A PASSING FANTASY ISSUE 34 1998 SEASON WEEK TWELVE

NFLBP PLAYER NEWSLETTER ed. Robert Crowther


In this issue...
Another slightly hurried edition this week as I was working all weekend and didn't have a chance to get the newsletter done then. All the usual stuff plus details about pro bowl voting, which are the same as last time, which is okay because it will probably be the same people voting as last time... Anyway, the address is:

2 Lily Terrace

Edinburgh

EH11 1PN

Or email me at [email protected] I should also point out that the website, which has been experiencing technical difficulties (ie. wouldn't accept any of my files for downloading) now seems to be working fine. I'll be trying to get it up to date this week. You can see it at 'http://robertc.future.easyspace.com/'.


WEEK ELEVEN REVIEW BY QUENTIN JENKINSON

Pittsburgh continue to flourish, perhaps the drop out routines are doing a better job than the departed Coach Ratcliffe? The Dolphins were never really in the game and will now struggle to qualify for the playoffs. Buffalo lost again, surprisingly, as the Jags bounced back from their shutout defeat by the Bengals. Turnovers hindered the Bills' cause as they gave the ball away four times. Ray Lucas had another good game for the Jets as their passing game caused Seattle a lot of problems. New York's defense did a solid job in containing the Seahawks' O. New England had the bulk of the play and a lot more yards than the Chiefs, but Kansas City won out by taking their chances when the Patriots turned the ball over. Cincinnati came from behind to score a fourth quarter touchdown and secure a win at the Oakland Coliseum, the first time in franchise history that the Raiders have lost at home. Cleveland missed a field goal that might have sent their game with the Broncos into overtime. Denver did well running the ball and picked up their eighth straight win while benefitting from the Raiders' loss to go two games up in the AFC West. Green Bay clinched the NFC Central title for a second time by handing the Cardinals their first defeat of the season. The Packers got some big plays through the air while Arizona's offense couldn't step up to compete against the Wisconsin side. Dallas were restricted to one big play, a 65 yard rushing touchdown, as the Bears did enough to earn a victory at Soldier Field. Four turnovers didn't help the Cowboys' attempts to get back in the match. One field goal from the Redskins in the second quarter was all the scoring that both teams could muster in a punt fest at Erickson Stadium in Charlotte. Philadelphia got a lot of yards on the ground as they dominated the clock inside the TWA Dome. The Rams couldn't keep up, despite making some big plays on the rare occasions they got the ball. Detroit's second half surge wasn't enough to pull off a win against the 49ers. San Francisco hung on to secure victory despite conceding 386 yards through the air. New Orleans got back to winning ways in a close game at home to the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay couldn't sustain too many long drives as the went three for seventeen on third down, resulting in only four field goals and no touchdowns.

Offensive performance of the week goes to Philadelphia for gaining over 500 yards against the Rams. Defensive performance of the week goes to Cincinnati for preventing the Raiders from scoring a touchdown. Special teams performance of the week goes to San Francisco for 180 yards on returns.


PRO BOWL

This is a bit of fun we have every year. The voting procedure is quite simple: Each coach has three votes for each position; You can vote for any player in your conference except for players on your own team, although it is acceptable to submit a second set of votes for the other conference (because we usually don't get enough voters to make it fair on the teams of those voting). The categories are: QB; RB (any of FB, HB or RB); TE; WR; OL; DL; LB; DB; K; P. You should list three choices in each category, numbered 1, 2 and 3 by preference and votes should be in time for the last week of the regular season. In addition I will be collating votes for Coach of the Year (AFC, NFC and overall), MVP (League's most valuable player) and Rookie of the Year.

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

In season one: The Raiders and the 49ers moved to the top of their respective divisions with convincing victories over their nearest rivals, the Seahawks and the Saints. The Bears clinched their division with a great offensive performance against the Lions while the Cowboys produced 24 points in the second quarter against Arizona to bring them within one game of the division leaders.

