View Full Version : The Ralph Wilson Bunch
11-29-2000, 11:25 PM
The Ralph Wilson Bunch/Challenge - Inspired by the man himself, who, with some great general managers, namely John Butler and Bill Polian, has built his franchise from the draft, including very few free agents in the scheme of success. The Bills are a staple of drafting success in the 90's, with only one team possibly being better, depending on the study conducted and rating system chosen. Also, akin to what the Bills do, I play defense on a 3-4 base, you just gotta love having all those linebackers on the field.
The following challenge follows the empty cupboard theme. The challenge is played on the Wall Street level and allows for the GM to be fired, let's hope the owner has some patience. This challenge is similar to some of the empty cupboard challenges that have appeared so far on this board. The challenge begins with a player allocation draft. After completion of the draft, all players on the Bills roster are waived and the roster is filled with undrafted free agent rookies. This season is quick simmed and then the challenge begins in the 2001 season. House rules are as follows:
-The team must be filled with only players that I draft, with remaining players being undrafted rookie free agents. This means that no free agents can be signed at any time during any period that were not drafted by my team, ever, unless they are undrafted rookies. This means that all players on my team will have joined the organization as rookies, period. I can, however, use the 20 step FA period to resign my own players if a contract could not be agreed upon before the previous season ended.
-Ticket prices can never exceed the highest value in any category in the league.
-Have a full 53 man roster every year. This is a very difficult criteria to meet in this type of challenge, as the cap gets very tight.
-I cannot limit contract renegotiations to the final year of a players contract. Playing this challenge brings in some high priced first round rookies and makes it impossible to fill a roster. However, one limit I will place on myself is that if I decide to renegotiate a contract before the final year, I have to add at least two more years to the contract, eliminating the salary reductions that are possible when adding one year and no bonus money. This should act in a similar, but less restricting manner than allowing only extensions in the final year of a contract.
-There will be no limit on the number of trades per year initiated by myself. Remember, however, that I will be dealing only with draft picks in return. I need to be able to move up and down the draft baord as it is taking place.
-Allow myself to sign undrafted rookie free agents to a maximum of 3 year deals. In key positions, as many may have noticed, this requires extending some bonus money to the player to agree upon this three year deal, but at four or five years, most just sign with no bonus money. Many challenges may allow only two year deals, but considering the difficulty of this challenge, I need to be able to have slightly less turnover from year to year due to the first house rule.
As a side note, with slightly less restrictive rules in a previous challenge very similar to this, it took me 8 years to reach the playoffs and 9 years to win the bowl. In the first 7 years of existance, this franchise compiled a record of 36 wins and 76 losses, barely five wins per season, skewed by one 8-8 season that somehow happened between two 1-15 seasons. It just takes time to build a competitive franchise in this mode.
I enjoy reading the various franchise threads that are on this board and thought I might contribute my own to anyone who is interested. I am also hoping that this will allow me to better relate to my players by thoroughly outlining their careers, and tracking the successes and failures of various components of the organization.
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 12-13-2000).]
11-29-2000, 11:27 PM
We begin the season with nobody on the roster and looking to the draft. We have the first pick in this draft, the result of cleaning house to begin my career. After looking at the draft, the cornerstone positions this franchise is looking to build from are just not available in first rate quality. There is, however, a great wide receiver available who would be worthy of the number one pick. The other position I consider here is a very good guard with potentials in the 80's, not all world, but certainly something to build from. This guard may not be worth that number one pick, however, and I contemplate trading out of it to a lower pick. In reality, I would love to have that wide receiver, but he's got nobody to throw to him.
I finally decide to grab the wide receiver, not the best building block, but he's a stud. I also forsee in the second round some good linebackers being available and I plan to grab two of the many if they fall into the second round by grabbing an extra pick. I sit tight and wait for the second round. To my surprise, a very descent looking RB falls to the second round. Although not a franchise player, this guy could carry the load for a few years and I don't hesitate to pick him. A good looking DE slipped to the second round also and I debate whether to trade up to pick him. After watching the DE slip to the late second round I make a deal, sending two thirds, a fourth, and two fifths for the 26th pick in the second round, a heavy price to pay, but for hopefully a very good DE. In the third round I grab a potential starting center, at least in these building years who is a very nice prospect.
In the fourth round, an above average receiver has fallen and I snag him, again I still do not have a quarterback. I think my philsophy here is to just grab the best player, I need players for every position. In the fifth round, I have to have a quarterback so I grab the best available who turns about to be about average, not too bad for the fifth round.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Luther Jacobson, WR, Vanderbilt
Rnd 2 - Oliver Barton, RB, Clemson
Rnd 2 - Emmanuel Richmond, DE, Fort Lewis
Rnd 3 - Terry Page, C, West Virginia State
Rnd 4 - Donald Creed, WR, Utah
Rnd 5 - Conrad Kirkaldie, QB, California
Rnd 6 - Norman Henderson, DT, Michigan State
Rnd 7 - R.J. Hurtado, LB, Oregon
It appears as though I have at least five starters for the future, and possibly six assuming all hold up in training camp. Before training camp I can only get 19 players onbaord and I hope for the best. After camp, no busts and no breakouts. We have solidified the wideout position along with running back and quarterback. I will certainly look for upgrades, but these guys may be able to throw and run if I can get any protection from a lackluster line. My offensive line and defensive backfield are horrid, we may be lucky to win one game this year. I fill out the roster with undrafted rookie free agents and we enter the 2001 season looking to the future.
2001 Regular Season
We survive the exhibition season with only a few injuries and enter the season with my scout being "extremely concerned" about most of the starting unit players. He must not think much of my drafting skills. Our first game is a blowout and I am concerned, I didn't think we were that bad. Week 2 and 3 we lose by 3 and 7 respectively to some average teams. In week 4, we pull an upset and beat the 1-2 Seattle team, winning by 12. Through 4 weeks my rookie quarterback with no protection has a 98.0 rating and my running back is running for 5.0 yards per carry. We must have some really great offensive line coaches that know how to get something out of nothing. In week 5 my rookie qb goes down and no we are hurting. Weeks 4-9 we suffer four defeats and a bye week, but played very close in two of those losses. With no sign of my qb coming back from injury anytime soon the forecast is bleak, he was carrying this team. He finally comes back in week 14 and we can score again, but we still lose. You see, in a four week span, we scored 6 points so you can see that I am ecstatic to have him back. In Weeks 15 and 17 we lose by only three points in each game, if we only had a defense.
There will be no postseason this year as We finish the season 1-15, with many close fought games that we certainly played our hearts out in. I like this bunch of guys, they are certainly gutsy. Our defense gave up 460 points and we scored only 233 points. However, on the bright side, most of those offensive points came when my 5th round QB was taking the snaps. He only played in 8 games and put 180 of those 233 points on the board.
QB Conrad Kirkaldie: 1970 yds, 9 TD, 7 Int, 53.2%, 76.7 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 174-832, 5 TD, 4.7 ypc
WR Luther Jacobson: 71-1090, 5 TD, 8 Drp
WR Donald Creed: 82-1061, 5 TD, 11 Drp
We also have two linebackers with 133 and 107 tackles. Impressive from two below average players. Although racking up huge numbers on the field, these two backers won't be back next year, they just don't have the potential to be solid players. However, our defensive line couldn't stop a third grade pee wee rushing attack, what defensive line?
We end up ranked 29 in run defense and 30 in pass defense. Next year we hope to put someone on the field who can actually play football.
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 11-29-2000).]
11-29-2000, 11:27 PM
I decide on hiring a coach that might help us on our way to a bowl victory. Although not a superstar, he is certainly better than my coach of last year who I fired immediately even though I realize we are rebuilding. Too many injuries last year culminated in his firing this offseason. Damn that expansion draft, I had nobody under contract and lost three of my six good players, half of my starting lineup. DE Richmond who I gave up so many picks to grab is now a part of the expansion team.
The draft holds some nice players including a potential franchise quarterback who I am eyeing despite the descent performance of my current quarterback. Also available are two great tackles, I may end up taking one by trading up. I decide to snag the possible cornerstone of my franchise, an awesome QB with my number two pick in the draft. Now I have to find a way to get one of those two tackles to anchor the left side of my offensive line. As it turns out, I just don't have enough to offer to get up into the top 10 of the first round where the two will probably be picked. I am very disappointed but we move on. In the second round, there is a very good linebacker available and I snag him immediately. Our next pick is a fourth rounder and another good linebacker is available and I pick him, giving us two solid linebackers on a defense in dire need of some talent.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Kendrick Gray, QB, Baylor
Rnd 2 - Maurice Dillard, LB, Colorado State
Rnd 4 - Wendell Prieto, LB, Georgia Tech
Rnd 6 - Andrew Dunlap, TE, Delta State
Rnd 7 - Alfred Hopkins, G, Notre Dame
After the draft, we have 15 players on the roster and 85 percent of the cap room to work with. We immediately begin filling the roster. We leave training camp unscathed and with a draft that produced our franchise quarterback, with two very good linebackers to start in our 3-4 "just try and score on us" defense. Both should help the cause a little bit, but our defensive backfield is still our biggest weakness on the D. Our cap situation is 53 million under a 79 million cap, just outrageous. Just remember we started with nothing and we are bound to catch the cap within five or six years.
2002 Regular Season
Week 1 begins with a 27-10 win over the new expansion team. I guess there is a team that is worse than us. Weeks 2 and 3 are losses but in our fourth game in week five we beat the 3-1 Jaguars. We played some very mistake free football in that win, nothing spectacular, just no turnovers. However in Week 6, we lose to the 0-4 Colts, a big step backward. Honestly I wasn't sure if we'd win two games all year so things are going okay at 2-3. Things take a turn for the worse, we can't win. In fact, we lose ten in a row before beating the mediocre Giants in Week 17. Again, no playoffs for us this year. Our team finishes 3-13.We have no free agents this year other than those players that were "fillers".
QB Kendrick Gray: 3004 yds, 17 TD, 17 Int, 50.9%, 66.8 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 209-692, 3 TD, 3.3 ypc
WR Luther Jacobson: 57-869, 4 TD, 9 Drp
WR Jamie Blanchard: 61-841, 10 TD, 8 Drp
WR Brenden Brown: 63-712, 2 TD, 7 Drp
LB Maurice Dillard: 111 Tckl, 3.5 Sacks (1st Team Linebacker)
Great performance from a trio of wide receivers, and an expected average first season from the rookie QB Kendrick Gray. Also, some stellar defense from my rookie second round LB. This guy should continue to put up big numbers while I try and fill in some talent on defense. My RB is suffering immensely from our lack of talent on the offensive line. Maybe next year we can shore this up. However, with so many holes to fill, I am still drafting by the philsophy of best player available, akin to what Ralph Wilson's Bills do, best player available.
Overall defense this year was predictable, 31 in run defense, 26 in pass defense. We really didn't do much to fill the gaps in the defense this past year, although we do have two starting middle linebackers. We score only 232 points and our defense gave up a huge 483 points.
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 11-30-2000).]
11-29-2000, 11:28 PM
Well, we lost some money last year, 31 million to be exact. We are losing some fan support and continue to fail selling all tickets to our home games. After the free agency period, I receive a trade offer for my starting center. A fifth round pick is the offer from the Giants and I decline, this guy is worth more than that in my opinion. He was an original 3rd round pick two years ago.
