by Gerald Udowiczenko
Well not a bad start to the season for us. Fortunately the 3 turnovers
didn't cost us the game, but they did keep it uncomfortably close.
It's nice to see I've finally got the offence working (well last week
anyway), just can't figure out how to reduce those damned interceptions
that Drew keeps throwing (other than the obvious and waver him). I was
hoping that the BQ might have put some pressure on him to improve, well
it definitely work yardage wise, so I can't complain too much?
Talking about complaining, I'm just glad our schedule isn't for real.
We play six road games in the second half of the season. Madness! We travel
from Miami (wk.10) - Tennesse - San Franciso - Denver - New York - Seattle
at home and then Buffalo away in week 16. Ok so the last three games,
don't involve so much travel, but weeks 11 - 13 are killers. But fortunately,
the distance travelled between games doesn't come into the calculation.
Or does it?
As you will see, I have included a Coaching Profile for Paul Gregory.
This originally appeared in the NFLB newsletter 'Fumble' last week, so
apologies to those that have already read it, as we do have quite a few
coaches in both leagues (6 at the last count). But I thought by including
it here, we could start the ball rolling again?
So how about it? The coaching profile can follow the same style as Paul's,
or you can do something altogether different. It's totally up to you.
Each week I'll publish a new coach and with luck, come the end of the
season, we will have had 20 coaches featured?
As always thanks to Richard, Graham, Pat, Jon & Brucey for their contributions.
L1) @ BB (1-0,
W1) Last time : wk 16, 2003 (45 - 28)
Gerald : The Fish came back well in the 4th
quarter last week. But those 5 turnovers were very costly, as they did
rack up a hell of a lot of yards (over 500 including returns). If they
can reduce the turnovers, or cut them out altogether, then they have the
offensive firepower to worry the Bills, who were pushed close last week.
But I think they'll just be a little too strong to lose at home. Bills
Graham : Fish had some bad luck last week.
They'll need some of the good stuff this week!! BB 7.
SPLATT : Buffalo by 10.
Richard : Fish by 10.
Jon : An interesting pointer to the potentials
for the AFC East this season, especially with the Dolphins being the only
team in the division to have lost. I'll go with Wk.1 form. BB by 1.
W1) @ NE (1-0,
W4) Last time : wk 16, 2003 (20 - 27)
Gerald : No Comment.
Graham : Could be a lot of offence. Pats D
ought to be better than last week. NE 7.
SPLATT : New England by 13.
Richard : Pats by 3.
Jon : The Jets have started with an impressive
win, the Pats with a close one of one of last season's late form teams.
Homefield shades it. NE by 3.
L7) @ CL (1-0,
W11) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (3 - 27)
Gerald : An impressive offensive performance
last week from the Browns, shows they're still the team to beat in the
AFC. The Steelers had a good game, even though they lost, but against
the Browns, I can't see them being able to do much. Browns by 10.
Graham : First the Bills and now this. Scheduler
not being kind to Pittsburgh. CL 21.
SPLATT : Cleveland by 13.
Richard : Browns by 17.
Jon : Got to go with the Superbowl champs when
the Steelers still seem to be unable to win. CL by 7.
L1) @ TT (0-1,
L2) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (20 - 29)
Gerald : The Bengals might not have won last
week, but they forced 3 turnovers, gave up none and had a good day on
the ground. If they can keep that up, then they've a real chance of challenging
for the division. The Titans got taken to pieces by the Raiders and even
though their at home, I don't think they'll be able to stop the Bengals
getting their first win of the new season. Bengals by 3.
Graham : The Bengals should have enough offence
to outscore the Titans. CI 10.
SPLATT : Cincinnati by 1.
Richard : Bengals by 7.
Jon : The Bengals looked good in losing, the
Titans looked like they needed a bit of work. CI by 6.
W1) @ SS (0-1,
L1) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (24 - 17)
Gerald : The Hawks had a tough time of it last
week, as the Jets dominated the game. In previous seasons, this weeks
game would have been easy. But after their impressive performance last
week, the Raiders look like they'll be anything but easy this season.
Tough one to call, but I think Derek will have learnt from last week.
Hawks by 3.
Graham : Raiders have found some D this year
and Neil might just outperform his brother. OA 3.
SPLATT : Seattle by 9.
Richard : Seahawks by 3.
Jon : Finally some form from the other Henderson,
but can he maintain it against the Seahawks? Possibly, but SS by 3.
L1) @ DB (1-0,
W1) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (11 - 42)
Gerald : The offensive prowess from last season
went AWOL last week and unless the Ian can find it again, I doubt the
Chiefs 'D' will be good enough it keep it close. But saying that, the
Broncos did give up a lot of yards last week. So it may be close? Broncos
Graham : KC had better find some run defence
fast or this could get ugly! DB 6.
SPLATT : Denver by 7.
Richard : Broncos by 7.
Jon : No sign of the Chiefs' offence last week.
Will it reappear? Even if it does, it'll be hard to buck the Broncos.
DB by 6.
