issue Eleven

the bg issue

season 2003

Superbowl


The BG Superbowl is upon us, once again, and, once again, we see the Colts and Falcons facing each other in the big game. Congratulations to both Dex and Apple. The two coaches know each other well and I'm expecting a great game – full preview below. Also in this issue reports from the Washington and Minnesota camps as they prepare for next season. Thanks to Apple and Martyn for their contributions. Hopefully this issue should be a bit more readable than the last one as I've waited to print it out at my work's duplexing laser.



Contacts Section


Name

Address

City/County

Postcode

email

Robert Crowther

25 Colman Court, Christchurch Avenue, Finchley

London

N12 0DT

[email protected]

Peter Swindells

115 Long Walk, Epsom

Surrey

KT18 5TU

[email protected]

Jerry Ward

50 Desmond Drive, Old Catton

Norwich

NR6 7JN


Richard Appleby

12 Sunningdale Drive, Borough Hill, Daventry

Northants

NN11 4NZ

[email protected]

Neil Arthurton

23 Turnberry Court, Watford

Hertfordshire

WD1 6BE

[email protected]

Martyn Williams

33 Eastern Way, Letchworth,
Hertfordshire
SG6 4PE

[email protected]

Kevan Parrott

11 Hollins Lane, Sheffield

South Yorks.


[email protected]

Derek Barton

75 Alexandra Mews, Tamworth

Staffordshire

B79 7HT


			


For Gameplan related stuff on the web go to 'www.gameplan-pbm.com'. For comprehensive results from many leagues try 'www.endzone1.co.uk', plus newsletters and statistics. If you want to chat about Gameplan check out the Gameplan Group on Yahoo! at 'uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/gameplan'. The next issue of BGI will (hopefully) be in the early part of next season – week one or two. Any contributions to my (Robert Crowther) address above, it would be nice to hear from some of the new coaches before we all get stuck in next season.



Indianapolis Colts Road to the Superbowl


Thanks to Coach Appleby for this:


"Seems as if I have restored some pride to the Indianapolis faithful by reaching the bowl again, I have put in some hard work on my gameplans recently added to that some inspired *Guess work* and all of a sudden, I'm defending my title.


The Wildcard Game with the Oilers went as expected, the next proved to be a very tough encounter as i had expected. Baltimore took the early initiative and the game change hands every 5 mins or so before the Colts took a 35-28 lead with 10 mins to go, the Ravens responded immediately to square up at 35, then the BIG play a DS Vs ZD on 2nd & 9, I expected a pick, but it went for a completion and 52 yard TD! It broke the Ravens hearts and brought the win for Indy.


The Jets was a stroll in comparison, going 38-0 up as we left the 3rd Quarter, this game was iced. Rather a sad end for the Jets who had a great season & didn't not deserve to be beaten like that, Jack's a great coach and will bounce back I'm sure.


The Final, well, it's against my old rival Dex again for the sixth SB, he ain't won one yet and I know this will represent his best chance of beating us, he is a great coach and would be a worthy champion. I have put together what I think is my best gameplan, so I cannot complain if I lose, even with the wildcard tag around my neck I still hope to compete, who knows."





Atlanta Falcons Road to the Superbowl


The Falcons gained homefield advantage for the playoffs thanks to Green Bay's weeks sixteen victory over Minnesota, when the Packers visited Atlanta in the divisional round, though, the Falcons were in no mood to return the favour. Green Bay found it tough going against the Atlanta defense, managing only seven first downs and converting only two of twelve third down opportunities. The Atlanta offense got off to a fast start, a 43 yard touchdown pass was one of two first quarter scores, but wasn't made to work overly hard. The Championship Game followed a similar pattern, Atlanta built an early lead while Minnesota were unable to make any impression on the Falcon's defense. Atlanta did give up a touchdown after fumbling a punt return in the shadow of their own goal posts, but that is the only blemish on an excellent defensive record in the playoffs so far.



Superbowl Preview


Atlanta offense vs Indianapolis defense


The Falcons had the top offense in the NFC, they favour pounding it out on the ground and then looking to the passing game for the big plays. The running game was fifth in the league in terms of yardage but only managed an unspectacular 3.5 yards per carry, while the passing game led the league with 9.1 yards per attempt. Defense has not been the strength of the Colts this season, though it they have come up with some big performances in big games. Indianapolis are below average in terms of yardage given up and also yards per attempt in both run and pass defense.


