A Passing Fantasy Issue 87

NFLBP Player Newsletter 2001 Season Week Two

ed Robert Crowther

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Week One Review


There was a surprise result in Cleveland as the Browns dealt rather easily with New England. The Patriots struggled to move the ball, not converting a single third down attempt, while Cleveland were able to march up and down the field, if not into the endzone. Miami were far to good for Jacksonville and had the game won by the end of the first quarter. Oakland were similarly untroubled by the Jets, able to sit back on a large first half cushion. After taking an early lead the Bills were held by the Kansas City defense, though it took until the third quarter for the Chiefs to overcome the early deficit. Seattle's one dimensional offense was no match for the consistency of the AFC champions, giving up three turnovers is no way to go about beating the Bengals. Pittsburgh took a while to get their offense into gear but, once they did, Denver never looked like catching them.


Green Bay seem to have given up on their short pass based offense in favour of a run oriented attack, it was certainly successful against Arizona. The Eagles' defense did a fine job for three quarters in Chicago but they were nearly made to pay for their offense's inability to put the game beyond reach. Carolina started off their championship defense with a win, albeit over unfancied Washington, turnovers were again the key to their defensive success. San Francisco were made to work by the Cowboys, their defense uncharacteristically giving up a big play touchdown, but snatched victory with afourth quarter touchdown. St Louis will be the talking point among NFC coaches, they faced Tampa Bay in what many expect to be a preview for a playoff matchup and, quite simply, took them apart. New Orleans made it a perfect week for the NFC West by making fewer mistakes than the Lions in a shootout.


Offensive performance of the week goes to St Louis, forty points on Tampa's defense doesn't happen often. Defensive performance of the week goes to Cleveland for shutting down a very well respected offense. Special teams performance of the week goes to Denver, who must wish their offense and defense were half as good as their return game.


Predictions Standings

Darren Birtchnell


Darren Birtchnell

18.00

(1)

Martyn Williams

16.00

(1)

Rob Crowther

9.00

(1)


Week Two Preview


Predictions and commentary from myself, other predictions from Darren Birtchnell and Martyn Williams.


Jets at Patriots


RC – New England will be looking to bounce back after their surprise loss last week, New York provide an easy opportunity. Patriots by 14


DB – Patriots by 20

MW – Patriots by 28


Bills at Dolphins


RC – Buffalo didn't look too impressive last week while Miami seem to have continued their playoff form of last season. Dolphins by 10


DB – Dolphins by 10

MW – Dolphins by 17


Browns at Bengals


RC – Are Cleveland really any good? A game at the AFC Champs will find out. Cincy gave up a lot of yards through the air last week, but not many points, while the Browns were great at stopping drives. Bengals by 3


MW – Bengals by 13


Jaguars at Steelers


RC – Pittsburgh got off to a solid start while Jacksonville don't look like winning much this season. Steelers by 7


DB – Steelers by 7

MW – Steelers by 10


Broncos at Chiefs


RC – Kansas City's defense looks solid again, expect Denver's offense to make little impression and the Chiefs to score more than enough to win. Chiefs by 10


DB – Chiefs by 10

MW – Chiefs by 10


Seahawks at Raiders


RC – The Seattle defense didn't look as good as most people expected last week, but their offense can still move the ball. Oakland will be looking to stop the long passes.


DB – Raiders by 14

MW – Raiders by 14


Redskins at Cardinals


RC – Neither team looked too impressive last week, though both piled up a lot of yardage they failed to convert that into points. Points might be easier to come by in this game. Redskins by 3


DB – Cardinals by 3

MW – Redskins by 7


Cowboys at Eagles


RC – Dallas were a bit unlucky last week, that may continue in Philadelphia. The Eagles defense looks solid and they should be able to move the ball on the Cowboys. Eagles by 7


DB – Eagles by 3

MW – Eagles by 6


Packers at Bucs


RC – Green Bay were surprisingly good last week while Tampa were surprisingly bad. Despite their comfortable win, however, the Pack gave up a lot of yards. The Bucs should start their march to the playoffs, albeit one week late. Bucs by 10


