[the board]
Week 4
2005

by Gerald Udowiczenko

So is everyone enjoying the World Cup? Just like this currently season of AB, there have been a lot of surprise results, haven't there. In AB we are now down to two teams in each conference with perfect records, while we still have three teams looking to get off the mark, two of which are in the NFC. And the NFC has the slightly better record with six teams having a wining record, compared to only five in the AFC. But as this is still early days, and a lot of things can still change.

As always thanks to APPLE, Brucey, Graham, Darren, Mark & Jon.

Week 3
Name Correct /
Predicted
Total Pct
Gerald 7/11 23/33 70
SPLATT 7/12 25/36 69
Darren   8/11 73

SS (0-3, L4) @ BB (3-0, W7) Last time : wk 13, 2004 (24 - 28)
Gerald : A good performance last week from the Bills keeps them on top of the division and still unbeaten. After last weeks poor performance, the Hawks will want to improve and break their duck. Unfortunately, I fear they may be on a hiding to nothing. Bills by 28.
Jon :
After the pounding the Seahawks took at the hands of the Pats I can't see anything except a Buffalo win here. Bills by 14.
Darren : Bills by 21.
SPLATT : Buffalo by 15.

OR (1-2, W1) @ MD (2-1, L1) Last time : wk 3, 2004 (9 - 23)
Gerald : Well they surprised everyone last week with a very convincing win over the much fancied Jets. This week I don't think the surprise will be there, but saying that, the Fish did lose last week and did look susceptible to bung n hope tactics. Whether that will work again for the Raiders is questionable, but they might come up with some new, in which case the Fish had better be on top form. Fish by 10.
Jon : The Raiders' new coach hit the ground running last week but the Dolphins did push the Browns close. As long as their D continues to get the turnovers I reckon Miami will sneak it. Dolphins by 1.
Darren : Dolphins by 4.
SPLATT : Miami by 12.

CI (1-2, W1) @ NY (1-2, L2) Last time : wk 4, 2004 (6 - 41)
Gerald : A good win for Paul last week, broke their duck which could be perfecting timing, as their opponents, the Jets look like they're reeling a bit after a good start to the season and could be in feel fall? If the Bengals can produce the same yardage as last week and reduce the turnovers, then they have a real chance of an upset. Bengals by 1.
Jon : I think the Jets were caught by surprise last week and despite the Bengals breaking their duck the Jets should be too strong. Jets by 3.
Darren : Jets by 7.
SPLATT : New York by 1.

TT (2-1, W2) @ NE (2-1, W1) Last time : wk 11, 2004 (26 - 20)
Gerald : No comment.
Jon :
The Titans are showing themselves to be genuine challengers whilst the Pats have started well. This could show which one is the real deal. Titans by 1.
Darren : No comment.
SPLATT : New England by 1.

SD (1-2, L1) @ CL (3-0, W4) Last time : wk 4, 2004 (17 - 33)
Gerald : The Browns snuck past the Jets last week thanks to a great first quarter. If the Chargers can keep it close and not let the Browns get a big lead, then they have a real chance of beating them. However the Browns seems to have found their form of their Superbowl winning season and I think will be hard to stop. Browns by 6.
Jon : The Browns are always one of the teams to beat and San Diego aren't yet. Browns by 7.
Darren : Browns by 10.
SPLATT : Cleveland by 8.

KC (1-2, L1) @ PS (1-2, L2) Last time : wk 15, 2004 (6 - 30)
Gerald : Both team had disappointing games last week, but more so for the Chiefs. As while it wasn't spectacular, they had an impressive offensive display, but just could do enough to win. While the Steelers had a mare. Tough one to call, as both teams seem very hot & cold at present and with both teams needing the win, it's going to be close. But I think the old boy will come good. Chiefs by 3.
Jon : The old Chiefs appeared last week. Yards but not enough points. That won't suffice against the Steelers. Pittsburgh by 3.
Darren : Steelers by 8.
SPLATT : Pittsburgh by 2.

AF (2-1, W1) @ PE (2-1, W2) Last time : wk 4, 2004 (7 - 27)
Gerald : Both teams had impressive defensive performances last week, keeping their opponents to either FGs or a shutout. This week will be a lot different, as I think we'll see both offensives shining. So who will shine brightest? I think it's a day to wear black. Falcons by 3 (OT).
Jon : Will the real Eagles please stand up? This one's usually a messy game.
Darren : Eagles by 10.
SPLATT : Philadelphia by 3.

