[the board]
Week 18
2004

by Gerald Udowiczenko

Well due to not much space because of a full postbag and not much to say I'll be keeping this short.

No real surprises in the first round of the draft, other than the number of 3* players still left and that the Dolphins really wanted a punter, but unfortunately so did the Saints and Lions.

As always many thanks to Apple, Jon, Graham, Brucey & Tim for their contributions. Cheers guys without you the newsletter just won't happen.

Wild Cards Games

NJ (11-6, W4) @ CL (12-4, W1) Last time : wk 13, 2004 (10 - 42)
Gerald : The jets are on a good roll at present, but will that extra game give the Browns the edge they need? Don't think so. Jets by 3.
Graham : After the display their offence put up last week it is dangerous to bet against the Jets, but one wonders how much time that offence will get to spend on the field given the Browns ball-control ability. CL 7.
Jon : The jets have put on a late surge to come into the playoffs as a form team. This, however, should be a game too far for them, even though the Browns' form hasn't been quite what their coach wanted. CL x 3
SPLATT : Cleveland by 1.

DB (12-4, W1) @ BB (14-2, W4) Last time : wk 15, 2004 (20 - 35)
Gerald : Can't really see the Bills losing yet. But it will be a lot closer than their last meeting. Bills by 6.
Graham : Richard's AB playoff record is pretty breathtaking so you have to back him, even against another past champion in the form of Dave's Broncos. Denver haven't actually garnered much attention this year, having strolled to the title of a very, very weak division. BB 6.
Jon : Another traditional post season game. Expect some serious offence here. The Bills have the edge though as, with all due respect, the AFC West hasn't been as much of a challenge as the East. BB x 4.
SPLATT : Buffalo by 5.

WR (13-4, W1) @ MV (16-0, W18) Last time : wk 3, 2004 (7 - 23)
Gerald : The Skins have finally broken that Jinx, but to advance they have one difficult opponent to beat. Which I feel will be one too many obstacle. Vikes by 3.
Graham : The pressure is off Paul - he's got that first playoff win and he'll be the underdog here against the all-conquering Vikings. If both his offensive and defensive units are in top form he may have a shot, but there aren't too many chinks in Minnesota's armour and unless they get complacent they ought to have that bit too much. MV 10.
Jon : Well, Paul's finally broken his duck. So now it's time to carry on the good work and show what his D is made of. The Vikes have been near unstoppable this season, but history is there to repeat itself and last season the 16-0 Rams lost at this stage. So an upset is on the cards. WR x 1.
SPLATT : Washington by 5.

SR (11-5, W2) @ PE (12-4, W1) Last time : wk 13, 2004 (12 - 28)
Gerald : The old boys meet yet again and what a game it should be. The Rams have started on the slippery slope of losing as many games as Superbowl appearances and will not only want to avenge the regular season loss, but last seasons Divisional Game. But I think the Eagles will be too strong. Eagles by 10.
Graham : Seemingly an AB annual event. This year's instalment takes place in Philly, where I've enjoyed two of my most spectacular AB playoff victories but have generally had a rotten time during the regular season. We desperately need to summon up one of our better performances, because the other kind has become an increasingly common sight this season and will spell certain doom if it rears its ugly head again.
Jon : 2 veteran QBs in their traditional post-season meeting. Graham has a far superior record in playoffs, but I hope this is farewell to Miller all the same.
SPLATT : Philadelphia by 3.

Silver Bowl

SF (10-7, L2) @ MD (10-7, L1)
Gerald : The Fish look the stronger team and are at home. So Fish by 6.

NS (7-10, W5) @ PS (11-6, W1)
Gerald : Saints keep up their winning streak, but only just (as the Steelers look at the Con Bowl in the same vain as Man U do with the Worthington Cup). Saints by 3.

NE (6-11, W1) @ CB (7-10, W1)
Gerald : No comment.

SS (4-13, W1) @ DL (5-11-1, W2)
Gerald : Lions D dominates, as normal. But for a change their offensive also turn up. Lions by 10.

Bronze Bowl

AC (0-16, L28) @ TT (3-13, L5)
Gerald : The Cards will want to end this losing streak as soon as possible. But I fear that it will probably get well into the 30's before they are able to do so. But saying that, I still think the Titans will struggle. But still should come out on top. Titans by 1.

OR (3-14, L11) @ DC (4-13, L1)
Gerald : The Raiders are another team that want to break their current streak. But they will find it touch against a Cowboys team who want to achieve great things and will be bitterly disappointed with last weeks display. Boyz wake up and win by 2.

