Nfl Week 12

November 16, 1997

Arizona (2-8) at N.Y. Giants (6-4)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 5

Line: Giants by 5.

Vs. spread: Cardinals 6-4; Giants 4-5.

Last week: Cardinals lost to Cowboys, 24-6. Giants lost to Oilers, 10-6

Worth watching: Tyrone Wheatley continues to impress as the Giants' starting running back. He's coming off a 13-carry, 94-yard day against Tennessee. Arizona is sticking with rookie Jake Plummer at quarterback.

Outlook: The Giants are 3-0 in the NFC East and have won four of their past five from the Cardinals. They should be able to run the ball against the league's No. 21 rushing defense.

Notable: Giants have scored a TD on a league-high 72 percent (18 of 25) of their trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

Injuries:

CARDINALS: Doubtful: RB Kevin Bouie (hamstring); LB Tony McCombs (foot). Questionable: T Lomas Brown (foot); S Matt Darby (head); Eric Hill (neck); DT Eric Swann (hamstring). Probable: LB Mike Caldwell (knee); WR Frank Sanders (hip); LB WR Kevin Williams (hamstring).

GIANTS: Out: DE Chad Bratzke (knee-leg-injured reserve); C Derek Engler (ankle); WR Thomas Lewis (toe-injured reserve); LB Corey Miller (ankle); C Brian Williams (eye). Doubtful: RB Rodney Hampton (knee). Probable: QB Dave Brown (pectoral).

Denver (9-1) at Kansas City (7-3)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 4.

Line: Broncos by 4.

Vs. spread: Broncos 6-4; Chiefs 5-3.

Last week: Broncos beat Panthers, 34-0. Chiefs lost to Jaguars, 24-10.

Worth watching: Broncos RB Terrell Davis has a franchise-record eight 100-yard rushing games and continues to lead the league with 1,273 yards and nine TDs.

Outlook: Without Elvis Grbac, the Chiefs offense isn't putting up much of a fight (23 points in the past two games) and will need a need big effort from QB Rich Gannon. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs, 19-3, at Denver in Week 1, and Davis, QB John Elway, TE Shannon Sharpe and the NFL's No. 1 offense should cruise again.

Notable: Broncos' defense and special teams have scored nine touchdowns, just two short of the NFL record set by the '92 Chiefs.

Injuries:

BRONCOS: Probable: G Brian Habib (back); DE Neil Smith (triceps); DE Alfred Williams (back).

CHIEFS: Out: QB Elvis Grbac (shoulder). Doubtful: TE Ted Popson (head). Questionable: CB Darren Anderson (groin); CB Dale Carter (shoulder); T Jeff Criswell (shoulder); WR Lake Dawson (knee); T Steve Wallace (knee). Probable: DE John Browning (calf); RB Tony Richardson (hamstring).

Minnesota (8-2) at Detroit (4-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 1 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Vikings 8-2; Lions 4-5.

Last week: Vikings beat Bears, 29-22. Lions lost to Redskins, 30-7.

Worth watching: The Lions must find a way to block Vikings DT John Randle, who has 10 1/2 sacks and last week became only the third NFL player to reach double figures in six consecutive seasons.

Outlook: Led by QB Brad Johnson, the Vikings keep passing tests in the NFC Central, and this week they play a team that has lost three straight. They also may get RB Robert Smith back from a sprained ankle. Detroit will go with Frank Reich at quarterback because Scott Mitchell is doubtful with a hamstring injury.

Notable: Vikings' six-game winning streak is their longest since they won 10 straight in 1975.

Injuries:

VIKINGS: Questionable: DE Fernando Smith (groin); RB Robert Smith (ankle). Probable: DT Jerry Ball (groin); CB Anthony Prior (hamstring).

LIONS: Out: S Van Malone (groin). Doubtful: TE Pete Chryplewicz (hamstring); QB Scott Mitchell (hamstring). Probable: LB Reggie Brown (neck); C Kevin Glover (foot-knee); WR Herman Moore (back); CB Corey Raymond (foot).

Carolina (5-5) at San Francisco (9-1)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: 49ers by 9 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Panthers 3-5; 49ers 8-2.

Last week: Panthers lost to Broncos, 34-0. 49ers routed Eagles 24-12.

Worth watching: 49ers DT Dana Stubblefield has an NFL-leading 12 1/2 sacks and leads the league's No. 1 defense against the No. 27 offense. Can Panthers QB Kerry Collins (13 interceptions) get his game back?

Outlook: The 49ers keep rolling, and these Panthers aren't as good as the two Carolina teams that have won in San Francisco. With a victory today, the 49ers can clinch the division title, the earliest since the Bears wrapped up the NFC Central in the 11th week in 1985.

Notable: 49ers have allowed no rushing TDs this season and only four in their past 28 games.

Injuries:

PANTHERS: Questionable: RB Tshimanga Biakabutuka (rib); DE Mike Fox (chest); LB Percell Gaskins (calf). Probable: WR Dwight Stone (concussion).

49ERS: Out: CB Marquez Pope (foot); WR Jerry Rice (knee); DE Marvin Washington (ankle). Doubtful: WR Iheanyi Uwaezuoke (knee). Questionable: DE Roy Barker (calf). Probable: DT Albert Reese (ankle); C-G Jesse Sapolu (ankle); CB Frankie Smith (shoulder); DT Bryant Young (ankle).

Atlanta (2-8) at St. Louis (2-8)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 3 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Falcons 3-4; Rams 3-6.

Last week: Falcons lost to Bucs, 31-10. Rams lost to Packers, 17-7.

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