Nfl Week 17: Today's Games

January 02, 2000

Arizona (6-9) at Green Bay (7-8)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Packers by 7 1/2.

Vs. spread: Cardinals 6-9; Packers 6-8.

Last week: Cardinals lost to Falcons, 37-14. Packers lost to Buccaneers, 29-10.

Series: Packers lead 39-21-4.

Last meeting: Packers won, 24-21, on Nov. 18, 1990, at Arizona.

Outlook: Green Bay is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1992. The Packers can make it in if they beat Arizona and the Giants beat Dallas at Texas Stadium. Then the NFC's final wild-card spot would come down to a tie-breaker -- net points in conference games -- between the Packers, Giants and, if they win today, the Panthers. Currently, Green Bay owns that edge.

Notable: Cardinals DE Simeon Rice has 4 1/2 sacks in past five games.

Injuries:

CARDINALS: Out: S Tommy Bennett (knee); G Lester Holmes (knee); DT Rashod Swinger (knee). Doubtful: RB Michael Pittman (toe); T L.J. Shelton (ankle); DT Eric Swann (knee). Questionable: DE Brad Ottis (knee); DE Andre Wadsworth (knee). Probable: T Anthony Clement (knee); CB Tom Knight (back); QB Jake Plummer (back).

PACKERS: Out: S Scott McGarrahan (hamstring-injured reserve); RB De'Mond Parker (knee-injured reserve). Questionable: DE Vaughn Booker (pneumonia); LB Anthony Davis (hamstring); T Ross Verba (knee). Probable: T Earl Dotson (back); TE Jeff Thomason (hamstring).

Indianapolis (13-2) at Buffalo (10-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 2.

Vs. spread: Colts 9-4; Bills 7-7.

Last week: Colts beat Browns, 29-28. Bills beat Patriots, 13-10 in OT.

Series: Bills lead 33-24-1.

Last meeting: Colts won, 31-14, on Sept. 12, at Indianapolis.

Outlook: Indianapolis has won the AFC East and clinched a first-round bye, but it is still fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Colts thrashed the Bills in their first meeting, but have won at Buffalo only once since 1988. The Bills are in the playoffs, but they'll hit the road for a wild-card game whether they win or lose today.

Notable: If Peyton Manning gets 28 yards passing, the Colts will become the second team ever with a 4,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher (Edgerrin James, 1,503) and 1,500-yard receiver (Marvin Harrison, 1,612).

Injuries:

COLTS: Questionable: DE Brad Scioli (groin). Probable: LB Michael Barber (knee); CB Tony Blevins (neck); TE Ken Dilger (neck); WR Marvin Harrison (elbow); QB Kelly Holcomb (virus); RB Edgerrin James (knee/ankle); QB Peyton Manning (ankle); CB Steve Muhammad (flu); WR Jerome Pathon (shoulder); LB Spencer Reid (knee); DE Mark Thomas (knee).

BILLS: Out: G Joe Panos (neck). Doubtful: G Jerry Ostroski (knee). Questionable: LB Dan Brandenburg (leg); RB Sam Gash (ribs); DE Phil Hansen (ribs). Probable: RB Jonathan Linton (lower back).

St. Louis (13-2) at Philadelphia (4-11)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 8.

Vs. spread: Rams 13-2; Eagles 9-6.

Last week: Rams beat Bears, 34-12. Eagles had a bye.

Series: Rams lead 15-13-1.

Last meeting: Eagles won, 17-14, on Dec. 3, 1998, at Philadelphia.

Outlook: The Rams already have won the NFC West, earned a first-round bye and clinched home-field advantage. So they'll use their regular-season finale as a final tune-up for the playoffs and a chance to pad their gaudy statistics. St. Louis has scored 495 points and needs 19 more to move into third place on the league's all-time list. With a bye last week, the Eagles have had plenty of time to prepare for the challenge. Philadelphia leads the NFC with 39 take-aways, including 24 interceptions.

Notable: Rams RB Marshall Faulk leads the league with 2,323 yards from scrimmage and needs 36 to break the NFL record.

Injuries:

RAMS: Out: S Keith Lyle (shoulder). Doubtful: LB Leonard Little (hamstring). Questionable: RB Amp Lee (hamstring).

EAGLES: Out: CB Bobby Taylor (jaw-injured reserve). Doubtful: DT Brandon Whiting (knee). Questionable: QB Doug Pederson (rib). Probable: RB Eric Bieniemy (knee); QB Donovan McNabb (knee).

N.Y. Giants (7-8) at Dallas (7-8)

Time: 4: 05 p.m., Ch. 45.

Line: Cowboys by 6 1/2.

Vs. spread: Giants 7-8; Cowboys 7-8.

Last week: Giants lost to Vikings, 34-17. Cowboys lost to Saints, 31-24.

Series: Cowboys lead 46-26-2.

Last meeting: Giants won, 13-10, on Oct. 18, at New York.

Outlook: The playoff race has become very simple for the Cowboys. Win and they're in. Lose and they're out. The Giants have one realistic playoff formula: a victory over Dallas combined with a Packers loss or tie. The Giants beat the Cowboys earlier this season at Giants Stadium when Brad Daluiso kicked a 21-yard field goal with one second left. Both teams have lost two consecutive games, but the Cowboys have been difficult to defeat at home, where they have won six of seven.

Notable: Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith has eight 100-yard rushing games, his most since 1995.

Injuries:

GIANTS: Out: TE Dan Campbell (hamstring); CB Jason Sehorn (leg). Doubtful: CB Phillippi Sparks (groin). Questionable: TE Pete Mitchell (ankle); RB Joe Montgomery (ribs); C Brian Williams (knee).

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