issue four

the bg issue

season 2002

week twelve

Contacts Section






Robert Crowther

2 Lily Terrace


EH11 1PN

[email protected]

Peter Swindells

115 Long Walk, Epsom


KT18 5TU

[email protected]

Jerry Ward

50 Desmond Drive, Old Catton



Richard Appleby

12 Sunningdale Drive, Borough Hill, Daventry


NN11 4NZ

Neil Arthurton

23 Turnberry Court, Watford



[email protected]

For Gameplan related stuff on the web go to ''.

Review of Week Ten

The Bills produced a shock by beating AFC East rivals New York. The Jets' offense moved the ball well but was ultimately no match for the awesome performance of the Buffalo QB, who passed for over five hundred yards and also accounted for all of his teams rushing plays. Another shock occurred in Miami where the Dolphins pulled out a come from behind victory over the Colts. Indianapolis looked in control for most of the game but couldn't put points on the board, Miami sprang to life in the fourth before sealing the game in overtime. Baltimore solidified their playoff position with a win in Cincinnati. The Bengals were able to contain the high octane Raven offense but struggled to run the ball themselves. Houston stayed in the Central race with a win in Pittsburgh, though they needed a fourth quarter touchdown to do it. Kansas City produced the third shock result in the AFC this week with a dominating performance over Seattle, the Chiefs racked up over five hundred yards of total offense while the Seahawks struggled to get to two hundred. Oakland, tipped in this newsletter to pick up their first win in week ten, weren't able to beat the visiting Broncos. Oakland matched Denver in total yardage but were relying on big plays while the Broncos were able to move the ball more consistently.

The Redskins defense was in top form in Philadelphia, shutting the Eagles down for most of the game. Philly got a late touchdown but it was no more than a consolation score. New York continued their excellent form despite an uncharacteristic defensive effort against the visiting Cowboys. The Giants got 21 first quarter points, normally more than enough for their defense, but Dallas managed to match that total by the fourth quarter and New York needed some fourth quarter offense of their own to secure the win. Minnesota gave their NFC Central title chances a major boost with a second victory over the incumbent Packers. The Vikings got the better of a high scoring first half and then held on through a low scoring second half. Chicago took their chance to move into second place in the division but were made to work for it by the bottom place Lions, Detroit have been performing better in recent weeks but can't seem to pick up the wins. Atlanta took a major step towards the NFC West title with another win over their nearest rivals, the Rams. The St Louis coach might be feeling hard done by, however, as the Falcons scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to steal a game which looked to be in the bag. San Francisco won the battle of the also-rans with a convincing victory in Carolina.

Spotlight On...


Neil Arthurton




Accounts Clerk (studying for the top job)

Marital Status

Living With (the lovely Lisa)

Gameplan Experience

About 4 years now in various leagues. (Getting better with age)

Favourite Team


Worst Team

D****R (Spit, Curse, Curse, Spit)


Watching most sports, play 5-a-side footy once a week, (huge Manchester City fan), was at Wembley for the 99 Playoff Final against Gillingham, worst & best day of my life, tears of despair & joy in the space of 10 minutes. also socialising, travelling (I have been to a NFL game myself), 99 season, in Tampa against d****r. The Bucs won 13-10 (I think), but the game wasn't decided until the final minute and the atmosphere around the stadium was amazing, even Lisa enjoyed it and she hates football, in all it's forms

Favourite Film (of 2000)

Scary Movie

Favourite Film (ever)

Terminator II

Favourite Music

80's, R'n'B and dance


Trying to get on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", so I can retire, and spend my days "Gameplanning", and, to be alive when MANCHESTER CITY win the Premiership

