NFL Week 7: Today's Games

October 24, 1999

Chicago (3-3) at Tampa Bay (2-3) Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Buccaneers by 8.

Vs. spread: Bears 5-1; Buccaneers 2-1.

Last week: Bears lost to Eagles, 20-16. Buccaneers had a bye.

Series: Bears lead 30-12.

Last meeting: Buccaneers won, 31-17, on Oct. 29, 1998, at Chicago.

Outlook: The Buccaneers have won the past three games against the Bears, averaging 172.3 rushing yards during that streak. Trent Dilfer bashers beware: the Bears are one team he has owned. In his past five starts against the Bears, he is 4-1 with a passer rating of 107.8. The Bears counter with a defense that has forced 17 turnovers, tied for the league lead, and recorded an NFC-high 20 sacks. Tampa Bay had a week off to recover from close, painful road losses to the Vikings and Packers.

Notable: Buccaneers have won five of past seven at home vs. Bears.

Injuries:

BEARS: Out: RB James Allen (knee); WR Curtis Conway (ankle); LB Sean Harris (ankle); QB Shane Matthews (hamstring).

BUCCANEERS: Out: WR Bert Emanuel (hamstring). Questionable: DE John McLaughlin (shoulder). Probable: RB Warrick Dunn (knee); DT Warren Sapp (hand); DE Steve White (ankle); CB Floyd Young (hamstring).

Denver (2-4)

at New England (4-2)

Time: 1 p.m., chs. 13, 9.

Line: Patriots by 3 1/2.

Vs. spread: Broncos 2-3; Patriots 2-3.

Last week: Broncos beat Packers, 31-10. Patriots lost to Dolphins, 31-30.

Series: Broncos lead 20-12.

Last meeting: Broncos won, 27-21, on Sept. 7, 1998, at Denver.

Outlook: After an 0-4 start, the Broncos have won two straight. Don't be surprised if their resurgence continues today at Foxboro Stadium. The Broncos haven't lost to the Patriots since 1980. They've won 11 in a row, including one playoff game. After a 4-0 start, the Patriots have lost two in a row.

Notable: Broncos QB Brian Griese has posted a passer rating of 96.3 in his past two starts.

Injuries:

BRONCOS: Out: TE Desmond Clark (knee); TE Shannon Sharpe (clavicle). Questionable: QB Bubby Brister (hip); RB Howard Griffith (neck); RB Derek Loville (hamstring); CB Chris Watson (ankle). Probable: DT Cyron Brown (shoulder); LB Glenn Cadrez (shoulder); S George Coghill (knee); RB Olandis Gary (toe); QB Brian Griese (finger); CB Tory James (hamstring); C K.C. Jones (knee); QB Chris Miller (elbow); DT Trevor Pryce (toe); G Mark Schlereth (back); RB Detron Smith (shoulder); WR Rod Smith (groin); DE Maa Tanuvasa (concussion); LB Artie Ulmer (knee); LB Nate Wayne (knee); DE Alfred Williams (knee).

PATRIOTS: Out: LB Ted Johnson (biceps). Doubtful: RB Chris Floyd (knee); LB Bernard Russ (knee); RB Harold Shaw (quadriceps). Questionable: WR Troy Brown (ankle); LB Tedy Bruschi (knee). Probable: WR Shawn Jefferson (knee); CB Tebucky Jones (hamstring); DT Henry Thomas (foot).

Green Bay (3-2) at San Diego (4-1)

Time: 4: 05 p.m.

Line: Packers by 3.

Vs. spread: Packers 1-4; Chargers 4-1.

Last week: Packers lost to Broncos, 31-10. Chargers beat Seahawks, 13-10.

Series: Packers lead 5-1.

Last meeting: Packers beat Chargers, 42-10, on Sept. 15, 1996, at Green Bay.

Outlook: The Packers had better hope last week's loss to the Broncos was an aberration. QB Brett Favre, a three-time league MVP, turned in one of the worst games of his career. San Diego leads the AFC West and is turning into one of the league's biggest suprises.

Notable: Chargers have not allowed 100-yard rusher in 24 straight games, NFL's top active streak.

Injuries:

PACKERS: Out: WR Jahine Arnold (knee-injured reserve). Questionable: DT Santana Dotson (neck); DE Cletidus Hunt (ankle). Probable: DT Gilbert Brown (knee); T Eart Dotson (back); QB Brett Favre (thumb); WR Desmond Howard (finger).

CHARGERS: Out: QB Ryan Leaf (shoulder). Doubtful: CB Charles Dimry (knee); S Rodney Harrison (shoulder); LB Eric Hill (knee-foot); WR Charlie Jones (hip). Questionable: CB Darryll Lewis (hamstring); T Vaughn Parker (hamstring). Probable: LB Michael Hamilton (hamstring); CB Scott Turner (hamstring).

Cincinnati (1-5) at Indianapolis (3-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 10 1/2.

Vs. spread: Bengals 1-5; Colts 3-1.

Last week: Bengals lost to Steelers, 17-3. Colts beat Jets, 16-13.

Series: Colts lead 10-8.

Last meeting: Colts won, 39-26, on Dec. 13, 1998, at Indianapolis.

Outlook: As a rookie last year against the Bengals, Colts QB Peyton Manning completed 65.4 percent of his throws and posted a passer rating of 128.7. Those numbers should only go up this season. Manning already has thrown for 1,395 yards and has been sacked only twice. The Bengals will try to keep the ball out of Manning's hands. That means having rookie QB Akili Smith hand off to RB Corey Dillon, the NFL's leading rusher.

Notable: Five of past seven meetings have been decided by seven points or less.

Injuries:

BENGALS: Doubtful: TE Steve Bush (knee). Probable: RB Corey Dillon (foot); G Mike Goff (knee).

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