KC (5-11-1, L1) @ TB (6-11, L2)
Gerald : Tough one to call, as the Chiefs do have a great offence, at times. But I don't think this week will be one of those times . Buccs by 3.

CI (8-9, L1) @ AF (9-7, L3)
Gerald : Paul (Gregory) will have been bitterly disappointed to have lost last week, especially as the Benglas came into the game with a great winning streak. But lost they did and I think they will do so again, as the Falcon are one of the teams very unlucky not to have got to the play-offs. Falcons by 10.

by Graham Canwell (Week 17)  

PLAYOFFS
Offence New York Most of the points might have come in the final quarter was this was an almost flawless performance throughout, especially from QB Chad Pennington (who I note is a mere 2 year vet - maybe there's hope for me next year after all . . .)
Defence Washington Paul finally broke his playoff duck, and did it with his trademark Redskins football - a solid running game and that renowned stingy defence.
Coach Purrington (NJ) For the second week running came up with a stunning display in the face of potential elimination. An easy award to give, although for slaying a personal demon Paul definitely deserves an honourable mention.
 

CON BOWL
Offence Pittsburgh Took out some of their frustration at missing the playoffs on the unfortunate Falcons. The engagingly erratic Pats were the best of the rest.
Defence Detroit A unit famous for its perpetual heroic struggle to overcome that oh-so-dodgy Lions offence. There was no way the offence was going to sabotage this week's defensive effort, which limited the Cowboys to just 147 offensive yards.
Coach Dilworth (NS) Has the Saints playing fantastically well right now. Maybe they'll wear themselves out before next season gets under way (he sighed longingly).
 
  The Diddley Chicago I've never seen Paul need to turn to Diddleying to get wins in AC but he clearly demonstrated this week that he can turn his hand to it if the need does arise, as the Buccs demonstrated the fine art of getting minimo points for maximo yardage.  

 

Gerald to Brucey : Sorry due I wasn't able to put your stuff in this week. But I will be there next week.

Gerald to Paul S. : At last. Now can you go all the way?

Gerald to Tim : You sure were :o)

Gerald to All Pauls : There are too many of you, please chose different names. Well at least 3 of you.

Gerald to Terry : First time I've ever seen 3 team go for a punter in the first round. You must be gutted about only getting a 2* player?

Gerald to Paul Mac : So will I use any Play Action Passes? By the time you read this (assuming you read the Gameplan first?) you'll know?

Gerald to Apple : Come in No.6.

Graham to Jon : What can I say. Let's roll.

Graham to Paul S : Congratulations on breaking that playoff duck. Well deserved and long overdue.

Jon to Graham : I hope this is Miller's final game!

Jon to Paul S : Congratulations. About time. Now all you have to do is beat the 16-0 Vikes as a W/C team. You've got a chance - I did it to Graham last season in the same circumstances.

Jon to All : Nice though it is to have the No.1 D, it won't count for anything if it doesn't perform in the playoffs.

Jon to the New coaches : Welcome one and all. Next season's going to be a killer!

Jon to Stuart : I see your poor general playoff form continued. Don't take it too hard. You're a coach that people worry about. And look at Paul Spence. Now 1-9 in playoff games (I think). (My records show 1-7? Ed.)

Jon to All : Regarding the (real-life) Superbowl, I was struck by the stats. I'm pretty convinced that if we'd seen them on the round-up, Graham would have awarded the Pats a Diddley. If I'd been reading it play by play I would have felt robbed. Yet it didn't actually seem that way whilst watching the game.....

Tim to Gerald : Yeah I was really lucky when I beat you.

Tim to Graham : Thanks for the congrats - I hope I don't get to play you in the playoffs, I cannot se me beating you twice in a season.

Tim to Troy : I think you may be worth a small bet for the Silver Bowl title.

Coaching Profile

Name

Richard Appleby (though prefers to be called Apple).
Occupation Postie
Age 37
Location Daventry  
Gameplan Experience 8 years, 15 SB appearances, 10 wins.
Favourite Team Arizona Cardinals (20 years of pain).
Interests

Cricket (Bears), Most sports. Played and reached county Level (Warwicks) at Darts

Favourite TV

The Prisoner- Patrick McGoohan.

Favourite Music The Kinks.

Cowboys Choke
by Apple

After my first game in charge and utter hammering at the hands of the Lions (of all teams) I think I have some work to do! 20 points of strengths have been retired or waived after the first draft round, major changes have taken place in all departments, I'm going with a 5* QB 2yrs this year and hope to get near a .500% split.

