A PASSING FANTASY ISSUE 35 1998 SEASON WEEK THIRTEEN

NFLBP PLAYER NEWSLETTER ed. Robert Crowther


In this issue...
First of all, apologies for last week. I did write a newsletter but the Easter post meant that it, and my orders, didn't arrive with Danny in time. Of course, in the case of my orders, that didn't seem to make much difference! Predictably the number of contributions has dropped (there's no point you all writing stuff if I'm not going to get the newsletter done) so I've had to do most of the work myself this week. Hopefully next issue will be back to normal. If you want to obtain a copy of the last issue either go to my website (http://robertc.future.easyspace.com/) or write and ask:

2 Lily Terrace

Edinburgh

EH11 1PN


WEEK TWELVE REVIEW

The 49ers exploded in the second quarter for seventeen points, which was too much for the Dolphins. Miami struggled to run the ball while San Francisco ran with ease all day. The Saints relied on their running game to beat the Bills as their passing game was limited to short passes and dumpoffs. Detroit have shown some signs of life in recent weeks but were fortunate to beat New York. The Jets gained nearly twice as many yards but the Lions were able to take advantage of turnovers to steal the win. New England presented little in way of opposition to the Bucs, their good passing performance was offset by six sacks from Tampa Bay. Arizona required two fourth quarter touchdowns to triumph over a resurgent Pittsburgh. The Steelers got ahead early but struggled to run the ball on the Cardinals defense, and their inability to control the clock cost them. Dallas heaped more misery on Jacksonville, shutting them out despite conceding 26 first downs. The Bengals continued their march towards the playoffs with a comfortable victory over Carolina. Cleveland needed a huge offensive performance and ten fourth quarter points to get the better of St Louis. Oakland, perfect in the regular season last year, brought an end to the last perfect record this year with a shutout victory over Green Bay. Denver kept ahead in the AFC West with a narrow victory over the Bears. Seattle surprised the Redskins with some long passes to complement their power running. In a game where the teams combined for over 400 yards on the ground it was the Seahawks twenty yards per completion that gave them the edge. The Eagles built a big lead in the first quarter then went to sleep, the Chiefs stunned them in the third to edge ahead but Philadelphia pulled the game out with a fourth quarter touchdown.

Offensive performance of the week goes to the Browns, 547 yards is good against anybody. Defensive performance of the week goes to the Raiders, getting their revenge with a shutout of the Packers. The special teams award goes to the Rams, over 200 yards in returns in a losing effort.


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 Cardinals lost to the Rams while the Cowboys beat the Lions to leave them tied at the top of the NFC East with one game to play.

In season two: Arizona clinched the NFC East title thanks to the 49ers victory over the Cowboys, the Cardinals returned the favour with their victory over the Saints.


WEEK THIRTEEN PREVIEW

Predictions and commentary from myself, extra predictions from Darren Birtchnell.

Dolphins at Broncos

The Dolphins are rapidly slipping out of the playoff running, only in with a chance because of the poor records of their divisional rivals, while the Broncos are going from strength to strength. BRONCOS BY 7

DB - BRONCOS BY 7

Bills at Raiders

The league's fourth and seventh ranked run offenses go up against the ninth and third ranked run defenses. On paper, the Raiders have the edge but they have been known to struggle against teams capable of shutting down their running game.

DB - RAIDERS BY 10

Jets at Jaguars

Jacksonville have been a shadow of their former selves and are unlikely to provide much opposition for the Jets. JETS BY 7

DB - JETS BY 6

Patriots at Steelers

After a tough loss last week the Steelers get a chance to practice their offense. STEELERS BY 10

DB - STEELERS BY 10

Browns at Seahawks

A surprise victory last week shows how dangerous the Seahawks can be when you don't control their running game. Cleveland actually have a worse run defense than Washington... SEAHAWKS BY 1

DB - BROWNS BY 6

Bengals at Chiefs

The bottom has fallen out of the Chiefs' season and, once again, defense is the main culprit. The Bengals are looking to stay within range of the Broncos with an eye on homefield for the playoffs. BENGALS BY 14

DB - NO PREDICTION

Cardinals at Saints

Get your tickets early for this one. The Saints feature the league's best run offense but are vulnerable to the pass. The Cardinals have great special teams and the second best run defense, and lead the league in scoring despite being mediocre on offense. CARDINALS BY 1

DB - CARDINALS BY 1

Cowboys at 49ers

The 49ers are far too good to lose to the Cowboys. 49ERS BY 10

DB - 49ERS BY 10

Redskins at Bears

The Bears' big chance. A win here will put them level with the Redskins and a game back on the Eagles and Bucs in the wildcard race. A loss means the end of any serious hopes. Unfortunately for Chicago, winning will require them stopping the Redskins running game. REDSKINS BY 3

DB - REDSKINS BY 3

Eagles at Packers

Hard to see the Packers losing two in a row, they have an edge on the Eagles in every department. PACKERS BY 7

DB - PACKERS BY 10

Bucs at Panthers

Power running team versus Carolina defense. Should be a forgone conclusion, but we've thought that before. BUCS BY 3

DB - BUCS BY 3

Lions at Rams

Two teams trying to make the best of disappointing seasons. The Lions should edge it in a high scoring game. LIONS BY 3

DB - LIONS BY 1

Well, that's all folks. Another truncated edition but, hopefully, you'll all at least get to see it!

Rob

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