Nfl Week 6 : Today's Games

October 17, 1999

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Jaguars by 17 1/2.

Vs. spread: Browns 2-2; Jaguars 3-2.

Last week: Browns lost to Bengals, 18-17. Jaguars beat Jets, 16-6.

Series: Jaguars lead 2-0.

Last meeting: Jaguars won, 24-21, on Dec. 24, 1995, at Jacksonville.

Outlook: The Browns lost their first two games by an average of 30 points and then lost their last three by a an average of only 6.7 points. Improvement, yes, but hollow compared with the bottom line of winning games. Of course, the Browns are excused, as they gain experience as an expansion franchise while competing against teams that view them as a sure victory. The Jaguars will use the game as achance to tune an offense that has struggled while its defense has roared.

Notable: Jaguars have won 22 of their past 26 games at home.


BROWNS: Out: DE Hurvin McCormack (knee); WR Leslie Shepherd (hamstring); G Steve Zahursky (knee). Questionable: TE Irv Smith (knee). Probable: S Corey Fuller (foot); RB George Jones (knee); CB Antonio Langham (thumb); C Dave Wohlabaugh (ankle).

JAGUARS: Out: DE Eric Curry (knee-injured reserve); TE Damon Jones (knee). Doubtful: DE Renaldo Wynn (ankle). Questionable: RB Fred Taylor (hamstring). Probable: S Carnell Lake (neck); RB James Stewart (hamstring); C John Wade (toe).

Time: 1 p.m., ch. 45.

Line: Vikings by 3 1/2.

Vs. spread: Vikings 0-4; Lions 2-2.

Last week: Vikings lost to Bears, 24-22. Lions lost to Chargers, 20-10.

Series: Vikings lead 46-27-2.

Last meeting: Vikings won, 34-13, on Oct. 25, 1998, at Detroit.

Outlook: What do you get when you match the underachieving Vikings against the overachieving Lions? Most likely, a much closer game than you'd typically expect. Minnesota's offense did flash some signs last week that it's ready to come out of hibernation. Robert Smith rushed for more than 100 yards for the first time this year, and Randy Moss had his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game. After winning their first two games, the Lions have lost two straight.

Notable: Vikings' minus-5 turnover differential is third worst in NFC.


VIKINGS: Doubtful: TE Jim Kleinsasser (shoulder). Questionable: DE John Burrough (foot); WR Matthew Hatchette (ankle). Probable: DT Jerry Ball (ribs); RB Robert Smith (abdomen).

LIONS: Out: LB Steve Boyd (foot); DE Jared DeVries (foot); CB Kywin Supernaw (ankle). Doubtful: T Juan Roque (knee); DE Robert Porcher (ankle); G Tony Semple (elbow). Questionable: CB Lamar Campbell (knee); S Ryan Stewart (groin); CB Bryant Westbrook (hamstring). Probable: DT Luther Elliss (groin); RB Sedrick Irvin (hamstring); WR Herman Moore (knee); T Tony Ramirez (quadriceps).

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 5.

Vs. spread: Steelers 2-2; Bengals 1-4.

Last week: Steelers lost to Bills, 24-21. Bengals beat Browns, 18-17.

Series: Steelers lead 32-25.

Last meeting: Bengals won, 25-24, on Dec. 20, 1998, at Pittsburgh.

Outlook: Akili Smith passed for 221 yards, two touchdowns and led the late, game-winning drive in his first NFL start in the Bengals' victory over Cleveland. He is supported by Corey Dillon, the league's leading rusher. Dillon is a slasher, but the Steelers' Jerome Bettis is a bruiser. The Bengals usually have a rough time stopping Bettis; he has gained 615 rushing yards in his past six games against them.

Notable: Bengals wide receiver Carl Pickens has 67 catches for 917 yards in his past nine games against the Steelers.


STEELERS: Out: DE Nolan Harrison (pectoral). Doubtful: LB Mike Vrabel (arm). Questionable: G Alan Faneca (ankle); DE Orpheus Roye (quadriceps). Probable: WR Will Blackwell (hamstring); S Travis Davis (knee); WR Hines Ward (groin).

BENGALS: Out: TE Steve Bush (knee). Doubtful: CB Rico Clark (ankle); DE John Copeland (elbow); G Mike Goff (knee); S Lawrence Wright (foot-ankle). Probable: RB Clif Groce (shoulder).

Time: 4: 05 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 1 1/2.

Vs. spread: Seahawks 1-3; Chargers 3-1.

Last week: Seahawks had a bye. Chargers beat Lions, 20-10.

Series: Tied 20-20.

Last meeting: Seahawks won, 38-17, on Dec. 13, 1998, at Seattle.

Outlook: This game was not originally considered a matchup that would determine the early AFC West leader, but the Seahawks and Chargers are picking up this division's pieces left by the Broncos' early swoon. The Seahawks have defeated the Chargers five straight times. The Chargers have won despite injuries at quarterback, where Jim Harbaugh recovers from banged ribs and watches Erik Kramer excel. Kramer is especially good late in games, having completed nine of 11 fourth-quarter passes for 77 yards.

Notable: Chargers' defense allows NFL-best 2.7 yards a carry.


SEAHAWKS: Out: T Todd Weiner (ankle). Questionable: WR Fabien Bownes (hamstring); G Brian Habib (knee); WR Charles Jordan (hamstring).

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