issue five

the bg issue

season 2002

week fourteen


Welcome to another issue and, to get the excuses out of the way first, still no all time coaches’ records – I’m staying with my brother this weekend and six hours on a train has cut into my research and preparation time. I’d also like to welcome Martyn Williams to the BG, I know Martyn from the NFLBP where he affected a remarkable turnaround in the performances of the Rams when he took over in the middle of last season and followed that up with a second wildcard appearance this season – so expect an upturn in the fortunes of the Redskins.


Contacts Section


Name

Address

City/County

Postcode

email

Robert Crowther

2 Lily Terrace

Edinburgh

EH11 1PN

[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


Neil Arthurton

23 Turnberry Court, Watford

Hertfordshire

WD1 6BE

[email protected]

Martyn Williams

1 Whitestones, Beeston, Sandy

Bedfordshire

SG19 1RT

[email protected]


For Gameplan related stuff on the web go to 'www.gameplan-pbm.com' (not ‘.co.uk’ as I’ve been telling you for months…).


Review of Week Twelve


The Jets continued their winning ways though they nearly paid for taking the pressure off in the second half, San Francisco didn’t get a look in until the fourth quarter but were able to make a game of it. Indianapolis thrashed the Rams in St Louis, after a close first quarter the Colts score 17 unanswered points in the second quarter and never looked back. Atlanta took advantage of the Rams’ defeat, a comfortable win over Miami left them four ahead with four to play. Buffalo’s offense was again piling up the yards but five turnovers handed the advantage to Carolina, despite a very poor offensive showing from the Panthers. The Baltimore offense was blunted by the Washington defense but was still good enough to outscore the Redskins. Houston and Dallas also had a defensive struggle but the Oilers found the endzone twice and managed to hold out the Cowboys. The Giants’ defense continued its excellent form, though Pittsburgh were not the team to offer it much of a workout. Cincinnati ran all over the Eagles and also got some big passing plays on the way to a comfortable victory. Green Bay kept their divisional title hopes alive with a relatively unflustered win over the Broncos, taking full advantage of the champion’s poor run defense. Detroit once again made too many mistakes, coughing up five turnover to give the Seahawks a big advantage in a tight game. Kansas City were no match for the Bears, who should have scored a lot more points with their four hundred yards of offense. In Minnesota, the Vikings’ defense was too good for the winless Raiders.


Spotlight On...


Name

Martyn Williams

Age

27

Occupation

Programme Office Manager for EDS

Marital Status

Living together (with Sarah)

Gameplan Experience

BP Rams first coaching position, recently took over the BX Rams as well.

Favourite Team

St Louis Rams and, for my sins, Queens Park Rangers (though if the Rams can win the Superbowl there's hope for QPR yet)!

Sporting Hero

Les Ferdinand, and more recently Marshall Faulk.

Hobbies

Movies, music, drinking beer and single malt scotch (not together!), Front Office Football on the PC, reading Terry Pratchett and Ian Fleming, continually trying but failing to keep fit

Favourite TV

The Professionals, The Sweeney, Dr Who (70s and 80s) – at times the best and at others the worst TV programme ever, Simpsons, South Park, Red Dwarf

Favourite Actor

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Richard.E.Grant, Michael Caine.

Favourite Actress

Winona Ryder, Cameron Diaz (not entirely for her acting abilities)

Favourite Films

Withnail & I, Saturday Night Fever, There's Something About Mary, Get Carter, The Outlaw Josey Whales, Aliens, and Any Given Sunday (Pacino, Diaz and American Football – perfect).

Favourite Music

The Cure, The Wonderstuff , Morrissey, David Bowie, Lush.

Favourite Comedian

Billy Connolly

If I won the lottery…

I would buy the Porsche I've always dreamed of and then happily drive around while deciding what I will spend the rest of the money on.


Review of Week Thirteen


The cream of the West met the best of the East and the West came off decidedly worse – New York and Indianapolis thrashed Seattle and Denver respectively. The Jets forced five turnovers and the Colts forced seven, while neither the Seahawks or the Broncos could get much of a rushing game going. There wasn’t much in the way of offense in Houston, with the Dolphins only managing fifteen first downs and the Oilers thirteen – despite Miami’s advantage in terms of yardage they lost by a sizeable margin. Buffalo actually ran a back other than their QB for the first time in several weeks, it didn’t help them in the face of another impressive performance from the Ravens. Cincinnati bucked the AFC trend of the day by rushing for 251 yards in Kansas City but, in an error strewn game, the Chiefs managed to hold on and force overtime before the Bengals could finally put them away. The Raiders took another step towards the top draft pick after falling three touchdowns behind the Steelers at halftime, the fourth quarter comeback was quite impressive but never looked like changing the result. Washington welcomed their new coach with a win, coming from behind to beat the Rams in a defensive battle. The San Francisco running game was the difference against the visiting Cowboys, gaining an extra yard and a half per attempt over the Dallas offense. Detroit made too many mistakes against the playoff bound Giants, three turnovers cost them another game they could well have won. The Green Bay offense was again moving the ball well while the defense was able to keep the Eagles under control. A second quarter explosion secured victory for Minnesota in Atlanta, three Falcon turnovers leading directly to three scores, but the Rams loss means Atlanta are division champs despite the defeat. Chicago kept up the pressure on the Vikings and Packers thanks to a great defensive performance in Carolina.


