A Passing Fantasy Issue 101

NFLBP Player Newsletter 2001 Season Week 16

ed Robert Crowther

Another potentially late and actually hurried issue, I'm afraid, because I had to work at the weekend. Address for contributions is:


25 Colman Court

Christchurch Avenue

Finchley

London

N12 0DT


Or email at '[email protected]'. Remember you can read the newsletter hot off the press, and before you get your results at 'www.geocities.com/dot_rob/gameplan.html'.


Week Fifteen Review


The Raiders travelled to New England and managed to hold the Pats in check for three quarters, in the fourth the New England offense finally got some reward for the yardage they'd piled up and pulled away. The Chiefs offense was missing in action in Miami, after the Dolphins got a second quarter touchdown the result was never in doubt. Cincinnati continued to hold pole position in the homefield advantage race with a comfortable win over the Jets. The Baltimore offense was piling up the yards in Buffalo but three fumbles gave the Bills enough chances to snatch victory. The Cleveland pass defense was given a severe examination by Seattle and, though they gave up a lot of yards, they got a load of turnovers and only gave up one touchdown. Denver secured themselves a wildcard berth with another solid victory, this time against the Titans.


Carolina secured a wildcard spot despite giving up piles of yards in Arizona. San Francisco added some excitement to week sixteen's games by losing in Philadelphia despite amassing 30 first downs. Washington picked up their first victory of the year with a solid performance against Tampa, the Bucs were lucky to make the game as close as it was. Dallas claimed their wildcard spot thanks to some Detroit fumbles and a kick return touchdown. St Louis took full advantage of San Francisco's slip up with a thrashing of Green Bay, setting up an exciting finish in the West next week. Chicago, usually losing games they should have won, this week won a game they should have lost – New Orleans had over four hundred yards of offense and it wasn't even close.


Offensive performance of the week goes to New England, running and passing they were hard to stop. Defensive performance of the week goes to St Louis, shutting down a dangerous Green Bay offense. Special teams performance of the week goes to Dallas, a kick return touchdown and excellent kicking.


Predictions Standings

Darren Birtchnell


Martyn Williams

13.33

(15)

Rob Crowther

12.83

(12)

Darren Birtchnell

12.43

(14)

Martin Devine

12.00

(3)


ST LOUIS POST-DESPATCH

NFLBP 2001 Season Week 16 – Game of the Week


San Francisco 49ers (13-2) at Carolina Panthers (8-7)

Recent History – Week 5, Panthers 17 @ 31 49ers


Of all the week 16 games it is the 49ers trip east to Carolina that has by far the most bearing on the playoff picture. Put quite simply, both teams need to win. The 49ers need the win to guarantee another NFC West crown, while the defending Super Bowl Champion Panthers need the win, coupled with a Cowboys loss, to sneak into the playoffs via the back door.

On paper everything points to the 49ers, but don’t be deceived by the one sided score line in the corresponding match up earlier in the season – going into the 4th quarter the Panthers actually led 17-10 before their always questionable secondary finally caved in. And it is interesting to note that where the 49ers failed to beat the Eagles last week, going down 22-13, only 2 weeks previous the Panthers beat the same Eagles team 31-7.

The 49ers have always been renowned for strong defence and special teams, but this season their offence has been an inspiration, with 3rd year QB Jeff Garcia spearheading a frightening passing attack, ranked 5th in the league. This is an area where the Panthers don’t match up well, their pass defence may be ranked 11th but they rely too heavily on their secondary’s tendency to come up with the big interception, their pass rush is poor. For the 49ers this season the ground game has become slightly overlooked, as the teams offence is very much based around getting the passing game going to open up the run. This is something they have had great success with though, as having the leagues 5th ranked run offence proves. Unfortunately for the Panthers their run defence is only 16th in the league. The 49ers will most certainly be looking to make the most of the Panthers defensive weaknesses, aiming to have the game won by halftime.

