[the board]
Week 2
2004

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.

Week 1
Name Correct /
Predicted
Total Pct
SPLATT 10/12 10/12 83
Gerald 8/11 18/22 82
Graham 8/11 18/22 82
Richard 8/12 8/12 67

MD (0-1, 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 by 3.
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.

NY (1-0, 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.

PS (0-1, 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.

CI (0-1, 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.

OR (1-0, 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.

KC (0-1, 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 by 10.
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.

DC (0-1, 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 9

AC (0-1, 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.

DL (0-1, 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.

TB (0-1, 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.

AF (0-1, 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.

NS (0-1, 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)  
Offence New England 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
Defence Oakland 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.
Coach Horne (CL) 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 this year.
 
Offence Minnesota 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.
Defence Washington 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.
Coach Whitfield (MV) 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.
 
  The Diddley Denver 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 Park?

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 interceptions?

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.

2004 Season

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 better.
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.

Coaching Profile

Name

Paul Gregory
Age 44
Marital Status Divorced, now living with Lyn.
Lives Pompey  
Fav NFL Teams Dolphins, Buccs.
Other Sports All except cricket and snooker (boring), especially football (season ticket at Fratton Park).
Music Punk, Two Tone, Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Beatles (all sorts really). But not boy/girl bands.
Interests 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).
Dislikes 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.

Steelers

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.



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 ?