DB – Bucs by 10

MW – Bucs by 7


Bears at Lions


RC – Detroit look to be all offense once again, while Chicago did their usual trick of coming to life in the fourth quarter when it was too late to do anything about the result. A high scoring game is in the offing. Bears by 3


DB – Lions by 6

MW – Lions by 7


Saints at 49ers


RC – The New Orleans offense was on fire last week, but will find the going considerably tougher in San Francisco. 49ers by 10


DB – 49ers by 10

MW – 49ers by 14


Rams at Panthers


RC – St Louis looked impressive last week, but it is Carolina they're going to have to beat if they want to improve on last season. The Panthers may not have a great defense but they have proved, time and again, that it is good enough. Panthers by 1


DB – Panthers by 1


DB : Lock – Patriots; Shock – Cardinals; Blowout – Patriots; Shootout – Bears at Lions; Slugfest – Cowboys at Eagles.


MW : Lock – Patriots; Shock – Packers; Blowout – Patriots; Shootout – Bears at Lions; Slugfest – Cowboys at Eagles.


RC : Lock – Dolphins; Shock – Bears; Blowout – Patriots; Shootout – Redskins at Cardinals; Slugfest – Broncos at Chiefs.


ST LOUIS POST-DESPATCH

GAME OF THE WEEK

Martyn Williams


St Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers, NFLBP 2001 Season, Week 2


Recent History – 2000 Season, Week 8: Rams 10 at 17 Panthers; Week 10: Panthers 7 at 13 Rams


Trying to play down early talk of NFC West Championships after last weeks 40-0 demolition of the Buccaneers Coach Williams stated in the postgame press conference "Let me tell you something, if this team goes to Carolina next week, performs like they did today and gets the win, and then travels to San Francisco in week 8 and gets the win,you guys can all say the Rams have arrived. Not until then. Because if we want to win anything we need to beat the Panthers and the 49ers this season in their own backyard. This team is good enough, but it is those sort of wins that are needed for them to realise it." And that sort of win will not be easy to come by - Coach Williams has yet to win a game in Carolina in 3 attempts, a run that he badly wants to end while Coach Coleman is still the Panthers top man.


The Panthers ran all over the Redskins last week and also had an efficient performance from QB Steve Beuerlein. The Rams D will however be foolish to key on the run too heavily. Coach Coleman is adept at switching offensive gameplans to bypass the oppositions strengths, and if there is one thing the Rams defence did well last week against the Buccs it was stop the run. Of course, with Carolina stopping the run is only half the story, this team can pass to great effect too and it is expected that the Panthers will employ a far more balanced offensive gameplan this week. The Rams D is therefore expected to show a lot more fronts against the Panthers than normal before deciding on its defensive scheme for the game. Whether they can stop the Panthers scoring while they suss out their gameplan could well decide the game.


On paper the Rams offence would seem to have the edge against the Panthers defence, but this reporter is not so sure. Sure, the 'Skins piled on the yards last week, but were losing 30-3 going into the 4th. What Carolina do well is stopping teams from scoring until the game is already lost, either through forcing turnovers or restricting their opponents to field goals. Yardage counts for nought if you don't get points. The Rams will be looking for the running tandem of Faulk and Canidate to again do enough to keep the defence honest - there are few better QBs around than Kurt Warner when he has the time to throw and is complemented by a rushing attack, as evidenced by last weeks 4 TD performance. But he struggles when the whole offence is resting on his shoulders as the Rams don't have the experienced receiving corps of two seasons ago.


As usual most people will be expecting a shootout, but historically games between these two are close, low scoring affairs. The key for the Rams is the performance of their defence and keeping turnovers to a minimum - if the score is low going into the fourth quarter they could get their first victory in Carolina.