In season two: It was a week for great defensive performances as the Bills shutout the Packers, the Cardinals shutout the Bengals (and only scored ten points themselves) and the Eagles shutout the Chiefs. The Patriots, Browns, Bears and Seahawks were all held to one score each by the Bucs, the Panthers, the Raiders and the Lions respectively.


WEEK TWELVE PREVIEW

Predictions and commentary from Martin Devine, other predictions from Darren Birtchnell and Quentin Jenkinson.

49ers at Dolphins

A difficult game, especially as Miami need the win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both teams have decent passing attacks and somewhat suspect secondaries, so this one might turn into another shootout...

DB - 49ERS BY 7 QJ - 49ERS BY 10

Bills at Saints

Two teams who like to run the ball, and have pretty good run defences. A lot depends on which team is able to control the ball, an area New Orleans are likely to come out on top in. SAINTS BY 10

DB - SAINTS BY 3 QJ - SAINTS BY 7

Lions at Jets

To beat Detroit, you have to have a good secondary - this New York have, and while their offence isn't among the best in the league, it should be good enough for a weak Detroit defensive unit. JETS BY 9

DB - JETS BY 7 QJ - JETS BY 3

Patriots at Bucs

New England have been moving the ball better of late, but I feel they still aren't consistent enough. Tampa Bay aren't spectacular, but the Bucs invariably put in a good performance. BUCS BY 6

DB - BUCS BY 3 QJ - BUCS BY 3

Cardinals at Steelers

How will Arizona react to their first loss this year? is the big question in this one. Pittsburgh are in the middle of the wild card scramble in the AFC, and will be quick to pounce on any weakness, but the Cards should be good enough to bounce back. CARDINALS BY 7

DB - CARDINALS BY 10 QJ - NO PREDICTION

Jaguars at Cowboys

Don't expect to see a lot of offence in this one - these two teams are as bad as it gets offensively. Dallas have the better defence, which should count for something, even if Jacksonville and Dallas would struggle to score against a high school team. COWBOYS BY 3

DB - JAGUARS BY 1 QJ - COWBOYS BY 1

Panthers at Bengals

Cincinnati's strength this year has been shutting down teams like Carolina with dominant defence. The Panthers need to pull out the big plays one more time to cause an upset here. BENGALS BY 14

DB - NO PREDICTION QJ - BENGALS BY 14

Browns at Rams

The key to this game is the Cleveland secondary, which will need to perform to keep out a very useful St. Louis passing attack. If they can do this, this one shouldn't be close. BROWNS BY 10

DB - BROWNS BY 8 QJ - BROWNS BY 7

Packers at Raiders

Things don't get any easier for either of these teams - Green Bay come off a battle of the unbeaten teams, while Oakland look to recover from a close loss to Cincinnati. The Raiders defence is the strength of their team, but it will be stretched by a balanced Packers offence. If Green Bay's defensive line holds out against the Oakland running game, the game should go their way. PACKERS BY 3

DB - PACKERS BY 3 QJ - PACKERS BY 1

Broncos at Bears

Denver should keep rolling on towards the playoffs in this one, even accounting for Chicago's good recent form - the Broncos are unstoppable when they're in form. BRONCOS BY 10

DB - BRONCOS BY 14 QJ - BRONCOS BY 7

Redskins at Seahawks

A battle of ball-control offences here, but neither defence has the talent to consistently stop a quality running game. Washington are slightly better on both sides of the ball, though. REDSKINS BY 8

DB - REDSKINS BY 1 QJ - REDSKINS BY 3

Chiefs at Eagles

Philadelphia have the defence to make the Chiefs offence struggle, and this puts the weaker KC defence under pressure, and they don't have the talent there to keep up. EAGLES BY 12

DB - EAGLES BY 4 QJ - EAGLES BY 7

The shortest newsletter for some time, which is a good thing in a funny sort of way, but hopefully we should have some bumper issues coming up. It's getting towards the time of year for playoff and draft previews and all that sort of stuff. I'll be doing my usual playoff preview, but don't let that put you off if you want to write your own. Draft and Consolation Bowl previews will be gladly received at the address at the top.

Rob

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