[the board]
Week 9
2005

by Gerald Udowiczenko

That was a thrilling game against the Bills last week. One thing that won't have been apparent from the weekly round-up (and the stats) was a very unusual situation, which doesn't happen too often.

A certain Antowain Smith (Running Back) was playing for both the Bills and the Patriots in the same game. Now I've heard of Iron Man. Were players play both offence and defence, but that's always for the same team. So I guess this is Steel Man?

So how did Antowain do playing for both teams, I hear you ask? Well his combined stats were reasonably impressive - 22 for 87 yards on the ground and 4 for 19 yards in the air, so he got over 100 yards.

hanks to Darren, Graham, Brucey, Mark & The Goz for this weeks contributions.

Week 8
Name Correct /
Predicted
Total Pct
Darren 7/11 34/44 77
SPLATT 10/12 58/84 71
Gerald 6/11 68/96 67
Jon   21/22 96
Richard   9/12 75

BB (7-2, W1) @ NE (7-2, W5) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (16 - 31)
Gerald : This should be a great battle, as the No.2 ranked passing offence of the Bills takes on the 5th best defence of the Titans. I can't really see the Bills changing from their air attack, so the Titans secondary will have to be on top form if they're to have a chance. If the Titans can muster the same sort of form as last week, then they have a chance of wining this game. But only if they can slow down the Bills, which I think will be just out of their reach. Bills by 3.
Darren : No comment.
SPLATT : Tennessee by 1.

MD (7-2, W1) @ NY (4-5, W2) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (14 - 23)
Gerald : A surprise loss last week for the Fish made it all even in the East, so this is a must win for them. While the Bengals haven't played badly, they just don't seem to have found their feet yet and I really can't see them stopping either the running or passing game of Miami. Fish by 10.
Darren : Dolphins by 14.
SPLATT : Miami by 12.

CL (8-1, W4) @ TT (5-4, L2) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (28 - 21)
Gerald : Good wins for both team last week, but the Jets look the stronger team overall. Jets by 7.
Darren : Jets by 8.
SPLATT : New York by 8.

PS (6-3, W2) @ CI (1-8, L6) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (31 - 9)
Gerald : No Comment.
Darren : Patriots by 6.
SPLATT :
New England by 6.

SD (5-4, L1) @ OR (3-6, L3) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (27 - 21)
Gerald : Well I don't think it will be as one sided as their last meeting (as the Raiders have a new coach at the helm), but I think the result will be the same. Browns by 10.
Darren : Browns by 7.
SPLATT : Cleveland by 12.

KC (2-7, L1) @ SS (0-9, L10) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (26 - 6)
Gerald : Unless the Hawks can somehow get their 'O' to start working, I'm sorry to say but I think their season is over. Even if their 'D' keeps playing like it has (9th overall), that will not be enough to win games. Steelers by 21.
Darren : Steelers by 17.
SPLATT : Pittsburgh by 17.

PE (5-4, W2) @ AC (0-9, L38) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (34 - 7)
Gerald : An important game for both teams and game of the week. Both need the win, as both are 2 games behind in the battle for their Divisions. In the past the Lions 'D' have stepped up for the game, but alias the same has never been the case with their 'O'. If they're to have a chance of wining this game, then they must find their offensive punch from the first couple of weeks of the season. The Eagles also have a good 'D', but must try to find a bit more of a kick on the 'O', as 15th overall is surprisingly low for such an experienced unit. I don't think this will be a very high scoring game and I wouldn't be that surprised if it went to overtime. Eagles by 3.
Darren : Eagles by 1.
SPLATT : Philadelphia by 8.

WR (6-3, L1) @ DC (4-5, W1) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (24 - 21)
Gerald : Two very good teams on good rolls. In the past the Skins 'D' has been totally dominant, but alias this season it seems that is not to be. But luckily they seem to have found an 'O' that is doing the bis. While the Bears seem to have taken the mantle of the No.1 'D' from the Skins. This should be a very close game and while it does seem that the Skins have recovered from their bad start, I think the Bears 'D' will be too strong for the Champs to overcome. Bears by 3.
Darren : Bears by 1.
SPLATT : Washington by 1.

SF (4-5, L1) @ AF (4-5, W1) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (17 - 2)
Gerald : Both teams are probably too far behind to have a shot at the division? So they will have to play for those 2 wildcard places, which will mean a loss here could spell the end of their campaign. Both teams are reasonably equal offensively. But it's the 'D' were the Boyz shine, which should make all the difference. Cowboys by 1.
Darren : Cowboys by 3.
SPLATT : San Francisco by 1.