The draft this year features no all world players, but some very good offensive and defensive lineman. I may try and gamble and trade down from 1 down to somewhere in the top ten and try and pick up some extra picks. I am hoping that either of the two DE or two G I am eyeing are not picked before I will chose. I trade down to 6 from 1 and add a 2nd rounder next year in exchange for two future 4th rounders and two future 5th rounders. As it happens, one of the DE I was eyeing falls to the sixth pick and I add him to my defense, hopefully to be the man there for years to come. Now I ponder where the guards will go in this draft. I need a guard, period, and I cannot afford to let these guys go off the board without me picking them. One guard goes at number 8 and the other probably won't slide past 15 so I work to get a pick in the top 15. Well, I can't get into the top 15 and the draft draft continues. The guard still isn't taken at 18 so I pull a trade to get pick 19 and give up the farm. Three 2nd rounders and two 3rd rounders to get into the first round. Is the guard that good? Well, he should be a fixture at guard for the Bills for many years if things pan out after camp. If he doesn't, well I'll look like a fool, to be sure. Wow, that puts me out of the draft until round 6 and 7 where I pick up three mediocre players, again the best players available.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Donnell Milne, G, Duke
Rnd 1 - Butch Bailey, DE, Stephen F. Austin
Rnd 6 - Jerald Kerr, WR, Maryland
Rnd 6 - Mark Young, WR, Virginia Tech
Rnd 7 - Norbert Clinton, DE, Louisville
After training camp, my two top picks pan out just as expected, what a relief. That's two more pieces to the puzzle. I receive two trade offers. The first is a 1st round pick and an awful RB for my franchise QB...don't think so. The other is a 2nd round pick for my newly acquired rookie guard....I gave up three 2nd rounders to get this guy, give me a break. After camp, we are 51 million under the cap having just filled the roster. A couple big contracts are coming due and we will have to pay some of these players what is due in the very near future.
2003 Regular Season
I make a trade of my 5th round QB from two years ago to Carolina for their 2nd round pick next year. His contract was up this year and he was just riding the bench. Looking at this season, we're still not anywhere near contenders. We have two solid starters on the offensive line this year which should help boost our running game. This year, I've opened up the offense a bit. We have the potential to put up some big numbers through the air in the very near future. This year I extend the contracts of 5 starters as their rookie contracts were up. We still sit at 48 million under the cap after these moves. Again, this year we will be lucky to win three games, we still don't have enough pieces to hold this thing together for very long. However, our offense should score more points this year, possibly giving us a chance to win a few more games. I will also note here that we have picked up some cohesion all around and hover at between 70 and 75 for all units this year.
We begin the year with a close win over the former expansion team of Austin. To my surprise, we win four straight including one 21-0 shutout. I am shocked that our defense held another team to no points. Not sure how this season will unfold but my quarterback has a rating of 121.0 with 13 TD and 2 INT through 4 games. This guy is simply on fire. I know I opened up the offense a bit, but geez, this is phenomenol. It seems improbable to continue on this pace, but this team is already 4-0, with more wins this year already than I had predicted for the whole year.
The next stretch of 4 games, we are 2-2, giving us a 6-2 overall record. We are tied for first in the division halfway through the season. My quarterback has dropped off some, but he continues to hold his 100.0 rating. I also notice that through 8 games, my stud rookie DE Butch Bailey, drafted number 6 has 15.0 sacks. Wow, I could not have asked for more from this perrenial all pro if he keeps this up. Also of note is my number one draft choice from two years ago, WR Jacob Lutherson who already has 64-1116, 10 TD. I had a feeling this guy had the potential to rewrite the history books, and to no surprise that's just what he is doing. Our defense seems to be holding up against the run, but our biggest weakness is againt the pass as we knew heading into the season. We have nobody that could start for another team. We will see how they hold up in the stretch run.
Heading into week 14 we are no 7-5 having slowed down a great deal. We face the 9-3 Patriots, the division leader. If we could beat these guys at home, it would be huge. This one turns out to not even be close, we lose 38-10. Our suspect secondary gives up 400 yards through the air. Even our high powered offense can't keep up, although we do only score 10 this game. My young quarterback has slowed down, but continues to head toward a possible pro bowl season, with a rating hovering around 95.0. The postseason is slipping away, we need some big wins down the stretch to hope for a wildcard berth. In week 15 we blowout the 4-9 Dolphins and my young QB throws for 5 TD passes. He is, however, injured, and is probably lost for the season. The postseason seems bleak now. I now wonder if trading my descent backup QB earlier this year was such a hot idea. My now injured QB was probably playing better than any 2nd year quarterback I have ever seen. He doesn't even have that much protection, with only two studs up front, and three filler players. In week 16, we squeak by the 7-7 Vikings 14-13, running behind our RB Oliver Barton who runs wild for 160 yards. Week 17 results in disappointment, a loss to the Bears 29-16, but we are 9-7 and actually make the playoffs as a wild card team. This team has far exceeded my expectations and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in the postseason.
QB Kendrick Gray: 3567 yds, 33 TD, 16 Int, 59.6%, 97.8 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 311-1207, 8 TD, 3.8 ypc
WR Luther Jacobson: 118-2042, 16 TD, 18 Drp <<<======UNBELIEVABLE YEAR!!!!!
WR Brenden Brown: 62-930, 9 TD, 7 Drp
LB Maurice Dillard: 114 Tckl, 1.0 Sacks
DE Butch Bailey: 25 Tckl, 21.0 Sacks
S Michael Farmer; 60 Tckl, 7 INT
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 11-30-2000).]
11-29-2000, 11:29 PM
Our star QB Kendrick Gray is Doubtful, but it's a playoff game, he is going to start. Pittsburgh is nothing special at 10-6, they just have a solid team throughout. Our only chance is to win behind the arm of QB Gray, as they have a tough run defense.
The game begins with a punt by both teams and on Pittsburgh 2nd possession they throw an INT at their 48 yard line. QB Gray marches the troops down the field but the drive stalls at their 16 yard line and we settle for a field goal. The first quarter ends and it is 3-0. In the second quarter with a 13 yard pass, Pittsburgh answers and it is 7-3. On second down we hook up with our all pro receiver for 57 yards down to their 12 yard line. We bust a 12 yard run up the middle to take the lead at 10-7. On the ensuing kickoff, Pittsburgh fumbles and we recover at the Pittsburgh 11. We cannot, however, put it in the endzone and we settle for a field goal making it 13-7 midway through the second quarter. Pittsburgh then proceeds on a long drive that gets to our 33 yard line. We then, however, intercept another pass in the end zone for a touchback. We end up punting and before the half they tack on a field goal to make it 13-10. In the second half, on their first possession they march right into the endzone and take a 17-13 lead. It seems our run defense which was solid throughout the year is suddenly falling apart. We cannot stop their attack. Near the end of the third quarter, we intercept another pass deep in Steeler territory and QB Gray throws a touchdown pass to put us on top 20-17. On the ensuing drive Pittsburgh adds a field goal to tie the game at 20-20. We trade possesssions throughout the 4th quarter without much success and we receive the ball with 1:06 left in the game at our own 38. In the hurry up mode, QB Gray hits WR Brown for 45 yards on 3rd and 10 to put us at the Pittsburgh 17 yard line. We run the ball to position our kicker to the near side and he nails the 27 yard field goal to win the game in dramatic fashion 23-20. What a win, I am pleased to see QB Gray performing even with his bad knee, we could not have won without him. Our secondary probably won this game, with the three big interceptions. They do nothing right all year and then come through when it counts, the game ball goes to the secondary this game, good job guys.
Now it is on to Cleveland whom we lost to 7-3 in week 10 earlier this year. We have a real chance here, but the dawg pound is sure to be rowdy. If QB Gray can keep his composure we should take this game. Ummm... things did not go according to plan. I won't go into the details in this game, we got creamed. Final score 65-17. I have never suffered such an awful defeat. They just outplayed us in every aspect. I'm not sure if we had anybody show up for this one. Cleveland manages to make it to the bowl before losing to eventual champion Arizona 34-20. This season was a huge surprise, and may lead to high expectations next year which we may not be able to achieve.
What a phenomenol year for this team. 2nd year QB Gray outplays every quarterback in the league, although does not earn any awards. My rookie DE Bailey gets 21.0 Sacks, and my 3rd year WR Jacobson gets 2042 yards on 118 catches with 16 TD. I have never seen numbers this large before, outstanding for the all world Jacobson. My 2nd year LB performs as expected with 114 tackles as well.
WR Jacobson earns 1st team and Offensive Player Of Year, a first for any WR that I have ever seen. DE Bailey, LB Prieto, G Coakley, and RB Barton all earn second team honors. I don't know what to expect next year, but I am excited as our offense came to life, scoring 395 points. I think we are on our way, we just are not nearly good enough to win a bowl, yet. This team does not look great, but with our offensive machine, we can play with anyone it seems. Next year should be exciting.
11-30-2000, 07:36 AM
WR Luther Jacobson: 118-2042, 16 TD, 18 Drp <<<======UNBELIEVABLE YEAR!!!!!
Feeling more justified about taking a WR #1 overall now??
11-30-2000, 06:00 PM
No changes this year in scouting or coaching staffs. Anybody who can coach this bunch of misfits to a playoff win earned his keep. our balance sheet shows a loss of 22 million, better than the previous year. Maybe with that playoff win, we can pick up some fan support and sell out a few home games.
I receive a trade offer for my starting C Page of a 4th rounder and a very good tackle. If I had depth this would be a fair trade but this is my starting center who is simply average on a poor offensive line as it is. I just have to pass this one up. Another trade offer for all world WR Jacobson, a 17th pick in first round a very good S. I decline, there is no decision here even though I desperately need a S, a maxed out WR is so hard to come by.
This year we draft at 21 in the first round. There are five DE that are just awesome and another DT that looks to be a guy who needs to be on my team. The DT looks like a sleeper and could fall to my 21 pick. However, all those DE will be gone and I need to get a top 10 pick to share in the wealth, maybe higher. I don't know what this is going to cost, but it will be a bundle. I will make every effort to get into the top 10 to draft one of these potential all pro DE. As it turns out, there is no way to move up in the top 10 without sacrificing my first rounders in the coming years. I wish I had some depth so that I could dump some players.
The draft continues and that DT sleeper rated at 6.0 on the board falls to 21 and I snag him. If this guy is as good as my scout thinks, he'll be the mountain in the middle of my 3-4 for many years. In the 2nd round I need an impact player. There just isn't much talent left. I sure could use help in the secondary and am looking at a couple DBs. There is also a descent TE available, a welcome addition to my air attack. In the end, I grab the S with current ratings in the 40's but according to my scout very little potential. I just need something in my secondary with some consistency and he might bring that to the table. Last year I traded away my third round pick so I am looking to pick up a third rounder this year. For the first pick in the third round I give up a 3, 4, 5, and 2 6 rounders. I have my eye on a DE that has current ratings at 50 with no future potential. I wonder if this is one of those red-line rookie cases. However, I am also fearful he could be a huge bust with his equal ratings. It's a gamble I have to take, I need some impact players right now. If he pans out, I will have one of the best defensive lines in the league if these guys don't bust on me and play to the potential my scout thinks they can.
