now . . .)
   
  Championship Games
AFC Browns v Pats
NFC Vikings v Eagles
  Superbowl
  Browns to beat the Vikings by 10


2004 PREDICTIONS
By Gerald Udowiczenko

AFC East New England (though it will be a tough battle between us the Bills & the Fish.)
AFC Central Cleveland (Shouldn't have too many problems in what is probably the weakest division?)
AFC West Denver (only just, as the Chiefs had a season of almost's and will have learnt a lot.)
Wildcard This will be close and I'm hedging my bets. Bills / Fish / Titans / Chiefs.
   
NFC East Skins (I think they'll just pip the Eagles, but only just.)
NFC Central Bears (This will be a real battle as the Vikings should chase them all the way.)
NFC West Falcons (I reckon its about time they came out of hibernation and they do have a good squad. I also reckon this division will be a real scrap, as all teams can be devastating, all they need is to be more consistent, well apart from the Rams obviously.)
Wildcard Again hedging my bets. Eagles / Vikings / Rams / 49ers /Saints.
   
  Championship Games
AFC Browns v Pats
NFC Vikings v Skins
  Superbowl
  Now that would really be tempting fate.

 

DolphinReport

by Stuart Guard

Well last season was more than a little disappointing, although we did manage a decent run towards the end after a few changes had been made. Looking at the new season there are a lot of positives to be taken on board. Marino is back for another season, as is the vastly experienced Martin. We have two other good receivers pushing hard as well, and the wideout position looks strong.

We also have pass catching options from Goodwin at Tight End, and rookie Weaver who we hope will develop into a great Tight End for future seasons. The line is looking pretty good, although more experience would be useful. The unit are looking strong though, and we're hopeful they can gel and develop further as this seasons, and others progress. The running backs are still an issue for us, and Kirby will carry the load, but at least we now have an option in rookie star Smith, who can do a bit of everything.

On defence we're pretty pleased with the look of the unit. The line is probably our biggest concern with our Tackles being very young. With luck the will hold up to the battles they face, and be ably helped by our experienced pair of Grant and Bowens on the ends. Zach Thoms continues to lead the defence from MLB, and just gets better with age. Rogers and Beavers are looking good, and the LineBacker position is probably our strongest. In the defensive backfield we also have some good people, with Strong safety Madision the pick of the bunch. The others are all looking good to have great seasons, and we are ever hopeful of the result. We were a little disappointed with the pre-season game, but it was a win, which will help morale.

This week it starts for real, and we have a really tough division, so every game is going to be crucial. A lot will depend on the defence, and in particular the line. If this holds we could be in for a good season. We certainly hope to be in with a shout at the playoffs anyway, and if we get that far then who knows. Good luck to all of you for the new season, should be a good one. Hope we don't trip each other up too much along the way.

Regards Stuart

End of Season Awards

All the votes have finally been counted, thank you to all those that votes. The numbers in the brackets are the number of votes for each team.

Best Offence (Tied)
St Louis Rams & Kansas City Chiefs (2) Buffalo Bills (1)
Best Defence
Washington Redskins (5) - unanimous  
Best Team
Washington Redskins (3) Philadelphia Eagles & St Louis Rams (1)
Best Coach
Graham Canwell (2) Jon Heath, Julian Horne & Paul Spence (1)
Most Hated Coach
Graham Canwell (3) - even by himself, he wanted this title so badly.  
Best Rookie Coach
Julian Horne (3) Stephen Parratt (1)
Most Improved Team
Cleveland Browns (3) New England Patriots & Philadelphia Eagles (1)
Most Disappointing Team
New York Jets (2) Miami Dolphins & Cincinnati Bengals (1)

 

Not sure how many of you know about the planed changes for the NFL? As of September 2002 (season after next), there will be four divisions of four in both the AFC and NFC.

East Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets
South Texans Colts Jaguars Titans
North Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers
West Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers

East Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins
South Falcons Panthers Saints Buccs
North Bears Lions Packers Vikings
West Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks

So basically the AFC East and West stays the same, with one team being removed and the AFC Central making up the new North & South divisions. In the NFC, the East and Central losses one team and the West makes up the new South and West.

Some of you may care and not know? But the World Bowl (NFL-E) Final was held over the weekend in Amsterdam.

The Berlin Thunder have been crowned World Bowl champions after recording a thrilling 24-17 victory over the Barcelona Dragons in front of 32,116 fans in the Amsterdam ArenA. Quarterback Jonathan Quinn was the star of the show as he threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winning 53-yarder to Dwaune Jones late in the fourth quarter.

For more info and a more detailed report, you can either check out First Down, or have a look at

www.nfleurope.com

Hopefully you'll be able to read all of the newsletter this week without having to guess the missing words?

So I hope I've got the margins correct? If not I've still got another 20 weeks to get it right. Or you can always go on-line at

http://brucey.net/nflab
(and click on BttDB)

and read the newsletter.
While you're there why not check out the rest of the site, for a complete (well up till 1995, week 4.) history of the league?

There are also some good links to other site for gameplan. So check it out and don't forget to sign the Guest Book, so Brucey knows who's been there.



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 ?