by Gerald Udowiczenko
Firstly many thanks to both Brucey & Jon for doing the newsletter while
I was on holiday in Australia, great issues lads, do you want a full time
Australia is a great place to visit, if you ever get the chance, thought
I know Jon will try and convince you, that New Zealand is the place to go.
Well maybe next time Jon, so I can compare and contrast? Though some people
many be put off by the journey time about 27 hours (we left on Friday at 11pm
and landed in Brisbane on the Sunday at 7am)? For me, it did mean that I got
to see a lot of films that I missed in the cinemas, or hadn't been released
yet, so time flew for me and I didn't really notice.
The next highlight was the Superbowl, for which I am still recovering. I'm
glad I went and watched it, well the bits I can remember anyway. I left my
glasses at the Hard Rock Café, so a friend of mine had to call the
next day, as I was very very horse, to see if they had found them. While explaining
the situation, he came up with one of the best quotes ever, "my friend
was taken ill last night". Meaning I went outside after the game, having
drunk some champagne, passed out and then threw my guts up. Must remember
to use that next time as an explanation to the Girlfriend.
And finally the best highlight, which was (timeline wise anyway) the first,
getting engaged to Pam. I popped the question just before we flew out on holiday.
Well when I say just, it was a good 10 days before hand. To give us enough
time to see various members of my family and give them the good news. The
wedding is due sometime in September 2003, in the UK. So you've got enough
time to start saving for a present.
I hope the week 16 reductions weren't too bad? We had one player (3
points) retire, 12 points of reductions, but the killer was the 10 step losses.
They are going to be hard to pay for, but now that I have a 5* QB, I can finally
say bye bye to Drew. Well a 2 year old QB can't be any worse then Drew
the last couple of seasons? Though he did seem to improve towards the end
of this season. Perhaps he knew that his place wasn't safe?
Thanks to Darren, Graham & Brucey for their contributions this week.
Wild Cards Games
NJ (10-6, W3) @ MD (10-6, L1) Last time : wk 16, 2004 (13 - 6)
Gerald : Tough one to call, but I think Miami will
get revenge for last week. Fish by 3.
Graham : Déjà vu. Both excellent
teams and there isn't much to choose between them. On that basis I have decided
that this week it's Miami's turn (scientific, eh?). MD 3
SPLATT : Miami by 4.
SF (10-6, L1) @ WR (12-4, L2) Last time : wk 13, 2004 (3 - 18)
Gerald : Hummm. Can Paul break that jinx , of never
winning a play-off game? Hummm. Well they did do it in the regular season
(beat the 49ers), but the play-offs just seem to bring the worst out of Washington.
But saying that I still think the jinx will be broken, but only just. Skins
Graham : Well, all reason says that the Skins should
be too strong as they've looked that way all season. But . . . they've just
lost two home games on the trot (Rams/Eagles) and, let us not forget, it is
Paul and the playoffs - a match historically not made in heaven. Still, its
time he broke the jinx so I am going to have to go against my divisional rivals.
SPLATT : Washington by 4.
AF (9-7, L2) @ PS (10-6, L1)
Gerald : Both teams are unlucky no to be in the
play-offs. The Steelers look the stronger team. Steelers by 7.
NS (6-10, W4) @ CI (8-8, W6)
Gerald : Both teams come into this game with good
current form, but the Bengals look the stronger team. Bengals by 10.
CB (4-11-1, L1) @ TB (6-10, L1)
Gerald : New coach, new gameplan, same result (losing).
Buccs by 3.
NE (6-10, L3) @ KC (5-10-1, W1)
Gerald : No comment.
DC (4-12, W1) @ DL (4-11-1, W1)
Gerald : The Lions D should win it for them, cause
their O sure as hell can't. But new boy Appleby will make it hard. Lions by
OR (3-13, L10) @ SS (3-13, L1)
Gerald : Well its sad to see that Derek (the last
remaining original coach) is no longer with us. What can the new coach do?
I think even "new coach" luck will not be enough quite yet. Raiders by 7.
by Graham Canwell (Week 16)
||A tough choice (as ever in the AFC for this award).
Buffalo just edged it, but there was hardly anything between them and
the Browns, Bengals, Steelers and Seahawks
||Kept the Dolphins out of the endzone, which is no
mean feat and makes them the clear winner of this award.
||Got his team into the playoffs at the death with a
great win in a do-or-die situation at a very very tough venue. No contest.
||An early warning from a team who will astonish me
if they don't take the division crown next season. Over 200 yards
both rushing and passing is tough to argue with, not to mention the 36
first downs. Not too much competition, with the possible exceptions of
the Rams and Cowboys
||In a crisis you can usually rely on Jon's D to
come up with the goods and they didn't disappoint. Best of the rest
were the Rams (much less reliable) and Vikings.
||Got his divisional title back with a great win against
a great rival, to set up yet another playoff clash with yours truly. Terrific
coaching as usual.
||The Broncos are regaining a bit of their traditional
prowess at Diddleyism (another new word). I seem to recall them beating
me in a Superbowl several years ago by similar methods, but this weeks
victims were divisional rivals Seattle.
Gerald to Richard : Very lucky last week. But
then, which was more important, the draft position or beating you? I think
you know which?
Gerald to Darren, Keith, Richard & Paul : Welcome
to the league and good luck for next season, but please fail in the Con Bowls.
Gerald to Brucey : I'm not going to be baited
by you, but at least I did have a better record than you. And don't forget
the other teams in the division (all 3 of them) also got to the play-offs.
What about your lot? Only one decent team.
Gerald to Tim : Well done, though luck did seem
to be on your side for a number of games. Any chance I can borrow some of
it for next season?
