Nfl Week 1

September 01, 1996

Arizona at Indianapolis

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 9.

Record vs. spread (1995): Cardinals 7-9; Colts 9-7.

Series record: Cardinals lead 6-5.

Last meeting: Colts won, 16-13, in '92.

Outlook: Preseason statistics mean little, but Colts can only be heartened that QB Jim Harbaugh led NFL in passing in August. He is working behind three new starters (Doug Widell, Jay Leeuwenburg and Troy Auzenne), but even if they need time to come together, it shouldn't matter against Cardinals. Arizona has new coach, Vince Tobin, another new QB, Boomer Esiason, and new pass rusher, rookie Simeon Rice, who had two sacks in final preseason game.

By the numbers: Cardinals have won four of past five meetings. . . . Colts have won just 10 games in September since 1984.

Injuries:

CARDINALS: Out: WR Stevie Anderson (ankle); Doubtful: DT Chris Maumalanga (headaches).

COLTS: Out: LB Trev Alberts (shoulder), DE Ellis Johnson (head), G Eric Mahlum (knee); Doubtful: QB Kerwin Bell (knee-thumb); Questionable: LB Elijah Alexander (hamstring), T Troy Auzenne (knee), TE Ken Dilger (finger), CB-S Derrick Frasier (knee), CB-S Derwin Gray (ankle), T Jason Matthews (knee), CB-S Damon Watts (thumb); Probable: LB Steve Morrison (groin).

Detroit at Minnesota

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 2.

Record vs. spread (1995): Lions 10-7; Vikings 9-7.

Series record: Vikings lead 45-25-2.

Last meeting: Lions won, 44-38, in second meeting of '95.

Outlook: Detroit offense, led by Scott Mitchell, who tossed 32 TDs in '95, could have field day against weak secondary. WRs Brett Perriman and Herman Moore caught more passes for more yards than any two teammates in NFL history in '95. Vikings need big game from QB Warren Moon and for RB Robert Smith to stay healthy. One plus for Minnesota: It's playing against defense severely weakened by loss of LB Chris Spielman.

By the numbers: In second half last season, Moon threw 23 TDs, just five INTs and had 104.3 QB rating. . . . Lions RB Barry Sanders has scored 10 TDs and averaged 4.8 yards per carry vs. Minnesota.

Injuries:

LIONS: Out: LB Reggie Brown (knee), CB Brad Ford (foot); Questionable: DT Shane Bonham (ribs), OT Jeff Jones (throat); Probable: DT Luther Elliss (hamstring).

VIKINGS: Doubtful: LB Darryl Talley (knee); Probable: CB Alfred Jackson (knee), TE Andrew Jordan (shoulder), WR David Palmer (toe), CB Rod Smith (ankle).

Green Bay at Tampa Bay

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Packers by 7.

Record vs. spread (1995): Packers 12-7; Bucs 8-8.

Series record: Packers lead 20-13-1.

Last meeting: Bucs won, 13-10, in second meeting of '95.

Outlook: After years as head-coaching candidate, Tony Dungy finally has own NFL team, even if it is Tampa Bay. But RB Errict Rhett remains holdout, so don't expect much for now. Green Bay Brett Favre, who was treated for addiction to painkillers in off-season, starts defense of MVP award. With RB Edgar Bennett and WR Robert Brooks, Packers have too many offensive weapons for Bucs.

By the numbers: Favre can become third-fastest player in NFL history to reach 15,000 yards with 175 today, tying Joe Namath at 65 games. . . . Bucs OT Paul Gruber has started all 122 games in career.

Injuries:

PACKERS: Out: G Lindsay Knapp (knee), NT Bob Kuberski (knee), WR Derrick Mayes (shoulder), WR Terry Mickens (ankle); Probable: T John Michels (ankle), RB Brian Satterfield (shoulder).

BUCCANEERS: Out: DE Chidi Ahanotu (hand); Questionable: DT Warren Sapp (ankle), LB Darnell Stephens (knee); Probable: DT Marcus Jones (neck), CB Martin Mayhew (knee).

N.Y. Jets at Denver

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Broncos by 8.

Record vs. spread (1995): Jets 6-10; Broncos 6-9-1.

Series record: Tied 12-12-1.

Last meeting: Jets won in overtime, 25-22, in '94.

Outlook: The Jets went out and bought QB Neil O'Donnell for $25 million over seven years, spent first pick in draft on WR Keyshawn Johnson and tried to revamp offensive line with Jumbo Elliott and David Williams. Defense appears strong, too, but with Rich Kotite (3-20 in last 23 games) as coach, will moves make any difference? Denver QB John Elway has balanced offense to keep ball away from Jets. He can throw to Anthony Miller and Shannon Sharpe or hand off to Terrell Davis. He'll do both.

By the numbers: Broncos are 10-2 in past 12 home openers. . . . Jets scored just two rushing TDs last season.

Injuries:

JETS: Out: G-C John Bock (knee), TE Tyrone Davis (foot), WR Rico Smith (knee); Questionable: T John Elliott (groin), CB Otis Smith (hamstring).

BRONCOS: Out: TE Byron Chamberlain (finger), WR Rod Smith

(shoulder); Probable: QB Bill Musgrave (back).

Atlanta at Carolina

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Falcons by 3.

Record vs. spread (1995): Falcons 9-7; Panthers 8-8.

Series record: Tied 1-1.

L Last meeting: Panthers won, 21-17, in second meeting of '95.

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