Review of Week Eleven

The Jets stumbled to their second defeat on the trot in overtime in Baltimore. They were fortunate to force the game into overtime at all as the Ravens dominated in terms of possession and yardage but struggled in in scoring range. Indianapolis took advantage of the opportunity to go top of the East with a comfortable win in Houston, the Oilers kept it to within two scores but never looked like winning. Kansas City managed their second win on the trot, seeing off a rejuvenated Miami team in overtime. The Dolphins had a more balanced offense, and were the more consistent on third down – the Chiefs failed to convert on any of their eight opportunities, but were eventually undone by the big play passing attack of KC. Buffalo also picked up their second win on the trot against the winless Raiders, for the second game in a row the Bills' QB was responsible for all his team's offense. After looking well out of it for most of the game Oakland mounted a spirited comeback in the fourth quarter comeback with three touchdowns and two 2-point conversions, crucially they failed to convert the third touchdown. Denver continued to win but with another less than impressive performance against weak opposition, this time they beat the 2-9 Steelers by only four points. Are the Broncos saving themselves for later in the year?

Green Bay struggled to penetrate the Washington defense but got plenty of good field position thanks to strong defense and good returning, allowing their kicker to win them the game with five of six successful field goal attempts. Dallas welcomed their new coach in poor fashion as they were thrashed by the similarly struggling Lions. New York handed Coach Barton his first defeat as Falcons' coach in a defensive struggle. Despite the low score both offense were able to move the ball at times but the Giants were always going to be favourites after scoring three first half touchdowns. Philadelphia maintained their distant second place in the East with a comfortable win over the struggling Panthers. San Francisco picked up another win with an impressive performance against playoff contenders Chicago. The Bears struggled to move the ball and four turnovers gave the 49ers all the opportunities they needed. In St Louis the Vikings wasted all their good work of last week with three interceptions and two fumbles, the Rams took full advantage to build a large first half lead and then maintain it through a low scoring second.

This Week in History

A new section for the BGI brought to you by Jerry Ward, our longest serving coach. This article chronicles the exciting race for the NFC West title back in the 1995 season:

As teams head into the last four weeks of the regular season, for some, aspirations of reaching the playoffs become a reality, whilst for others it fades ever further from their grasp. Strong coaches will re-group for one last effort and this 'never say die' attitude has never been better illustrated than by the teams of the NFC West during the 1995 season.

Going into week thirteen the Atlanta Falcons topped the division with eight wins and four losses, the 49ers were one game back and the Saints were third with a six and six record. The Falcons hosted the undefeated Cowboys, who boasted both the number one offensive and defensive units in the league, and were promptly shut out 17-0 as their QB was sacked seven times and their rushing attack was restricted to just 24 yards on 12 carries. In a game of field goal attempts the 49ers connected on two of four against a poor Bears side who missed all three of their kicks to win a squeaker at home, 6-0. The Saints destroyed the winless Vikings at home, 49-7, on the back of four TD passes and holding the Vikings to just seven first downs.

Week fourteen saw division games being played, pitting the 49ers against the Falcons in San Francisco for sole possession of the NFC West lead. The 49ers led 14-7 at the half, all the points being scored in the second quarter, but were held in the second half as the Falcons tied up the game in the fourth to send it into overtime. In a tense period the Falcons drove down the field to hit paydirt, winning 20-14. Their QB completed 26 of 54 passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions as they amassed 32 first downs to the 49ers' 13. In the other matchup the Saints hosted the Rams and never looked back after scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, literally running out 30-16 winners on a ground game which amassed 221 yards on 50 carries.

The Falcons were to win again in week fifteen, this time on the road against the Giants, who themselves were heading for a wild card spot on the back of a 10-4 record. Again the offense was based around an air attack and despite being pressured throughout the game and only completing 14 of 38 attempts they still managed 308 yards including a 81 yard touchdown pass. The 49ers, now tied for second with the Saints, went to Minnesota and did enough to win 22-6. Again the lack of a Vikings offense meant there was only ever going to be one winner and the 49ers 'D' held them to just 89 yards. The Saints were also on the road to hopeless NFC Central opponents in the form of the Bears and scored all their points in the first half on the way to a 21-3 win. The Bears benched their starting QB in a vain attempt to generate some points, but to no avail.