Indianapolis offense vs Atlanta defense


The Colts had the league leading ground game in the regular season, and the running game has been a major factor in getting them this far in the playoffs. The Falcons, however, led the league in yards per carry surrendered – holding their opponents to just 2.6 yards per carry. This could be a crucial battle, with Indy looking to control the clock and give their defense some rest. The Atlanta pass defense is also impressive, particularly so far in the playoffs. The Colts passing game can be explosive but they'll have their work cut out.


Prediction


The champions have played an extra game to get this far and could well be made to feel tired by the Falcons. Last year's game was very close, but the two teams started on a more even basis. The Atlanta defense has been fantastic so far in the playoffs and one more game like the previous two will see them crowned champions. You can never rule out the Colts in a big game, as their playoff run has shown, but I think the Falcons are seven point favourites in this one.



Indianapolis Colts Draft and Mini-Camp Review


Indy has done extremely well and my squad will be even stronger than last year by about 4 points, most of my veterans have returned fully fit but my 10 yo 6* QB is reduced so I think this will be his last season. I will definitely play 1 more season in the BG and that will be my lot. I will enter a gameplan for every game next season in an effort to regain my divisional title and make another bid for the SB, the AFC seems particularly strong this year and good look to all.



Washington Redskins 2003 Season and Mini-Camp Review


So overall, a good first season in charge of the Redskins for Coach Williams. The aim at the beginning of the season was to get into the playoffs, to do so as Eastern Division Champions was an unexpected bonus. The 10-6 record was a fair indication of where this team stood in the grand scheme of things – good enough to push the best teams, but also bad enough to lose to teams that really should have been beaten. It is hoped that the record will improve in the 2004 season, despite two very tough inter-conference games and an expected resurgence in Dallas and Arizona. If the Giants can also keep their playoff form going then the East could be an extremely competitive division next time out. Now that the team have fully bought into the new approach and training regime of Coach Williams, expect the gameplan to be diversified for the coming season as more training time can be allocated to new plays.


Looking at the squad in mini-camp, it is obvious once more that the defence will still be the strength of the team, although first round pick Rod Gardner will have an immediate impact at WR, helping to open up the passing game and hopefully providing a reliable target for QB Tony Banks. Second round pick QB Todd Husak will warm the bench this season while undergoing an extensive training regime – put simply he is this franchises QB of the future, but is still only a very raw talent at the moment. Time will tell whether Banks wants to end his Washington career steeped in glory or whether he is happy to quietly hand the offence over to Husak at the end of the year. Third round pick LB Antonio Pierce gives the team excellent depth at that position, and his pass coverage skills are an unexpected bonus that you can be sure will be put to good use in passing situations. Finally, further good news in Washington is that the team is still well below the salary cap, allowing the team to either extend the contracts of some veteran players later in the season, or dip into the free agency market to further strengthen the team.



Minnesota Vikings Draft and Mini-camp Review


The Vikings lost several key veterans in the offseason and the feeling around Minnesota is that we may have blown our best chance at superbowl glory. It was something of a surprise that we were able to replace both offensive line retirements in the second and third rounds of the draft, but with 22 years of experience being replaced by 2 we expect the running game to be less effective than in previous years. On defense the retirement of MLB Merriweather and veteran DRT Al Noga has made us rethink our philosophy, veteran end Ken Clark will be moving to NT in a new look 3-4 formation. It is hoped that the new formation will help us cover the short zones better and take some pressure off the secondary, though we have some concerns about our ability to stop the run. We have already made one free agent signing to address this issue and fully expect to be announcing another addition to the linebacking corps early in the season. The main strength of the team looks to be the passing game. Johnson continues to mature at QB, we have good receivers at RB and TE and a set of wideouts who all have deep speed and the ability run in the open field. Whether or not this combination will be enough to carry the Vikings to another division title remains to be seen, expectations are high after the last two seasons but with the competition in the league stiffer than ever we will be pleased with managing a playoff berth.

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