A Passing Fantasy Issue 75 2000 Season Week Eleven
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WEEK TEN REVIEW
The Jets got off to another good start against the Patriots with two first quarter touchdowns but, once again, it wasn't nearly enough. New England matched the two in the first and went on to score another three. Miami recovered from their last minute defeat last week with an emphatic win over the visiting Bills. Buffalo struggled to run the ball on the Dolphin's D and the passing game couldn't pick up the slack. Cincinnati demolished the Jaguars, an early field goal after a turnover was all the Jacksonville offense could muster. The Bengal's offense seems to be picking up with a good showing against a normally effective Jacksonville defense. Cleveland were able to extend their winning streak to three games but were nearly upset by a storming Steeler comeback. Pittsburgh got three scores to tie the game in the fourth before the Browns got the winning field goal in overtime. The Oakland defense had a big day in Seattle, shutting down the deep pass by getting to the quarterback. Denver had their best performance since week seven they scored! It wasn't enough though, the Chiefs had the game well under control by halftime.
Philadelphia kept their playoff hopes alive with a victory in Washington, who bolstered their chances for the top draft pick. Arizona continued their seemingly inevitable march towards the division title with a convincing win over the Cowboys. Good news for Dallas, though, a new coach has arrived who can perhaps make better use of the squad than the previous incumbents. Green Bay will not have a winning season for the first time since season one, despite having a field day on the Bucs' secondary. The one dimensional Pack were not good enough to beat the more balanced Tampa attack which got some big plays for once. Chicago were once again so close to breaking their duck, matching the high flying Lions score for score for four quarters. Detroit made no mistake in overtime and clinched a winning season. The Rams finally managed a win over Coach Coleman and the Panthers, though a fourth quarter touchdown made things tense for the home team. Carolina have now lost two in a row. San Francisco took full advantage of the opportunity to close on the division leaders with a very convincing win in New Orleans. The NFC West once again looks wide open.
Offensive performance of the week goes to San Francisco, things are starting to click at the right time in the Bay area. Defensive performance of the week goes to St Louis, for finally getting past their arch rivals. Special teams performance of the week goes to Cleveland for a monster day on kick returns.
Courtesy of Darren Birtchnell.
WEEK ELEVEN PREVIEW
Patriots at Bengals
MW - The first major test for the Superbowl credentials of the 2000 Patriots. The Bengals will be up for this one, wanting to show the supposed Superbowl Champions elect they are not going to hand their title over without a fight. Both teams are strong all over the field, and both coaches have proven they know how to win. But Coach Birtchnell's Bengals have more experience of the big game atmosphere and that, coupled with homefield advantage, will give them the edge. Bengals by 3
RC The big game in the AFC this week sees the current champions take on the champions elect. Cincinnati have hit form recently while New England have been on song all season. I'll pick the Bengals' defense to make the difference. BENGALS BY 1
JC BENGALS BY 3
Bills at Steelers
MW - An inter-divisional match up that fails to excite as much as the Patriots v Bengals! Neither team has much to play for, unlike at this point last season, and the Bills seem better at finding ways to lose than the Steelers. Steelers by 7
RC Two teams with high hopes at the start of the year, both have been big disappointments. Pittsburgh have the better defense and enough talent to take advantage of the Bill's defensive weaknesses. STEELERS BY 7
DB STEELERS BY 3
JC STEELERS BY 3
Dolphins at Seahawks
MW - Last week the Seahawks were pushed all over the field by a rampant Raiders defense, and things won't get any easier against this season's resurgent Dolphins. I expect another dominant Dolphins display, and like everyone else I've given up on the Seahawks. Dolphins by 17
RC Miami have been the surprise package of the AFC this season and fully deserve their seven wins. Seattle have been disappointing again and will struggle to make an impression on the Dolphins. DOLPHINS BY 10
DB DOLPHINS BY 10
JC SEAHAWKS BY 3
Jets at Broncos
MW - The Jets notoriously weak offensive line will be just what the Broncos' defense will have been hoping for after three successive defeats. The Jets will score a couple of TDs but the Broncos will score more. Broncos by 10
RC Denver have slumped in recent weeks but are still more than good enough to defeat the Jets. The New York line is no match for the Bronco blitz. BRONCOS BY 10
DB BRONCOS BY 7
JC BRONOCS BY 3
Browns at Chiefs
MW - Just as I was writing off the Browns they put three wins together. They haven't improved enough to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, but it will be a good experience for them to take into next year, when they may just have improved enough to fight for a wildcard. The Chiefs will win to keep the pressure on the Raiders. Chiefs by 14
RC Cleveland's three game winning streak looks like it will end in Kansas. The Chiefs in form will be too much for even a revitalised Browns. CHIEFS BY 10
DB CHIEFS BY 14
JC CHIEFS BY 3
Jaguars at Raiders
MW - Jacksonville have one of the league's worst offenses, coupled with a very poor defense, all of which adds up to an easy win for the Raiders. Raiders by 20
RC Oakland look more solid on defense than they have all season while the Jacksonville offense has been the main culprit in most of their losses. Expect a low scoring game.
