Today's Games


November 14, 1999

Carolina (3-5) at St. Louis (6-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 10.

Vs. spread: Panthers 5-3; Rams 6-2.

Last week: Panthers beat Eagles, 33-7. Rams lost to Lions, 31-27.

Series: Panthers lead 5-3.

Last meeting: Panthers won, 20-13, on Dec. 20, 1998, at Carolina.

Outlook: Life on the road has been rough for the Rams the past two weeks, with tough losses at Tennessee and Detroit. They'll try to get back on track at home, where they're 4-0 and have outscored their opponents, 138-40. Carolina is coming off a rout of the Eagles, but the Panthers have had trouble handling success this year. They have yet to win back-to-back games. The Panthers have won five of their past six games against the Rams, including the past three in St. Louis. Of course these aren't the same old sorry Rams.

Notable: Rams' Marshall Faulk leads NFL with 1,072 yards from scrimmage and is on pace for second straight 2,000-yard season.

Kansas City (5-3) at Tampa Bay (4-4)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bucs by 3.

Vs. spread: Chiefs 4-4; Bucs 3-3.

Last week: Chiefs lost to Colts, 25-17. Bucs beat Saints, 31-16.

Series: Chiefs lead 5-2.

Last meeting: Chiefs won, 27-3, on Sept. 5, 1993, at Tampa Bay.

Outlook: Trent Dilfer returned from the the bench last week and torched the Saints for 227 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Maybe Bucs coach Tony Dungy finally has discovered the best way to motivate his strong-armed but inconsistent QB. The Bucs will face a Chiefs team that is undefeated at home but 1-3 on the road. Kansas City, though, has won 12 of its past 14 games against NFC teams.

Notable: Chiefs QB Elvis Grbac has 5 TDs and no interceptions in his past three games.

San Francisco (3-5) at New Orleans (1-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: 49ers by 1.

Vs. spread: 49ers 2-6; Saints 2-5.

Last week: 49ers lost to Steelers, 27-6. Saints lost to Buccaneers, 31-16.

Series: 49ers lead 43-15-2.

Last meeting: 49ers won, 28-21, on Sept. 9, at San Francisco.

Outlook: The 49ers have defeated the Saints seven consecutive times, and coach Steve Mariucci is 5-0 against New Orleans. What's it all mean? Not much, according to the oddsmakers, who know exactly how far the quarterback-challenged 49ers -- Steve Stenstrom gets the starting nod this week -- have fallen. The Saints' seven-game losing streak -- which includes a loss to the expansion Browns -- began when the 49ers scored twice in the final three minutes to beat them.

Notable: Saints recorded five sacks vs. 49ers in Week 2.

Detroit (6-2) at Arizona (2-6)

Time: 4: 15 p.m.

Line: Lions by 5.

Vs. spread: Lions 6-2; Cardinals 3-5.

Last week: Lions beat Rams, 31-27. Cardinals lost to Jets, 12-7.

Series: Lions lead 27-18-5.

Last meeting: Cardinals won, 17-15, on Nov. 1, 1998, at Detroit.

Outlook: Now that they're tied for the best record in the NFC with impressive victories over the Seahawks, Packers, Vikings and Rams, the Lions can forget about sneaking up on anyone else this year. Fortunately for them, they won't need a sneak attack to beat the woeful Cardinals and backup QB Dave Brown, subbing for injured Jake Plummer. The Cardinals are averaging 11.5 points per game, 8.2 over their past five games.

Notable: Gus Frerrotte, who rallied the Lions over the Rams last week, will start at QB due to Charlie Batch's sprained right thumb.

Cleveland (1-8) at Pittsburgh (5-3)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 14 1/2.

Vs. spread: Browns 4-4; Steelers 4-3.

Last week: Browns lost to Ravens, 41-9. Steelers beat 49ers, 27-6.

Series: Browns lead 52-41.

Last meeting: Steelers won, 43-0, on Sept. 12, at Cleveland.

Outlook: One week after kicking the 49ers while they're down, the Steelers get another lightweight. Pittsburgh rushed for 217 yards, held the ball for almost 48 minutes and held the Browns to 40 yards of total offense in the season opener. And now it is payback time. Problem is, there is little the Browns can do for revenge. The Browns used a last-second Hail Mary pass two weeks ago to beat the Saints for their first victory but reverted to prior form last week against the Ravens.

Notable: Steelers coach Bill Cowher has never lost to Browns in Pittsburgh.

Miami (7-1) at Buffalo (6-3)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bills by 3.

Vs. spread: Dolphins 5-3; Bills 4-5.

Last week: Dolphins beat Titans, 17-0. Bills beat Redskins, 34-17.

Series: Dolphins lead 42-24-1.

Last meeting: Bills won, 23-18, on Oct. 4, at Miami.

Outlook: Dolphins lead the AFC East and have won five in a row, but don't expect the Bills to be intimidated. They beat the Dolphins at Miami last month and have won the past two games in this series. Buffalo is coming off an impressive road victory over the Redskins. Not surprisingly, the Bills offense got back on track the same week WR Eric Moulds returned to the starting lineup from a hamstring injury. Bills QB Doug Flutie is 14-2 lifetime as a starter at home. Dolphins QB Damon Huard is 3-0 starting in place of the injured Dan Marino and will start today.

Notable: Dolphins defense has not allowed a TD in last 14 quarters, tops in club history.

Tennessee (6-2) at Cincinnati (1-8)

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