[the board]
Week 20
2004

by Gerald Udowiczenko

Thanks to all those who got stuff into me early, as I was away for Easter. I've just noticed that the deadline has been put back a date, so baring this in mind, I will hold on till Tuesday to send it off. On the off chance that I get the Rammys from Graham. Which I did and I've included.

Thanks to Brucey, Jon, Mark, Apple, Paul & Graham for this weeks contributions. As always guys, many thanks.

Superbowl XVI

 
 
(16-2, W6) vs (15-4, W3)

Gerald : Destiny by 3. (That's the Skins, that is)
Mark : Well it's taken forever, but the Redskins have won a playoff game. Are they going to go the whole hog and win the whole thing? I don't think so. The Bills looked very good getting past former Champs Cleveland whereas the 'skins crept in by the skin of their teeth. Though it's not how you win just that you win that matters I still don't think it'll be enough... Bills by 12.
SPLATT : Washington by 4.

Championship Bowl

 
 
(13-5, L1) vs (13-5, L1)

Gerald : Humm haven't we been here before? Doubt either really cares and I can't see the gameplan changing. Eagles by 7.
Mark : Last years Super Bowl becomes this years Champ Bowl (becomes next years Divisional Bowl, then Silver Bowl? :-). If these two had met in the SB I would've tipped the Browns and I see no reason to change my Point of view. Browns by 7.

Divisional Bowl

 
 
(12-7, W1) vs (17-1, W1)

Gerald : Tough one to call, but I think the Vikes will be just too strong for the Jets, but then again they have surprised many a time. Vikes by 10.
Mark : Bloody Jets. First they deny me my rightful place in the playoffs then they end up in the divisional game... Where I truly hope that get creamed by the Vikings. Though it seems that having gone 16-0 and then getting themselves knocked out of the playoffs proper the Vikes have lost heart. I think that they'll find enough heart to win this though. Vikings by 7.

Silver Bowl

 
 
(7-11-1, W4) vs (12-7, W2)

Gerald : A great display of AFC East dominance here. The Appearance of the Fish in the Silver Bowl, mean that only yours truly failed to get to a final. If Brucey can find some 'O' they a chance, but I've got to go with the Eastern. Fish by 10.
Mark : Bloody Dolphins. They are good enough to win this. I wanted to play our very own AB webmaster, but it was not to be. The Dolphins should shut the limited Lion O down completely and they are good enough to score a few of their own. Dolphins by 3.

Bronze Bowl

 
 
(6-13, W2) vs (8-11-1, W2)

Gerald : If Ian can keep this up into next season then the Chiefs could be back? Chiefs by 3.
Mark : The Cowboys (under their new head man) are probably going to surprise the Chiefs with something unexpected to sneak themselves Bronze bowl honours. The Chiefs looked good against the Bengals last week though so who knows? I'll back the 'boys on feeling. Cowboys by 4.

Pre-Season

OR @ TT
Gerald : The Raiders still seem to be finding their way in AB, while the Titans just narrowly lost out in OT last week. Titans by 3.

AC @ CB
Gerald : Not a convincing game last week from the Bears, but they should be too strong for the Cards. Who are hopefully keeping that first win for the regular season? Bears by 10.

TB @ NE
Gerald : No Comment.

NO @ AF
Gerald : Tough loss for the Falcs last week, should mean they'll be tough to beat. Falcons by 7.

PS @ CI
Gerald : Well does Mark really care ( I doubt it. Bengals by 10.

SS @ DB
Gerald : Two new coaches, two new gameplans. Don't know. So I'll go with homefield. Broncos/Chargers by 3.

SR @ SF
Gerald : A bit of a slapping last week for the Rams should make them very mean to play this week. Thought both coaches know each other from the NFC West, I think the Rams will be too strong. Rams by 10.

by Graham Canwell (Week 19)  

PLAYOFFS
Offence Buffalo Racking up 45 points on the Browns is not easy!!! The kind of effort we've come to expect from Richard in the playoffs.
Defence Washington An excellent unit finally getting the playoff results they've deserved for several years now. Defended a narrow lead on the road against a very good Eagles team and just outdoing Philly's also excellent D in the process.
Coach Spence (WR) I think he's finally got the hang of this playoff lark. After a few years of high expectations has decided to do it against all the odds this season. Richard, of course, deserves some accolades too, as his standards just never seem to drop.
 

CON BOWL
Offence Kansas City The Chiefs often seem to produce offensive performances like this. But not often enough to get them anywhere near the playoffs in recent years. Other great performances from the Jets, Cowboys, Vikings and pats (amongst others).
Defence Detroit Not many candidates for this so the Lions efforts against Chicago scoop the prize. Defences in fact seem to have left for their offseason holidays rather early this year.
Coach Henderson (DL) But will he yet again forget how to coach when week 1 comes around? Maybe this year will be different - come on Bruce, we know you can do it!!!!
 
