The Tattoo Crew(2-2) showed the Wolfpack just what they are in for when they leave their division, and head over to the Halas. They beat the Pack(0-4) and tied a team record for points in a laugher, 85-37. Second year RB LaDainian Tomlinson scored 2 touchdowns, including a 58-yarder, to break his own team record of points by a RB with 30. WR Donald Driver also got in on the action as he tied WR David Boston's team record with a two touchdown performance of his own and a total of 20 points. QB Tom Brady had an unspectacular day with just 6 points, but he did what he had to do to keep the Crew ahead. "I think as a team we are just beginning to gel. This was probably our best all around game so far this season," he said. "L.T. had a monster game for us, and when he was in there, Deuce (RB McAllister) got the job done. Of course Donald got things going as far as the receiving corps and our defense kept the Pack at bay. The way our division is going, we have to win these non division games. This is going to be a dogfight. And we know we have just as good a shot as the rest of the division to come out on top. Next week should be a test for us and we're going to give it all we got." The Crew's D/ST also got into the act as they sacked QB Brett Favre 7 times and got 2 picks to break a team record and score 12 points. The Crew head out to the T-Bone Dome to play undefeated T.N.T. in week 5. The Wolfpack just can't seem to get that monkey off their back as they continue to search for ways to win their first game. The story of the game this week was their lack of depth at RB. After trading Anthony Thomas away in the middle of the week, they were left with Ahman Green and Dorsey Levens to start in the backfield. They combined for just 93 points on 22 carries and 0 points. "We have to get it done," owner Joe Semro said. "We are in a very big stretch for us beginning next week. We have 4 of our next 5 games within our division. Looking at where we are at, we have to win at least 3 of those games to get back in this thing. So we pretty much control our own destiny as far as that goes, but as I said, we have to get it done before we look up and it is week 10 or so." They begin their stretch next week when the Jorsemen roll into town in a battle of expansion teams.
The Outlaws(1-3) finally broke into the win column in week 4 as they took advantage of a rookie owner and showed him the door in the lowest scoring game in UFFA history, a 40-21 victory. The Slackers(1-3) had the fifth lowest point total ever as no player reached double digits with RB Ricky Williams leading the way with just 8 points. "I'm disappointed," said new owner Chris Porsch. "Especially because I KNOW our team is better than that one. I can't believe they won the championship last year. But that is the way it goes, I suppose. Nobody said it would be easy. We'll take a look at our lineup and see if we can't tweak something and light a fire under their butts." Slackers QB Kurt Warner had another day of negative points(-2). But he was lost when he broke his pinkie early in the game. "We'll evaluate it in the morning," said Porsch. "It doesn't look too good right now. They are talking about surgery. So we'll have to scour the waiver wire or other rosters and see if we can't get something done about this. It's something we have to deal with, and we will." The good news is that backup QB Trent Green looked sharp in a practice game throwing 5 TDs. So maybe they have their answer right on their bench. The Outlaws came in to the 2002 season with nothing but high hopes. A 3-game losing streak to begin the season dashed those hopes. But Outlaw QB Daunte Culpepper, who led the team with 12 points, had this to say. "It's early. The only good thing about our losing streak is that it happened at the beginning of the season. We are only one game back right now. We have a lot of good players on this team. And every last one of us knows what we have. A win is a win. It might not have been pretty, but at least we got our first. We have to step up and make plays and things will come to us." Next week, they visit the Roscoes, who suffered their first loss this week. The Slackers have a big game against the Fightin' Antz next week and play 3 of their next four against the Landry division.
T.N.T.(4-0) last season couldn't get any breaks. Except for the breaks that kept players out of the game. After an injury-plagued 2001 season, they are staying healthy and this week became the first team to ever start a season at 4-0 as they beat the Dirty Dozen(0-4) and pushed the Dozen's streak to 16 games lost in a row. The final score was 61-31. Head coach Randy White became the first coach EVER to start out his career by winning his first four games. "It's special, definitely. But you can't achieve these kind of honors without your guys going out and giving the effort every week," said White. "My job is to prepare these guys every week for our opponent. And their job is to put into play what I teach during the week. And they haven't let me down yet. I'm very proud of these guys. Especially Fred and Edge, who both have rebounded even better than we had hoped." Although RB Edgerrin James sat out with a bye week this week, RB Fred Taylor came through and led the team in scoring for the second time as he broke a 22-yarder and he ended up with 237 total yards. WR Keenan McCardell scored on a 65 yard pass as he scored a season high 15 points to match Taylor. "We have the mark of a good team, and that is different guys stepping up every week," he said. "And fortunately I came through this week." K Mike Hollis paid dividends in his first start of the season as he kicked FGs of 48 and 49 yards and came up with a 13. A shot at 5-0 is on the line next week as they stay at home to face a solid Tattoo Crew team in. The Dirty Dozen can't seem to do anything right. The week that they traded QB Rich Gannon, he exploded with a 32. "We are going to have our growing pains with Drew," said head coach Mike Singletary about their young QB Drew Brees. "But we feel it will be beneficial to throw him out there and let him take his lumps. He did a good job today, but we just didn't have much production around him." Brees led the team with just 9 points. The streak is still on, and with their next two opponents #1 and #2 in the league in scoring, it could continue for a few weeks. They play the Rynos in week 5, a team that has outcored them in 2002 by 185 points.