I now have a 6th and 7th rounder left in this draft. I grab a S with the 6th and a WR with the 7th to conclude the 2004 draft festivities.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Jim Covington, DT, Kentucky
Rnd 2 - Cary Gunn, S, Jacksonville State
Rnd 3 - Ian Locke, DE, Toledo
Rnd 6 - Otis Edgar, S, Columbia
Rnd 7 - Derrick James, WR, Wisconsin
DT Covington will be awesome if he reaches his potential, and S Gunn will add some much needed talent to the secondary. DE Locke will start with current ratings at 50 and should do a good job. S Edgar will start, but he has only average future ratings. He should still help our "I thought you had him covered" secondary. I fill out the roster with undrafted rookies and resign RFA S Farmer, he earned it with 7 INT last year and RFA T McGee, although T McGee is not that good. After signings, we are 47 million under the cap.
After camp, DT Covington holds his ratings, just try and run through this guy. Also, DE Locke turns about to be one of those sleepers, best known as a red line rookie. His ratings are now 62/70, 61/88, 94. He picked up between 10 and 30 points all around, a huge bonus being a third round pick. Now the defensive line is set for the coming years, allowing me to rest a little easier at night. Now if we could just get that secondary set.
We receive a couple trade offers, but nothing worth mentioning here, they are all declined. I resign my starting G, C, T, and RB. All are demanding large salaries but their play has been descent so I'll keep them on board for now. RB Barton requests a 4 million dollar raise and I gladly pay him. All these extensions leave us 35 million under the cap which is 96.1 million.
11-30-2000, 06:01 PM
2004 Regular Season
Our cohesion in the passing game has reached 80 and the others hover at 70 as expected with the large turnover. I don't know what to expect this year. If I had to guess I would say we are an 8-8 team. However, judging by the performance last year, our offense producing so many big plays, and a better defense, we may well be another playoff team. I've done all I can do this year so we will have to wait and see how the team performs.
Our first game of the year is with the Niners and we win a close one 37-34 behind the stellar play of QB Gray. The next two games play out to a win and a loss. Heading into the bye week, we are 2-1. In week 5 we win 14-10 over a tough Jets team and week 6 we win 24-20 over the 4-1 Panthers. Week 7 is a 27-24 win over the Patriots and in week 8 we win 23-18 over the Jets again. We now sit at 6-1, second place behind Miami at 7-0. Our only loss is to Miami in week 2 38-24. We face them again in week 14 down in Miami. That game could decide the division. Week 9 results in a 24-17 win over the 1-6 Chargers. We've won a lot of close games this year, our offense just isn't scoring a huge amount of points this year. This needs to be corrected if we are to stand a chance in the playoffs.
QB Gray has thrown for 17 TD and 3 INT halfway through the season with a rating of 111.0. His performance again is carrying this team. DE Bailey, last year with 21.0 Sacks has been injured for most of the year. Week 10 results in a loss to the 6-2 Colts 34-22, a tough loss for this bunch of guys after winning four in a row. In Week 11 we beat the Patriots on the road 27-10 and Week 12 features the Colts. It's time for payback, and this time they are in our house. We cream the Colts 47-27 behind the arm of QB Gray who thorws for 5 TD and 348 yds. RB Barton rushes for 133 yds and 1 TD and WR Jacobson has 7-178 3 TD. Somehow we managed to keep the Colts out of the endzone too much, they still compiled 497 yards on our horrid defense, again, our biggest weakness.
Entering week 13, we are tied for first with Miami at 9-2 with a huge showdown in two weeks against our biggest division rival. The Colts are still lurking behind at 8-3. Week 13 is a huge loss to the 9-3 Ravens 30-24. Week 14, down in Miami, a must win for our bunch. We win easily 38-8, but not because of our high scoring offense. Our defense played superbly, notching 3 INT, 2 returned for TD. Our offense just capitalized on the great play of the D in this game. In fact, we were winning 31-0 before the Fins finally scored.
Now we sit atop the division with Miami at 10-3 with Indy lagging at 8-5. Our next three games are out of the division and the good news is, we control our own destiny. We manage to lose 2 out of 3 and finish at 11-5, assured a berth in the playoffs as a wild card team. Miami went 12-4. Our all pro from last year DE Bailey is finally healthy for the playoff run. Not a bad year overall and we look forward to the challenges that await in the playoffs. We have shown that we can beat the best teams, we just have a tendancy to lose to the inferior teams. This bodes well for the playoffs if we can keep it up, although all games will be road games if we win the first.
We improve to 22 against the pass on D and 29 against the run. Better than last year, but still needing a lot of work.
QB Kendrick Gray: 4366 yds, 32 TD, 8 Int, 61.1%, 103.5 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 326-1201, 6 TD, 3.6 ypc, 44 catches, 679 yds, 8 TD. Great year overall, 1880 total yds.
WR Luther Jacobson: 99-1813, 11 TD, 10 Drp Not as good as last year, but who could ever top that? Great year!!
WR Brenden Brown: 49-579, 5 TD, 7 Drp
LB Wendell Prieto: 111 Tckl, 3.0 Sacks
DT Jim Covington: 31 Tckl, 11.0 Sacks
S Michael Farmer; 89 Tckl, 4 INT
11-30-2000, 06:03 PM
Our first task is Tennessee at home who is a 10-6 team.
Play begins with our first drive and a mix of run and pass. We drive to the Tennessee 21 where RB Barton runs it in for the touchdown. 7-0 Buffalo The drive took all of 3 minutes on 6 plays. However, Tennesse on their first drive drives 76 yards in 9 plays with a touchdown of their own. 7-7 in the first quarter. On our second possession, RB Barton runs for 7 and 11 yards and then QB Gray hits all world WR Jacobson for a 58 yard TD. 14-7 Buffalo. Tennessee punts on their next possession and we drive for a field goal to make it 17-7 in the beginning of the 2nd quarter. Tennesee is three and out again and punts. QB Gray then hits passes of 7, 11, 17, 22 and RB Barton caps the drive with a 11 yard TD plunge. 24-7 Buffalo. The second quarter winds down with our team notching another field goal before the half to make it 27-7 Buffalo. QB Gray begins the second half with three consecutive pass completions and the big one for a 30 yard TD after we started with great field position. 34-7 Buffalo. This game is going quite well midway through the third quarter. On the next possession, Tennesee goes for it on 4th down and fails. We take over at their 38 yard line and on 5 consecutive runs, we score another touchdown from RB Barton. 41-7 Buffalo. Midway through the fourth quarter we tack on another field goal and make it 44-7, still holding Tennessee to short yardage on every play. The final score ends up 44-7, an easy victory for our boys.
Next game is in Seattle, the winner of the AFC West with a record of 13-3, they probably have the best defense in the league right now with a very good secondary. Our team lives and dies by the pass, we will see just how good our young O is right now. QB Gray will need to be on the mark today.
Early in the first quarter we pick off a pass, but are unable to move the ball. Seattle takes over and scores on an 86 yard strike, beating our weak secondary deep. Both teams trade punts until we tack on a field goal with five minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Into the third quarter, Seattle puts together a 12 play, 85 yard drive taking 9 minutes off the clock that culminates in another touchdown for them. 14-3 Seattle. QB Gray, not to be outdone, puts together three straight completions of 18, 42, and 19 yards to answer back. We fail on the 2 point conversion and Seattle leads 14-9 into the 4th quarter. We hold Seattle to three and out and on our next possession we mix up the run and pass and put it in the endzone to take the lead 15-14 with 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter. However, Seatle puts together a 7 play 5 minute drive that results in a touchdown and puts Seattle up 22-15. We can't answer despite the big play ability of our offense and we fall 22-15 in a tough game. Our D just couldn't hold when we needed them to. It was a big year for our team, with a playoff win behind some stellar offensive play. I can't say enough about QB Gray, he's just awesome. WR Jacobson is also a cornerstone of the passing game, having another outstanding year, making him in my mind worth that number one overall pick a couple years ago. Seattle goes on to lose to Philadelphia 24-10 in the bowl. However, I think we have solidified ourselves as a contender despite our weakenesses on the defensive side of the ball. I might also note that we are doing well with this patchwork offensive line, it is by no means great, but they seem to be getting the job done. QB Gray must have that quick release that makes the line look better than it is.
QB Kendrick Gray finally earns his due in his 3rd year. He deserved an award last year, however, this year he takes the big three. NFL MVP, Offensive Player Of Year, and 1st Team QB. All world WR Jacobson earns 1st team and my rookie DT Jim Covington earns 1st team along with LB Wendell Prieto. Another solid year from the offense with solid performances with my studs on the D.
11-30-2000, 06:05 PM
This year is an easy decision about my staff, they are all staying as they are doing a superb job. The franchise is still losing money, but we should have a larger amount of fan support this year due to our success in the postseason. I have one free agent this year I am looking at. His ratings are not great but DE Jennings filled in nicely when all pro DE Bailey was hurt for most of the year. If his demands drop, I may resign him. I receive a trade offer for all world WR Jacobson...you couldn't offer me enough to dump this guy. They are only willing to part with a first rounder and an average tackle.
We have pick 26 in the draft this year, I will certainly try to move up for a stud, but it just costs so much to do so, I sometimes have a hard time justifying it. Believe it or not, there just isn't much for stud players, at least according to my scout. There are a couple of DBs that may slip to 26 and I'll sure take them there, but they are not studs. They will, however, help out my hole in the field secondary. There is just nothing worth trading up for. At 26 a good linebacker has fallen and I pick him up immediately. I am hoping that the S I am eyeing will fall to 26 in the 2nd round, he was just not worth the first rounder I had. At 26 in round 2 the S I wanted is still on the board and I do not hesitiate to pick him. He will be solid back there for a number of years if he lives up to his potential. Nobody else on the board interests me and decline to make any trades this year. I finish the draft with my 7th round pick, a CB of below average talent, but a possible starter on my weak defensive backfield.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Tim Martin, LB, Oregon
Rnd 2 - Butch Teague, S, Kansas
Rnd 7 - Dale Bridges, CB, Northern Illinois
I begin to fill the roster again as I have only 29 players under contract. My rookies hold up in camp, and LB Martin will be a solid contributor in the 3-4 scheme. LB Dillard contract is up and I lock him up for 4 more years at roughly 4 million a year. We now stand at 28 million under the cap.
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 11-30-2000).]
11-30-2000, 06:09 PM
2005 Regular Season
Roster cohesion now stands at 80-78-67-57. You can see our secondary has had some cleaning out, hopefully our talent can make up for their inexperience. We begin the season with three straight victories, scoring 34 points in the first two games, and winning a close one 28-21 against Albany. We are 3-0 heading into the bye week, with a strong showing from our offense. In week 5 we lose a close one to the 1-2 Colts 24-21 but then come up with a strong performance against the Giants at home 34-7, putting our record at 4-1. Our offense continues to stay on fire, having scored 34 points in 3 games already this season. Again, our defense seems to be at fault for the losses, we cannot contain anyone on a regular basis. Week 7 sees our team lose a close one to Miami 23-13 on the road, but we rebound in week 8 against the Colts 14-10 to redeem our earlier loss. We now stand 5-2, second in the division behind the surprise Jets who are 7-0. In week 9 we face the Seattle team that we lost to last year in the playoffs who are currently 4-3. We win a close one 23-20 at home and sit at 6-2. In week 10, we face the 8-0 Jets at home, a must win if we have a hope of winning the division. We fall 27-24 in a game that saw our offense compile 500 yards. We just failed to capitalize on our field position and did not score in the fourth quarter to end any hope of winning. We rebound in week 11 with a 39-3 thrashing of Miami to go to 7-3. The Jets lose one at home, to the 2-7 Patriots, showing that they can be beaten. We will face them again in next week, on the road in the Meadowlands. With a win here, we can pull to within one game of the division lead.
