A PASSING FANTASY ISSUE 27 1998 SEASON WEEK FIVE

NFLBP PLAYER NEWSLETTER ed. Robert Crowther


In this issue...
Letters this week from Quentin Jenkinson, Pat Ratcliffe and Darren Birtchnell, their various contributions are listed below. The address is:

2 Lily Terrace

Edinburgh

EH11 1PN

I'm still waiting for player profiles, maybe I should start reusing some old ones. On another note, I promised a comparative study of versions 2.11 and 2.15 - haven't got round to it yet but I hope to find time soon.


WEEK FOUR REVIEW - BY QUENTIN JENKINSON

Seattle got their first win of the season with a dominating performance over the Dolphins. Pin point passing and solid running by the Seahawks, while Miami couldn't stop Seattle on third downs. Kansas City scraped through at Rich Stadium in overtime. Buffalo score ten second half points to even things up before the Chiefs clinched it. Cincinnati's defense earned another shutout and, remarkably, their offense scored thirty points against the once mighty Jets defense. The majority of the damage was inflicted in the first half and then the Bengals eased up. Cleveland continued their impressive start to the season with an easy win over the Patriots. Twenty six first downs (Browns) versus twelve (Patriots) tells its own story. Turnovers decided the game at Three Rivers Stadium. Pittsburgh committed three while the Raiders didn't give the ball away. Oakland couldn't dominate the game on the ground but managed to pressure Kordell Stewart into making mistakes. Chalk up another victory to Coach Rothwell. I think he's playing mind games with us all and he's still around. What else can explain the fact that the Broncos have improved this season? Good ball control offense carried the team from Colorado through. No game report this time, another fairly dull game for the Cardinals' fans to endure. At least, though, the team is still winning. One eight yard touchdown pass by Kerry Collins was the only time Carolina threatened. The new look Dallas Cowboys couldn't keep the pace in a shoot out at Texas Stadium. Troy Aikman's O-line, unused to pass protecting, presumably forgot how to pick up blitzing linebackers. Washington shut down the Lions running game on their way to a good home win over Detroit. The Redskins' pass defense went AWOL for most of the game, conceding 333 yards, but picked up a return TD and four sacks. Four fourth quarter touchdowns from the Eagles sealed the win over an improving Tampa Bay side. Turnovers played a big role, one going for a touchdown for Coach Gaines' team. A strong second half performance by Green Bay kept the Wisconsin team unbeaten. Steve Young got sacked four times and threw two picks as the 49ers couldn't register any points after half time. New Orleans remain 100% and playing as well as their 1996 season (when they made the playoffs). Thirty three first downs for the Saints underlines their ball control abilities. Chicago need to re-think their strategies.

Offensive performance of the week goes to Seattle for 492 yards and five touchdowns against the Dolphins. Defensive performance of the week goes to Cincinnati for another shut out, plus a 21 yard interception return, versus the Jets. Special teams performance of the week goes to Oakland for 138 yards on four kick returns.


PASSER RATINGS - DARREN BIRTCHNELL

1Oakland123.013Philadelphia86.1
2Seattle117.314Miami83.8
3New Orleans105.015San Francisco82.7
4Kansas City102.916Detroit82.0
5Green Bay102.217New York80.2
6Washington97.818Cincinnati74.5
7Denver97.119New England73.9
8Cleveland93.320Pittsburgh72.5
9Arizona92.621Jacksonville70.3
10St Louis91.222Carolina65.6
11Tampa Bay91.223Buffalo65.1
12Chicago90.324Dallas64.8

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

In season one: Arizona beat Philadelphia and New Orleans beat St Louis as both teams maintained their one hundred percent records. Kansas City amassed 475 yards on offense and 44 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, only to be defeated by the Seahawks who gained 571 yards and scored 47 points, 20 in the fourth quarter. In season two: The Dolphins and Raiders moved to 5-0 with wins over the Jets and Seahawks respectively, the Cardinals and Packers remained undefeated with wins over Dallas and Tampa Bay. Denver managed 568 yards of offense against the Chiefs (1139 yards conceded by Kansas City in week five - I've not checked, but it's probably a record).

WEEK FIVE PREVIEW

Predictions this week from Pat Ratcliffe, Darren Birtchnell, Quentin Jenkinson and myself.

