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.
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
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
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
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)
||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.
||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.
||A great way to open your account - convincingly
on the road against a very tough opponent.
||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.
||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.
||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
||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
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
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
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.
|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
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:
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
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
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)
|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.
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.
Don't forget to visit the following sites :
(Though please note that you now need a Yahoo! ID to assess this, as it
is now in Groups and not Clubs)
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!!