First and Eight

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

September 24, 2003

Division play kicks off this weekend and so does First and Eight, which will preview the weekends games in order of most important to least important.

First - #1 Chickens at #2 Beans

The Chickens and Beans have been playing well despite horrible production from their QBs. McNabb returns this week from a bye hoping to throw his first TD pass of the season. The best backfield in the league will be without Ricky Williams who is on a bye. Expect Kevan Barlow to fill his shows. The Beans have climbed all the way to No. 2 in the Power Rankings and know they will be No. 1 with a win. Lavernues Coles, Clinton Portis and Travis Henry have been carrying the load thus far for the only undefeated team in the league. This game won’t be as high scoring as many people would think but still should be the best game on tap for Week 4.

Chickens 44, Beans 38

And Six - #3 Huskers at #14 Brothers

In a battle of 2-1 teams who have both topped the 100 point barrier, the Huskers know they need a win with the Beans and Chickens on the schedule in weeks 5 and 6. The Huskers aren’t happy with Rich Gannon, who hasn’t thrown a TD pass since Week 1. Vinny Testaverde could make a surprise start for the Huskers who have been relying on Priest Holmes more than ever this season. With Mare, Pittman, Barber and Dudley on a bye, the Huskers will shuffle around their lineup. Look for the Huskers to go Run-n-shoot around Priest Holmes. The Brothers are without Brad Johnson this week so Kelly Holcumb will get a rare start if he is cleared to play.

Huskers 48, Brothers 32

Five - #4 Merry Men at #8 Eaters

In what may be the most interesting match up of the week, the Merry Men and Eaters come in to this game both desperately needing a win. Steve Dugas will hesitantly turn to Drew Bledsoe this week as Culpepper is listed as doubtful. Alexander is on a bye as well as Grammatica which should make for an interesting Merry Men lineup. The Eaters, meanwhile, will turn to second year QB, Joey Harrington who has yet to see action this year. Koren Robinson and Ike Hillirad are on byes so the Eaters will also be short-handed.

Eaters 34, Merry Men 31

Four - #9 Gooks at #10 Poop

Both teams come in at 1-2 but both teams have reasons to believe they can easily win the division. The Gooks have picked the wrong QB to start 3 weeks in a row now but with Fielder on a bye, the streak will come to an end. Brian Dvidson hasn’t announced his starter yet but early reports coming from 48 Bayview St Apt #2 are that Marc Bulger will get his chance to prove he is the team’s No. 1 QB. Chad Johnson won’t start for the Bengals for disciplinary reasons but should still start for the Poop.

Poop 26, Gooks 20

Three - #7 Refugees at #15 Llamas

Two teams picked to finished at the bottom of the league are surprising opponents early on. The winner of this game will improve to 3-1 and will have sole possession of the AFC East. The Llamas have been unsuccessful in acquiring a QB as they are reluctant to trade a future first round draft pick. Andre Johnson has played well of late and should be the centerpiece of the Llamas future. The Refugees continue to get production out of each position and suddenly the RBs on this team don’t look so bad. Kevin Faulk and Ledell Betts look like they both have bright futures.

Refugees 45, Llamas 16

Two - #6 Dragons at #11 White Guys

Neither team has really come into their own yet and both have struggled out of the gate. Amazingly, there is a 3-way tie for first in the horrid AFC East so the winner of this game will have a share of first place. The Dragons will be without Faulk, Jackson and Toomer so look for Zach Crockett to get a rare start. The White Guys are all yardage and no TDs and if not for Billy Cundiff’s improbable 23 point performance in Week 2, they would be 0-3. How much longer does Aceto go with Aaron Brooks?

Dragons 30, White Guys 22

One - #13 Boys at #16 Mallards

In the “must-miss game of the week” the Mallards will look to beat up on the seemingly down and out Big Boys, the only winless team in the league. Lamar Gordon will get his chance to shine in place of Marshall Faulk.

Mallards 18, Boys 15