  The Diddley Washington This can be a bit of an art form and Paul is proving he's got it mastered when it counts. Diddleying usually requires top-notch special teams and the Skins certainly have them. One more Diddley to go . . . .  

 

Gerald to Paul Gorner : Good luck with the relocation to San Diego.

Gerald to Paul S : Well you've certainly beaten this jinx in style. The problem being, what can you now do next season?

Gerald to Paul Mes : Close game last week. Not quite sure why you didn't try the 51 yard FG to tie the game? But in the end I think the better team won?

Gerald to Richard : Good luck, but I just don't think you've a chance against Destiny.

Gerald to Mark D : So you didn't care about the Con Bowl then? :-) I never believed you.

Brucey to Gerald : No offence at all. Glad we didn't have to meet in the non-playoffs. Still, you get a chance to beat me next season.

Brucey to Paul S : What's going on, m8 ?? You spend forever never winning a playoff game, and the next thing, you are facing the Bills in the SuperBowl. Good Luck. At least you can sleep well in the knowledge that SPLATT has had you down to win EVERY game this postseason... Including the final, no less.

Brucey to Coach Ogg : Sorry. I have to go with the computer prediction. ;-)

Brucey to Dean : Going to be a bit harder in the East now, huh?

Brucey to Tim : I think the Bears will be challenging you for the division in 2005. It's gonna be close.

Mark to Jon Heath : Unlucky, where'd your O go?

Mark to Julian Horne : Well it was only a matter of time before he did you. You'll be back.

Mark to Paul Spence : Do 'im :-)

Mark to Apple : OS DE :-(

Mark to Gerald : Back to the Drawing Board (TM) then?

Mark to Bruce : Do 'im!

Mark to The AFC East : I'm startin' to dislike you÷. :-)

Mark to All : Well best of luck to all of you for next year. You'll all need it! :-)

Graham to Jon : Commiserations. See you week 15 next year!

Graham to Paul S : These playoff wins are like buses -you wait around for ages and then they all come along at once!

Graham to Richard : At least one of us is keeping tradition alive!! Another brilliant performance.

Draft
by Mark Dixon

We went into the draft in pretty good shape, probably in too good shape really as no one retired. Compensation was thus negligible and the rest of the draft was a desperate attempt to deal with the step-losses (and important reductions are going to have to wait a few weeks).
KK Norm Johnson picked up a step loss and his P45. His spot will be taken by our 1st round pick Kris Brown who's looked good in practice.

Next to go was Veteran ILB Levon Kirkland. We replaced him in round 2 with Levon Kirkland Jnr. Junior will be playing OLB on the weak side of the D where his open field tackling and pass coverage skills will be of most use.

In round 3 we added a WR to our threadbare receiver corps. These guys are going to need a lot of help from the running game again next year, but hopefully we'll be able to spread them far enough apart to allow one of them to give 4yr QB Steward a clear throw.

All in all it wasn't a bad draft for us, Injuries have hit quite hard (4 points above the league average), but we still have a solid core of healthy talent (6 points above the league average on 'safe' players.
Looking forward to next year. Hopefully this time we'll win that clinching game and we'll actually make it to the big boys party :o)


The NFC Championship Game Review
by Jon Heath

Overall, a disappointing loss. I went for it on offence and it did, to a degree work. Yardage was good, points weren't. However two critical plays (whether they were mistakes by my O or good play by the Skins' D isn't too relevant) won Washington the game. As you can probably guess, they were turnovers. One gave Washington the ball on my 9, one on my 7. Result? 2 TDs and the win. I am glad it was a close game and there is a sense of deja vue here, as Paul's team have done exactly what my Eagles did last year in getting to the big game. I also can't really begrudge him the win as he's been damn unlucky not to win a playoff game before this season. One day all that bad luck has to be balanced out by some good luck, and it certainly has been so far. I wish him all the best for the big game, but I'm predicting a Bills win as, if the pattern of last season continues, Paul will recreate my close loss to the Browns last year. I just hope I'm wrong.

Roll on next season, as it's almost certainly Cunningham's last chance at a Superbowl ring. I don't want him to fit the real life Marino bracket!


Cowboy Cack
by Richard Appleby

The Boys are getting there I can assure you, after our nail biting win over Mr Birchnell in the Bronze bowl, we feel the job has been done what we wanted to achieve, i.e. to get as much training in as possible to give us something to start off with next season. We will be trying to win the Bronze bowl but to be honest I couldn't give a monkeys, we done what we wanted and the result is not going to get us more training.
The squad continues to improve and will be somewhere near where I want it for the opening games, the crappy FA market has not yielded anyone we need at present & I still have 149 LP's to spend, I would rather buy some decent 3* or 2* players but there aren't any so I will have to use my LP's to train the guys I have got, not ideal but there you go. I will be looking forward to making an impact on the east next season but I feel my best year maybe the one after when I have at least some carry over in the plays I use the most. The NFC looks a competitive conference with some well known names, looks good & I'm going to enjoy playing them, be seeing you.