SR (3-6, W1) @ NS (8-1, L1) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (6 - 27)
Gerald : I really can't see the Rams failing here. But they have had a bad season and the Cards aren't as bad as them defensive (it's the lack of 'O' that's cost them), so who know, the Cards could great their first win in 37 games? But I think not. Rams by 10.
Darren : Rams by 20.
SPLATT : St Louis by 12.

MV (6-3, W3) @ DL (5-4, L2) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (52 - 14)
Gerald : This will be a great test for the so far unbeaten Saints. The Vikings seem to be coming into that devastating form from last season. While the Saints have been masterful on both sides of the ball. They haven't stopped teams getting yards, but they've been able to keep the scoring opportunities to a minimum. With a league record of just over 9 points a game. And after last weeks demolition of the Lions who could bet against them (Saints)? Not me. Saints by 7.
Darren : Saints by 7.
SPLATT : New Orleans by 3.

TB (0-9, L10) @ CB (8-1, W7) Last time : wk 8, 2005 (7 - 40)
Gerald : Last weeks game will have been a big disappointment for Coach Meskill, as turnovers cost them the game. However this week should be a lot better, as the Buccs really do seem to be waning with each game. I fear that Coach Jones may have given up and be looking for that No.1 draft pick. Falcs by 10.
Darren : Falcons by 14.
SPLATT : Atlanta by 9.

by Graham Canwell (Week 8)  
Offence New England This was a tough one. The Steelers put up a strong showing but were playing the Bengals, whose D isn't one of the league's toughest. The Raiders looked good, but failed to put enough points on the board. The Jets were also strong contenders, but I eventually went for the Pats - a road trip to Buffalo is a tough venue.
Defence New York Jets Nearly went for the Pats again. Very nearly. But I felt the Jets deserved some sort of award and this was the one I plumped for. Steelers were back on form this week and made a run at it, but they'll have to settle for this honourable mention.
Coach Udowiczenko (NE) That's what is called 'making a statement'. On the road against your biggest divisional rivals. But does it herald a shift in the balance of power in the AFC East? Watch this space!
 
Offence New Orleans A tough choice - the fact that the Saints were up against my shambolic D counted against them but offence was (in true NFC fashion) on the thin side. Dallas and Washington were good too, and it has to be said that the Vikes were pretty ruthless.
Defence Minnesota Played a key role, backed up by excellent special teams, in the thumping of Detroit, holding them to just 11 first downs.
Honourable mentions to Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans (the latter were smart enough to have worked out how to
destroy our offence i.e. hand them a revolver shortly before kickoff and watch them spend the next 60 minutes of gametime obligingly -
and repeatedly - shooting themselves in the foot).
Coach Whitfield (MV) For the second week running Tim takes the coaching Rammy, this time for a stunning dismantling of the Lions. Looks like normal service is resumed.
 
  The Diddley San Diego After respectively giving the Chargers the week 5 award last time up, it now looks as though I have a grudge against them. But they were outgained by the Raiders and gave up more turnovers so I have no qualms in giving them this Diddley. Hey, any award is a good award!!!  

 

Graham to Gerald : Kurt Warner has taken my offence from number 1 in interception% to number 24 in the space of a season. I'm starting to suspect (well, fear actually) that he's the new Drew Bledsoe . . .

Gerald to Graham : Damn. I almost had the clean sweep of Rammys. I think it was a little unfair of you not to have given me the Defensive award.

Gerald to Graham : I know what you mean about Drew :o) I noticed he's still there as a FA, but it might be an idea to double check Warner doesn't have a stubble and black stripes under his eyes. As that could be Drew for sure

Gerald to Richard : As always it was a lot closer than the stats showed. This is going to be a real battle to the death. I'm sure not looking forward to our re-match next week, I've funny feeling that you'll want revenge and will try and surprise me.

Gerald to Julian : The team does really seem to be struggling as of late. I mean that another win and 2 LPs you picked up last week

Gerald to Jon : The bets performance so far from Randy. But I think the opposition helped a lot. It might be an idea to pick up FA 100. Ok so it is Drew, but he was never that badÖÖ Was he?

Gerald to Paul Spence : What's happened to this great 'D' you once had?

Gerald to Brucey : Bit of a slapping wasn't that? Promise I won't mention it again :o)

AFC - Week 8
by Mark Dixon

Well another Divisional week passes us by with some interesting results, not least of which was the Patriots visit to Buffalo, which is where we'll start.