Heading into the final week of the regular season, all three teams were confident of wrapping up the division having all won the previous week. The Falcons still topped the pile (10-5) with the 49ers and Saints tied for second, just one game back. Atlanta travelled to the basement Rams, themselves only one win from a respectable 8-8 record. The Falcons played hard nosed defense, registering four sacks, three interceptions and holding the St Louis ground game to 42 yards on 13 carries. However, the Rams did just enough to gain first downs when it mattered (28 in all) and, by limiting the Falcons' top ranked NFC passing offense to just 177 yards, managed to upset them 20-10. This meant that the winner of the matchup in New Orleans between the Saints and 49ers would tie for the best record in the division with Atlanta. Both the Saints offense and defense were higher ranked than the 49ers, but in terms of first downs (Saints 22, 49ers 21), total plays from scrimmage (61-65) and total yards (288-318) it was very even. The Saints' third down conversion rate of 50% enabled them to move the ball and going into the fourth quarter they led by more than two scores. However, the 49ers refused to lie down and battled back with desperate drives, completing two of three fourth down attempts. They could not put sufficient points on the board and the Saints hung on for a 24-10 win.

This win gave them the NFC West crown, on the strength of a better net points difference, despite the fact that the Falcons had beaten them twice during the regular season with a combined score of 61-31. In four weeks the Saints had gone from third to first, giving themselves a first round bye and a homefield playoff game before they would eventually lose in the NFC Championship game. Neither the Falcons (10-6) or 49ers (9-7) would even make it as wildcards as both records were not good enough to match those of the Giants or Redskins.

It's never over 'till it's over!

Preview of Week Twelve

Game of the Week

Packers at Broncos

The Packers find themselves in a vulnerable position after losing both games to divisional rivals Minnesota, but look too good a team to miss out on the playoffs. The defending champs have looked less than impressive on several occasions but have still managed to amass nine wins. Green Bay should be able to move the ball on the Denver defense but will need to be clinical in the redzone, another six field goal attempts this week will probably signal a Bronco victory – they have the knack for winning close games.

Packers by 7

Other games: Jets by 3; Colts by 3; Dolphins by 1; Bills by 7; Ravens by 7; Oilers by 7; Giants by 10; Eagles by 3; Seahawks by 3; Bears by 3.

Shock of the Week: Falcons at Dolphins – despite losing last week the Miami offense is on a roll at the minute, Atlanta haven't been playing well recently but could probably win their division with only one win out of the last five, so may lack a cutting edge

Preview of Week Thirteen

Game of the Week

Jets at Seahawks

Two teams in the midst of divisional title races, with their respective rivals facing each other in Denver this week could go a long way towards deciding the destination of the East and West division titles. A loss for New York could see them having to settle for the wildcard, while a loss for Seattle, although not quite so drastic, could leave them trailing Denver once again. The Jets have a significantly better offense and could be the better equipped of the two to take advantage of the other's poor pass defense, but Seattle have the advantage of playing at home, the edge in special teams and seem to have a knack for causing turnovers.

Seahawks by 1

Other games: Colts by 7; Oilers by 3; Ravens by 7; Bengals by 7; Raiders by 7; Rams by 3; 49ers by 7; Giants by 7; Packers by 10; Bears by 7.

Slugfest of the week: Vikings at Falcons – two of the top defenses in the NFC in terms of points conceded, Minnesota do better moving the ball but are prone to crucial mistakes (23 interceptions for the Vikings' QB compared to 8 for the Falcons'). Turnovers will likely be the deciding factor with both defenses keeping things tight.


That's all for this week, sorry I've not done any week thirteen predictions (now included) or included the promised all time coaches' rankings but I'm a bit pressed for time (already it's Tuesday morning...). I'll try and put the week thirteen predictions in the online version of the newsletter before the end of the week (