This Week in History


Another contribution from the archives of Jerry Ward, this time looking back at week fourteen of the 1993 season:


In the AFC East, the Colts won a very important game on the road in Miami, 24-14, to close to within half a game of the division leaders. The Colts dominated the game in terms of possession as the Dolphins QB threw three interceptions and the team was penalised 11 times for 74 yards. This game would prove crucial as the Colts would win the division over Miami by half a game and ultimately go on to win the Superbowl. The Bills shut out the Jets at home 26-0, their number one rushing attack pounding out 267 yards on 52 attempts.


In a poor AFC Central, where only the Browns had a winning record, the Oilers outlasted the Bengals at home 17-14. The Bengals’ QB only connected on 8 of 18 attempts for 67 yards and was sacked five times. The Browns struggled to beat the basement Steelers in Pittsburgh, the final score 24-17 thanks to a league worst Steeler run defense which allowed Cleveland to move the ball and their special teams, six returns for 218 yards and a touchdown.


The battle for the basement in the AFC West saw the Seahawks winning on the road in Los Angeles. Both teams abandoned their running games to air the ball out, but both QB’s were put under pressure all day and, despite throwing for a combined 523 yards, were collectively hurried 12 times, sacked eight times and intercepted five times. The final result, 14-10 Seahawks. Two teams with contrasting gameplans met in Denver, where the Broncos’ passing attack matched up against the Chiefs strong ground game. The Broncos had a fairly good run defense but could not stop the running threat and, despite the Chiefs’ longest run from scrimmage being just nine yards, they still racked up 177 yards on 42 carries at an average of 4.2. All the scoring was done in the first half as the Chiefs had edged it 17-14.


The NFC East pitched the best and worst teams in the league together. The league’s overall number one offense and number two defense went head to head with the league’s overall worst offense and defense in the form of the Eagles. Homefield advantage counted for nothing for the hapless Eagles as the Cowboys pounded them into submission. There was no let up in their 44-0 mauling. In a game where statistics told the whole story the Cowboys had 40 first downs, 74% pass completions, 50 rushes for 264 yards, five touchdowns and a healthy average of 5,3 yards per carry, while the Eagles could only muster seven first downs, had five turnovers, seven of 21 passes for 62 yards and rushed for just 49 yards. The Giants, chasing a wildcard spot behind Dallas, didn’t have any trouble in winning 24-7 on the road in Washington against a Redskins team which had won only two games all season. The Giants’ third down conversion rate of ten out of 17 enabled them to keep drives alive, something they were able to do on the back of a strong running game.


Like the Eagles, the Vikings had still to win a game and took their poor side to Green Bay to take on a mediocre Packers team, which did at least boast the league’s eighth ranked defense. The game was all over by halftime as the Packers racked up 38 points. A further touchdown in the fourth quarter made the final score 45-0. Detroit stayed on the heels of Green Bay with a win over the Bears, shutting them out 24-0 at home. Both teams struggled to generate offense and again the points all came in the first half, including one return for a score. In all the Lions had nine returns for a massive 196 yards.


In the tough NFC West the second placed 49ers went on the road to the Rams. In a tight finish the 49ers defense held the NFC’s top ranked passing offense and came from behind to win 23-20 in the fourth quarter. The Rams’ QB was sacked six times as the O-line collapsed around him. The Saints hosted the team with the best record in the NFC, Atlanta (12-1), but these two powerhouses matched up quite evenly, the Falcons’ number three offense and number one defense against the Saints’ number six offense and defense. Defenses dominated, while offenses did just enough to keep long drives going. Both sides forced one turnover each, and they combined for only seven punts. In the end it came down to field goals and the Falcons won a low scoring contest 6-3. The Saints missed one crucial kick, which may have come as time expired.


Preview of Week Fourteen


Game of the Week


Packers at Bears

This game looks likely to be repeated in the playoffs as these two teams currently occupy the NFC wildcard spots (and have a three game edge over their nearest rivals). The victor here will be the favourite to be hosting the expected wildcard rematch. Chicago have relied mostly on their defense so far, winning several close, low scoring games, while Green Bay carry much more of an offensive threat but can be vulnerable defensively. Having faced these two teams regularly over the last two and half seasons I know they are both good enough to warrant their current records but I suspect the Packers are the better all round (boy, could I live to regret that statement in week sixteen…). Green Bay should be able to move the ball on the Chicago defense but I suspect the Bears will struggle to do the same.

Packers by 7


Other games: Jets by 7; Colts by 7; Ravens by 14; Oilers by 3; Broncos by 3; Seahawks by 10; Redskins by 3; Eagles by 7; Falcons by 7; Rams by 10.


Shock of the week: Redskins at Giants – although New York currently own the best record in the NFC they are a fairly one dimensional outfit. I expect Washington’s new coach to whip them into shape and give my homefield advantage chances a huge boost (so, no pressure Martyn!).


Preview of Week Fifteen


Game of the Week


Broncos at Jets

This game could well be a preview of the AFC wildcard encounter. The reigning champions have struggled this year, far more than their relatively good record might suggest, as they have found ways to win close games and stay in playoff contention. New York, in contrast, have been awesome at times, blowing opponents away with great defense and even better offense. Although they have had the odd poor result of late they look well worth their record. On paper the Jets look the better team and with home advantage they should be considered strong favourites, but the Broncos don't give up easily and will take advantage of any opportunities they may get. New York will need a mistake free performance.

Jets by 3


Other games: Colts by 7; Ravens by 10; Oilers by 3; Chiefs by 3; Bengals by 7; Redskins by 1; Rams by 3; Packers by 1; Lions by 1; Falcons by 3.

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