NS (3-0, W7) @ WR (2-1, W2) Last time : wk 4, 2004 (14 - 19)
Gerald : The Saints are looking one real mean team at present. Having conceded only 33 points so far and 23 of them came in last weeks game, they also seem to have the luck of the devil (lotd). As they somehow managed to win a game in which they weren't even second. But a win is a win no matter how lucky or ugly it is. This week will be a real test of how good or lucky they are, as they come up against the Champs. Who themselves are on a high after an overtime win against one of the fancied teams in the NFC. This should be as close as the last time these two teams met, with the result going the same way. Skins by 3.
Jon : If the 'Skins D appears from last season they'll win. If not, the Saints will win by virtue of their long range pass attack. Saints by 2.
Darren : Saints by 6.
SPLATT : New Orleans by 1.

CB (2-1, W1) @ DC (1-2, L2) Last time : wk 15, 2004 (24 - 14)
Gerald : The Cowboys must be feeling what did we do wrong, after they lost last week. They totally dominated, yet came up short, I suspect that the failed 4th downs probably cost them the game. This week they will have to do much the same against a Bears team that slowly looks like they're finding their feet. But I don't think the Bears will find this an easy game, as the Boyz also seem to be finding their feet. Which should make this a very close encounter. Boyz by 1.
Jon : 2 of the new boys go head to head. The Cowboys were lucky to get close to the Eagles but pushed the Saints as well. The Bears stuffed the Eagles. Bears by 1.
Darren : Bears by 1.
SPLATT : Chicago by 1.

DL (3-0, W4) @ AC (0-3, L32) Last time : wk 7, 2004 (20 - 14)
Gerald : Well are we dreaming? Is that 3 in the win column? Yes, after years of farting around getting good draft picks and doing nothing with them Brucey has woken up to the fact that you need a gameplan, as well as a squad to win games. All this doesn't look good for the Cards, who seem destined to carrying on their record for a number of weeks yet. As for the Lions, is this too early to start talking about "perfect seasons"? Lions by 17.
Jon : What's going on? This should normally decide who picks first in the draft! _ With the Lions at 3-0 there's only one result. Lions by 14.
Darren : Lions by 21.
SPLATT : Detroit by 12.

SR (1-2, L1) @ MV (1-2, L1) Last time : wk 7, 2004 (14 - 27)
Gerald : Both teams need the win and must be in shock that they have losing records (ok so it is only week 3, but even so, who would have thought it? Its like France losing their opening game to Senegal () and are 2 games behind their respective divisional leaders. So a loss here could spell trouble to either team. Like Jon, I think homefield will just swing it towards the Vikes. But anything could happen in the game. Vikes by 2.
Jon : An important game for both of the old hands as a result of the new challenges. As Minnesota are at home, Vikings by
Darren : Vikings by 3.
SPLATT : Minnesota by 2.

SF (1-2, L2) @ TB (0-3, L4) Last time : wk 11, 2004 (34 - 10)
Gerald : The Buccs will want to forget last weeks game and hope they can start scoring offensively. Because if they don't, it's going to be a very tough season. The 49ers came close last week, but just couldn't score in the second half. Which might be costly this week, but somehow I think it will take more than one week for the Buccs to get over the mauling, which will suit Mark. 49ers by 4.
Jon : Can the Buccs improve? They need to soon. 49ers by 10.
Darren : 49ers by 7.
SPLATT : Tampa Bay by 3.

by Graham Canwell (Week 3)  
Offence Oakland AFC offence back to normal this week. The Raiders just edged it over stiff competition from the Browns, Dolphins and Bengals after their big-play bonanza against the Jets.
Defence New England Defensive performances against the Hawks might be excluded from contention soon at this rate, but for now the Pats cannot be ignored! A shutout, not many yards, loads of turnovers. Given the AFC's general lack of D this was a no-brainer.
Coach Crowther (OA) A great way to open your account - convincingly on the road against a very tough opponent.
 
Offence Detroit Looks like offensive performances against us might soon be excluded too if we carry on at this rate, since we seem to have taken the "at" out of stop at nothing". Great job by the Lions offence though, and a sensational game.
Defence Philadelphia You can usually rely on the Philly D for a
few spectacular performances a season and this week we saw one of them against the overwhelmed Buccs.
Coach Henderson (DL) Doing a great job, and almost raising suspicions that he's actually someone else using Bruce's name (just kidding, Bruce!!!). Sitting pretty atop a very tough division and probably getting a nosebleed.
 