DB RAIDERS BY 21
JC RAIDERS BY 17
Eagles at Packers
MW - The Eagles will be looking for a confidence booster before going into a run of 4straight games against playoff calibre opposition. It isn't as easy to beat the Pack as their record would suggest, but I think the Eagles will win to keep the pressure on Tampa and St Louis. Eagles by 7
RC Both teams have failed to reproduce the form of last season but, while Philadelphia are still in playoff contention Green Bay are well out of it. EAGLES BY 3
DB PACKERS BY 1
JC PACKERS BY 1
Cowboys at Lions
MW - Coach Passey would have liked an easier game as his first in charge of the Cowboys. The Lion's offense has been on fire all season, and while the Cowboys will play above their recent standards an upset win looks unlikely. Lions by 14
RC A baptism of fire for the new coach in Dallas, the Detroit offense has been awesome this season. LIONS BY 10
DB LIONS BY 7
JC LIONS BY 3
Cardinals at Rams
MW - Another strong test for the Rams playoff aspirations. After Coach Williams first win over the Panthers last week, confidence and morale is high. The Rams are unbeaten at the Transworld Dome this season, but they haven't faced a defense like Arizona's. The Rams need the win to stay in touch with the 49ers and Panthers, while the Cardinals need the win to stay ahead in the battle for homefield advantage through the playoffs. The Rams will either just sneak it or get overrun by the Cardinals pass rush, most likely the latter!
RC If anyone can score on the Arizona defense it is St Louis, if they can get the ball to their receiving corps quickly they could get some big plays. The Cards are no slouches on offense themselves, though, so it will take more than one lucky break. RAMS BY 3
DB CARDINALS BY 7
JC RAMS BY 3
Redskins at Saints
MW - The Saints will look forward to reliving past glories and will run all over the Redskins. Saints by 7
RC New Orleans are perhaps a little unfortunate to be in a division with three superbowl contenders. Their running game will eat up the Washington defense. SAINTS BY 10
DB SAINTS BY 4
JC SAINTS BY 7
Bears at 49ers
MW - The Bears gave it their best shot last week against the Lions and still lost. The 49ers defense won't let the Bears get anywhere as near to a victory this week, and may well finish the day on top of the NFC West. 49ers by 17
RC Chicago are showing some signs of life, coming close to winning their first game in both of the last two. They may have missed their best chances though, San Francisco have too good a defense. 49ERS BY 10
DB 49ERS BY 14
JC 49ERS BY 21
Bucs at Panthers
MW - There has been something wrong in Carolina in recent weeks, the once mighty offense has averaged only 9 points a game the last three weeks. The team you don't want to face with a misfiring offense is Tampa, whose conservative offense should find it easier than normal to score this week. A close game, but the Bucs D should be good enough to secure the win. Bucs by 3
RC Carolina are on a two game losing streak, Tampa are tough opposition but I think the Panthers are too good to lose three in a row. PANTHERS BY 3
DB PANTHERS BY 7
JC PANTHERS BY 3
MW : Lock 49ers; Shock Browns; Blowout Raiders; Shootout - Cardinals at Rams; Slugfest - Bucs at Panthers.
DB : Lock 49ers; Shock Packers; Blowout Raiders; Shootout Redskins at Saints; Slugfest Bills at Steelers.
JC : Lock 49ers; Shock Seahawks; Blowout Raiders; Shootout - Cowboys at Lions; Slugfest - Bills at Steelers.
RC : Lock Broncos; Shock Rams; Blowout 49ers; Shootout Dolphins at Seahawks; Slugfest Patriots at Bengals.
That concludes the first new look issue, as I've already mentioned please write and tell me what you think. The next few issues will feature me coming to grips with my new word processor, so I'm quite happy to mess around and change styles from one issue to the next.