All Time Coaches' Standings


The following table lists the records of all coaches ever to take part in the NFLBP up to and including last season's superbowl. Coaches are credited with results starting from the turn after their name first appears on the league report (ie. from the submission of their first gameplan) up until the turn when their name disappears from the reports. Coaches are ranked by overall win percentage, no preseason or consolation bowl games are included.



Overall




Regular

Season



Playoffs




Won

Lost

Tied

%

Won

Lost

Tied

%

Won

Lost

%

Danny De Simone

15

3

1

0.816

14

2

1

0.853

1

1

0.500

Robert Crowther

72

18

0

0.800

65

13

0

0.833

7

5

0.583

Darren Birtchnell

56

20

1

0.734

48

17

1

0.735

8

3

0.727

John Coleman

27

10

0

0.730

23

9

0

0.719

4

1

0.800

Martin Devine

62

24

2

0.716

56

20

2

0.731

6

4

0.600

Dave Pinder

24

11

0

0.686

23

9

0

0.719

1

2

0.333

Quentin Jenkinson

56

26

1

0.681

55

22

1

0.712

1

4

0.200

Mario Oliver

8

4

0

0.667

8

4

0

0.667

0

0

0.000

Martyn Williams

17

9

1

0.648

17

7

1

0.700

0

2

0.000

Christopher Baird

55

30

2

0.644

47

29

2

0.615

8

1

0.889

Allan Firth

11

7

0

0.611

11

6

0

0.647

0

1

0.000

Darren Drew

11

9

0

0.550

11

8

0

0.579

0

1

0.000

Steve Harridge

44

36

1

0.549

43

34

1

0.558

1

2

0.333

Nic Torpey

42

36

1

0.538

42

35

1

0.545

0

1

0.000

Pat Ratcliffe

43

38

0

0.531

42

36

0

0.538

1

2

0.333

Michael Scott

41

41

1

0.500

39

38

1

0.506

2

3

0.400

Ray Spicer

20

21

0

0.488

18

20

0

0.474

2

1

0.667

Ian Rothwell

31

33

0

0.484

30

32

0

0.484

1

1

0.500

Rod Pickard

14

15

0

0.483

14

15

0

0.483

0

0

0.000

Tony Mountford

28

33

0

0.459

27

31

0

0.466

1

2

0.333

Mick Ashton

36

43

1

0.456

36

41

1

0.468

0

2

0.000

Peter Wilkinson

22

28

0

0.440

22

27

0

0.449

0

1

0.000

Mark Gamble

7

9

0

0.438

7

9

0

0.438

0

0

0.000

Paul Gaines

34

46

1

0.426

33

44

1

0.429

1

2

0.333

Martin Keel

30

42

0

0.417

30

42

0

0.417

0

0

0.000

Mark Stewart

8

12

0

0.400

8

12

0

0.400

0

0

0.000

Derek Blackhurst

2

3

0

0.400

2

3

0

0.400

0

0

0.000

Jason Evans

24

38

0

0.387

24

37

0

0.393

0

1

0.000

Jonathan Cullen

23

39

0

0.371

23

39

0

0.371

0

0

0.000

Graham Morgan

28

51

0

0.354

28

50

0

0.359

0

1

0.000

Philip Passey

2

4

0

0.333

2

4

0

0.333

0

0

0.000

Paul Thorniley

19

40

0

0.322

19

40

0

0.322

0

0

0.000

Dominic Williams

19

42

0

0.311

19

42

0

0.311

0

0

0.000

Tony Whiting

16

37

1

0.306

16

36

1

0.311

0

1

0.000

Darryl Saunders

12

34

0

0.261

12

34

0

0.261

0

0

0.000

Graham Muir

3

9

0

0.250

3

9

0

0.250

0

0

0.000

Brian Ball

7

39

0

0.152

7

39

0

0.152

0

0

0.000

Ben Hilliar

3

20

0

0.130

3

20

0

0.130

0

0

0.000

Dave Boulton

2

14

0

0.125

2

14

0

0.125

0

0

0.000


NFLBP Player Newsletter

-3-

ed Robert Crowther