Monday, September 30, 2002
WEEK 4 THOUGHTS
Hey Raiders, can the 49ers borrow some of your offense? You clearly don't need as much as you've got!
Just when you think things can't get any worse for the Rams, they lose to the Cowboys and Warner breaks his pinky. I'm almost ready to feel sorry for them, but I'll wait until after they face the Niners.
If the 49ers located their missing offense during the bye, they should beat the Rams.
I don't know which looked uglier Sunday night, the Seahawk uniforms or the Minnesota Vikings. We already have one dirty bird team, we don't need another Seahawks!
Speaking of ugly, in the Monday night game, the Broncos were penalized over 60 yards...ON ONE DRIVE! That included a pass interference, an offsides, and three personal fouls including an ejection. That drive ought to go onto the wall of shame. All that and the Ravens only got a field goal.
The NFL is more mediocre than ever this year. Where else could you have San Diego at 4-0 and St. Louis at 0-4? It just makes me appreciate the Bengals all the more. They are a true constant...constantly bad.
Junior Bro 7:33:00 PM
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
AND I THOUGHT THE 49ERS OFFENSE LOOKED BAD!!!
After watching the 49ers offensive problems the last three weeks, it sure felt good to watch the Rams on Monday night. I knew they weren't going to be as good this year, but I never dreamed they'd be 0-3. It shows you what losing a tackle and third wideout to free agency will do to you. Unfortunately, given the division they're in, they can easily overcome this start. All it takes is two victories against the 49ers and they're tied for the division lead with the tiebreaker advantage.
Maybe Mariucci and Owens need to start feuding again. Other than one big play in the opener and the spectacular run for a score on Sunday, Owens has been very quiet. Whenever he has the opportunity to make a big catch, it seems like he is always dropping the ball. I expect that kind of thing from Stokes, not Owens.
The 49ers offense showed some signs of improvement, despite half the team fighting a flu bug, but they either need more imaginative playcalling, better decision making on the part of Garcia, or better personnel at the wide receiver position (don't get me started). Perhaps they need all three of those things to happen.
Whatever team gets there offense together within the next two weeks will most likely win the division. I hope the Rams get a victory next week though, because I can't think of a more dangerous 0-4 team for the 49ers to face.
Junior Bro 8:43:00 PM
Monday, September 23, 2002
Still had to rant
So what's up with the Rams anyway? It's easy to dis the team after falling to 0-3, but it is way too early to count these guys out. Theoretically they could be so downtrodden after losing their first three and seeing their star running back injured that they could let down against the Niners, but don't expect them to choke against the Cowboys. If that happened it would truly be a sit-up-and-take-notice moment. No, the Rams will get it together before midseason. They may not make it all the way to the Stupid Bowl, but they shouldn't be taken lightly either.
Speaking of teams we like to take lightly, how about Carolina? The Panthers should have defeated Baltimore and Detroit, but who would have expected Minnesota on the road? Of course, the Vikes are no powerhouse this season (0-3) and that loss probably says more about their season than Carolina's.
...Looks like the fans in New York have plenty to get worked up about with the Giants. Wasn't that a (*yawn!*) barnburner of a game Sunday against the Seahawks? 9-6? Geez, the NFC West is giving the New Yorkers fits -- and it's only the end of Week 3.
... And speaking of Seattle, we here at NawFuL Notes hear that 'hawks coach Mike Holmgren is on the verge of his 100th coaching win. Of course, he's been on the verge of that since last December. If things continue as they have he might be on the verge of 101 this December.
Glenn 8-D 10:58:00 PM
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Wisdom from Ben
"If you can't beat 'em, Raiders, join 'em."
-- Yes, Ben, but the Raiders are 2-0, which is more than we can say for some of their woeful competition. And even better, they are guaranteed to remain undefeated this week because ... they have a BYE WEEK!
Glenn 8-D 2:00:00 PM
Enough of the warm-ups... let's play some football!
Well, it's been an interesting first two weeks, but after watching the three of us going barely .500 you are probably wondering, "Can these Bros. really predict the games or are they just a bunch wannabes?"
Yes, of course.
Hey, we're gonna start proving our prognosticating abilities in Week 3. Just watch those predictions pay off. You'll want to jump on the Bros.' bandwagon here real quick, because it could be your ride to riches in Vegas or Atlantic City or your office football pool. (You do check with us before playing the office pool, right? Please? Fine then, but don't say we told you so when you miss the perfect week we're gonna put together eventually, maybe even this year!)
The Senior Bro will be on vacation during the next three action-filled weeks and should approach his picks in a well-rested, well-reasoned fashion. None of this 9-7 stuff. We'll be on our game tomorrow morning! (At least we hope.)