  The Diddley New Orleans We've seen how they can destroy opponents, and now we discover they can Diddle them too. What a combination, and a sure bet to go far . . .  

 

Gerald to Brucey & Dave : Have the two of you swapped gameplans or something? I would have thought it would be Brucey struggling to win games :o)

Gerald to Richard & Julian : Good wins from each of you to stay unbeaten. Bet you're both looking forward to playing each other?

Gerald to Julian & Rob : Many thanks for wining last week. Helped me out a lot.

Gerald to Jon : Maybe you should get rid of Randy & pick up Drew? After all he is a lot younger?

Gerald to Graham : Yes my biggest win ever. Unfortunately, not the highest shutout in AB history. That goes to the Detroit Arizona game, wk 13 1996, which was 60-0.

Gerald to Jon : Yep I just piped you in the scoring. Helped out my points difference greatly, which come the end of the season will be all important in the Division of Death.

Gerald to Paul M : Good win mate and leading Graham for once in the divisional standings.

Gerald to Graham : Looks like it could be a long hard season. Has the team finally fallen apart after all these years? :o)

Gerald to Brucey : I'm really looking forward to our game. It's going to be a belter!!

Gerald to Gerald to Mark : Didn't drug the Lucazade. I just got Lara Croft to turn up and be a Cheerleader :o)

Graham to Gerald : Biggest AB win for you ever??????

Graham to Bruce : Great game. Good luck for the rest of the season. It was tight as hell but you deserved to edge it.

Brucey to Gerald : Yeah. Both came off turnovers. Go figure :-(

Brucey to Gerald : The newsletter's looking good. Keep up the good work !

Brucey to All : Gerald's address is at the end of the newsletter. Feel free to contribute. It's more fun if there's things to read.

Brucey to Mark D : What do you get if you cross three rivers with a tin of baked beans? A lot of hot air :-p

Brucey to Ian : Good luck :o)

Brucey to Graham : Sorry I couldn't help you out with your request.

Brucey to Tim : Thanks. (Except when we meet though, right??) ;-)

Brucey to Paul S : Watch out, or you'll end up like the Rams ! Beat them Saints !!!

Mark to Rob Crowther : Welcome to AB, a good start so far. I'll see you in the Silver bowl then?

Mark to Gerald : Do what? So how much did you pay the Seattle Physio to drug the Lucazade?

Mark to Bruce : Stoppit! The Lions aren't supposed to WIN! Haven't you read the contract? :o)

Jon to Tim : No, not all my games are going to be close!

Jon to Gerald : I thought I'd done well until I saw your result last week. I am worried about Randall's form though. I think the injuries may just be too much for him, but I can't afford to put him on the operating table.

Jon to Bruce : Great start to the season, for a change.

Jon to Paul : I hope we actually manage a good game this week.

Jon to All : I can't make the pub meet. I hope those of you who go have a good time.

The Chargers
by Paul Gorner

We're now coming up to a quarter a way through the season and it's been mixed fortunes so far. Standing at 1-2, it's not been the ideal start bur when you look at the rest of the league, we are joint top after all!!

My early impressions on my team are that I can't get any offence going. On paper, it's not too bad, maybe my QB is a little inexperienced but my RBs should be doing a better job. I've got good receivers and a full batch of top OL, but my numbers so far this season have been poor. Maybe a change in offensive philosophy is needed, but what a time to change as we travel to Julian's Browns! The training programme is coming together nicely, so if I can keep getting a win every now and again, come week 10 we should be ready for a good go at getting into the Playoffs.

 

Week 3 AFC Review
by Mark Dixon

Before I start this weeks instalment of life in the AFC a few words on the Steelers:

We Suck!

OK that just about covers it. On with the show:
Week 3 saw the Bills continue to 3-0 with a pretty effortless win over the failing Steelers and the less said about that the better. The game could've gone either way 'till quite late on, but the Steelers couldn't move the ball into the final third of the field and thus couldn't turn decent yardage and a +1 in the turnover ratio into a W. A Major revision of strategy in Pittsburgh for our next game hopefully we'll be able to find out winning ways from last year quite soon. The Bills did manage to notch up over 300 passing yards against one of the better secondaries in the league though so all credit to them.