Gerald to Dean : Commiserations on going 0-16,
but well done on sticking with the team. Here's hoping that 2005 will be your
year and you'll win those close games this time and you never know perhaps
a winning season?
Graham to Jon : Spooky, isn't it, how this happens
pretty much every year. The last ever Miller/Cunningham showdown - hope it's
a classic (but of course I'll settle for a scrappy win if can get one!)
Graham to Paul S : Good luck on getting a playoff
win at last. Gerald broke his duck last year so its your turn.
Graham to New coaches : Too many to name individually,
but you know who you are. Welcome to the league. Looks like all hell is about
to break loose, which in this game is no bad thing.
Graham to Paul Macguire : Oh god - isn't three
times a season in AC enough???? And now we have two Paul M's so its confusing
to boot. Seriously though, I'm looking forward to another duel (at least it
can't be more than two a season here!)
Graham to Tim : Congratulations. Immaculate throughout,
as all those Rammys indicate (I've lost count but I bet it's a lot).
Darren to All Coaches : Hi everyone, looks like
a pretty tough league just got even tougher with the new additions. Looking
forward to seeing how good I really am as there are some top quality coaches
here. Mark Dixon suggested I should join the league, and 'someone' also suggested
I should change the Titans to the Ravens just to annoy Julian. I think I'll
wait until I play him before I annoy him!
Darren to Julian : Just in case you hadn't realised,
that wasn't me calling the plays for the Titans last week...
Brucey to All : The league is FULL! Added to
that, there is at least one other coach on stand-by, which should make for
one of the most competitive seasons yet. Things are really hotting up.
Brucey to The New Coaches : Nice to see you,
to see you... lose? I should wish, but, if you're playing me, it'll probably
be me with the loss :o(
Brucey to Coach Appleby : I'm expecting great
Brucey to Jon & Paul S : Oh dear. You'd better
get that Bowl now, before it's too late.
Brucey to Paul Mac : Be gentle.
Brucey to Gerald : Only finished half a game
behind you this season. Either I'm much improved, or ... :o)
A review, 2004
by Bruce Henderson
Have you ever wondered who set those all-time records, and how close
you may have got to setting some yourself? Well, let's take a glance
at the 2004 season stats and see if anything interesting is to be found.
Starting at the obvious, we must congratulate the Vikings for equaling
the 2003 Rams with another perfect season, only the second team to do
so. This also takes them to within 4 games (2nd place) or tying St.
Louis with the Most Consecutive Games won, of which the Rams' run ended
in their 14-19 loss in week 5 to San Francisco. On the other side of
the coin, the Cardinals stretched their record-breaking losing streak
to 29 games, in the process tying their 1996 record of an 0-16 season,
and remaining the only team in league history to do so. 2004 wasn't
a high-scoring season, although Tennessee and Kansas City managed to
score a combined 88 points in week 9 to set a new all-time points record
for a single game, easily beating the previous record of 84, set by
the Cowboys and Eagles in the final game of 2001. The points tally was
helped by the 12 touchdowns the two teams managed, equaling the record
of total touchdowns scored by that game of 2001. The Vikings' impressive
season was aided by 34 field goals, matching the record set by Tennessee
in 2001. Despite a trying season, the Rams conceded only 13 turnovers
throughout the 16 weeks, a new record, while at the same time accruing
a mind-numbing 46, a +33 advantage. In doing so, they also set a new
record, along with Minnesota, for the fewest interceptions in a season,
But it was on the ground where other records were tumbling. Coach Horne
worked his magic to amass 32 rushing TDs, with a record tying single
game 6 TDs in week 2 against the Steelers. And from the air, a surprised
Rams allowed New Orleans to set a single game passing record with 654
yards in week 14, 131 yards more than the previous record of 523 set
by Seattle in week 4 of 2002. The combined passing yardage in that game
of 1,013 yards broke the 1000 yard barrier (in passing) for the first
time in league history, and helped break the most combined yardage (rushing
and passing) total two both teams at 1,055 yards, edging out the previous
weeks' record setting performance by the Patriots and Broncos, by 18
yards. In fact, the single-team record for most yards in a game of 569
yards, set in week 4 of the 2002 season by Seattle, was broken 4 times
in 2004, by 3 teams, Kansas City (582, 643), New England (601), and
New Orleans (654).
On the other side of the ball, the Defenses struggled to ward off a
season of offensive prowess, although the Lions powered their way to
a record-breaking 71 sacks for the season, 7 more than the Bills' 2002
record of 64. Arizona, showing why they struggled throughout 2004, had
only 22 sacks, a league record. Philadelphia also managed to tie for
the fewest passing TDs allowed at 7, equaling their previous best from
1999, along with Cincinnati (2000), and St. Louis (1998).
Overall, it was a year for the offense, and with the influx of new
coaching talent, we may see some of the same for 2005.
| Darren Birtchnell
|Fav NFL Team
||NFLBP Sept 97-present, NFLBF Aug 99-present, NFLBY Dec
||158-35-1, played in 4 Super Bowls, winning 2, reached conference
championship 3 other times & only missed playoffs once, my first season.
|End of Season Awards
Well it's that time of year again, to vote for the best and worst
of NFLAB. I'd like to get these results in the 2005 Pre-Season
issue, along with the Superbowl review. So that gives you fours weeks
to get your votes in. Remember you can't vote for yourself, except
in the last two categories.
Last season winners are in brackets.
Best Offence (Rams)
Best Defence (Redskins)
Best Team (Redskins)
Best Coach (Canwell - SR)
Best Rookie Coach (Horne - CL)
Most Improved Team (Browns)
Most disappointing team (Jets)
Most Hated Coach (Graham Canwell)
Don't forget to visit the following sites :
Well that's all for this week and good luck with the draft, which has 29
3 point (or better) players. Should mean quite a few will be still there come
the second round.