Glenn 8-D 1:54:00 PM
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Since I haven't posted for a while, I thought that a quick recap of the first two NawFuL weeks might be in order:
Surprise: Dallas losing to Houston in their first game.
Surprise: Dallas winning in week 2.
No Surprise: Baltimore (0-2)
Surprise: The 49ers sputtering offense. The team could easily be 0-2 if not for a late touchdown drive against the Giants.
No Surprise: J.J. Stokes pulling his invisible man routine.
Surprise: If J.J. Stokes is still with the 49ers next season.
No Surprise: Raiders (2-0)
Surprise: The Raiders aren't just winning, they're demolishing their opponents.
No Surprise: Miami (2-0)
Surprise: If Miami can win a playoff game, or at least avoid getting blown out.
Surprise: Cleveland losing because of a player removing his helmet before the end of a play.
No Surprise: Cleveland losing due to the officials.
Surprise: Carolina & New Orleans (2-0), who would have thought the NFC South would be this tough.
Surprise: Green Bay struggling against NFC South competition.
No Surprise: Cincinnati & Detroit (0-2)
Surprise: The Rams in the cellar at 0-2.
Surprise: The Giants, who could easily be 2-0 after beating the Rams and almost knocking off the Niners.
No Surprise: The Redskins being trounced by the Eagles.
Surprise: How ugly the Redskins new helmets look.
Surprise: A team making a uniform redesign actually look like an improvement.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: The Patriots (2-0), who look like they're ready to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The Steelers (0-2). At this stage they don't look like a playoff caliber team.
No Surprise: Picks are going to be real difficult in the NawFuL again this year!
Junior Bro 8:08:00 PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
A moment of silence
The Gehlke Bros. pause with the rest of the nation and the world to remember those lost a year ago today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and our country.
God Bless America...
Glenn 8-D 2:24:00 AM
Monday, September 09, 2002
Week 1 results posted
Yes, the first week is history and the results are up over at Gehlke Bros. Football.
How about Houston! Dallas looked simply NawFuL on Sunday night. I would not have wanted to be on that bus ride home (or however the Cowboys travel when they're close to home). Jerry Jones looked as if he could have melted steel with a stare. The Texans won't be a playoff team this year, but they put together a pretty solid first game. They may give some teams trouble along the way. Of course, this was only the Cowboys.
Glenn 8-D 10:52:00 PM
Sunday, September 08, 2002
SEAN'S 2002 PREDICTIONS
St. Louis (12-4) Don't expect the Rams to dominate the way they did last year, but they still have enough to win the division. I hope the cops will be at their home games, because they break a few speeding laws on that turf.
San Francisco (10-6) The 49ers one glaring weakness was exposed in their season opener (two glaring weaknesses if you count the kicking game). The 49ers need another go-to receiver to keep the heat off of Owens. That's enough to keep them behind the Rams for one more year. It's possible they could steal away a win from the Rams this year when they play them at home.
Seattle (7-9) It's gonna hurt with Dilfer out to start the season.
Arizona (6-10) YAAAWWWWNNNNNN!!!
Green Bay (13-3) As long as they have Favre, they'll be contenders.
Chicago (8-8) Back to reality. They won't be sneaking up on teams this year.
Minnesota (7-9) The team hasn't been the same since Kory Stringer's death.
Detroit (6-10) A slow return from the abyss.
Tampa Bay (11-5) It's lonely at the top.
New Orleans (9-7) If the chemistry is there, they could win the division, if it's really lacking, they could be 2-14.
Atlanta (6-10) I don't believe in Michael Vick yet. It takes more than just physical skills to be a quarterback (i.e. Ryan Leaf, Jim Druckenmiller, etc.). For other comments see Arizona.
Carolina (3-13) Rodney Peete??? Other comments-see Arizona.
Philadelphia (12-4) With all due respect to Washington. I deducted two wins due to their level of competition.
N.Y. Giants (9-7) Could have some upside surprise. They're an up and down team that had a down year last year.
Washington (8-8) Expect an early bang to be followed by a late wimper.
Dallas (5-11) Sorry to all you Cowboy fans and prognosticators who expected a big turnaround.
Oakland (10-6) This may be their last chance for a while. This is an aging team. Just ask the team across the bay what happens when you spend huge chunks of cap money for aging, over the hill (in some cases) football players at key positions. Eventually the performance level will drop off, and it may happen very quickly. They will win the division as long as age, injuries, and the coaching change don't catch up with them. Otherwise it's down to the cellar.