L1) @ WR (1-0,
W2) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (0 - 19)
Gerald : The Skins 'D' was back to its best
last week, though the offence still seems to be spluttering. The Boyz
had a terrible start to the season and I can't see it getting any better.
Skins by 10.
Graham : If the Boys couldn't score a TD against
my D you wouldn't give them much of a prayer here. WR 14.
SPLATT : Washington by 12.
Richard : Redskins by 7.
Jon : The defence is still there, so WR by
L14) @ PE (1-0,
W1) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (0 - 36)
Gerald : The Cards got some decent offensive
yardage last week, but were unable to convert that into points. If they
can improve on that, then they could break their losing streak, but I
can't see them doing that against the Eagles, whos 'D' still looks very
mean. Eagles by 14.
Graham : And you wouldn't give the Cards any
prayer at all in Philly! PE 24.
SPLATT : Philadelphia by 15.
Richard : Eagles by 7.
Jon : No comment.
L2) @ CB (1-0,
W5) Last time : wk 16, 2003 (3 - 13)
Gerald : Not the start Bruce will have wanted,
but then he was playing last seasons top 'D'. The Bears had a close win
over the Saints after waking up in the 4th. Unless the Lions keep it close,
they don't have a chance. Bears by 10.
Graham : Two big defences. Almost must-win
time for Detroit if they're to be real contenders. DL 1.
SPLATT : Chicago by 4.
Richard : Bears by 4.
Jon : I think the Lions' D is going to be quite
tough this year, judging by the Washington game. DL by 3.
L2) @ MV (1-0,
W3) Last time : wk 16, 2003 (7 - 27)
Gerald : A very impressive offensive performance
last week from the Vikes. If they can keep it up all season, they will
be hard to beat. The Buccs will need to re-think their 4th down calls
and perhaps not call so many? As they failed on 4 attempts which probably
helped the score-line look a lot worse that it should have been? If they
can sort that out and play the same kind of defence, than they could slow
down the Vikes. But not enough to give them the win. Vikes by 6.
Graham : Speaking of nasty opening schedules,
the Buccs have been dealt a rotten hand. MV 17.
SPLATT : Minnesota by 12.
Richard : Vikings by 7.
Jon : Not a nice start to the season for Tampa.
The Vikings are looking somewhat resurgent. MV by 9.
L3) @ SF (1-0,
W1) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (34 - 21)
Gerald : The 49ers had a good all round game,
while not being spectacular. While the Falcons had a reasonable offensive
performance last week, though the lack of a running game, must be a bit
of a worry for Paul? If they Falcons can do the same again, then I think
they should just nick it. Falcons by 3.
Graham : Falcons almost managed to keep up
with the Vikes in week 1 - if they score 28 points this week they ought
to win. I fancy they just might. AF 1.
SPLATT : San Francisco by 6.
Richard : 49ers by 1.
Jon : This one could be very close. I'll go
with the Falcons as their game last week was probably more of a test.
AF by 1.
L1) @ SR (1-0,
W19) Last time : wk 14, 2003 (20 - 27)
Gerald : The Saints only just lost last week
and if they can improve their concentration in the 4th, then they could
be dangerous. The Rams seem to have carried on where they left of last
season and unless they throw it away, they should win this game without
breaking too much of a sweat. Rams by 10.
Graham : I've had a lot of trouble with the
Saints in recent years and I'm expecting this to be a really tough test.
SPLATT : St Louis by 11.
Richard : Rams by 10.
Jon : The Rams have started pretty damn awesomely.
SR by 14.
by Graham Canwell (Week 1)
||There was a LOAD of this in week 1! Although they
had an extra quarter I've gone for the Pats, because they were so
impressive in so many ways. Balanced, good passing and (especially)
running, first downs galore, good 3rd down completion percentage.
Worthy winners! I just have to mention the Bills, Jets and Browns
too, who were all terrific. The Fish gained a lot of yards but turned
the whole damned game over
||Not so much of this (see above!) but, as in preseason,
the new-look Raiders get the prize. OK, they were playing the generally
unexplosive Titans but they did the job in fine style and forced five
turnovers (something the Titans aren't normally known for). The Jets
probably were the next best, but they were a fair way behind.
||Fooled the Chiefs by switching tactics dramatically
from preseason. If only all plans worked this well! Someone is going
to have to work some magic if Cleveland aren't to retain their title
||What can you say? 561 yards, no turnovers, 34
points, one Rammy. Floowing on from their preseason effort the Vikes
now look very scary indeed. Wasn't as much offence in the NFC as the
AFC so nobody else came close to this.
||Surprise!!! Gotta hand it to those 'Skins though.
Lions offence isn't the most dangerous they'll meet all season but
the Washington D didn't get too much help from their offence. Eagles
were great too, and I thought my much-maligned Ram D had a pretty
good day at the office.
||Looks like the Vikes are back on track after last
year's mysterious disappointment. Given that Minnesota recently have
tended to improve as the season progresses maybe we should be very,
very afraid. Just needs a bit of special teams tweaking to stop the
opposition scoring so many points.
||Tempted not to give out a Diddley but its week
1 and that would be just too gutless. So Denver it is. To be fair
to them they forced five turnovers, but it still took a big kickoff
return and lots of interception return yardage to pull this one out
of the barrel. I'm sure far more deserving winners will emerge in
future weeks though.