After a week of nonstop trash talking, the Jorsemen(3-1) proved which team is for real, and which is just a newer version of an older product as they defeated their old rival the Night Hawks 92-65. TE Tony Gonzalez had the day that had been expected of him as he broke the league's TE scoring record with a 31 point outing. He scored 3 TDs, including a 42 yarder. QB Brad Johnson, who was filling in for Jeff Garcia, who was on a bye, filled in ably as he had 19 points on 19 of 30 passing for 277 yards and 3 TDs, all of which were over 20 yards. The venerable Jerry Rice showed his leadership in scoring 16 points, and the surprise of the UFFA RB Charlie Garner continued his solid season with 15 points. "I'm excited about this team. We were not given much of a shot after draft day. But we never doubted. Now I'm right back into this the way I was in the old UFFA," said owner Jose Guzman. "I'd say right now we are playing better every week. So look out for us." Before the game, Rice had a few choice words for his teammates. "I'm the leader of this club. I have to speak out. What I said before the game is best left in the clubhouse, but as you can see the guys responded. And I have to make sure they don't let up. There is no room for that in the UFFA." Week 5 brings a matchup that was expected to be between two teams going nowhere as the Jorsemen take on the other expansion team, the Wolfpack, who are struggling at 0-4. The Night Hawks(2-2) didn't want this to happen. After four weeks they are now in disarray as they have recently seen a surge by the rest of the division as far as making moves is concerned. And at 2-2 and with a tough schedule that sees them facing 3 of the top 4 scoring teams in the UFFA in the next 3 weeks, they are in jeopardy of falling out of contention fast in the Landry division. "We have to get over this. As much as it hurts to lose to these guys, we know we have 9 games left. We had a good week but were just outscored. If we can't get over this, it will be a long month of October. So there is no choice," said QB Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe continued his strong season as he tossed 4 TDs and scored 18 points. But the backfield remains a HUGE question mark as Jerome Bettis was shut out and is standing at -1 point on the season. "We have to address that," said coach Tom Landry. "There is only so much patience I have. And if he can't get it done in practice this week and convince me he's ready to contribute, we may have to start somebody who is. I'm not happy right now." As mentioned earlier, the Hawks tough part of the schedule continues next week as they travel to the Beaver Dome, where the Warrior have never lost. The Hawks could be in danger of losing two games in a row for the first time in team history.
The Warriors were on the brink of going 4-0 with a late lead heading into Sunday night's game. But Rynos'(3-1) RB Shaun Alexander would have none of that. Alexander scored 5 TDs to shatter the UFFA record of 42 points, as he ended up with 52 points and collected the 3rd player of the week award for the Rynos this season. His outburst led them to a 98-71 win and left the Rynos tied with the Warriors and the Roscoes for first place in the Halas division in what is certain to be a race to the finish. After 15 points in week one, Alexander had just 3 points combined in the next two weeks. That began whispers around the UFFA that said that Alexander could be a bust. But with his big week, he is now 2nd in the league in scoring with 70 total points. Fellow Ryno RB Priest Holmes(12 points) leads the league with 80 points and was named the UFFA's first player of the month for the month of September. "He deserves it," said Alexander. "But I'm right on his heels. He better not let up or I'll snatch it from him. But seriously, we are winning games and scoring points. Just like last year. How can we not be having fun?" The 98 points was the second highest point total in the UFFA this season. The Rynos have a matchup many believe could be the most lopsided ever as they go to Busch Memorial Stadium to take on the winless Dirty Dozen. With the loss, the Warriors(3-1), along with the Rynos are now one of just two teams that haven't scored less than 70 points in a game this season. They received a great game from newly signed free agent Marcel Shipp as he scored on a run and a pass to put up 22 points. The scoring leader, however, was the Warriors D/ST. They returned 2 punts and an interception for scores and broke the UFFA record for D/ST points in a game with 31 points. The record had been 28, set by the Night Hawks in week 2. Speaking of the Night Hawks, that is who the Warriors will face next week as their record 10-game home winning streak is put to the test.
Considered by many to be a disappointment in the first three weeks of the season, the Fightin' Antz(2-2) proved many so-called experts wrong in week four as they went into WTC Memorial and defeated the previously unbeaten Roscoes, 86-31. The margin of victory of 55 points matches the Landry division record set by these same Antz in 2001. QB Rich Gannon, who just arrived from the Dirty Dozen in mid-week, led all scorers with 32 points, as he threw 4 TDs over 10 yards. Antz WR Tim Brown caught one of those passes, a 41-yarder as he finished with 17 points. "I'm glad to be over here," said Gannon. "I wish them the best over there. But here we have a team that can certainly contend for the title this year and next. While over there they could be rebuilding for a long while." Near the end of the game, the Antz seemed to be toying with the Roscoes(3-1), as even Bubba Franks got into the action as he threw a TD pass. "That won't be forgotten," said Roscoes WR Randy Moss. "We just might see them again this year, and if we do, rest assured we'll get them for that one." Moss was the subject of a big controversy during the week. After ducking initial drug charges, Moss has now officially been charged and awaits the UFFA league drug policy board to review the charges. He could be facing a suspension of at least four games if the board finds enough evidence. He submitted to drug tests early last week. Losing Moss would be a big blow to the Roscoes. They play the Outlaws in week 5 without Moss, who will be taking a scheduled break. The Antz, meanwhile, will play a Halas division game against the Slackers.