So far on offense this year QB Gray continues to tear up opposing defenses with the all world WR Jacobson set to equal last year's numbers. Through 10 games this year, our defense has solidified and we are 3 against the run and 7 against the pass. This bunch has pulled together just when they need to. I hope we can maintain this momentum through the playoffs. Week 12 sees our team easily beat the Jets 24-9 on the road. We now sit at 8-3, just one game back of the Jets for the division lead. However, DE Bailey sees injury again and is out for the remainder of the regular season. This is a big loss, he already had 51 tackles on the D Line thus far. I am glad I signed DE Jennings to a large contract, he needs to step it up now. I will utilize DE Bailey in the playoffs if we make it.
Weeks 13 and 14 present no real challenges and we easily win two on the road. The Jets lose two in a row and we now sit atop the division at 10-3 leading by one game. In week 15 we drop one on the road to the Skins who are 5-8, losing 13-10. We rebound in week 16 on the road against the 10-4 Titans and win in the closing seconds 31-29. The division is now tied at 11-4 between our team and the Jets with one week left in the regular season. We are on the road against the 6-9 Eagles and the Jets face the 8-7 Dolphins at home. We win 27-17 against the Eagles and the Jets also win posting a 25-0 shutout to close out the season. I am not sure on what tiebreaker we won, but we scored more points, gave up less, and posted a better conference record to win the division over the Jets, and we get a first round bye for the playoffs.
The defense finishes 15 against the pass and 2 against the run. I see some definite improvement here. We also score 421 points and our defense only gives up 257 points, nearly the league leader in both categories.
QB Kendrick Gray: 4360 yds, 34 TD, 9 Int, 64.1%, 106.2 Rating Best season for this 4th year pro
RB Oliver Barton: 326-1268, 9 TD, 3.8 ypc, 34 catches, 388 yds, 3 TD.
WR Luther Jacobson: 111-1984, 9 TD, 13 Drp Another fabulous year from the all world WR
WR Blake Otomo: 67-939, 8 TD, 2 Drp
DE Ian Locke: 22 Tckl, 10.0 Sacks
DT Jim Covington: 42 Tckl, 7.0 Sacks
S Cary Gunn: 62 Tckl, 5 INT
11-30-2000, 06:11 PM
The Jets win in the wild card round and they come to our house for the second time this year. We both beat each other on the road in the regular season but here is where it counts. On the opening kickoff we return it 107 yards for a touchdown to take a quick 7-0 lead. The first quarter is pretty dull, both teams unable to sustain drives until the Jets come up with a long 9 minute drive to tie the game at 7-7. Midway through the second quarter, again our offense is sputtering when our defense comes up with a huge play. My CB Briggs intercepts the Jets and returns it 68 yards for a TD. Buffalo up 14-7. The second quarter ends with more uneventful play. In the third quarter we march 70 yards and take 8 minutes off the clock but settle for a field goal and extend our lead. Buffalo 17-7. it isn't until the fourth quarter that we score again, adding a touchdown and field goal to our lead which is now 27-7. With the game well in hand, we sustain one more drive, chewing up 6 minutes and scoring another touchdown. The game ends uneventfully and we win 34-7. There are no huge stats in this game, our defense was superb, holding the Jets to barely 200 yards in total offense. We hold the Jets to 41 rushing yards, while we compile only 280 yards on offense.
However, we will take the win and move to the division finals. This game will be played at home again, as we won home field advantage throughout the playoffs. We face the Ravens who come into the game at 11-5 in the regular season. We take some injury hits, both my starting DE are doubtful for the next contest, but they will start. I have no depth at the position and expect them to help even in their injured state.
On the Ravens first possession they miss a field goal from 44 yards and we take over and march 50 yards to set up our own attempt which we convert to take the 3-0 lead into the second quarter. We move the ball a little to set up another field goal in the 2nd quarter, but miss our own 38 yarder, and the score remains 3-0. Baltimore continues to move the ball on our team, but we tighten up as they near our goal. They settle for two more field goals in the half. In the second quarter we can barely move the ball and at the half trail 6-3. In the third quarter, our defense holds and give us great field position. On four consecutive passes, 2 to WR Jacobson, 2 to RB Barton, we march right into the endzone to grab the 10-6 lead. On four successive series, both teams punt and in the fourth quarter Baltimore begins another tromp toward the endzone. On an eight minute drive, they march to our 7 yard line but again we hold and they settle for a field goal to close the lead to 10-9 with six minutes to go in the game. We receive the ball but turn it over on a three and out. Baltimore receives the ball and fails to reach the first down marker and turns the ball over to us on downs. We run some clock off and kick one more field goal to close out the game and the win, 13-9. We compile 300 yards on offense, somewhat less than our average but the defense came up big and held the Ravens to three field goals. Game ball to the defense here. We are going to need more offensive production than this if we hope to win a title this year.
In the bowl, we face the 14-2 Arizona Cardinals. They scored 497 points this year, even more than us. They are a powerhouse on offense, running and throwing the ball effectively. Their defense appears average and I like our chances through the air on this team. This game could be an old fashioned shoot out through the air. DE Bailey is lost for the season, and DE Locke is still doubtful. Locke will need to show up ready to play even on his bad knee if we hope to win this one.
We receive the kickoff and on the first play, QB Gray throws an interception. Brett Favre promptly puts it in the endzone on the next play. Arizona up 7-0. On our next possession, QB Gray throws his second interception in 5 attempts and sets up Arizona for another score. They capitalize and get in the endzone but take a 14-0 lead on our turnover. Both teams trade possessions throughout the first quarter. QB Gray gets injured in the first quarter and my back QB Alkateeb steps in. In the second we sustain a drive from our own 34 and run a reverse from the 7 to WR Ogden to score and close the gap to 14-7. Immediately after picking up some momentum, it is gone. Arizona marches down to make it 21-7. They tack on a field goal before the half and make it 24-7. With QB Gray out for the game, we have little chance to win. In the third quarter, behind RB Barton, we manage to get in field goal range and add another 3 to the score. Arizona 24-10. We trade possessions again, we just can't get the offense rolling with our leader in the locker room. Arizona adds another field goal late in the third quarter. Arizona 27-10. In the fourth quarter, it is more of the same for our guys, they just can't move the ball and we fail to score any more points. Arizona adds another touchdown late in the fourth to seal the game and we lose in the biggest game of these young careers 34-10. I guess it shows just how little depth we have. Our backup QB could not handle the reigns and we get crushed without our MVP Gray on the field. We might have handled this shootout if he had not been injured but we will look forward to next season.
QB Gray receives 1st team and all world WR Jacobson is 1st team also. Second year man DT Covington is 1st team, what a career this guy is off to. C Terry makes second team, his first award ever. Injuries beat us this year. Without our two awesome DE playing, our defense is soft. Without QB Gray at the helm, we can't score, that is clearly obvious. I may look to add a descent backup QB to groom in the system in case this happens again. It seems that our team can play with the best, and our defense has solidified. I would like to upgrade many positions, but I think we have filled enough holes to compete for the bowl again next year.
12-01-2000, 12:43 PM
This offseason I am looking at new scouts, but decide to continue employing my current scout. My coach is also not the greatest, however, he just coached us to our first bowl berth and he will be with us for awhile I imagine. This offseason I receive a trade offer for WR Jacobson, number 20 overall and an average safety. This is an easy decision and I decline. Looking at the draft pool this year, it is very weak again. There are a number of good tackles available and although I pick 31 this year, I am hoping one will fall that far as I am in desperate need of one. I also contemplate trading up to the top 5 to grab the very good tackle, who I am sure will go in the top 3. There are also a few corners I am considering, but it depends where they fall to before I will pull a trade to grab one, they just are not studs. In an effort to try and get the goods to trade up to the top 3, I trade my average T to the Patriots and a 4, 5, 5, 6 for their 2nd rounder next year. I am trying to package together a first and four second rounders to crack the top 5, we will see if anyone bites. I get the number two pick from Cleveland for a first rounder, three second rounders and a third rounder. That was an expensive bid, but we'll take the top T in the draft if the Chiefs don't with their number one. If they do, we'll grab the nearly identical second best T. The Chiefs pass on this T and I make him my first choice in this year's draft. This will be great having somebody who can actually play tackle now to protect the blindside of QB Gray. I still have pick 31 in round one and hope that someone falls who will be worth that pick. I am worried, the draft is just so weak with no depth. We'll just wait and see. I cannot afford to move up anymore, I spent all my draft picks on that trade to number two this year. At 31, there are two descent corners, certainly a huge upgrade to what I have and I pick the best of the two. I take an average linebacker in round two, he will step in a start immediately. Our last pick is round 7 and we snag a DT who will just be a backup.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Horace Chapman, T, Vanderbilt
Rnd 1 - Walter Perez, CB, Ohio State
Rnd 2 - Vincent Cooley, LB, Mississippi
Rnd 7 - Peter Rhea, DT, Illinois State
This draft was just not very deep, but I landed three starters, two of which should be very good this year. I am offered a second round pick for my CB drafted in the first round. That's not going to happen. We hope for the best in training camp after I fill the roster for the year with the undrafted rookies. We enter camp with 25 million under the cap, but with some major resignings coming up in the next few weeks. Everyone survies camp with no major surprises forthcoming. I now begin the task of resigning my players with only a year left on contract. My all world WR Jacobson is up for UFA next year and I quickly ink him to a 4 year deal that pays him 7 million a season, up from his current 5 million per year salary. My average TE requests 3.5 million, he is not worth it, but I have nobody who can take his place so I regretingly resign him. LB Prieto with 2 100 tackle seasons under his belt requests over four million, and I gladly pay him what he requests and ink him to a four year extension. The rest of the players are less than average in ability and are requesting outrageous amounts of money, I sign nobody else to extensions.
12-01-2000, 12:45 PM
2006 Regular Season
Our patchwork O Line of past season is gone and we have a nice line in place. I will still make upgrading it a priority but at least I can say we have a better than average O Line now. Our D line may be the best in the league. If DE Bailey can stay healthy for a whole season we should be able to defend the run very well and get some sacks this year. DE Bailey had 21.0 sacks his rookie season but since then has played injured and his stats have suffered. DE Ian Locke, a third rounder has now blossomed into a 97, 97, 98 player. He appears to meet that red line rookie criteria, he has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our secondary may need another year to gel with consistency, but we have some talent there now, but certainly nothing spectacular. That will be a priority in the coming draft, to grab a stud CB or S at any cost. Our cohesion still sits in the 70 range except for our O Line, which has jumped to 84 even with my new rookie in place at LT.