Gerald to Paul G : So who plays at Fratton
Gerald to Graham : Getting over 500 yards,
came as a shock to me. As memory goes we've never broken the 500 yard
barrier. Maybe I should quiz the web site and see what it says?
Gerald to All : Just had a look at the web
site & we don't appear on the top 5. So does anyone (Jon, Ian?) recall
if we've every broken the 500 yard barrier before?
Gerald to Jon : I've still got another 19
weeks to get the margins correct.
Gerald to Paul M : Looks like you'll get a
beer out of Jon if you win the division? So what more of an incentive
do you need? Free beer man!
Gerald to Jon : Any chance Randall could pass
on a few tips to Drew about how NOT to throw the ball, and reduce his
Gerald to Paul G : Good game last week, but
my turnovers did help you out a bit. If you keep that kind of performance
up throughout the season, then we could meet again in the Post Season.
Graham to Gerald : When did you last produce
offence like that???
Graham to Pat/Dave J : I don't think any of
us would fancy your early schedules!
Graham to Bruce : The website is looking better
than ever. Great job!!!
Pat Rat to Gerald, Graham and SPLATT : Not
quite right guys: only 7!
Pat Rat to Richard : Thanks for keeping the
faith. Sorry to disappoint you.
Pat Rat to Gerald : Thank God Week 9 is so
far away. Maybe I've got time to prepare?
Pat Rat to Julian : Watch out for Week 14.
I'll be ready.
Jon to Gerald : Good win! It does make a
change for you to win close games. Shame the margins are still wrong on
the newsletter though.
Jon to Graham : Looks like Chris Miller is
still on form.
by Jon Heath
This looks to me like being extremely competitive.
The AFC East is going to be hard to call if the Jets can regain
previous form, as I reckon the other three are going to be there
or thereabouts. Overall, I have to go with the Bills for the title
and the Dolphins & Pats for a W/C each.
The AFC Central is probably going to the Browns as they've got experience,
a massive squad and a damn good coach. The Bengals could sneak a
W/C if the AFC East spend too much time beating each other, whilst
the Steelers don't seem to have got up to speed yet. The Titans?
They'll upset a few on the way, but the other teams are probably
As for the AFC West, unless the Chiefs can find their form of several
seasons ago, or the Seahawks pick themselves up a bit, it'll be
Denver all the way. I can see the Raiders giving a few people a
hard time if Neil can work out how to get the team performing like
he did when he first coached them. However even this will get them,
at best, close to a W/C.
| So what of the NFC? In the East it's probably a straight
fight between myself and the Redskins. I've got high hopes for this
season as Randall's back and fully fit, as is my 12yr 3*OL. The team
is stronger (a bit) and more experienced. We'll see. The Cowboys aren't
bad but probably need another season whilst the Cards have, with all
due respect, always failed to get much in the way of wins.
The Central, I think, will go to the Vikes. Very good squad, coach
who's been to the Championship and given the Rams a hard time on occasion.
The Lions will do better than last year, all of which makes things
look worrying for the Buccs and Bears.
As for the West it has to be the Rams again. If somebody else beats
them to the title, I'll buy them a beer! The Falcons are due an improvement,
the Saints can pull a few good results out. As for the 49ers I'm a
little worried that they may not be coached after last season's total
collapse, which will leave them in real difficulties. The second W/C
will probably come from this division and may possibly be the Falcons.
||Divorced, now living with Lyn.
|Fav NFL Teams
||All except cricket and snooker (boring), especially
football (season ticket at Fratton Park).
||Punk, Two Tone, Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Beatles (all
sorts really). But not boy/girl bands.
||Ex player with Portsmouth Warriors and South Coast
Raiders, still watch current team Southern Sun Devils. Read a lot,
Listen to music (currently copying all my old vinyl onto a spare hard
drive). Computer strategy games. Veteran from beginning of Gameplan
with Sloth Enterprises in early 80's (didn't win nuffin, though got
to Superbowl once).
||Not being allowed to be proud to be English, can't
get in anywhere with a cross of St George on St Georges Day, they
think you are a thug (Is this really England?). Made up pop groups,
that can only mime, ripping off the youngsters who idolise them.
by Pat Ratcliffe
First match in the new Heinz Stadium proved to be a lot of wind
and little substance - from the Steelers, that is!
The Bills kept the Steelers' O off the field and ate up the clock.
Good job Coach Ogg.
There was no effective running game, and the D was porous, leaking
nearly 500 yards.
Next match we visit the home of our arch enemies, and hope to silence
the baying of the Dawgs, but it'll be an uphill struggle. Now is
the time to wake up from the dream - and into the nightmare?
Well again this week, couldn't quite fill up four sides(looks to be about
two columns worth short).
But with this new layout, I do have a lot more room. Which I suppose
is a good thing? But that does mean there's lots of room for more contributions.
So come on, write in and let us know what you think!
Well I'll step off my soapbox now and go and have a cold shower.