Dolphins at Bills

PR-A tight match in prospect. Look for the top AFC defense to continue to come out on top in a low scoring encounter. BILLS BY 3

RC-Both teams have suffered poor starts to the season, if either has playoff aspirations they need to start winning now. I picked the Dolphins in preseason, so I'll stick with them here. DOLPHINS BY 1

DB - BILLS BY 4 QJ - BILLS BY 7

Jets at Patriots

PR-The Jets should come back to winning ways after last week's loss at The Meadowlands. Two poor offenses, but New York have the more aggressive and successful defense. JETS BY 6

RC-Unless the Patriots get the running game going the jets will eat Drew alive. JETS BY 10

DB - JETS BY 6 QJ - JETS BY 3

Steelers at Jaguars

PR-After a hammering last week to the Oakland pass masters, Pittsburgh have no wish to hand Coach Morgan and his Jaguars their first win. Look to the men of steel to try to steal this. NO PREDICTION

RC-Jaguars have been terrible this season, although it is difficult to see why. Steelers are a class above. STEELERS BY 7

DB - STEELERS BY 7 QJ - STEELERS BY 7

Bengals at Browns

PR-Top of the division match up, with the Browns' run offense coming up against the Bengals' run defense. Can Coach Cullen hold his nerve under pressure? An upset? BROWNS BY 3

RC-Both teams have improved this year but the Bengals are currently the best team in the AFC. BENGALS BY 3

DB - NO PREDICTION QJ - BENGALS BY 3

Raiders at Broncos

PR-Match of the week. A 'must win' game for the Mile High Bronco busters on home soil. Denver's run defense looks good but can their pass defense withstand the sudden unexpected bursts of Oakland power? Will the Raiders be the busters or the bust? BRONCOS BY 3

RC-This game marks the second anniversary of the last time the Raiders were beaten by a divisional opponent - yes it was the Broncos. Victory for Denver is crucial to any hopes Denver might have of snatching the divisional crown. NO PREDICTION

DB - RAIDERS BY 7 QJ - RAIDERS BY 7

Seahawks at Chiefs

PR-This could prove to be a high scoring game with both teams having good offensive stats and poor defenses. CHIEFS BY 10

RC-The Seahawks seem to have finally got their monster offense into gear. They should be capable of outscoring the similarly unbalanced Chiefs. SEAHAWKS BY 3

DB - SEAHAWKS BY 1 QJ - SEAHAWKS BY 3

Cardinals at Cowboys

PR-And yet another win in the Cardinals march towards glory! The high scoring offense built by Coach Jenkinson should easily see them through (I think I'm in a time warp!). CARDINALS BY 14

RC-The Cowboys are still searching for the right balance on offense. Arizona are getting set to march away with the division again. CARDINALS BY 7

DB - CARDINALS BY 10 QJ - NO PREDICTION

Redskins at Eagles

PR-Can the Eagles sustain their 6 TD form of last week, that took all the tipsters by surprise, against a confident Redskins franchise? Home advantage, and a better D? EAGLES BY 12

RC-Two teams on the rise. The Eagles proved last week that they are a very capable team when they don't commit turnovers. The Redskins still depend on outscoring their opponents, but have homefield advantage. REDSKINS BY 1

DB - EAGLES BY 1 QJ - REDSKINS BY 1

Packers at Bears

PR-And the pack goes marching on. PACKERS BY 20

RC-Green Bay could have the division wrapped up by midseason. PACKERS BY 10

DB - PACKERS BY 10 QJ - PACKERS BY 10

Lions at Bucs

PR-A must win game for the Bucs, if they are to keep within striking distance of the run away pack! BUCS BY 12

RC-The Lions are bound to win one eventually, they're too good not to, despite the Bucs impressive start to the season. LIONS BY 1

DB - LIONS BY 1 QJ - BUCS BY 1

49ers at Saints

PR-This 'on the road game' is hard if you're a 49er. Last week the Pack Attack, this week - well only prayers will do. I believe in miracles, but only the Saints can perform them here. SAINTS BY 14

RC-The 49ers have been disappointing so far while the Saints have been dominant. Defeat for the 49ers will leave them struggling to retain their division crown, expect the champs to rise to the challenge. 49ERS BY 1

DB - 49ERS BY 1 QJ - SAINTS BY 1

Panthers at Rams

PR-St Louis have a passable offense, but neither team can defend anything - or do the stats lie? RAMS BY 6

RC-Rams should win at home as long as they aren't hurt by the Carolina deep passing game. RAMS BY 3

DB - RAMS BY 1 QJ - RAMS BY 7

Well, I've made it onto four pages once again - thanks for all the contributions. I am currently involved in converting the back issues of the newsletter into HTML for display on the world wide web. If you have access you can view my progress at http://robertc.future. easyspace.com/. I've really only just got started on my web site, so it's no masterpiece. Eventually I hope to have all back issues available as well as putting the current issue on line at the same time as I put it in the post, ie. about three days before the deadline. My email address is [email protected]' but be warned I only check my mail two or three times a week.

Rob

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