Week 1 begins against Oakland and we post a 41-24 win with RB Barton running all over Oakland for 204 yards, his best game in three years. QB Gray throws for 367 yards as well. A great start to a season with huge expectations. However, DE Locked goes down with a bad kneed for three months. He will be inactive for a large part of the season, someone we needed to step it up this year. If it isn't one DE, it is the other. In week 2 we pulverize Miami 35-3 on the arm of QB Gray who throws for 4 TD. Week 3 is a tough 30-27 loss to our divison rival Colts. We rebound against the winless Bears who beat is in week 17 last year and throttle them 59-31, our largest offensive showing ever if I am not mistaken. QB Gray tosses 5 TD this week and continues to tear up the league. After our bye week, we slip by Albany 20-17 with a strong showing by our D, holding Albany to only 200 yards in offense. Week 7 we easily beat the Jets and in week 8, have a showdown with the Colts, our only loss of the season. This time, we are at our house and take the game 27-19. We now lead the division at 6-1. Weeks 9 and 10 are easily won and we take our 8-1 record against our rival the Jets into week 11 and win 34-27 behind our all pro QB Gray who passes for 389 yards. Good news is that DE Locke is finally healed and he will be back in the lineup to help us in our quest for the division title. We are currently 9-1, two games up on Indy. We win our next 3 with solid play all around and sit atop the division by 4 games at 12-1. WR Jacobson already has 18 TD this season, I just can't believe how good this guy is, and to think I thought about not drafting him, instead wishing to trade the pick 6 years ago. Having wrapped up home field advantage, we lose our next two and then win in week 17 to finish at 13-3.
This season we are 1 in passing offense, and 1 in rushing offense. On the defensive side, we are 1 in rushing defense and dead last in passing defense, no surprises there. I don't think we are quite that bad, however. Our offense scores so many points that the defense is always defending the opponent who is always behind and throwing the ball. We manage to score 518 points this season, but we gave up 358 points. I am not worried however, we can play with anyone and win almost any shootout assuming we can avoid any major injuries. Speaking of which, I currently have two starting LB out for the season with broken hands. However, my D Line has held up the past four weeks and if they can stay healthy, we may be okay.
QB Kendrick Gray: 4808 yds, 41 TD, 17 Int, 63.2%, 104.9 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 320-1500, 13 TD, 4.6 ypc, 52 catches, 702 yds, 5 TD.
WR Luther Jacobson: 115-1957, 19 TD, 12 Drp
WR Blake Otomo: 58-973, 8 TD, 2 Drp
DE Butch Bailey: 53 Tckl, 15.5 Sacks
DT Jim Covington: 33 Tckl, 7.0 Sacks
S Butch Teague: 85 Tckl, 7 INT
Outstanding year, I think everyone benefited from our top draft choice in T Chapman, although he's not the only reason we improved so much, everyone is just starting to mature. RB Barton certainly had his best year as a pro and QB Gray surprises me with his huge numbers, bigger than even last year. WR Jacobson continues to rewrite the record books. DE Bailey, staying injury free this season, gets back to his rookie form and posts 15.5 sacks. I will note here that on offense, through the past four years, I have used the exact same game plan, these players just keep getting better in the system. I have never seen such numbers through the air though in my system. I have used it for years, but throwing for 4800 yds and 41 TD is unheard of. I am so impressed with this bunch. We have to be considered the favorites heading into the playoffs. Can anyone stop this attack?
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 12-01-2000).]
12-01-2000, 01:01 PM
The Colts manage to win their wild card game and they come to our house, having a 10-6 record on the season. We split with them earlier this year, but did win a close one at our house earlier in the season. Indy scores a field goal on their first possession. We cannot manage to put any offense together for the whole first quarter but hold them to 3 total points. In the second quarter we finally get on the board to tie the game at 3-3. We put together two nice drives in the second quarter behind the arm of QB Gray with WR Jacobson injured and on the bench. By halftime we are up 17-3. In the 3rd quarter we put together two more nice drives, mixing the run and pass nicely and add a touchdown and field goal to push the lead to 27-3. On the ensuing drive, the Colts come up with a big play and score a TD against our weak secondary to close the gap to 27-10. Our boys are unphased and we immediately drive for another touchdown to make it 34-10 to close out the third period. In the fourth quarter, we rely more on RB Barton and he runs the clock down and adds 10 points in the process. We finish the game at 44-10, a relatively easy win for our boys. Next up is Pittsburgh, probably our toughest challenge of the season.
Against Pittsburgh, we score early on a bomb from QB Gray to put us up 7-0 right away. Pittsburgh answers in short fashion with a field goal of their own. On our second possession, QB Gray hits another huge pass play to allow RB Barton to run it in from the 5 to give us a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. We add a field goal in the second period, but the Steelers answer with another drive and it is 17-10. We can't seem to slow these guys up much at all, it may be a shootout. With seven minutes left on the clock in the second quarter we run the ball, and we run again until we have practically run the clock out in the second period. We settle for a field goal, but take the 20-10 lead into the locker room. In the third quarter QB Gray picks his way through the defense and tosses a TD to give us a 27-10 lead right out of halftime. We hold Pittsburgh on their next possession and QB Gray begins a clinic to the appreciation of all our fans. He puts together consecutive touchdown drives to all but seal the win with a 41-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh adds a TD and we tack on a field goal and the game ends with a 44-18 win for the boys.
We face Dallas in the bowl game, a game we should win judging by our performance thus far this season. We hold on Cowboys first possession and quickly score the first points with a field goal after QB Gray marches 60 yards on 5 consecutive pass plays. Buffalo 3-0. Again, we hold Dallas to three and out and on our next possession we march 50 yards on 1 pass play and 4 runs with QB Gray running 5 yards behind C Terry on a draw for the first touchdown of the game putting us ahead 10-0. In the second quarter we again hold Dallas to three and out and we block their punt to set us up in great field position. We cannot manage a first down and settle for a field goal to put us ahead 13-0. Near the end of the second quarter, QB Gray tosses an INT on a great drive and Dallas takes over deep in their own territory. On the succeeding play, we pick of Dallas QB Drew Bledsoe and RB Barton marches 30 yards on four runs to score our second TD of the game. Buffalo 20-0 as time expires in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Dallas receives our punt after our first possession and on three runs of 5, 31, and 24 they score easily to make it 20-7. It seems our defense got lazy and left some gaping holes for Dallas RB Fred Taylor to romp through. The rest of the third quarter is uneventful, neither team being able to move the ball and we trade punts. In the fourth quarter we get great field position on a great punt return at the Dallas 49 and we manage to move into field goal range to extend our lead to 23-7. We hold Dallas to another three and out and take over midway through the fourth quarter. With a large lead and a good running game we begin to run the clock out. RB Barton clinches the game for us on 14 straight runs of -1, 4, 8, 8, 12, 13, 0, 16, 7, 0, 19, 3, -2, -3 before we have to settle for a field goal to extend our lead to 26-7. This was a key drive, it kept Dallas off the field for nearly 7 minutes and runs the clock down to 30 seconds. Final score 26-7, with a superb effort from RB Barton, clinching the game when we needed to run the clock down. Kudos to my O Line too, allowing RB Barton to run wild in this one, especially in the second half after we had gained a large lead at halftime.
QB Gray earns the big three this year, MVP, OPOY, and 1st team. WR Jacobson takes 1st team as does DE Bailey. RB Barton manages to grab 2nd team honors and super bowl MVP. RB Barton earned his keep, and played his best game as a pro in the super bowl, running for 231 yards and 1 TD.
I am just so impressed at our rapid rise to the elite of the league. In six season we went from nobody on the roster to a super bowl champ. Remember in this challenge that no free agents can be signed, we build only through the draft. We have had some huge success in the draft thus far, and even though our team is not solid in every aspect, our explosive offense makes up for our weak secondary. I am not sure how long we can maintain this explosiveness, but I don't foresee a dropoff anytime soon. I am hoping that in the next couple years we can fill in the gaps to make our team the powerhouse of the decade, bringing a dynasty to the fans of Buffalo. We shall see, however, if I can keep up the drafting success, we have had no real busts thus far. Although some of my lineman have not quite reached their potentials, as my scout saw them, they still outplay anyone in the league.
12-02-2000, 04:10 PM
I begin the season by hiring a new scout, mine took a dramatic drop in ratings over the past year and we need to add some superb talent in the draft this year. I am hoping for a CB or S in the first round this year who can step in and lead immediately in his rookie year. We shall see if there are any available. I also have a first round pick this year at 32 so we will be looking to get up relatively high in the draft in any studs are available. We will be left with virtually no draft picks over the next two years if I can, indeed, move up in the first round, but it seems a necessary and justified move.
Looking at the draft, three players immediately catch my attention. T, G, and S are my biggest needs and there are studs at each position. The T and G will almost certainly be picked very high, with the S not far behind. I will surely need to move up to get one of these players. I would love to draft all three, I just don't think I have enough to get three first rounders, let alone just one more first rounder. We shall see, however.
I deal with the Giants for the number 6 pick and move from 32 to 6 with my 32 overall and a second and fourth rounder. I then deal next year's first and a 2009 third rounder and fourth rounder to grab the 7th overall pick. At number 6 I grab a great looking G and at 7 I grab the stud T of the draft. Assuming both hold up through camp, I will have a great looking offensive line, by far the best we have ever seen in my short stint at the helm of this franchise. I am hoping that the talent added this year will reduce the sacks that QB Gray has endured his whole career. He has gone down an average of 35 times per season, 42 times last year and that has to be taking a toll on the young QB. Now, low on draft picks, I look to trade into the first round again to grab the safety I so desperately need. The first round proceeds to pick 15 with mostly QB, RB, and T taken thus far. Now I look to trade into the next few picks as that stud S is still on the board and I doubt he will be left in the board for more than about 10 picks. I end up trading my starting free safety, a 4th year pro who has played well to Arizona along with my third and fourth rounders this year, and a second and third rounder in 2009 for their number 23 overall. I get a great looking S who should start this year for us. We do not pick until the 6th round again where we pick a nice looking backup QB. In the 7th round we grab our third wide receiver who has some potential, but is barely average.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Craig Hopkins, G, Georgia
Rnd 1 - Reggie Bridges, T, Kansas State
Rnd 1 - Brad Edwards, S, Auburn
Rnd 6 - Spencer Faylor, QB, Temple
Rnd 7 - Deron Fears, WR, Illinois
After camp, no busts and S Edwards turns out better than expected with nearly maxed out rating snow, having been only in the 80's previous to camp. After camp I receive 4 trade offers. The first for my 5th year G Milne for a first rounder. The second is a first rounder and a nice looking QB for DE Locke. The third is a first rounder and good looking DE for WR Jacobson. The last is a first rounder and a average DE for DT Covington. These are all easy decisions, I will trade nobody mentioned above, they are the core of my team. This season we have half of our starters to resign and this may use up a significant portion of our remaining cap room which hovers at 22 million after filling the roster. RB Barton resigns for 5 million per year, 1 million less than he was making this year. C Terry resigns for 3.5 million, the same as he is making now. DT Covington demands 7 million per year and we give in with no hesitation from his current 2.5 million salary. DE Locke demands 6 million per season and we resign him up from his current 1.7 million salary. DE Bailey asks for 6 million and we resign him, up from his current 3.5 million per season. A few minor resignings are also made and last up is QB Gray currently making 6 million per year. We extend his deal to five years, averaging 16 million per season, gladly getting a bargain as we feel it to be. After all is said and done, we are 300,000 under the cap. We should clear out a little next year as we still have some high priced, now backup lineman on the team.