Before the kick off this was a foregone conclusion - Bills by a bucket full, but a hard hitting Patriot secondary soon had the Bills paying attention... The first half was a nervous affair with only 3 FGs to show for a lot of bruises, but then in the third Q the Pats D let loose forcing TO after TO and leaving the O with nothing much to do but walk the ball into the endzone. 4 lost fumbles for the Bills left them with a huge mountain to climb! They did manage a TD of there own in amongst all the TOs and Patriots Touchdowns of the third Q, a Kick return that broke open, but Coach Ogg will be wondering what hit him after this game. All credit to the Pats D though!

The other game involving teams from the East didn't quite go according to plan either... Some great special teams play and good third down defence saw the Jets surprise the Dolphins despite losing the TO battle. After finding themselves 4 points down at the half the Dolphins O seized in the second half of the game, seemingly unable to move the ball. The Jets are realistically out of the WC hunt already (unless one of the teams above them in the East has a 'mare), but performances like this show up their ability to play spoiler and should be seen by the rest of the AFC as a warning that the Jets are still playing foot ball and shouldn't be overlooked.

The upshot of those 2 games is that the Patriots leap from 3rd to 1st in the Division, all be it on points difference, while the Bills drop to second and the Dolphins to 3rd. The Jets are 3 games back, but could take advantage if one of the teams above them falters...

Another 'titanic' (sorry) battle took place in the Central as the Titans travelled out, or rather up, to Cleveland to take on the Browns. The Browns leapt out to a 21-0 lead early, but the Titans didn't panic, stuck to their gameplan and slowly crept back into the game, finally getting even in the 4th just in time for Cleveland's O to show back up late in the 4th to score the go ahead (and winning ) TD. Great D by both teams was evident, but in the end the Browns made the better of their chances.

In the other Central game the Bengals were no match for the Steelers, who were a little disappointed to concede 3 FGs.

The upshot is that the Central is headed by the Browns who have a clear 2 game margin over the chasing pack. The Titans and Steelers are separated by only points difference and are chasing hard. Oddly, due to the situation in the East if the playoffs where right now, neither the Titans or the Steel town boys would be there!
Out West now and first up the 'who cares who wins this' game of the week. The Chiefs where way too good for the rather hapless looking Seahawks. Yes the Seahawks ran the ball well, but really you can't lose 3 fumbles and hope to be still in the game with no passing attack to speak of. Oh and dropping the ball in your own endzone? That's never good...

The other game in the West was a lot more important as the Division lead depended on it. Oakland travelled down to San Diego. The visitors looked good, but not quite good enough... The Chargers took the lead in the 1st with a FG and held that slender advantage at the end of every ensuing quarter, the Raiders best efforts just weren't quite good enough as the Chargers held on at the end, indeed they extended their lead to 6 by adding another FG in the 4th. Oakland have to feel slightly unlucky as they had more net yardage and won the TO battle too, but it's SD who claim the win

This leaves the Chargers 2 games clear in the West and they even have a winning record! The Raiders need to get their season on track or else it'll soon be all over for them, as for the other 2 teams in this division, well I'm afraid it is all over for them in terms of post season play, but early draft picks call and the chance to re-build and try again next year is enduring

 

The Chargers
by The Goz

I'm on a high at the moment after some good wins. Last weeks against Rob (Raiders) was a biggy and one game which had to be won to keep me at the top of the West. We should go from strength to strength now and are really looking forward to this weeks encounter against the Pats.

I know I'm playing against one of the top offences in the AFC and my defence must play better than of late to keep us in the game. My offence can score against most teams but I must keep it close enough so the Pats don't get too far out in front.

Anyway, this is a game I'm really looking forward to and I think it could be a high scorer which could go either way. May the best team win, as they say!!

 

Pirates or Pussycats ?
(Or History of NFL Team Nicknames)

Detroit radio executive George Richards purchased the NFL's Portsmouth Spartans and moved them to the Motor City in 1934. Richards chose Lions. Felines were already prevalent in Detroit. Baseball could claim the Tigers and a Detroit football team called the Panthers had folded after two years in 1927.
In 1960, Oakland held a contest to pick a name for its AFL team. The fans chose Senors, but Oakland management opted for Raiders.

 

Newsletter of the Year (NotY)

Well voting has closed and we await the results. Thanks to all those who voted for BttDB in one (or many) of the categories. I don't think the newsletter actual won any of the awards. But it wasn't a bad show. So perhaps next year? When the results are published I'll let you all know.

 

Web Sites

Don't forget to visit the following sites :
http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/gameplan

www.endzone1.co.uk
brucey.net/nflab/

 

Well there's some space left, but I can't really think of that much to say to warrant starting a fresh page. So I'll leave it at this….



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 ?