The FA market is not to my liking as I only intend to buy 2 people that will suit my gameplan, I will be moving to a 3-4 Def & having a full compliment of WR's & RB's (I hope) to maximise the Offence potential of this team, the other 150 LP's left over, I will use to train some of the more experienced guys in basic skills which is sadly lacking in all areas. The training schedule I use will take a season to implement (for the carry over) I was hoping for some help in this section, unfortunately the training I do have in most cases is not even enough to get 1 carry over, this has been a big headache in trying to "save" some plays for next season and not start from scratch.

Overall the team could be in good shape if we draft and bid successfully but a winning season is not expected until the season after. This is a big rebuilding job as I believe they have not had a coach for a while.


The Making of the 2004 Vikings
by Tim Whitfield

I took over the Vikings after week 4 of the 2000 season. They were 0-4 and one of the worst teams in the league. The roster had a lot of places filled by one star players and the defence was weak. The receiving corps was experienced but reaching retirement and devoid of return strengths. The most positive aspect was the running back position with two excellent young prospects, a 4* rookie and a 3* second year player.

I ended the season 6-9-1 which meant I had a winning season and drafted 9th. I concentrated on defence picking up a couple of DBs and a LB. The next season I started 1-5 and thought that I was never going to make it. But after I coached my DB to make him 4* I went on a five game winning streak and ended up as divisional champs.

The next season I did some more surgery to make the roster stronger at individual positions. I also upped my return capacity. 2002 was my break out season winning the Central 13-3, beating the Rams in regular season only to lose to them in the playoffs.

There is no good explanation for why the Vikings performed so poorly in 2003. But it did set me up for the next season. In the off-season I was able to pick up a free agent 5* QB. I raised the 50 LP by sacrificing my kicker (replacing him in the draft) and by giving up two step losses. I had squad strengths 1.5 below the league average!

It was worth it. My new QB went from 17 INTs to a league record 6 in 2004. The offence took off with the running backs now reaching maturity the running game set up the passing game and forced oppositions into change up mode. I got my revenge on the Rams. I played the big games great but tended to struggle against the lower teams - the Lions and Bears running me particularly close.

I don't know if I can make it through the playoffs but I think that I've established the Vikes as a major force for several years to come.


Turnovers (by net Giveaways/Takeaways) NFLAB Season 2004 - upto Week 16
Giveaways Takeaways Net
Team Fumbles Ints Total Rank Fumbles Ints Total Rank Total Rank
Denver 9 18 27 4= 17 25 42 4 15 3
Buffalo 14 14 28 8= 13 28 41 5= 13 4=
Cleveland 19 16 35 16 19 27 46 1= 11 7
Pittsburgh 19 18 37 17 21 24 45 3 8 8=
Miami 13 19 32 11= 17 23 40 7= 8 8=
New England 12 15 27 4= 18 9 27 15= 0 10=
Kansas City 12 18 30 10 10 20 30 14 0 10=
Cincinnati 13 19 32 11= 14 17 31 12= -1 12=
Seattle 14 20 34 14= 15 18 33 10 -1 12=
New York 18 21 39 19= 4 21 25 19= -14 20=
Oakland 19 29 48 23 15 16 31 12= -17 22
Tennessee 19 31 50 24 12 11 23 23 -27 24
Giveaways Takeaways Net
Team Fumbles Ints Total Rank Fumbles Ints Total Rank Total Rank
St Louis 7 6 13 1 21 25 46 1= 33 1
Minnesota 10 6 16 2 10 31 41 5= 25 2
Washington 16 9 25 3 20 18 38 9 13 4=
Philadelphia 14 14 28 8= 24 16 40 7= 12 6
San Francisco 9 18 27 4= 12 14 26 18 -1 12=
Dallas 12 15 27 4= 13 12 25 19= -2 15
Tampa Bay 17 21 38 18 20 12 32 11 -6 16
Arizona 10 24 34 14= 12 15 27 15= -7 17
Atlanta 19 14 33 13 9 12 21 24 -12 18
Chicago 17 23 40 21 11 16 27 15= -13 19
Detroit 16 23 39 19= 13 12 25 19= -14 20=
New Orleans 23 24 47 22 11 13 24 22 -23 23

End of Season Awards

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)

 
Someone has asked for an additional category to be considered for inclusion in the End of Season Awards and I'm more than happy to oblige, especially as they have included a vote. The new Award is
  Worst Team
(and you can vote yourself if you want)
 

Well that about it for this week, with a little luck I could get a good run in the Con Bowl? While it doesn't really mean that much (but reading a gameplan were you win is always nice), it does give me that extra training opportunity and if I go all the way, the chance of showing what I could have done If Only...



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 ?