12-02-2000, 04:10 PM
2007 Regular Season
Roster cohesion has dropped off this year with the addition of four players in the starting lineup. It now stands at 76-74-72-64. Week 1 begins at home against Seattle. We win 24-21 on the legs of RB Barton 23-138-1. S Teague keeps us in the game with 2 INT. Week 2 is a loss to the Patriots 31-21 on the road but we rebound in week 3 to crush Miami 37-7 and we sit at 2-1. We beat the 0-3 Rams in week 4 23-13 and enter the bye week at 3-1. Week 6 sees our team lose to Denver on the road 31-28. Our offense just isn't on a roll yet, lagging behind last year's point margin considerably. Week 7 is a home date against the Colts and we finally open it up winning 44-24. QB Gray tosses 4 TD and 450 yards as we crush the Colts in this one. We now sit atop the division at 4-2 and may finally have found our offense of last year. Week 8 is a tough one on the road in Miami and we lose 27-24. Week 9 sees us win easily against the Niners to go to 5-3. Our defense cannot consistently stop anyone at this point in the season and our offense has only scored 40 points one time this season. I just cannot figure it out, our biggest weakness still seems to be through the air on defense. We have given up an average of 255 yards through the air thus far. We don't have much in the way of CB so that may be compromising our chances of the bowl this year unless our offense gets in gear the way it did last year. In week 10 we crush the Panthers 40-17 and get the offense rolling. Week 11 sees a dropoff in production but we hang on for a win on the road against the Colts to remain tied for first in the division with the Dolphins at 7-3. In week 12, we post a shutout of the 3-7 Falcons of 24-0, but they have only managed to score 99 points this season anyway, by far the worst in the league. After a long 3 game road swing, we are back home against the Jets and win 30-10. In week 14 the Patriots roll into town and we manage to win easily 37-13 as we move to 10-3 on the season. We have taken a two game lead in the division as the Dolphins have lost two games in a row. We win a close win in week 15 agains the Browns and lose 31-28 against the Steelers on the road in week 16 to sit atop the division at 11-4. With a win in week 17, we assure ourselves of home field advantage throughout the playoffs. We win easily on the road, 34-3 against the 7-8 Jets and take the divison and home field advantage into the playoffs. We end the season with two big injuries to our stud DE Bailey and LB Dillard. DE Bailey may be able to play, but LB Dillard is out, a large loss as we head into the playoffs.
The defense finishes 23 against the pass and 1 against the run. I see some definite improvement here. On offense we are 3 in rushing and 1 in passing, averaging 302.6 yards per game just through the air. We also score 474 points and our defense only gives up 261 points, leading the league in both categories this season.
QB Kendrick Gray: 4843 yds, 34 TD, 14 Int, 62.6%, 100.6 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 337-1367, 12 TD, 4.0 ypc, 30 catches, 435 yds, 4 TD
WR Luther Jacobson: 113-1953, 12 TD, 14 Drp, 61.0% What can you say, he does it again
WR Blake Otomo: 74-931, 4 TD, 3 Drp
DE Ian Locke: 14 Tckl, 12.5 Sacks
DT Jim Covington: 22 Tckl, 12.5 Sacks
S Brad Edwards: 91 Tckl, 6 INT Great year from the rookie, should earn Defensive rookie of year
S Butch Teague: 76 Tckl, 9 INT
12-02-2000, 04:11 PM
Jacksonville heads into town for our first playoff game. They finished the season at 11-5 and look to be a very good team. I think, however, we can overwhelm their defense through the air.
Buffalo jumps out to an early 3-0 lead in this one. We hold Jacksonville on their next possession and QB Gray on first down hits WR Kennedy for an 80 yard TD bomb to take a 10-0 lead. We tack on another field goal in the second quarter to extend the lead to 13-0. We add another field goal as the half expires and head to the locker room up 16-0. Jacksonville immediately comes out and sustains a long drive to add a touchdown to close the game to 16-7. Throughout the 3rd quarter, drives fizzle and punts result. We tack another field goal early in the 4th quarter to extend the lead to 19-7. With ten minutes left in the 4th quarter we march 83 yards in 6 minutes and add another touchdown to seal the game at 26-7. QB Gray led us most of the way this game throwing for 373 yards and 2 TD.
We meet Miami in the conference finals at home. Miami jumps out to an early 7-0 lead after QB Gray tosses an INT deep in our own territory. In the second quarter we finally get rolling and manage to tie the game at 7-7 after a long drive culminating in QB Gray throwing a touchdown pass. Late in the second quarter we get revenge on QB Gray INT and S Teague intercepts Miami QB Henderson and returns it 58 yards for a TD. We grab the lead 14-7 as we head into halftime. Our first possession of the 3rd quarter results in a long TD drive and we take a 21-7 lead. Miami answers right back with a field goal to cut the lead to 21-10. QB Gray leads another clock munching drive in the early 4th quarter to run for a TD on a draw to extend our lead to 28-10. Receiving the ball again with 11:20 left in the game we sustain another long drive and add another TD with 6 minutes left in the game to make the score 35-10. We hold Miami and tack on another field goal with 2 minutes remaining in the game to make the score 38-10. After the ensuing kickoff, Miami attempts a hurry up offense and S Edgar picks off the pass and races 34 yards for another TD when time expires. Final score 44-10.
Now it is time to play the Panthers for the right to be called champions. We beat these guys 40-7 earlier in the year and I like our chances. We march right down the field but the drive stalls at the Carolina 26 and we setup for a 40 yard field goal, but miss it wide left. Carolina takes over with great field position but we hold them and they punt the ball. We take over with 6 minutes gone by in the first and end up settling for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead after a long 6 minute drive. Most of the first half is spent trading punts and near the end of the 2nd quarter we punt to Carolina and pin them at their own 8 yard line. However, on successive plays, they run for 49 yards and pass for 43 yards and a TD on two huge plays to grab the lead 7-3 before the half. On our second half possesion we march down and seem to score easily a TD to recapture the lead 9-7 after missing the extra point. After trading punts again for all of the 3rd quarter, Carolina sustains a very long and tough drive to score another TD and take the lead 14-9 early in the 4th quarter. We go three and out and again they march all over our defense that has gone to sleep and score another TD to take a 21-9 lead with 6 minutes left in the game. The receive the ball, go three and out and we cannot move the ball and punt it right back. Our D again holds them to a punt and we get the ball gack with 2 minutes to go. QB Gray marches the troops into the endzone in 1:00 to cut the lead to 21-16 and we try the onside kick and actually recover the ball with 0:44 left on the clock. We have the ball at our own 44 yard line with time left to score one last TD. Can QB Gray rally the troops once more? First down sees QB Gray throw an incomplete pass. On second down, under pressure he scrambles for 6 yards to set up a 3rd and 4. Again, QB Gray throws an incomplete pass and the season comes down to this 4th and 4 try with 18 seconds left on the clock. QB Gray overthrows WR Bullock and Carolina takes over to end the game. We lose 21-16 despite a great comeback to almost win this game.
QB Gray earns MVP, 1st team, and Offensive Player Of Year. FB Burroughs earns 1st team as does all world WR Jacobson, big surprise. DT Covington earns 1st team again this year despite not making many tackles. RB Barton hauls in 2nd team honors along with S Teague and T Chapman. For some reason, S Edwards misses out on any awards this year, a safety with 90 Tckl, 6 INT wins it instead, who by the way was picked 5 places ahead of S Edwards this past draft. S Edwards is not happy and will come back with a vengence next year. I have a feeling he will have something to prove, although he has performed as well as we had hoped he would on the field this past season.
I am disappointed in the loss in the bowl game, we just let down our guard and took the Panthers for granted, although we made it a game at the end. We had no problem earlier in the season winning 40-7 but things just fell apart in the bowl. We are certainly a better team this year and I hope to add a little something to the D next year in the form of a shutdown CB. There have not been any available in a few years and one is due. I will give up the farm to trade up to grab one, although I traded most of the farm away last year for my 3 first round picks.
12-02-2000, 04:12 PM
We have one retirement, DE Jennings who has played well for us for many years is hanging it up after realizing he will only ride the bench for the rest of his career. We do not have a first round pick this year, but will gladly trade into the first round depending on the talent available.
There is one CB available with potentials right around 80. He's not considered a stud, but he will be a massive upgrade over the awful ones we have and I consider trading up to the first round to grab this guy. Other than that, there is a nice C available but I am not sure if I will try to trade to grab him, I just can't afford more than a single trade as I have one pick this year and next year we have only a 5, 6, and 7. Our past two drafts have hit us hard with trades and losing picks. Granted, we received some young studs in trade but it left us quite empty in the draft pick department. I also consider dumping a few players, but I still just don't have much in the way of depth on this team yet. The CB position seems to be in short supply with good players. I looked at the top CBs in the league and only one was drafted in the past 8 years. All the others are original NFL players, showing the huge demand for a top CB and also the fact that not many have left the college ranks in recent history. With this said, I feel my priority should be that very good CB rather than that awesome C. Besides, I already have a 7th year man who is pretty good in stats, and slightly above average in ratings, he has become an anchor and I will leave him as such.
The draft heads out of the top 10 and I work to get a pick around the 12 to 15 range as that top CB has not been chosen yet, just as I expected. I will tell you one thing, you analyze the draft so much and try and judge where players will go, but if you are wrong it just kills you, especially if you miss the player you are eyeing. I try to judge where they go and get at least 5 picks ahead of where that might be, depending on what I have to offer. I make a trade with the Jets sending my first rounder in 2010 with a third rounder in 2010 for the 14th overall pick this year and I snag my stud CB without any hesitiation, not waiting until my 15 minutes were up on the clock. I take 30 seconds to make the pick.
I notice a good LB has fallen to round 4 and I pull the trigger on a trade to make him my starting OLB to fill our LB spots. Although none of our LB are complete studs, we have some pretty good ones and they should contribute to better our run defense, although it is already very good. I dump a 4, 5, 6, and 7 to get the first pick in the fourth round to grab this young LB.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Brad Rivera, CB, Southern California
Rnd 4 - Burt Hoover, LB, Virginia Tech
Rnd 7 - Alan Ward, WR, Purdue
No surprises after camp, my scout just does not think much of my number one draft choice CB Rivera. He rates him at 60, but I think he is much better than that. We will let his play decide that. We fill the roster again and have around 9 million under the cap. I add two years to LB Dillard contract at the same rate. G Milne also extends to 3 years for 4.5 million per season. S Teague asks for 5 million per season and I extend his contract to 4 years, up from his current 1.5 million per season being a 2nd round draft choice a couple seasons ago. My other starting CB, who is not really that good is asking for 7 million per season and I just refuse to sign that kind of deal. I will look at the draft next year for a stud CB to replace this overdemanding CB.
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 12-02-2000).]
12-02-2000, 04:13 PM
2008 Regular Season
Roster cohesion is again in the 70 range, with a 66 in the secondary. I hope this year that our secondary improves, I have added some big talents over the past two drafts. I hope to finish the job of fixing a terrible secondary in the draft next year once and for all, although we are in very short supply of draft picks. In week 1, Seattle hosts our boys and I hope to get off to a fast start this season. We win on the road 33-23 in a hard fought game that had our defense come up with some big plays to give us the lead. Week 2 sees us at home against our hated rivals the Colts and we cruise 35-17. In week 3 we hit the road against the Patriots and win a close one 23-20. In week 4, we hit the road against a very good 3-0 Dallas team and they wax us 34-6. WR Jacobson has been injured for two weeks now and has not seen any action, a huge loss to our team, we still rely heavily on this all world player. Our defense gives up 250 yards on the ground and we lose badly. After our bye week in week 5, we host Oakland and beat a 3-1 team 31-24, running on the legs of RB Barton who carries for 169 yards. In week 7 we head to our biggest rivals, the Dolphins and win a very close one in the closing minutes 20-17 to extend our division lead. We are currently 5-1. The good news is that WR Jacobson is back in the lineup although still with minor injuries. Week 8 sees us win 44-6 at home against the Patriots and rookie CB Rivera has 3 INT in the game. That is 5 INT in the last two games for this young rookie, playing outstanding defense. It seems we may have found a young stud after all. In week 9 we head to Arizona against the 3-4 Cardinals who are looking to regain the power of their glory years. We falter 17-14 to fall to 6-2 overall. We were simply unable to run the ball in this game, registering only 55 total yards on the ground. QB Gray just couldn't quite pull this one out on his own. WR Jacobson is finally totally healthy and we should start putting up the points again. QB Gray has also suffered from WR Jacobson's absence and only has 15 TD on the season thus far and an 87.3 rating.
