Nfl: Week 15 : Today's Games

December 13, 1998


Time: 1: 01 p.m.

Line: Cardinals by 3.

Vs. spread: Cardinals 5-8; Eagles 6-6.

Outlook: Arizona's playoff hopes may have been destroyed in a crushing loss to the Giants last week; no one is sure how Arizona will react against Philadelphia. Will the Cardinals be able to erase the loss, or will it haunt them? Making Arizona's job easier is the fact that Philadelphia is horrible, with the worst offense in the league. Although the Eagles held Arizona to 129 yards passing in Week 3, QB Jake Plummer has improved. Look for him to throw for 250 yards and RB Adrian Murrell to rush for 100.

Notable: Eagles have held three of their last four home opponents below 20 points.


CARDINALS: Out: G-T Matt Joyce (hand); DT Mark Smith (ankle); DT Eric Swann (knee). Doubtful: CB Tom Knight (hamstring); LB Ronald McKinnon (knee); RB Michael Pittman (hand). Probable: S Tommy Bennett (hip); G-T Allen DeGraffenreid (neck); CB Ty Howard (shoulder); LB Tony McCombs (toe); DE Simeon Rice (rib); DE Andre Wadsworth (calf).

EAGLES: Out: RB Charlie Garner (rib); DT Bill Johnson (knee-IR). Questionable: DE Hugh Douglas (groin). Probable: WR Irving Fryar (toe); DE Greg Jefferson (ankle); CB Clarence Love (hamstring); RB Kevin Turner (back).


Time: 1: 01 p.m.

Line: Colts by 4.

Vs. spread: Bengals 3-9; Colts 5-8.

Outlook: Stuck in the basement of the AFC Central, Cincinnati has been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL, and coach Bruce Coslet will probably be fired at season's end. On his way out the door, he will get his first loss as the Bengals' coach in four games at the RCA Dome. Colts QB Peyton Manning is hot, and the Falcons barely beat him last week, while Cincinnati did not put up much of a fight against Buffalo. Manning has taken every snap this year (808 plays), has 21 TD passes and needs just two more to break the rookie record of former Giants QB Charlie Conerly. Don't be surprised if that mark falls today.

Notable: Colts have allowed 15 sacks, second-fewest in the NFL.


BENGALS: Out: TE Steve Bush (neck); QB Neil O'Donnell (hand-IR). Questionable: DE John Copeland (foot); LB Steve Foley (ankle); LB Jimmy Sprotte (hamstring). Probable: DE Clyde Simmons (knee).

COLTS: Questionable: CB Jeff Burris (knee); RB Chris Hetherington (groin); T Waverly Jackson (knee); WR Torrance Small (neck); DE Bernard Whittington (groin). Probable: LB Michael Barber (wrist); TE Ken Dilger (ankle/back/knee); DT Ellis Johnson (shoulder); DE Kendell Shello (back).


Time: 1: 01 p.m.

Line: Bills by 7 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Raiders 6-7; Bills 8-3.

Outlook: The game features four Heisman Trophy winners: the Raiders' Tim Brown, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson and the Bills' Doug Flutie. OK, Howard isn't in the same stratosphere as the rest of his Heisman buddies, but Brown, Woodson and Flutie are stars. One might think the key to this game is Flutie against a very good Raiders defense, but it reality, it's the Oakland offense against the Buffalo defense. Some opponents have said that the Raiders' offense has become predictable. The Bills will win because they are predictably tough at home.

Notable: In 197 regular-season starts since his freshman year in college, Flutie's record is 149-47-1.


RAIDERS: Out: S Eric Turner (foot). Doubtful: QB Jeff George (groin). Questionable: QB Donald Hollas (wrist); RB Napoleon Kaufman (groin); S Anthony Newman (toe). Probable: G Derek Graham (back); WR Desmond Howard (neck); DT Grady Jackson

(shoulder); DE Pat Swilling (knee).

BILLS: Out: G Ruben Brown (chest). Questionable: DE Bruce Smith (knee). Probable: LB John Holecek (knee); S Manny Martin (neck); WR Andre Reed (knee).


Time: 4: 05 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 7.

Vs. spread: Chargers 4-6; Seahawks 6-5.

Outlook: If the league decided to hold a vote on instant replay tomorrow, Seattle coach Dennis Erickson would be first in line, holding up a card with "Yes" on it. Because of the terrible call on Vinny Testaverde's sneak last week, the Seahawks are in a tremendous hole in terms of getting to the playoffs. They could have defeated the Jets, improved to 7-6 and, since they should beat the Chargers, been 8-6 after today. Erickson might have won the last two and saved his job. Now he's in trouble, but this week, he gets a respite.

Notable: Seahawks QB Jon Kitna is 44 of 75 for 618 yards and four TDs in the last two games.


CHARGERS: Out: LB Lew Bush (knee); T Vaughn Parker (leg). Doubtful: RB Natrone Means (foot). Questionable: CT David Binn (shoulder); TE John Burke (shoulder); TE Frank Hartley (foot); CB Terrance Shaw (knee); RB Tremayne Stephens (thigh).

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