Tonight's game

December 04, 1997

Time: 8 p.m., ESPN

Line: Oilers by 2 1/2

Vs. spread: Oilers 9-4; Bengals 5-8.

Last game: Oilers beat Cowboys on Thanksgiving, 27-14. Bengals lost to Eagles, 44-42, on Sunday.

Worth watching: QB Steve McNair gives Oilers ground game a boost with 518 yards. Bengals RB Corey Dillon has averaged 100 yards in his five starts.

Outlook: The Oilers' 27th-ranked pass defense will be challenged by Boomer Esiason, who has thrown for eight TDs in the past 10 quarters and led the Bengals to 73 points in the past two games. Tennessee has won six of its past eight to climb into the AFC playoff race. Eddie George (1,234 yards) faces the NFL's worst run defense.

Injuries:

OILERS: Out: S Marcus Robertson (knee). Questionable: CB Steve Jackson (ankle); CB Roger Jones (back); TE Michael Roan viral infection).

BENGALS: Out: WR Carl Pickens (groin). Doubtful: S Tremain Mack (foot). Probable: RB Brian Milne (thigh); DT Kimo von Oelhoffen (ankle).

Staff picks:

John Eisenberg: Bengals

Ken Rosenthal: Oilers

Gary Lambrecht: Oilers

Vito Stellino: Oilers

Mike Preston: Oilers

Pub Date: 12/04/97

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