New England (6-4) at Buffalo (7-4)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Bills by 4 1/2.
Vs. spread: Patriots 3-6; Bills 5-6.
Last week: Patriots lost to Dolphins, 27-17. Bills lost to Jets, 17-7.
Series: Patriots lead 40-36-1.
Last meeting: Patriots won, 25-21, on Nov. 29, 1998, at New England.
Outlook: The loser of this game can all but count itself out of the AFC East title race. The Patriots have won four of their past five games against the Bills, but their one loss came the last time they visited Ralph Wilson Stadium in 1998. New England is coming off back-to-back losses to the Jets and Dolphins, and QB Drew Bledsoe is in a huge slump. Last week he was intercepted a career-high five times.
Notable: Bledsoe is 7-2 with 2,191 yards passing, 16 TDs and five interceptions in past nine starts vs. Bills.
PATRIOTS: Out: LB Ted Johnson (biceps). Questionable: LB Vernon Crawford (knee). Probable: DE Ferric Collons (shoulder); RB Kevin Faulk (shoulder); RB Harold Shaw (quadriceps).
BILLS: Out: G Joe Panos (neck); RB Thurman Thomas (liver contusion); G Dusty Zeigler (excused-personal absence). Questionable: TE Sheldon Jackson (ankle); DB Daryl Porter (foot); DT Shawn Price (lower back); TE Jay Riemersma (groin); RB Antowain Smith (toe).
Tampa Bay (6-4) at Seattle (8-2)
Time: 4: 05 p.m., Ch. 45.
Line: Seahawks by 5 1/2.
Vs. spread: Buccaneers 5-3; Seahawks 5-5.
Last week: Buccaneers beat Falcons, 19-10. Seahawks beat Chiefs, 31-19.
Series: Seahawks lead 4-0.
Last meeting: Seahawks won, 17-13, on Sept. 22, 1996, at Tampa Bay.
Outlook: Seahawks have won five in row and lead the Raiders and Chiefs by three games in the AFC West. Seattle is threatening to run away with the division title, but it will face a streaking Bucs team that has won three in a row and is tied for first in the NFC Central. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren is no stranger to Tampa Bay. While at Green Bay he was 6-1 against the Bucs, including a playoff victory.
Notable: Buccaneers have allowed 20 or fewer points in five consecutive games.
BUCCANEERS: Out: G Ken Blackman (knee); T Jason Odom (back). Doubtful: G Todd Washington (quadriceps); CB Floyd Young (shoulder). Questionable: C Tony Mayberry (back); QB Eric Zeier (rib). Probable: RB Mike Alstott (rib); LB Derrick Brooks (ankle); DT Brad Culpepper (foot); LB Jamie Duncan (flu); T Paul Gruber (abdomen); DT Warren Sapp (flu).
SEAHAWKS: Out: LB DeShone Myles (knee). Doubtful: S Brian Walker (hamstring). Questionable: DT Sam Adams (knee); LB Darrin Smith (groin); RB Mack Strong (neck); CB Willie Williams (concussion).
Arizona (4-6) at N.Y. Giants (5-5)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Giants by 6.
Vs. spread: Cardinals 5-5; Giants 5-5.
Last week: Cardinals beat Cowboys, 13-9. Giants lost to Redskins, 23-13.
Series: Giants lead 73-38-2.
Last meeting: Cardinals won, 14-3, on Oct. 10, at Arizona.
Outlook: After back-to-back victories over Lions and Cowboys, Cardinals now will try to sweep the Giants, who have lost two in a row. Cardinals DT Eric Swann has had two sacks in each of those victories, and he'll take aim today at New York QB Kerry Collins, who replaced Kent Graham in the starting lineup. Cardinals rookie WR David Boston caught eight passes for 101 yards and a TD in win over Giants last month.
Notable: Cardinals QB Jake Plummer, who broke his finger Oct. 17, has been cleared to play, but Dave Brown is expected to start today.
CARDINALS: Out: DE Andre Wadsworth (knee). Doubtful: RB Michael Pittman (toe). Questionable: T-G James Dexter (triceps). Probable: RB Mario Bates (hamstring); S Tommy Bennett (hip); QB Dave Brown (shoulder); QB Jake Plummer (finger); WR Frank Sanders (knee).
GIANTS: Out: CB Conrad Hamilton (knee); CB Andre Weathers (knee); S Shaun Williams (hamstring). Doubtful: LB Marcus Buckley (leg/concussion); CB Bashir Levingston (concussion). Questionable: QB Kent Graham (concussion); RB Joe Montgomery (foot).
New Orleans (2-8) at St. Louis (8-2)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Rams by 14.
Vs. spread: Saints 3-6; Rams 8-2.
Last week: Saints lost to Jaguars, 41-23. Rams beat 49ers, 23-7.
Series: Rams lead 32-26.
Last meeting: Saints won, 24-3, on Nov. 15, 1998, at New Orleans.
Outlook: How's this for strange but true: the Rams can win the NFC West title today if they beat the Saints and the Panthers lose to the Falcons. The Rams haven't won the West since 1985. They can tie the 1985 Bears and 1997 49ers for the earliest clinching (11 games) since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978. Saints rookie RB Ricky Williams has rushed for 524 yards in his past five games, but turf toe will sideline him today, coach Mike Ditka said.
Notable: Rams have won six games by 20 points or more this season.
SAINTS: Out: LB Ink Aleaga (knee); WR Brett Bech (abdomen); QB Billy Joe Tolliver (knee). Doubtful: DE Jared Tomich (ankle); RB Ricky Williams (toe). Questionable: LB Chris Bordano (ankle); CB Tyronne Drakeford (shoulder); TE Josh Wilcox (shoulder). Probable: LB Mark Fields (back); S Chris Hewitt (knee); RB Marvin Powell (neck).