Moving on to the Miami where the Dolphins played host to the Browns the Dolphins got themselves in a big hole early and despite posting some pretty impressive numbers they found the mountain just a bit too high to climb. Both these sides should be contenders this year and both are going the right way about proving it. The Browns move to 3-0 and are starting to look pretty impressive. The loss doesn't end the Dolphins chance of wining the East, but they are going to be hoping that the Browns beat the Bills in week 11 and that they themselves can, at worst, split the series with the Bills in weeks 8 and 10.

Up in New York the Jets met up with New Coach Crowther's new plan of attack for the Raiders and rolled over pretty meekly in the end. The Raiders did it on big plays, not for them any of this working your way down the field. Just hit the hole and hope. Seems to have worked for them though.

I expect the Raiders to be top of the Worst pretty quickly and to stay there, the rest of the Division looks like it's going to have to pull it's socks up or become the leagues whipping boys. The Jets loss drops them to last place in the East after a great result week 1 they seem to have lost their way somewhat. Not much to say about the game played in New England. Just one question really…. Did the Seahawks bus get lost? It looks like they didn't bother to show up. A great win for the Pats that keeps them up at the sharp end of the East. Good to see that the Pats have bounced back following a year to forget last year.

The Bengals crept past the Chiefs thanks, in part, to 2 safeties. Both these teams are in danger of dropping off the bottom of their respective divisions even at this early stage of the season, both need good results next week as the road back from 1-3 is a long hard one, where as 2-2 isn't a bad start to any season. Finally out in Tennessee the Titans continue to look good, despite losing in week 1, putting in a solid performance against the improving Chargers. Again coming in @ 1-1 both teams needed the win, but the Titans D did a number on the Chargers and the O did just enough to put this one away early. The Chargers attempted a comeback in the second half, but it was too little, too late.

So we have the usual suspects atop their respective divisions and 2 killer Divisions again. Will a 10-6 record fail to go to the playoffs again this year? Looking at it I think that it will. Shame that the winner of the West is going to get a Playoff spot really, cos on current evidence none of them deserve one. (hopefully that'll rile them and we might see some positive performances in the near future? :o)

 

Strangely Emtpy
by Bruce Henderson

The reigning champions dragged their current run to two wins as they edged out Minnesota at a packed Fed Ex Field, with a field goal in overtime. The 30-27 victory was a tough battle between two sides attempting to return to their form of last season. With their distinctly ragged passing game, the Redskins were again forced to pound it out on the ground, posting 181 yards and their only three touchdowns. The Vikings held up well for most of the game, pulling back from a 4 point deficit at the half, with only a missed field goal the difference between the two sides as time expired. With the Central looking much stronger this year, Minnesota are going to struggle, although they might feel a change is due when they host the Rams in week four, another team having difficulty this season. The Redskins meanwhile take on the devastatingly efficient, and currently unbeaten New Orleans Saints, a game they certainly won't be looking forward to.

Philadelphia had no problems as they dominated a disheartened looking Buccaneers side, ending the route 47-0. Troubled Tampa Bay were never in the game, struggling on both sides of the ball, and ending the day with a paltry 117 yards of offense. Philly's six touchdowns highlighted the ease at which they were able to move the ball about the field. Although the Eagles may struggle to keep up this kind of form during the rest of the season, they are looking good for a trip to the playoffs. Another home game should help to establish themselves in the East, and are favourites to take the win from the Falcons. The Buccs will be hoping to turn their season around when they return to Raymond James stadium for their week four game against another side in disarray, San Francisco.

Dallas were yet again unlucky as their offense put up another explosive showing, gaining 527 total yards, but unable to get the points on the board, falling to 1-2 after the 23-31 loss to the visiting Saints. New Orleans are the force of the West this season, and although they had problems running the ball, great field position meant they had very little work to do to get the scores. With the Saints' confidence flying high, they should feel themselves favourites for next weeks' trip to the capitol. Dallas, on the other hand, need to pull some magic from their play-book to get off their back foot and finish their games in front, as their dominating play is sure to lead to success before long.

The Cardinals continued to stretch their record breaking run of losses with a home beating by Atlanta.