Denver (9-7) I just feel like this is a team whose time has passed.
San Diego (7-9) The team may finally have some upside.
Kansas City (6-10) They'll take a little longer than San Diego.
Pittsburgh (12-4) Not much competition here.
Cleveland (10-6) Former expansion team continues to get better. It may be tougher if Couch isn't healthy.
Baltimore (5-11) Salary Cap Catastrophy.
Cincinnati (4-12) Hey, they're still the Bengals!
Tennessee (13-3) As long as everyone stays healthy.
Indianapolis (11-5) Hopefully Dungy works his defensive magic without sacraficing the offense.
Jacksonville (8-8) They're in a tough division, so 8-8 looks pretty good.
Houston (2-14) The team with the worst nickname in football will also have the worst record in football.
N.Y. Jets (10-6) I just seem to pick them every year, mostly because this division is so mediocre.
Miami (9-7) Not quite enough to get them to their annual 42-7 first round playoff loss.
New England (9-7) Sorry Patsies...it WAS a fluke.
Buffalo (6-10) Bledsoe's not enough.
NFC DIVISION WINNERS: St. Louis, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia
NFC WILDCARDS: San Francisco, NY Giants
AFC DIVISION WINNERS: Oakland, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, NY Jets
AFC WILDCARDS: Cleveland, Indianapolis
SUPERBOWL MATCHUP: Green Bay vs. Tennessee
SUPERBOWL WINNER: GREEN BAY
Junior Bro 10:31:00 AM
Saturday, September 07, 2002
Ben's preseason predictions
"The Raiders should win this year, or they will be even NawFuLer."
Ben says the Raiders will win the Super Bowl. They will do this by beating the Niners. It will be an all-Bay Area spectacle.
In this year of realignments that would be no stranger than Houston over Dallas, or Kansas City over St. Louis, or the Giants over... well, you get the idea.
Glenn 8-D 10:44:00 AM
How about that Meadowlands barnburner? 6-3 at halftime and a 16-13 finale decided on a last-second field goal. Yawwwwwn. Typical for the Giants, but if the Niners are truly a Stupor Bore-caliber team this season they'll have to step it up. It's gonna take more than late field goals to beat the likes of the Rams.
You know it's gotta be a slow day when I'm thinking about Houston. Actually, I caught the Texans' NFL Yearbook yesterday on ESPN2 and found it very interesting. The 30-minute show covered the team's formation and the excitement stirring in Houston as football returns to the city for the first time in five years. You just don't realize how revered football is in Texas if you don't live there, I suppose. The show talked about all the draft picks and the hiring of Dom Capers as the team's first coach, and the hope that he can do for the Texans what he did for Carolina in its first season.
As a sidenote, I overheard a guy in the sports department at my newspaper last night lamenting the fact that Capers got the coaching job, saying that he had to be one of the worst coaches in the league. Go figure. Of course, even the worst NFL coach gets paid more than the best newspaper sports reporter.
* AFC North -- Pittsburgh. This is a pretty weak division. Perhaps Cleveland or Cincinnati can put together more decent years than they have had, but I will believe it when it happens. Baltimore got salray-capped. I don't think they'll be as awful as everyone says, but they won't challenge for the title either.
*AFC South -- Let's see... Texans? Right. Jags? On the decline. Guess this leaves the Titans and Colts to duke it out. I like Indy, if only because with Peyton Manning anything seems possible. The team has matured, and they're due after last year's mediocre showing. Tony Dungy will turn things around.
*AFC West -- The only division that bears some similarity to its 2001 incarnation, but much improved with the loss of Seattle. Raiders are the favorite, but I give the nod to Denver. The Broncos are always consistent, and if Griese stays healthy they will be more of a threat. The Raiders aren't exactly toast, but losing their coach and with an aging roster it will be tough to build on last season's momentum.
*AFC East -- Look out for this division, which could produce the next Stupid Brawl champion. The Patriots have something to prove to the world's skeptics who still can't believe they won it all last year, but you also have the Dolphins and Jets who should contend. I'm one of the skeptics, so I'll side with Miami to take the division, but the Pats will make the playoffs.
* NFC South -- Zzzzzzzzzzz. A big thank-you to the football powers for transplanting the Saints, Falcons and Panthers from the NFC West. Now instead of losing to the Rams and the Niners they can get jackstomped by John Gruden and Trample Bay.
* NFC West -- Rams still rule, despite the fact that the Niners are supposed to be better. Both teams will see Seattle and Arizona four times this season, which will do wonders to boost those win totals. Look for San Francisco to make it as a wild card team.
