A slightly shorter issue this week, but that's only to be expected after the large amount of contributions over the last few weeks. If you've been reading the newsletter for a while but never made a contribution now is the time! If you can't think of anything to write do a player profile, just list such things as your favourite teams, sports, games, music, food, books, pets(!) or anything about yourself that you're not too embarrassed to share. Send them to:
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The Patriots cruised to a comfortable victory over Jacksonville thanks to a great performance from their returns unit, including one return touchdown. The Cleveland offense awoke from their early season slumber blow past the struggling Bills in the fourth quarter in Buffalo. Oakland continued their winning streak at the expense of Miami's with a last second field goal. The Chiefs kept up the pressure on the Raiders with a convincing win over the Jets, their defense was impregnable after giving up one long pass in the first quarter. Denver failed to score for the second consecutive week as the Cincinnati defense looks to be back to championship form. Pittsburgh gave up over four hundred yards and twenty six first downs to Seattle but kept them out of the endzone with five turnovers. Tampa Bay got a three touchdown head start in Philadelphia and their defense never looked like giving that up. Chicago looked like a winless team for three quarters in Dallas before springing into life in the fourth, after tying the game, however, they were denied their first win by an overtime field goal. In the big matchup in the NFC this week the Cardinals handed the Panthers their first defeat in convincing fashion with a huge offensive performance and another solid outing for their defense. The 49ers looked to be cruising to victory in Washington until three fourth quarter touchdowns made the final few minutes interesting. New Orleans got some big plays in the first quarter, including an eighty one yard touchdown pass, and then spent the rest of the game pounding the Packers on the ground. The Lions boosted their playoff credentials, and put a dent in the hopes of the Rams, with a fine win - Detroit kept the St Louis passing game in check with eight sacks.
Offensive performance of the week goes to Arizona for a great performance in a big game. Defensive performance of the week goes to Cincinnati for shutting down the slumping Broncos. Special teams performance of the week goes to New England, over a hundred yards on kick and punt returns.
Courtesy of Darren Birtchnell.
1 Darren Birtchnell 15.88 (8) 2 John Coleman 14.13 (8) 3 Martin Devine 13 (2) 4 Quentin Jenkinson 12.6 (5) 5 Martyn Williams 11.25 (4) 6 Rob Crowther 11.11 (9)
Predictions and commentary from John Coleman and myself, other predictions from Darren Birtchnell and Martyn Williams.
Patriots at JetsJC - Double figures for the Jets, double the Jets' score for the
Pats. PATRIOTS BY 14
RC - The Jets were lucky to get two touchdowns in week eight, New England will continue their perfect season without breaking sweat. PATRIOTS BY 21
DB - PATRIOTS BY 20 MW - PATRIOTS BY 21
Bills at DolphinsJC - Miami's wildcard slot to be consolidated, Bills will go wild
if they score a touchdown. DOLPHINS BY 14
RC - Buffalo needed a huge day from their special teams to even keep it close last time, Miami should bounce back from last week's defeat. DOLPHINS BY 7
DB - DOLPHINS BY 7 MW - DOLPHINS BY 14
Bengals at JaguarsJC - Poor Jags, New England then Cincinnati. Same result.
BENGALS BY 14
RC - Cincinnati are well on course for another division championship, Jacksonville will be getting yet another high draft pick. BENGALS BY 14
MW - BENGALS BY 21
Steelers at BrownsJC - Three in a row for the Browns? Pittsburgh will keep it
close, but not close enough. BROWNS BY 14
RC - Cleveland are on a two game win streak, both games on the road. If the Browns' offense continues to improve Pittsburgh will have a hard time keeping up. BROWNS BY 3
DB - STEELERS BY 3 MW - BROWNS BY 3
Raiders at Seahawks JC - I keep waiting for Seattle to connect big-time with their
offense, I could still be waiting after this one. RAIDERS BY 7
RC - Seattle have turned the ball over nine times in the last two games. If they can stop making mistakes they will make Oakland sweat.
DB - RAIDERS BY 13 MW - RAIDERS BY 20
Chiefs at BroncosJC - What happened with Denver? The Chiefs are starting to come
good, making this a must win game for the Broncos. CHIEFS BY 7
RC - Denver have gone two games without scoring a single point while Kansas City are looking better with every passing week. I think the Broncos will score, but not enough. CHIEFS BY 10
DB - CHIEFS BY 7 MW - CHIEFS BY 17
Eagles at RedskinsJC - Here is the shock, or is it the shoot out? Points galore.
REDSKINS BY 7
RC - Philly need a win to stay in contention for the wildcard and should win comfortably in Washington. EAGLES BY 10
DB - EAGLES BY 10 MW - EAGLES BY 14
Cowboys at Cardinals JC - Hope Dallas do better than I did, although that won't be
too difficult! CARDINALS BY 14
RC - Dallas need to figure out how to score against the aggressive Arizona defense, the Cards will be well ahead before they figure it out. CARDINALS BY 14
DB - CARDINALS BY 17 MW - CARDINALS BY 21
Packers at BucsJC - It's the slugfest, Darlington v Hartlepool reserve game.
Tampa will power through. BUCS BY 14
RC - Green Bay are a shadow of their former selves and will find it tough going in Tampa. The Bucs need to find a way to score more points to make them less vulnerable to fluke plays from their opponents. BUCS BY 3
DB - BUCS BY 3 MW - BUCS BY 7
Lions at BearsJC - Detroit's bye week, or are we in for a mega surprise... ?
LIONS BY 14
RC - Chicago came close to their first win last week, Detroit won't give them the same opportunity - expect them to crack thirty points by halftime. LIONS BY 14
DB - LIONS BY 20 MW - LIONS BY 28
Panthers at RamsJC - Another gulp. Same as last week, the opposition need to win
more. RAMS BY 14
RC - St Louis are reeling at the moment, Carolina would not be their choice of opponent after two straight losses. The Panthers' defense has looked mediocre this season, except when facing the Rams. PANTHERS BY 3
DB - RAMS BY 1
49ers at SaintsJC - Well done to both teams last week. The 49ers are a safe bet.
49ERS BY 7
RC - San Francisco will be hoping to take advantage of one of their two rivals losing with another win over New Orleans. The Saints gave it their best shot in week eight and it wasn't enough. 49ERS BY 7
DB - 49ERS BY 10 MW - 49ERS BY 10
DB : Lock - Patriots; Shock - Rams; Blowout - Lions; Shootout - Lions at Bears;
Slugfest - Steelers at Browns.
JC : Lock - Chiefs; Shock - Redskins; Blowout - Patriots; Shootout - Lions at Bears; Slugfest - Packers at Bucs.
MW : Lock - Patriots; Shock - Rams; Blowout - Chiefs; Shootout - Panthers at Rams; Slugfest - Packers at Bucs.
RC : Lock - Bengals; Shock - Seahawks; Blowout - Patriots; Shootout - Lions at Bears; Slugfest - Eagles at Redskins.