In week 9 we host the Eagles, who are 6-2 also. We kick our offense into high gear and win 38-28 on the arm of QB Gray who tosses 5 TD and 356 yards. RB Barton also benefits from our air attack, rushing for 27-144. Look out, we are back. In week 11, we host the 4-5 Fins and easily win 44-10 behind the arm of QB Gray who again tosses for 5 TD and 356 yards. Can you believe it, an exact repeat of the previous week. With everyone healthy, it seems that we are unstoppable. Week 12 sees the weak Giants at 1-9 come to town and we win quite easily again, 27-10. Although QB Gray manages only 250 yards, WR Jacobson seems unstoppable and has posted 142, 242, and 146 yards in our previous 3 games since our defeat in Arizona where he only had 3 catches for 40 yards. We now stand at 9-2, with nobody else in the division with a winning record, giving us a 4 game cushion heading down the stretch. Week 13 sees us head on the road against the Jets and we lose a step and the game 27-16 to fall to 9-3. Rookie CB Rivera has posted 9 INT already this season and seems to have solidified one of the CB spots.
In week 14, we lose our second game in a row on the road to the Colts who at 7-6 need a win to have a hope of making the playoffs. We fall 24-10 and our offense seems to have temporarily sputtered against two mediocre defenses. Week 15 sees a rebound, on the road we crush Pittsburgh 34-6. We now stand at 10-4, two games up on the Colts with two games left in the regular season. We are one game back of home field advantage and need to win our next two with a Bengals loss to ensure the road to the bowl comes through our house. We win again in week 16 24-12 against the Jagwads, but lose against the Jets 26-21 to finish at 11-5 in a three way tie for the conference lead.
This season sees a huge dropoff in offensive production, we score only 420 points and give up 301. Our defense has improved greatly, but our offense seems to be hit and miss. On offense we finish 7 in rushing and 6 in passing. On defense we are 12 against the run and 17 against the pass. Overall, I am very proud of the defense, although we gave up more yards this season, we had a drastic improvement in points given up and think they played much more consistently. My only worry is on offense for the playoffs, are we going to show up on gameday? If we do, we will have no problem running over teams.
QB Kendrick Gray: 3952 yds, 35 TD, 15 Int, 54.8%, 87.5 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 272-1259, 6 TD, 4.6 ypc, 13 catches, 118 yds, 2 TD
WR Luther Jacobson: 98-1566, 16 TD, 6 Drp, 58.3%
WR Tim Bullock: 71-854, 3 TD, 2 Drp
DE Ian Locke: 30 Tckl, 9.0 Sacks
DE Butch Bailey: 51 Tckl, 8.5 Sacks
DT Jim Covington: 35 Tckl, 5.5 Sacks
CB Brad Rivera: 36 Tckl, 12 INT, 3 TD
S Brad Edwards: 68 Tckl, 3 INT
S Butch Teague: 83 Tckl, 3 INT
QB Gray drops off from his normal all world totals, probably due to WR Jacobson missing 5 weeks of action. WR Jacobson posts some impressive numbers despite playing in only 11 games. RB Barton runs for 4.6 per carry, an obvious beneficiary of the O Line beginning to gel with it's young players. CB Rivera is simply outstanding this season, probably outplaying all corners in the league. He should win some awards this season.
[This message has been edited by MackAttacks (edited 12-02-2000).]
12-14-2000, 12:20 AM
Cleveland rolls into town and we jump out to an early 7-0 lead on the arm of QB Gray with a nice 80 yard drive. Our defense holds the Browns to 3 and out and we capitalize on their success with some on the O with a 46 yard strike from QB Gray to WR Bullock to grab a 14-0 lead. Early in the 2nd after a long Browns drive ends with no points, we turn around and march right back with a 75 yard drive for another touchdown to grab the 21-0 lead. We again hold Cleveland to 3 and out and RB Barton puts up some big runs to allow us to score yet another TD and we take the 28-0 lead into halftime. In the 3rd quarter, both teams tack on field goals to make it 31-3. Cleveland receives the ball and marches down the field again, but we hold them to another field goal. 31-6 near the end of the 3rd quarter. We receive the ball and RB Barton runs for 60 of our 75 yards on this drive that culminates in another TD and we lead 38-6 in the 4th quarter. On a strange play where we punt and hit the return man and cause him to fumble, some Cleveland player picks up the fumble and romps 58 yards for a TD, how does that happen exactly. 38-12 as we receive the ball again. Just as time expires in the 4th quarter, Cleveland adds another TD to close the gap to 38-19 and we win the game with RB Barton taking MVP honors with 21-199 and 1 TD.
In our conference finals game, the Oakland Raiders come to town, led by their QB Ryan Leaf who despite his 68.5 rating has managed to win some games. The strength of the Raider gameplan is their defense, near the top in all categories. The first quarter goes by slowly and we manage one field goal and head into the 2nd quarter with a 3-0 lead. In the 2nd QB Gray gets us on track with two nice drives that add a TD and FG to the score. 13-0 Buffalo on top at the half. In the 3rd we add a FG on our first drive and then after holding Oakland to a 3 and out, RB Barton runs wild for 70 yards and a TD to put us up 23-0. On the ensuing drive Raider QB Leaf tosses an INT and we have great field position. RB Barton capitalizes again and this puts us up 30-0. The Raiders answer, however, and QB Leaf throws two passes of 42, and 58 yards to get them on the board. Buffalo 30-7. In the 4th quarter, we rely heavily on RB Barton and he marches us down for another TD to put us up 37-7. The Raiders are held to 3 and out on their next possession and on the punt, our man WR Surratt returns it 73 yards for the TD putting us on top 44-7, where the games finishes. RB Barton wins MVP again with 23-135 and 2 TD.
Now it is on to Dallas for the championship game. We faced this team just two years ago in our first super bowl win and hope to make it two in a row against this team. The first drive from Dallas takes 7 minutes off the clock and results in no points. We are 3 and out on our first possession and Dallas then marches down for the first points of the game with a late 1st quarter field goal. Dallas 3-0. We answer right back, however, with QB Gray hitting WRs on two big pass plays of 38 and 46 yards to put us up 7-3. Midway through the 2nd quarter, QB Bledsoe is picked off by S Rivera who runs 46 yards for the TD to put us on top 14-3. We manage another drive resulting in a field goal to put us on top 17-3. As time is winding down in the 2nd quarter we hit the air waves to try and get some more points, but QB Gray tosses an INT that Dallas returns for a TD to make the score 17-10 at the half. In the 3rd, Dallas consumes more time off the clock with their ball control offense and tack on another field goal to close our margin of winning to 17-13. We answer right back with a field goal of our own to put us on top 20-13. With great field position early in the 4th quarter, QB Bledsoe marches the troops down for the tying TD which makes the score 20-20. Not to be outdone, QB Gray rallies the troops and puts up a TD of his own to put us on top 27-20 midway through the 4th quarter. After holding Dallas to a 3 and out, RB Barton puts on a show and chews up most of the clock before we tack on another field goal to seal the game at 30-20. QB Gray has a rough day at the office as he tosses 1 TD and 2 INT but we still manage to win thanks to some very good defense. However, QB Gray does outplay his adversary QB Bledsoe, as Bledsoe tosses 3 INT in the loss. This was another satisfying win for these young players as they beat Dallas for the second time in a Super Bowl, revenge for our efforts in the 1990's.
CB Rivera earns Defensive Rookie Of Year and 1st team, just a solid year from this young stud. WR Jacobson earns first team again despite only playing in 11 games. QB Gray earns only 2nd team honors this year, with an off year by his standard. FB Howe and G Milne also bring in 2nd team honors. G Milne has a 38.8 BPct on the year, his best effort as a pro thus far.
It was another great year, that is 2 Super Bowls wins for this young bunch in three years. Also, I will note here that we have made the super bowl for four straight years, a very good run for this team. We shall see if that streak continues. Our team will only get better as more experience is added to the mix. I am confident our defense can become more of a force next year, just as it began to this year. An addition of a shutdown CB will help, although CB Rivera, with no top ratings, has been named first team and is in his own right that shutdown CB we have been looking for.
12-14-2000, 12:23 AM
There will be no changes in the staffs as both have performed admirably this past season. I receive a trade offer for LB Martin, a 1st rounder a couple years ago for a second rounder this year and a good RB. I decline, just not enough in the pot for this young man. We manage to climb closer to profitibility this past year, only 19 million in the red.
Looking to the draft, there are two potential shutdown CB available. I will try my best to acquire either one if at all possible. I only have a 5, 6, and 7 this year so I will have to pool my resources from down the road to acquire one of these young studs. Looking at next year's supply of picks, I have only a 2 and 3 for 2010, not good news. I am not sure where they will be drafted, it could be very high. While being unsure as to draft position, I decide to be safe that I will need a very high pick to assure I can choose one of the two CB, probably in the top 10. The first CB goes at number 4 overall and I am worried. There is some other talent on the board but I will surely have to get to about number 10 to grab this other stud CB, if not sooner. I decide to gamble and not trade to the top 10. The abundance of young studs plays to my favor and by pick 11, he has not been chosen. I decide it is time to put together a package to move up. I grab the Saints 11 overall for my 1st rounder in 2011 and a 5th rounder in 2011. I pick that stud CB and study the draft carefully for potential starts that fall out of the first round into the second.
There appears to be a great deal of LB left on the board but I am not sure if it is worth trading into the 2nd or not. I decide to move into the 1st pick of the 3rd round to grab one of the remaining LB, they won't last long but it costs me a 3, 4, 5 to move up. In round 5, there is a very good kicker available, a position I could upgrade in and I take him, although his accuracy may suffer until he realizes his potential. Until then, I may keep my existing kicker on board. In round 6, somehow a guard that appears as though he could start for many teams, has slipped down and I grab him immediately, he should be a very good backup, of which I have none at the moment. My last pick in round 6 is also for backup purposes, a descent looking RB.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Riddick Anthony, CB, Georgetown
Rnd 3 - Earl Bradford, LB, Miami, Florida
Rnd 5 - Rob Wilcox, K, South Carolina
Rnd 6 - Matthew Cunningham, RB, Tulsa
Rnd 6 - Neil McCants, G, South Carolina
After the draft, I look to sign extensions for my FA next year. WR Jacobson, C Page, LB Prieto, LB Martin, FB Howe, and QB Faylor head the list. QB Faylor would be nice to have around, he is a free agent this year. He will never start though unless injuries happen where QB Gray could not play. I contemplate adding him to the roster as he is a RFA, but that would cost me 10 million. It could be a very good insurance policy. I will have to see where I stand with cap room after I resign my FA of next year. FB Howe was a pleasant surprise, he made 2nd team last year and I would love to have him back again. FB Howe was signed as a FA after the 2007 draft and has performed marvelously, despite not having great ratings. All are resigned except for LB Prieto, he wants to keep his one year deal and I am debating whether or not he is worth 8 million per season, a huge contract for a descent LB. I decide to spend the 10 million on an insurance policy in QB Faylor which leaves very little room to resign LB Prieto. I may use the franchise tag on him next season to keep him around.
