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The New England defense was able to control the powerful Seattle offense for most of the game and managed four interceptions into the bargain. The Patriots' offense lacked penetration in the redzone but racked up enough points for a comfortable win. Denver once again racked up a huge amount of offensive yardage but this time their opponents were able to match them. The Bills were a yard shy of two hundred yards rushing and a point shy of the win. Miami continued their run of good form by thrashing the floundering Browns. Cleveland couldn't get it going on offense (leading rusher - the QB with one yard) while the Dolphins' offense racked up the yards. Jacksonville lost their best chance of the top pick in the draft with a fourth quarter field goal taking them to victory over the Jets. The Bengals demonstrated championship form with a victory over the previously undefeated Chiefs. The KC offense was denied any big plays while Cincy racked up 450 yards. Two Oakland turnovers led to two touchdowns from the Steelers in the fourth quarter. The Raiders' pass defense was once again suspect, giving up over one hundred yards in the final ten minutes. The St Louis offense was too much for the Eagles, four touchdowns had the game won by halftime. Philadelphia managed a surge in the third quarter but it was never going to be enough. Dallas returned to winning ways as they dominated the Saints on both sides of the ball. The Bears might regret ever travelling to Arizona, their offense was crushed while their defense gave up over forty to the rampant Cardinals. Tampa Bay kept the game low scoring in Washington and were rewarded with victory thanks to a fourth quarter touchdown. San Francisco travelled to Green Bay knowing that this might be their last chance to beat the Packers under Coach Baird. The Packers struggled to run the ball but both teams struggled to score, a fourth quarter touchdown clinching victory for the 49ers. In the battle of the unbeaten teams in the NFC the Panthers held on over the Lions thanks to a crucial fourth quarter field goal. Carolina must be concerned about their defense but the offense is virtually unstoppable.
Offensive performance of the week goes to Cincinnati (again) for a balanced display. Defensive performance of the week goes to Arizona for shutting out a respectable offense. Special teams performance of the week also goes to Arizona, a punt return touchdown the highlight of an all round good performance.
Courtesy of Darren Birtchnell:
1 Martin Devine 20 (1) 2 Darren Birtchnell 15 (3) 3 Rob Crowther 14 (4) 4 Quentin Jenkinson 13.75 (4) 5 John Coleman 13 (3)
Darren Birtchnell to Martyn Williams - I haven't included your predictions in the standings because you haven't done any lock/shock/blowout etc. predictions, so you won't have any 'bonus' points.
Rob Crowther to everyone - If you have access to the internet check out the new Gameplan club on Yahoo. Simply go to 'yahoo.co.uk' and click on 'Clubs' (in all that small writing at the top). If you then search for 'gameplan' you should find the clubs for Gameplan Baseball and Gameplan. The main focus of the club is a message board but other features include chat. (These clubs are not connected with Ab Initio Games)
Predictions and commentary from myself, other predictions from Darren Birtchnell, Quentin Jenkinson and John Coleman.
Patriots at Bills The Bills are having a tough time of it at the moment, after
facing the best defense and offense in the league last week
they have a visit from the Patriots, third best in defense
and ninth best in offense. A victory for New England will
make them very hard to catch in the East. PATRIOTS BY 3
DB - PATRIOTS BY 10 QJ - PATRIOTS BY 7 JC - PATRIOTS BY 7
Dolphins at Jets The Dolphins are on a roll at the moment, can't see New York
slowing them down. DOLPHINS BY 14
DB - DOLPHINS BY 17 QJ - DOLPHINS BY 10 JC - DOLPHINS BY 7
Bengals at SteelersThe Steelers were one of the few teams to beat the Bengals
last season. A repeat is not likely as Cincy are in great
form but, as they proved last week, Pittsburgh can beat
anyone on a good day. BENGALS BY 7
QJ - BENGALS BY 14 JC - BENGALS BY 10
Browns at Jaguars The Browns will struggle to take advantage of Jacksonville's
chief weakness - run defense. JAGUARS BY 7
DB - JAGUARS BY 3 QJ - JAGUARS BY 7 JC - JAGUARS BY 10
Chiefs at Raiders Both teams are coming off defeats and both need to bounce
back quickly. The Oakland pass defense has been terrible so
far and will need to have a big day against the explosive KC
DB - RAIDERS BY 7 QJ - RAIDERS BY 7 JC - CHIEFS BY 3
Seahawks at BroncosSeattle have been a disappointment after the promise they
showed last season while Denver have played better than
anyone in the league. BRONCOS BY 10
DB - BRONCOS BY 14 QJ - BRONCOS BY 14 JC - BRONCOS BY 17
Eagles at Cowboys Two teams who are evenly matched. Philly will be looking to
run on the Cowboys' weak run defense while Dallas will be
looking to repeat last week's great offensive showing.
EAGLES BY 1
DB - EAGLES BY 7 QJ - EAGLES BY 7 JC - COWBOYS BY 3
Cardinals at RedskinsCan't see much hope for Washington in this one, they might
break a few big plays but I doubt it will be enough. Arizona
will run all over the Redskins. CARDINALS BY 14
DB - CARDINALS BY 24 JC - CARDINALS BY 21
Packers at Lions Detroit have been scoring impressively so far but they might
struggle with the Green Bay defense, Coach Baird knows them
inside out. PACKERS BY 3
DB - LIONS BY 3 QJ - PACKERS BY 7 JC - PACKERS BY 3
Bears at Bucs Chicago have been struggling to score and struggling to stop
teams scoring. Tampa Bay have only been struggling to score.
BUCS BY 3
DB - BUCS BY 3 QJ - BEARS BY 3 JC - BUCS BY 7
49ers at Panthers The Panthers have been awesome on offense so far but that has
masked their very poor showing on defense. San Francisco
have a good enough defense to slow down Carolina and should
be able to take advantage of that weak defense. 49ERS BY 3
DB - 49ERS BY 3 QJ - PANTHERS BY 7 JC - PANTHERS BY 3
Rams at Saints The St Louis offense started to hit its stride last week, a
worrying prospect for the rest of the league. New Orleans
are a shadow of their former selves. RAMS BY 14
DB - RAMS BY 17 QJ - RAMS BY 21 JC - RAMS BY 10
RC : Lock - Broncos; Shock - Eagles; Blowout - Dolphins; Shootout - Seahawks at
Broncos; Slugfest - Patriots at Bills.
DB : Lock - Rams; Shock - Lions; Blowout - Cardinals; Shootout - Seahawks at Broncos; Slugfest - Bears at Bucs.
QJ : Lock - Bengals; Shock - Bears; Blowout - Rams; Shootout - Packers at Lions; Slugfest - Browns at Jaguars.
JC : Lock - Bengals; Shock - Packers; Blowout - Cardinals; Shootout - Eagles at Cowboys; Slugfest - Bears at Bucs.