Two first quarter field goals were all that Arizona could scrape together as the Falcons effectively shut the home team down, taking an easy 21 points in the second quarter to finish the game 30-6. The win moved Atlanta into a clear second place in the West and ahead of arch-rivals St Louis. The Falcons won't have it so easy in their week four trip to Philadelphia, but must be feeling some confidence in their win. The Cardinals stay home to host the rampant Lions, and on current form look unlikely to provide much trouble for the surprise Central leaders.

San Francisco must have felt their luck was in as their new coach led them to a 20-14 half time lead, but they crumbled in the third as the Bears edged in front and finally put the game away in the fourth, 28-20. The 49ers passer was under intense pressure throughout the game, being sacked five times and hurried more. Chicago were able control the second half relatively easily, amassing 251 passing yards and three touchdowns, helping to take the game out of reach. The Bears next head to Dallas with a 2-1 record and the conviction of having been reasonably strong throughout the first three games of the season, a win would likely pull them away from their struggling rivals in Minnesota. San Francisco's chances should also improve with a road-trip Tampa, and considering the Bays' lack of recent success, a win could lift them from the bottom of the West.

The Rams must have wondered what happened to them after going down to a last second field goal in Detroit after a difficult and bruising battle at Ford Field. The Lions set a team record 305 passing yards with their 27-25 win over a surprised St Louis, icing on the cake to a dream start to the 2005 season, now 3-0 and top of the Central. With their running game doing nothing, the Rams had to rely on some deep passing and special teams to keep the game close, but in the end Detroit were able to move the ball into field goal range and take the win with 7 seconds remaining. Now 1-2, St Louis need to sort themselves out before a playoff spot is out of their reach, but the week four trip to Minnesota could prove to be troublesome. The Lions are on a high, and look to be a different team to this time last season. A win in Arizona would equal their tally of victories from 2004 and leave them in a strong position for a possible playoff spot, something that over recent seasons was purely wishful thinking.

 

...three in the Bush
(Or History of NFL Team Nicknames)
It appears that the history I printed last week, for the Cardinals was not quite correct. Many thanks to APPLE for information and I've redone the history to include this new information.

Started life as Morgan Athletic Club before Chris O'Brien took over and relocated the playing staff to become the Normals (playing fields where they played, i.e. Normal field). They stayed there until 1901 until Chris O'Brien secured some hand-me-down jerseys from the University of Chicago. The jerseys were actually maroon, but the colour had faded, striking O'Brien as more of a cardinal tint. The team became the Racine Cardinals, keeping the nickname as the club moved from Chicago (1922) to St. Louis (1960) and, finally, to Phoenix (1988).
This original AFL franchise was originally the Dallas Texans but relocated to Kansas City. Owner Lamar Hunt picked Chiefs as a nickname to honour Kansas City mayor Roe "The Chief" Bartle for his efforts in securing the team. Bartle promised to enlarge Kansas City's Municipal Stadium and guaranteed Hunt three times as many season ticket sales as his club had in Dallas.
This name might seem like an easy choice in Dallas, but Rangers was actually the first name suggested. The club went with Cowboys since Rangers might cause confusion with a local minor-league team of the same name.

 

Who is SPLATT ?

After a question from Darren, about the enigmatic predictor, SPLATT. I realised that over the past couple of months we have had an influx of new coaches, that may not know who, he is.
Now Burcey, he of the no time outside of the AB website, would have people think that SPLATT is a computer program (StatsGenerator V 1.2.0) he's written. And the name comes from (S)tupid (P)redictor (L)oses (A)ll (T)he (T)ime.

Now like I said that's what Brucey wants us all to believe. But me, I think its Brucey hiding behind a nom de plume and if the prediction are wrong (which they are quite often, though not too bad in the post season for some reason), it's got nothing to do with him.

 

Pub Meet !!!

Friday 14th June at the Shakespear's Head (a Witherspoons Pub), Central London. Come out of Holborn tube (Piccadilly Line), turn left out of the main exit onto Kingsway and walk about 75 yards (69 meters) and you should see it on your left.

Not sure who is going to be there or what time, but I'll be there from about 7pm (ish). Anyway check out Yahoo! Groups for more details. Or give me a bell.

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/

Don't forget about the Pub Meet this Friday, the 14th of June. Hope to see some of you there. For those that don't know me, I'll be wearing a Superbowl Champions Jacket, Go Patriots!!



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 ?