Nfl Week 2

September 07, 1997

Buffalo (0-1) at N.Y.Jets (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Jets by 5

Vs. spread: Bills 0-1; Jets 1-0.

Last week: Bills lost to Vikings, 34-13. Jets beat Seahawks, 41-3.

Worth watching: Can Jets QB Neil O'Donnell keep this up? Were his five TD passes last week a fluke or a sign of things to come? The Bills need production from RB Thurman Thomas, because QB Todd Collins is no Jim Kelly.

Outlook: Has Bill Parcells done one of the fastest rebuilding jobs in NFL history? It certainly seems that way. The once-lifeless Jets, who didn't put up much of a fight and went 1-15 last season, stunned Seattle in the season opener and are favored to win their home opener today. With O'Donnell's passing and RB Adrian Murrell's running and receiving, the Jets should improve to 2-0.

Notable: Thomas has averaged 4.7 yards a carry against the Jets, his best mark against any team.


BILLS: Out: C Dusty Zeigler (knee). Probable: WR Eric Moulds (knee); S Manny Martin (ankle).

JETS: None reported.

Minnesota (1-0) at Chicago

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 1 1/2

Vs. spread: Vikings 1-0; Bears 1-0.

Last week: Vikings beat Bills, 34-13. Bears lost to Packers, 38-24.

Worth watching: Vikings RB Robert Smith is healthy again -- he gained a career-high 169 yards, including a 78-yard TD run, against Buffalo last week. The Bears need a solid game from QB Erik Kramer, as Rick Mirer continues to wait in the wings.

Outlook: The Bears will have to find a way to block DT John Randle, and it won't be easy with new starters at center (Evan Pilgrim) and left guard (Chris Villarrial). Chicago's best chance is to control the ball with RBs Raymont Harris (122 yards vs. the Packers) and Rashaan Salaam.

Notable: The Vikings have won four of the past five meetings at Soldier Field.


VIKINGS: Questionable: P Mitch Berger (hip). Probable: TE Andrew Glover (knee).

BEARS: Out: WR Curtis Conway (collarbone); G Todd Perry (hamstring). Doubtful: DT Chris Zorich (thumb). Questionable: LB Sean Harris (knee); T James Williams (ankle).

San Francisco (0-1) at St. Louis (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 1

Vs. spread: 49ers 0-1; Rams 1-0.

Last week: 49ers lost to Bucs, 13-6. Rams beat Saints, 38-24.

Worth watching: 49ers rookie QB Jim Druckenmiller, the first-round draft choice, gets rushed into action because of Steve Young's latest concussion. Can Rams RB Lawrence Phillips have two big games in a row? He rushed for 125 yards in the opener.

Outlook: The San Francisco dynasty may be ending. After 15 years as perennial contenders, the 49ers must cope without superstar WR Jerry Rice, who is out for the season after knee surgery. Does Druckenmiller-to-Terrell Owens inspire much fear? Not yet. Plus, the Rams are tough at home.

Notable: The 49ers went without a TD last week for the first time in 97 games (including playoffs).


49ERS: Out: T Harris Barton (knee); WR Jerry Rice (knee). Doubtful: C Chris Dalman (knee); LB Kevin Greene (toe). Questionable: QB Jeff Brohm (finger-back); QB Steve Young (concussion).

RAMS: Out: RB Jerald Moore (elbow). Doubtful: S Toby Wright (hamstring). Questionable: WR Isaac Bruce (hamstring). Probable: C Bern Brostek (back).

Green Bay (1-0) at Philadelphia (0-1)

Time: 4 p.m., chs. 45, 5

Line: Packers by 7 1/2

Vs. spread: Packers 0-1; Eagles 0-1.

Last week: Packers beat Bears, 38-24. Eagles lost to Giants, 31-17.

Worth watching: Eagles RB Ricky Watters, who always wants the ball, better do something with it if the Eagles have any upset hopes.

Outlook: Injuries are beginning to pile up on the Super Bowl champs, most notably with CB Craig Newsome out for the season with a knee injury. But the Packers still have too much talent for the Eagles, who continue to have uncertainty at quarterback with Ty Detmer and Rodney Peete.

Notable: The Eagles have won four of their past five home openers.


PACKERS: Out: TE Mark Chmura (knee); K Brett Conway (quadriceps-IR); LB Seth Joyner (knee); CB Craig Newsome (knee-IR). Questionable: G Joe Andruzzi (knee); TE Jeff Thomason (ankle). Probable: DT Gilbert Brown (hip).

EAGLES: Out: WR Chris T. Jones (knee); WR Antwuan Wyatt (knee-IR). Questionable: WR Bill Schroeder (thigh); LB Darrin Smith (ankle); LB James Willis (hip). Probable: DE Darion Conner (hamstring); LB Ray Farmer (back); TE Chad Lewis (neck); DE Mike Mamula (groin); T Jermane Mayberry (knee); QB Rodney Peete (calf); S Tim Watson (neck).

Carolina (0-1) at Atlanta (0-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Panthers by 3

Vs. spread: Panthers 0-1; Falcons 0-1.

Last week: Panthers lost to Redskins, 24-10. Falcons lost to Lions, 28-17.

Worth watching: Carolina rushed well in its opener, led by Anthony Johnson's 134 yards. QB Chris Chandler passed for 290 yards but threw three interceptions in his debut as Atlanta's starter.

Outlook: The Falcons look like one of the NFL's worst teams. The Panthers need to bounce back after their upset loss to Washington. Either way, the game figures to be somewhat competitive, as all four meetings have been decided by four points or fewer.

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