A PASSING FANATASY ISSUE 61 1999 SEASON DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
NFLBP PLAYER NEWSLETTER ed Robert Crowther

First off, apologies this week to anyone who may have sent a contribution via email. I haven't been able to check my email this week so your contribution will not be in the newsletter, I will include anything in the next issue. The address for contributions is:

2 Lily Terrace
Edinburgh
EH11 1PN

The slightly unreliable email address is [email protected]'.

WILDCARD REVIEW

The Steelers enjoyed an explosive first quarter in Oakland, but the Raiders' defense managed to establish some control after that. The Oakland offense managed to overcome its own mistakes for long enough to get into the lead and it looked fairly comfortable until Pittsburgh scored with a minute left. The Raiders recovered the onside kick to preserve the narrow win. Many expected an offensive explosion in Carolina but most were expecting the St Louis offense to be racking up the points. The Pnathers were outgained by a hundred yards but managed five more first downs, two less turnovers and three more touchdowns. The Rams went for the big plays, and got a couple, but made too many mistakes.

SILVER BOWL REVIEW

The Seahawks' run game struggled in Buffalo, but while the Bills were busy stuffing the run the Seattle QB was tearing their secondary apart. Dallas were well outgained by the Lions but managed to hold onto the ball much better and win comfortably. Arizona showed what might have been, with a little more luck, winning a shootout in New Orleans. The Bears offense struggled for three quarters to put points on the board but, for once, their defense was a match for the opposing offense and Cleveland were finally overwhelmed in the fourth. In the Florida derby the Dolphins defense had all the answers, especially on third down, as the Jaguars were steamrollered. The Jets' QB was once again the subject of much abuse, but Tampa's defense was not having all the fun - he stayed upright long enough to deliver four touchdown passes.

MOCK DRAFT (2ND ROUND) - QUENTIN JENKINSON

1 DB 22 DL 3 DBZ		9  AC 32 WR 2 OPL*1		17 PS 49 LB 2 DPS
2 WR 25 LB 3 DRI 		10 NS 36 WR 2 OPL		18 CA 37 WR 1 OPL*2
3 TB 28 DB 3 DPL		11 DC 48 LB 2 DRO		19 PE 51 LB 2 DRO
4 NJ 41 OL 2 OQB		12 DL 53 DB 2 DPL		20 SF 52 LB 2 DRO
5 JA 42 OL 2 OQB		13 SS 40 OL 2 ORI		21 GB 47 LB 2 DRI
6 MD 55 DB 2 DPS		14 SR 50 LB 2 DRO		22 OA 38 TE 2 OPS
7 CL 23 DL 3 DBZ		15 BB 54 DB 2 DPL		23 KC 56 DB 2 DRO
8 CH 31 WR 2 OPL*1		16 NE 57 DB 2 DPL		24 CI 34 RB 2 ORI

DIVISIONAL GAMES PREVIEW

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

Raiders at BengalsA major AFC rivalry, though somewhat one sided in recent years - the Bengals have won every game since the 1997 season. The Raiders and Bengals have won all three AFC titles between them and this is their third playoff encounter. On defense the Bengals are among the best in the league while the Raiders have slipped somewhat this season, but can still make it hard for Cincinnati. Establishing the run will be vital for both teams, a failure for either could lead to a one sided result as neither are good at playing catchup. Two young QB's are always likely to make mistakes, but the Raiders are a little more dependent on their QB than the Bengals.
QJ - RAIDERS BY 1 (Ed - That's all I need!)

Patriots at Chiefs Two newcomers to the playoffs, both have improved beyond recognition this season. The Chiefs have a powerful offense while the Patriots have the league's top defense. However, New England excel at stopping the run and could be vulnerable to the passing attack of Kansas City - this proved to be their undoing in their week three encounter. If the Patriots can find a way of stopping the pass without sacrificing too much run defense their offense, which gained five hundred yards in week three, is good enough to take advantage of any opportunities. That's still a pretty big if. CHIEFS BY 3
QJ - CHIEFS BY 7 DB - CHIEFS BY 3

Panthers at Packers It took the defending champions five quarters to see off the Panthers back in week one. That was a low scoring game and this will probably follow the pattern as both teams have better defenses than offenses. Both teams are on long winning streaks and both have improved over the course of the season. I've been getting the impression, in recent weeks, that Green Bay have been holding back all season and always have available that extra gear, should they need it. It is this highly unrational feeling which leads me to pick them here. PACKERS BY 1
QJ - PACKERS BY 7 DB - PACKERS BY 3

Eagles at 49ers The Eagles surprised everyone last year when they defeated the 49ers in the wildcard game. Given their habit of occasionaly pulling off stunning victories it is hard to rule them out here. Having said that, I still won't pick them to win. The 49ers are usually vulnerable to teams with strong pass rushes and Philly are only average in this area. The Eagles also like to run a lot and San Francisco, although they have conceded a lot of rusing yards, are behind only one team in the NFC (the Eagles) in average yards per rush on defense. 49ERS BY 3
QJ - 49ERS BY 10 DB - 49ERS BY 3

SILVER BOWL PREDICTIONS

						RC				QJ				DB
Rams at Steelers		RAMS BY 7			RAMS BY 7			RAMS BY 7
Cowboys at Seahawks	SEAHAWKS BY 1		SEAHAWKS BY 3		SEAHAWKS BY 7
Bears at Cardinals		CARDINALS BY 3						CARDINALS BY 1
Jets at Dolphins		DOLPHINS BY 7		JETS BY 7			DOLPHINS BY 6

BRONZE BOWL PREDICTIONS

						RC				QJ				DB
Broncos at Redskins	BRONCOS BY 3		BRONCOS BY 10		BRONCOS BY 3
Bucs at Jaguars		BUCS BY 3			BUCS BY 7			BUCS BY 7
Browns at Saints		SAINTS BY 7		SAINTS BY 10		SAINTS BY 10
Lions at Bills		BILLS BY 3		BILLS BY 3		BILLS BY 3