Today's games

December 20, 1997

Buffalo (6-9) at Green Bay (12-3)

Time: 12: 30 p.m., chs. 11, 4.

Line: Packers by 10.

Vs. spread: Bills 6-9, Packers 5-9.

Last week: Bills lost to Jaguars, 20-14. Packers beat Panthers, 31-10.

Worth watching: Packers RB Dorsey Levens is 110 yards shy of Jim Taylor's team-record 1,474 set in 1962, when teams played only 14 games.

Outlook: The Packers will use this game to just stay sharp for the playoffs, which they'll open at home the weekend of Jan. 3-4. QB Brett Favre's completion percentage this season is a career-low 59 percent, but his 7.5 yards per attempt is the second-highest of his career. The Bills are closing out a disappointing season in which they learned they had no heir apparent to retired QB Jim Kelly.

Notable: Packers have not allowed a TD pass in 19 quarters.

Injuries:

BILLS: Out: WR Andre Reed (shoulder). Questionable: LB Bryce Paup (foot). Probable: DT Ted Washington (quadriceps).

PACKERS: Questionable: WR Don Beebe (hamstring); DT Gilbert Brown (ankle); WR Derrick Mayes (ankle); TE Jeff Thomason (ankle). Probable: RB Chris Darkins (groin); RB Dorsey Levens (toe); DE Reggie White (back-ill).

St. Louis (4-11) at Carolina (7-8)

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

Line: Panthers by 5.

Vs. spread: Rams 5-9, Panthers 6-7.

Last week: Rams lost to Bears, 13-10. Panthers lost to Packers, 31-10.

Worth watching: This game matches two young quarterbacks trying to finish the season on the upswing -- the Rams' Tony Banks and the Panthers' Kerry Collins.

Outlook: A year ago, the Panthers were the NFL's darlings -- NFC West champs in only their second season. This year, they've been more like a third-year expansion team. They're not a young team, so their future is muddled.

Notable: This could be last NFL game for Panthers LB Sam Mills, who will decide in the off-season whether to retire or return.

Injuries:

RAMS: Doubtful: LB Britt Hager (neck); TE Mitch Jacoby (ankle). Questionable: G Zach Wiegert (shoulder); S Toby Wright (knee).

PANTHERS: Out: T Norberto Davidds-Garrido (ankle-injured reserve); DE Shawn King (calf-injured reserve). Doubtful: LB Michael Barrow (groin); CB Eric Davis (concussion); WR Raghib Ismail (shoulder). Probable: RB Fred Lane (shoulder); LB Lamar Lathon (knee); WR Muhsin Muhammad (shoulder); S Damon Pieri (foot); TE Wesley Walls (knee).

Pub Date: 12/20/97

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