NFL Week 4: Today's Games

October 03, 1999

Arizona (1-2) at Dallas (2-0) Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Cowboys by 7 1/2.

Vs. spread: Cardinals 1-2; Cowboys 2-0.

Last week: Cardinals lost to 49ers, 24-10. Cowboys had a bye.

Series: Cowboys lead 49-23-1.

Last meeting: Cardinals won, 20-7, on Jan. 2, 1999, in Dallas in NFC wild-card game.

Outlook: Dallas has won 16 of the past 17 regular-season meetings, but the Cardinals stunned the Cowboys in the playoffs last season. Can Arizona do it again? Not unless QB Jake Plummer recaptures his '98 magic. In his past two games vs. Dallas, Plummer passed for 678 yards and five TDs. CB Deion Sanders expects to make his '99 debut for the Cowboys, who are 8-2 after bye weeks.

Notable: Cardinals have limited Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith to 89.9 yards rushing a game, lowest of any NFC East team.


CARDINALS: Out: WR Rob Moore (hamstring). Doubtful: T James Dexter (triceps); DT Eric Swann (knee). Questionable: S Tommy Bennett (knee); CB Corey Chavous (knee); T Matt Joyce (back). Probable: WR David Boston (shoulder); LB Ronald McKinnon (ankle); DE Simeon Rice (heart); DT Mark Smith (knee).

COWBOYS: Questionable: CB Kevin Smith (back). G Everett McIver (hamstring). Probable: TE Mike Lucky (foot); CB Deion Sanders (toe); S Kenny Wheaton (hamstring); T Erik Williams (quadriceps).

Tampa Bay (2-1) at Minnesota (1-2) Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 7.

Vs. spread: Bucs 1-1; Vikings 0-3.

Last week: Bucs beat Broncos, 13-10. Vikings lost to Packers, 23-20.

Series: Vikings lead 28-14.

Last meeting: Bucs won, 27-24, on Nov. 1, 1998, in Tampa Bay.

Outlook: Minnesota already has lost one more game than it did the entire 1998 regular season. And now the Vikings will try to get their sputtering offense untracked against the team that handed them their lone regular-season loss last year. In that game, the Bucs rushed for a club record 246 yards, with FB Mike Alstott (128 yards) and RB Warrick Dunn (115) doing most of the damage. The teams have split their two-game series in each of the past six seasons. Two of the Bucs' victories during that span came at the Metrodome.

Notable: Bucs defense is No. 1 vs. run, No. 2 vs. pass and leads the league with 13 sacks.


BUCS: Out: CB Floyd Young (hamstring). Questionable: LB Don Davis (hamstring); WR Bert Emanuel (hamstring); LB Jeff Gooch (hamstring); T Jason Odom (back); DT Warren Sapp (hand); DE Steve White (ankle). Probable: DT Anthony McFarland (ankle); G Frank Middleton (knee).

VIKINGS: Out: DE Martin Harrison (knee). Questionable: RB Leroy Hoard (knee). Probable: LB Kailee Wong (hamstring).

N.Y. Jets (0-3) at Denver (0-3)

Time: 4: 15 p.m., Ch. 13.

Line: Broncos by 5 1/2.

Vs. spread: Jets 0-3; Broncos 0-3.

Last week: Jets lost to Redskins, 27-20. Broncos lost to Bucs, 13-10.

Series: Broncos lead 13-12-1.

Last meeting: Broncos won, 23-10, on Jan. 17, 1999, in Denver in AFC championship game.

Outlook: Last season, they met in the AFC championship game. This year, the Jets and Broncos meet in the Loser Bowl. The two teams already have combined for as many losses as they had last year. Whichever team loses today won't be able to find a ladder long enough to climb out of its 0-4 hole. It doesn't get easier for Jets QB Rick Mirer. In eight games against Mirer, Denver's defense has intercepted nine passes and allowed only two touchdown throws.

Notable: Broncos K Jason Elam needs two points to pass Jim Turner for first on club's career scoring list.


JETS: Out: TE Fred Baxter (hip); WR Wayne Chrebet (foot). Doubtful: DT Jason Ferguson (ankle).

BRONCOS: Out: S George Coghill (knee); C K.C. Jones (knee). Probable: LB Glenn Cadrez (neck); QB Brian Griese (finger); T Tony Jones (toe); RB Derek Loville (ankle); WR Ed McCaffrey (head); QB Chris Miller (elbow); LB Bill Romanowski (head); G Mark Schlereth (back-knee); DE Neil Smith (thigh); WR Rod Smith (groin); LB Nate Wayne (knee); DE Alfred Williams (back).

Jacksonville (2-1) at Pittsburgh (2-1)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 9.

Line: Jaguars by 3.

Vs. spread: Jaguars 1-2; Steelers 1-1.

Last week: Jaguars lost to Titans, 20-19. Steelers lost to Seahawks, 29-10.

Series: Tied 4-4.

Last meeting: Jaguars won, 21-3, on Dec. 28, 1998, in Jacksonville.

Outlook: The clubs have met eight times in the past four seasons, and the home team has won every game. Steelers QB Kordell Stewart reverted to his '98 form last week, passing for only 61 yards with three interceptions before being benched for Mike Tomczak. Nothing like a good, old-fashioned quarterback controversy to keep coach Bill Cowher's blood boiling. The game also matches the AFC's top two defenses, No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 2 Jacksonville.

Notable: Steelers RB Jerome Bettis has 429 rushing yards in his past four games vs. the Jaguars.


JAGUARS: Out: LB Tom McManus (foot-IR); DE Renaldo Wynn (ankle). Probable: WR Reggie Barlow (concussion); RB Chris Howard (leg); LB Bryan Schwartz (hamstring); RB Fred Taylor (hamstring); CB Dave Thomas (quadriceps).

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