Nfl Week 13

November 23, 1997

Buffalo (5-6) at Tennessee (5-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Oilers by 3 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Bills 5-6; Oilers 7-4.

Last week: Bills lost to Dolphins, 30-13. Oilers lost to Jaguars, 17-9.

Worth watching: RB Eddie George leads the Oilers with 1,301 rushing yards, and Tennessee is 8-2 when he gains at least 100 yards. Bills DE Bruce Smith is having another big year with 13 sacks.

Outlook: The winner of this game will retain reasonable playoff hopes in the crowded AFC race. Buffalo RB Antowain Smith, who has been called the next Thurman Thomas, has 648 rushing yards, the most among rookie runners. The edge goes to the Oilers, who have won four of six (both losses to Jacksonville) and have a solid defense that can shut down what's left of the Buffalo offense.

Notable: Bills have scored only 61points in their past five games.


BILLS: Out: RB Tim Tindale (knee). Questionable: S Eric Smedley (quadriceps). Probable: DE Jim Jeffcoat (knee); LB Bryce Paup (calf).

OILERS: Doubtful: TE Michael Roan (viral infection). Questionable: DT Mike Halapin (shoulder); CB Steve Jackson (ankle); CB Darryll Lewis (ankle); QB Steve McNair (shoulder); WR Chris Sanders (hamstring).

Miami (8-3) at New England (6-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Patriots by 5 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Dolphins 5-4; Patriots 5-6.

Last week: Dolphins beat Bills, 30-13. Patriots lost to Bucs, 27-7.

Worth watching: Dolphins RB Karim Abdul-Jabbar leads the NFL with 10 rushing TDs. Patriots RB Curtis Martin has 1,014 rushing yards but was held to only 26 in last week's loss at Tampa Bay.

Outlook: When will the Patriots' embarrassing slide stop? It could be today. The Dolphins are coming off a Monday night victory over Buffalo, but the Bills are a weak offensive team that's on the slide. Martin should be a much tougher runner at home than he was during the Patriots' road trip.

Notable: Patriots have lost five of their past seven, with the only wins coming against the Bills.


DOLPHINS: Out: G Everett McIver (knee). Doubtful: TE Frank Wainright (pectoral). Questionable: RB Stanley Pritchett (knee); LB Derrick Rodgers (knee); CB Jerry Wilson (knee). Probable: DE Trace Armstrong (abdomen); WR Brett Perriman (knee); DE Jason Taylor (thumb).

PATRIOTS: Questionable: WR Terry Glenn (hamstring); CB Steve Israel (knee). Probable: CB Steve Lofton (hamstring); DT Mark Wheeler (concussion).

Pittsburgh (8-3) at Philadelphia (4-6-1)

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

Line: Steelers by 3.

Vs. spread: Steelers 6-4; Eagles 4-6.

Last week: Steelers beat Bengals, 20-3. Eagles tied Ravens, 10-10.

Worth watching: Steelers QB Kordell Stewart is having a big second half: In his past seven games, he has had a hand in 15 TDs (four rushing, 11 passing).

Outlook: Two teams going in the proverbial opposite direction. The Steelers continue their drive to the playoffs and another possible AFC Central title. The Eagles are beginning to look to next season as Bobby Hoying gets another start at quarterback.

Notable: Steelers have not lost at home in November since 1991.


STEELERS: Questionable: TE Kirk Botkin (knee); S Lethon Flowers (knee). Probable: RB Jerome Bettis (back); WR Courtney Hawkins (shoulder); DE Kevin Henry (knee); S Carnell Lake (shoulder); LB Greg Lloyd (shoulder); CB Donnell Woolford (gluteal).

EAGLES: Out: G Joe Panos (eye); LB Darrin Smith (ankle). Doubtful: G Ian Beckles (foot); WR Chris T. Jones (knee). Questionable: DT Edward Jasper (ankle). Probable: S Brian Dawkins (hand); LB Ray Farmer (hamstring); LB DeShawn Fogle (wrist); DE Jon Harris (toe); DE Ndukwe Kalu (thumb); CB Randy Kinder (quadriceps); RB Kevin Turner (toe); LB James Willis (shoulder).

Jacksonville (8-3) at Cincinnati (3-8)

Time: 4 p.m., Ch. 11.

Line: Jaguars by 5 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Jaguars 7-3; Bengals 3-8.

Last week: Jaguars beat Oilers, 17-9. Bengals lost to Steelers, 20-3.

Worth watching: Will Jaguars QB Mark Brunell ever start putting up big passing numbers this season? In the past three games (two wins), Bengals rookie RB Corey Dillon has rushed for 298 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

Outlook: The Bengals are benching QB Jeff Blake in favor of veteran Boomer Esiason, and their new-found running game makes them dangerous playing at home. But, despite Brunell's slump, the Jaguars are a very efficient team, and they haven't lost to a sub.-500 opponent this season.

Notable: Jaguars have won eight of their past nine games in the AFC Central, including five of six this season.


JAGUARS: Out: CB Aaron Beasley (hip). Questionable: T Tony Boselli (ankle). Probable: DE Tony Brackens (ankle); RB Randy Jordan (concussion); S Mike Logan (hand).

BENGALS: Out: DE Ramondo Stallings (groin); DT Kimo Von Oelhoffen (ankle). Questionable: LB Ricardo McDonald (knee). Probable: C-G Rich Braham (knee).

Dallas (6-5) at Green Bay (8-3)

Time: 1 p.m., chs. 45, 5.

Line: Packers by 6 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Cowboys 3-6; Packers 1-9.

Last week: Cowboys beat Redskins, 17-14. Packers lost to Colts, 41-38.

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