After camp, there are no surprises, but no busts either. LB Bradford will start this year as will CB Anthony. I receive trade offers for DE Locke, CB Rivera, and T Chapman. All include a first rounder and a descent player but I decline all three with no hesitation.
12-14-2000, 12:25 AM
2009 Regular Season
After the exhibitin games, my scout is only concerned about two positions, TE and SE. This is the first year that we have come close to having my scout not mentioning any problems with starting positions. Cohesion now stands at 82 76 77 56. Not too bad, things are starting to come together.
Week 1 begins at home with one of the two expansion teams, Jonesboro(AR). I hope we don't overlook this one, but it should not be a problem. We cruise with QB Gray tossing 3 TD and 333 yards. Rookie CB Anthony has 2 INT in his first ever NFL game. In week 2, we win a shootout against the Patriots at home, 49-39. Our defense is suffering with many injuries, probably the reason why this game was so close. QB Gray tosses 368 yards and 4 TD. DT Covington is now down for 3 months, that's a big loss for the D, he is the mountain in the middle. In week 3, we lose to Miami at home 34-31 despite another great game from QB Gray, 4 TD 397 yards with RB Barton being injured. In week 4, we hit the road against our opponent in last years conference championship game, Oakland and win easily 45-28 behind WR Jacobson's performance of 15-241 and 1 TD. S Teague is out for the regular season is a big loss because we have no depth at S. There is now a 4 way tie in the division for first place at 3-1. At home against the 2-2 Bears, we post a shutout 29-0. Rookie CB Anthony posts 2 more INT. In week 7 after our bye week we face a very good 4-2 Colts team on the road. We win 38-10 to move to a division leading 5-1 record as RB Barton runs wild for 22-210 and 1 TD.
In week 8, the 3-4 Lions come to town and we lose 34-28. DE Locke is out for 3 months and suddenly we only have 1 starter on the defensive line. DT Covington is, however, scheduled back soon. In week 9, we rebound, posting another shutout 26-0 over the 4-3 Jets. We now stand at 5-2 midway through the season. We are, however, in 2nd place in the division behind the 7-1 Patriots, who we already beat in week 2. DT Covington comes back for our week 10 battle on the road with Tampa Bay. We win 26-14 in a very close game. Week 11 sees the 6-3 Colts come to town in a huge division game. We hang on for a 30-24 comeback victory but sustain a huge number of injuries in this battle. Most injuries are not serious and will only require a couple weeks rest. At 8-2 we now lead the division over the 7-3 Patriots who have lost two in a row. Week 12 sees us head on the road to the Jonesboro(AR) expansion team and we barely win against a crappy team 21-15. QB Gray tosses 3 TD but also has 2 INT in a mediocre performance. Hey, we won and that's all that counts. In week 13 we hit the road against the 5-6 Dolphins and sneak out with a 22-21 win. We won this game with 1:30 to go on a great drive from QB Gray. Good news for week 14, DE Locke is ready to get back in the lineup.
In week 14 we go on the road to the meadowlands and face the 6-6 Jets who need a win badly. For the second week in a row, we come back to win in the closing seconds 34-31. Some other good news is that S Teague, a leader on D for us, will be back by the playoffs. We now sit 11-2, still leading the division, but by only one game over the very good Patriots. The last regular season game is a showdown with the Patriots on the road, a game that may decide the division. We face the 2-11 Browns in week 15 and easily post a 35-7 win over the hapless Browns. In week 16, the very good 10-4 Bengals come to town for a possible playoff showdown preview. We run away with a 45-13 victory over the Bengals with QB Gray tossing 5 TD for the first time this season. The Patriots have lost two in a row and the fizzle is taken out of this season ending game, the division is already decided. We stand 13-2 and already have home field advantage wrapped up. With nothing at stake, we lose 28-13 to this very good team, but we may meet again soon. Good news is that S Teague will be in the lineup for our first playoff game.
We score 499 points and give up 301 points this season. Our offense is back to its normal production and our defense did well for the second year in a row. Our defense finishes 9 in running and 22 in passing, a better than average year. S Teague was out for the whole season, contributing to our 22 ranking in passing D. On offense, we are 1 in passing and 14 in rushing.
QB Kendrick Gray: 4676 yds, 40 TD, 14 Int, 61.8%, 103.3 Rating
RB Oliver Barton: 261-1098, 8 TD, 4.2 ypc, 18 catches, 169 yds, 3 TD
WR Luther Jacobson: 108-1870, 16 TD, 17 Drp, 62.7%
DE Ian Locke: 30 Tckl, 9.0 Sacks
DE Butch Bailey: 45 Tckl, 11.0 Sacks
LB Tim Martin: 88 Tckl, 9.0 Sacks
CB Brad Rivera: 48 Tckl, 6 INT
CB Anthony Riddick: 31 Tckl, 10 INT
S Brad Edwards: 95 Tckl, 4 INT
QB Gray posts another phenomenol season coming off an average season last year, well, average for him anyway. WR Jacobson continues with the huge numbers. Most of the defense was banged up at some point this year, but they posted some great numbers nonetheless. Rookie CB Riddick comes through with a huge year, posting 10 INT.
12-14-2000, 12:27 AM
Just as I expected, the Patriots post a strong 17-0 win over the Jagwads and they come into our house for a second time this year. Remember, we split the series this season. This is expected to be another shootout, just as it was in week 2. On our third play from scrimmage, QB Gray hits WR Fears for a 76 yard TD to put us up 7-0 to start the game. On our next possession, QB Gray hits WR Bullock for a 15 yard TD to put us on top 14-0. In the middle of the 2nd quarter, QB Gray marches the troops to the goalline again where RB Barton punches it in to put us on top 20-0 as our kicker misses the extra point. On the kickoff, the Patriots blow through our coverage unit and score on an 89 yard TD kickoff return to make it 20-7. In the middle of the 3rd quarter we manage to score again on a 4 yard QB draw by QB Gray to extend our lead to 27-7. We hold the Patriots to 3 and out and then put together yet another scoring drive on the legs of RB Barton and he runs for a 14 yard TD to put us on top 34-7. The Patriots strike back quickly and make it 34-14, but the clock is their enemy now as we are in the 4th quarter. We post another field goal and the game ends 37-14 with RB Barton earning MVP honors as he runs for 30-159 and 2 TD.
We host Albany in the conference final, a very good team this year. RB Barton gets us off and running with an early 66 yard TD run to put us on top 7-0. However, on the ensuing kickoff, we give up a 108 yard TD kickoff return, our second in two weeks and Albany ties it at 7-7. Our next two drives stall before the endzone and we settle for 2 field goals to give us the 13-7 lead midway through the 2nd quarter and the half ends with the same score. In the 3rd quarter, we tack on another field goal and lead 16-7. On their two next drives, we pick of two passes to stop any comeback attempt in the 3rd quarter. QB Gray takes advantage of field position on the 2nd INT and hits WR Jacobson for 9 yards and the TD to give us a 23-7 lead. We hold Albany to 3 and out and early in the 4th quarter, QB Gray marches the troops down the field again and hits WR Jacobson for 6 yards and the TD to give us the 30-7 lead. After another 3 and out by Albany, QB Gray hits WR Jacobson for an 17 yard strike to give him his third TD reception and us a 37-7 lead. On the ensuing possession, Albany stud RB Sutter runs for 80 yards and the TD to cut our lead to 37-14. On our next possession, RB Barton fumbles and Albany capitalizes and makes it 37-22 with the 2 point conversion. They try an onside kick now with 5 minutes left in the game but we recover. We march down the field and RB Howe punches it in to give us the clinching 44-22 lead. Albany strikes back quickly with a TD pass and makes it 44-29 but time has run out and we hang on for the shootout victory. RB Barton has 27-169 and 1 TD while WR Jacobson has 6-98 and 3 TD. RB Barton hangs on for MVP award.
The 49ers come to town for the Super Bowl in what may be a big shootout as we both have high powered offenses. The 49ers score first midway through the 1st quarter on a 54 yard bomb to give them the 7-0 lead. Not to be outdone, QB Gray hits WR Bullock for a 36 yard strike to tie the game at 7-7. On 49ers ensuing possession, we intercept the pass and run it back 29 yards for the go ahead TD which gives us a 14-7 lead. In the 2nd quarter, QB Gray puts together a nice mix of run and pass to set up his 2 yard QB sneak to give us a 21-7 lead. With time running out in the 2nd quarter, RB Barton pounds it in behind our stud O Line and makes it 28-7 at halftime. This one looks to be getting out of hand from the 49er view point.
On the first play from scrimmage in the 2nd half, 49er QB King tosses and INT that we return 57 yards for a TD that give us a 35-7 lead. On their next possession, we again intercept QB King but fail to convert any points. With 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, QB King marches them down and scores the TD to cut the lead to 35-14. We add a field goal on a drive that uses up the rest of the clock in the 3rd quarter that give us a 38-14 lead. In the 4th quarter, the Niners tear through our secondary and put up another TD to give us the 38-22 lead after they convert on the 2 point conversion. With 4 minutes to go, we give the Niners great field position after a terrible punt and they do not waste any time converting, cutting our lead to 38-30 after they again convert on the 2 point conversion. They onside kick it and recover it, but our defense holds them to 3 and out. We manage only 1 first down and punt it back to the Niners with 2 minutes left in the game. On two quick strikes of 43 and 12 yards, they score another TD and convert the 2 point conversion to tie the game at 38-38. I just cannot believe how this has gotten out of hand, we have given up a 24 point lead in the 4th quarter and now may be faced with an overtime situation. At our own 31 with 1 minute left, QB Gray does the unthinkable and tosses an INT giving 49ers the ball at their own 48 yard line. Our defense somehow holds and they punt it back to us with 33 seconds left on the clock and we cannot move it and the game goes to overtime.
We win the coin toss and receive the ball but can only manage 2 first downs and punt it to the 49ers. We hold them to 1 first down and they punt it back to us. We get great field position at our own 45 yard line and QB Gray hits WR Surratt for a big 18 yard pickup. We cannot manage another first down and at the 49er 34 yard line our kicker boots the 51 yard game winning field goal to give us the victory. 49er QB King threw for 419 yards, 5 TD, and 3 INT. QB Gray had another bad day throwing for 249 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. RB Barton had a very good day with 29-98 and 1 TD. S Edwards receives Super Bowl MVP with a 2 INT 7 Tckl performance. Those 2 INT certainly gave us this game.
This is another outstanding year for the team and possibly the greatest Super Bowl ever played. This is our second Super Bowl win in a row and 4th straight trip to the big game winning 3 of the 4. QB Gray earns 1st team as does WR Jacobson, LB Martin, and CB Riddick. CB Rivera and S Edwards earn 2nd team honors. Our success should continue barring any major lineup changes due to injury or retirement. I hope to pick up some depth this next year in the draft and possibly a number 2 wideout.
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