Pittsburgh (10-4) at New England (9-5)

December 13, 1997

Pittsburgh (10-4) at New England (9-5)

Time: 4 p.m. today, chs. 11, 4.

Line: Patriots by 2.

Vs. spread: Steelers 7-5; Patriots 6-8.

Last week: Steelers beat Broncos, 35-24. Patriots beat Jaguars, 26-20.

Worth watching: Steelers QB Kordell Stewart is the first player in NFL history with 20 passing TDs and 10 rushing TDs in a season. Will injuries sideline Patriots RB Curtis Martin and WR Terry Glenn?

Outlook: New England continued its climb out of midseason lethargy last week with a big victory at Jacksonville and can clinch a playoff spot with a victory. The Steelers are tough as usual, but they haven't proven they can beat a quality team on the road, having lost at Jacksonville, at Kansas City and at Philadelphia.

Notable: Steelers WR Yancey Thigpen leads the AFC with 1,269 receiving yards.

Injuries:

STEELERS: Out: LB Greg Lloyd (ankle infection). Questionable: TE Kirk Botkin (knee); WR Andre Coleman (knee); T Justin Strzelczyk (calf). Probable: RB Jerome Bettis (back); TE Mark Bruener (foot); S Carnell Lake (foot); RB Tim Lester (knee); C-G Jim Sweeney (ankle); DE Mike Vrabel (foot).

PATRIOTS: Out: CB Steve Lofton (hamstring-injured reserve). Questionable: WR Terry Glenn (hamstring); RB Curtis Martin (shoulder); DT Mark Wheeler (hamstring).

Pub Date: 12/13/97

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