Carolina started the season well and again seemed to have luck on their side, beating the Rams 20-17 in an overtime week 2 match up where everything but interceptions and the score went the Rams way. But consecutive losses to the 49ers, and then in the Super Bowl rematch against the Bengals, seemed to shatter the teams confidence, and they have looked a shadow of their former selves since. Carolina's offence is all geared around keeping their opposition's D honest with the run and then hitting them with play action and option passes. It has to be said that this formula has had some success, as the leagues top ranked pass offence proves. However the running game isn't really as good as it needs to be for this style of play, and the 49ers defence is a solid and wise enough unit to be able to handle Carolina's gameplan.

Despite all this the Panthers do have the ability, at home, to upset the 49ers. Games within the NFC West are always close affairs (and so let’s not take the Rams game over the Saints for granted!), but if there is still only a touchdown difference between the teams going into the 4th quarter, this one could go either way. However, the line is that the 49ers are 10 point favourites.

So it pains this reporter to say so, but Go Panthers!

 

STATS CORNER

Martyn Williams


RUSHING ATTEMPTS


Team

Att

Yards

AvgR

TD

Fm

Rating

Cardinals

606

1769

2.92

8

13

56.65

Saints

588

1779

3.03

23

12

68.07

Redskins

561

1688

3.01

7

21

48.82

Patriots

539

2402

4.46

10

8

69.78

Ravens

536

1618

3.02

12

14

58.49

Lions

505

1482

2.93

16

15

60.00

Rams

500

1800

3.60

20

9

72.50

Titans

487

1586

3.26

2

10

55.16

Eagles

480

1816

3.78

10

11

63.29

Bears

476

1425

2.99

4

10

55.33


PASSING ATTEMPTS


Team

Cmp

Att

Pct

Yards

TD

In

Sk

Rating

Seahawks

314

642

48.91

5043

22

28

70

68.82

Jets

340

619

54.93

3993

15

21

74

68.68

Browns

347

588

59.01

3649

28

13

42

83.78

Dolphins

284

545

52.11

3251

18

17

57

68.38

Bengals

342

534

64.04

4170

38

17

58

98.45

49ers

323

514

62.84

3716

35

14

46

95.92

Raiders

308

511

60.27

3624

33

22

43

85.45

Bucs

279

496

56.25

3059

17

23

63

66.76

Bears

298

487

61.19

3470

19

18

48

80.37

Broncos

289

464

62.28

3782

22

9

63

95.67


MISC OFFENCE


Team

T/O +/-

Dallas Cowboys

15

Denver Broncos

15

Buffalo Bills

15

New England Patriots

14

St Louis Rams

13

Carolina Panthers

12

Arizona Cardinals

11

Tennessee Titans

6

San Francisco 49ers

3

Philadelphia Eagles

1


PASSING DEFENCE


Team

Sk

Denver Broncos

66

Philadelphia Eagles

61

Oakland Raiders

57

New York Jets

57

Seattle Seahawks

57

New England Patriots

55

Kansas City Chiefs

54

Green Bay Packers

53

Baltimore Ravens

52

Miami Dolphins

51


Team

Int

New England Patriots

24

Denver Broncos

23

Miami Dolphins

23

St Louis Rams

22

Dallas Cowboys

21

Carolina Panthers

21

Buffalo Bills

20

Seattle Seahawks

17

Chicago Bears

17

Cincinnati Bengals

17


Week Sixteen Preview


Predictions this week from Martyn Williams and Darren Birtchnell.


MW – Patriots by 13 (Lock), Bills by 3 (Slugfest), Bengals by 10 (Shock – Ravens), Browns by 7, Seahawks by 7, Raiders by 10, Eagles by 10, Cowboys by 7, Bucs by 3, Packers by 3, 49ers by 10 (Blowout), Shootout – Saints at Rams.


DB – Pats by 14, Jets by 1, Browns by 7 (Slugfest), Broncos by 7, Raiders by 10, Eagles by 10, Cowboys by 13 (Shootout), Bucs by 3 (Shock), Packers by 10, Rams by 14 (Lock, Blowout), 49ers by 7


NFLBP Player Newsletter

-3-

ed Robert Crowther