*NFC East -- The Stupid Brawl may feature an all-Eastern cast of characters in January. This is another tough division. I like Philadelphia and think they may have what it takes to go to the big game. Dallas may still think it is America's team, but the Cowboys still have a long way to go to contend for the postseason. Redskins could be a wild card threat.
* NFC North -- Bears... Packers... Bears... Packers... Packers... Bears... If Chicago can keep its act together the team is a threat for the division title. I say "if" because that has never been the Bears' style. They'll fall apart somewhere and tank some games they should win and the Pack will quietly steal it away by the final week of the season.
Stupor Bore -- Philadelphia over Denver. It's the NFC's turn. I think with all the division realignment that we'll get some interesting outcomes. I know, I know... everyone is saying Pittsburgh has it in the bag. The Steelers are perennial underachievers. They can start underachieving this Monday when they lose to the Pats. The Broncos will sneak into the Bowl because they have experience, depth and consistency. If they host a few playoff games they stand a good chance. Philly underachieves too, but they are due to go to the Bowl. They may not finish with the best record in the NFC, but they'll upset somebody along the way -- like the Niners or Rams.
Week 1 picks
We'll have 'em posted by kickoff tomorrow at 10 a.m. PDT.
Glenn 8-D 10:34:00 AM
Friday, September 06, 2002
49ERS OPENER -- THE DAY AFTER
Just a few thoughts on the 49ers win over the Giants:
1) Jose Cortez has proven himself to be a clutch late-game NFL kicker...
...unfortunately, he seems to do lowsy in any other situation. He had one kicked blocked (the same problem he had last year), missed a 40+ yarder and came very close to missing another chip shot. The fact is, had he missed that last kick, he would have been cut before the team got on the return flight home. Had he made one of those earlier field goals, the 49ers wouldn't have even needed a game winning kick.
2) The 49ers need another clutch receiver.
Terrell Owens came through in the end, but the one glaring weakness of this team is not having a second go to receiver. It was something that should have been addressed this past off season in the draft or with one of the available free agents like Antonio Freeman.
Back in the glory years, the 49ers not only had Jerry Rice to throw to, but also John Taylor, Brent Jones, Tom Rathman, and Roger Craig. Any of those players could have had their number called on any given play as the primary receiver. Now, the fullback is primarily used as a blocker, the tight end is never the first option, running backs are almost always used for screens or short passes, and the second receiver (Stokes) seems to disappear for large parts of the game.
What the 49ers fail to realize is they need to spread the ball around. By utilizing other players as primary receivers, teams will no longer be able focus all their energies on defending Owens. This in turn will lead to Owens getting more opportunities at single coverage.
They would be a lot better off if they could find a new #2 wideout.
3)The defense showed a lot of improvement in the second half.
Jamie Winborn was particularly impressive with 17 tackels. If Winborn continues at that level, he'll be going to the Pro Bowl in February. Ulbrich may have a hard time getting his job back.
Even when the Giants offensive was going up and down the field in the first half, the defense got the big stops and turnovers when they needed them. The 49ers shut down the running game and did a much better job against the Giants receivers in the second half. I would probably attribute the last Giants score to the fatigue factor, as the 49ers offense wasn't giving the defense much help.
4) The 49ers will have to play a whole lot better if they want to be able to compete with the Rams, but I'm sure they'll take the W.
I'll try to post my NFL predictions tomorrow!
Junior Bro 10:20:00 PM
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Get your game faces on...
Football on Thursday. It (stinks) when it happens in November and December, it's (really lame) when it happens the first game of the season. What possessed the NawFuL schedule wonks anyhow? Were they worried all the fans would be too busy getting sauced on Labor Day weekend to notice that we were no longer in preseason?
It's neither here nor there at this point, since we at Gehlke Bros. central have to pick the games regardless of the lame times at which they are scheduled. **** HEY BRO, I EAGERLY AWAIT YOUR THURSDAY MORNING CALL!!! ****
WHO WILL WIN?
I'm not talking about the Niners/Giants showdown. I'm talking about the whole ball of wax. Pats had a Cinderella sort of year in 2001, but now they won't get a Cinderella sort of schedule in '02. Neither will the Niners, who exceeded expectations. The Raiders lost to the Pats, which is nothing to be ashamed of since it was a blown call in the snow, but now they also have a new coach to break in and a tougher schedule, and that surely won't improve their odds.
How about the Eagles? Is this their year? Who else? Man, it sure is a good thing we aren't being paid for our prognosticating abilities. Looks like the Bros. will have to sit down and give this year-end picks thing some serious thought -- this WEEKEND.
Glenn 8-D 3:56:00 PM