Revolution at Ford Field

by The Roving Reporter

Change is good they say, especially when talking my about underwear, and this off-season has been no exception in Detroit.

After making noises for the last few seasons, the management has finally found some new minds to focus on the abysmal efforts of their offence over recent times.
According to one spokesperson, this will enable the head-coach to work on his defensive strengths, safe in the knowledge that the offense, a part of the team that since arriving at Detroit has fallen into disrepair, will be in good hands.
It's not clear who in fact are heading up the offensive coaching staff changes, but they are most definitely starting a revolution. Possibly most surprised by the changes taking place was long time starter Charlie Batch, who is now hoping another team, might pick him up after being waived earlier this week. It's certainly not that he hadn't been consistent over recent seasons, it's just that he had been consistently bad, easing the Lions easily toward the bottom of the league in both passing yards and touchdowns.
When asked about the events leading up to his dismissal, Batch replied, "Hey man, I show up Monday for practice and the coach tells me to get my stuff. How the **** do you think I feel?"
On Tuesday a new face appeared in the front office at Ford Field. The rising star and former University of Michigan graduate, Scott Dreisbach arrived, to take over the reigns as starting quarterback.
The Lions immediately allocated him to NFL Europe team Claymores to gain some crucial scrimmage time and develop his leadership skills. Originally drafted by the Raiders, a season-ending broken leg during a preseason game had him on the bench, to finally be waived later. "I've been a little unlucky til now," Dreisbach said of his professional career to date, "but I'm eager to show the Lions what I'm capable of".

When questioned about the spring camp in Europe, Dreisbach appeared happy about the game time he'd be receiving there, "Yeah, it's kinda cool. Look how it helped Warner. The more you get to play, the more chance you have to develop skills that the vet's have as second-nature". Valid points indeed.
However, was he not concerned as to sustaining other injuries. "Every time you step onto the field there's a chance of getting injured. I think the benefits of game experience out-way that". Coach Henderson also agreed, "Experience is the key. And training. Experience and training. Yeah, what he said".

There were other roster changes during the off-season. Notably, linebacker Chris Claiborne and fullback Cory Schlesinger's retirements. Claiborne, a member of the very experienced and highly rated defence will be sorely missed, and one wonders how they might fill in the large hole made by his departure. Certainly, the drafting of ex-KU Chaz Murphy is hoped to shore up the exposed seams, but with the line backing corps looking decidedly younger these days, one wonders how they are going to stand up to the beating.
With Schlesinger's departure, Stewart is likely to move into the fullback slot, although they'd possibly be looking for experience from elsewhere before the new season gets underway, as Sedrick Irvin is still learning the ropes as 3rd down back and special teamer. Tight end Walter Rasby was also released early after a niggling back injury returned. This opened up the scouts to acquire seven year pro, John Waerig through free agency. His experience should have him sliding straight into a starting role.
Pressed for his hopes for the coming campaign, the coach would only say, "Aye, time will tell, time will tell".

Only time will tell if the turnover of staff will result in a turn-around in results. Certainly, finishing with another 4-win record won't be doing the coach or the players much good.


Coaching Profile

Name

Paul Gorner
Age 33
Info

I'm greatly looking forward to competing in AB. I've seen that this league has some of the greatest coaches and I can't wait to get coaching the soon to be Chargers (Paul will be renaming and relocating the Denver Broncos. Ed)

I'm 33 years old, live in Barnsley but originated from Sunderland. I have a family of which I spend a lot of time with my 12 year old son and soccer. He plays for Barnsley Football Academy of which I'm a professional coach there.

I started gameplan way back in 1989 and stopped for a while around 1997. In that time I've been in the Superbowl three times but won just the one. I started back in gameplan just before Christmas and made many friends already thanks to the gameplan club site and endzone. I currently do four more teams (BX, BG, N & BU) and soon to be a 6th team!!


End of Season Awards
Remember you can't vote for yourself, except in the last three categories. You've only got two more weeks till the voting closes, so get them in soon.

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)

Worst Team
(and you can vote yourself if you want)
 

 

Web Sites

Don't forget to visit the following sites :
http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/gameplan
(Though please note that you now need a Yahoo! ID to assess this, as it is now in Groups and not Clubs)
www.endzone1.co.uk
brucey.net/nflab/

 

Well we almost made it a full 4th page, but not quite. If I could remind both Superbowl contenders that it is customary for one (of both?) of them to write-up a report on the Superbowl. So good luck to you both.



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 ?