Nfl Week 3

September 17, 2000

Atlanta (1-1) at Carolina (1-1)Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Panthers by 6 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Falcons 1-1; Panthers 2-0.

Series: Tied 5-5.

Last meeting: Panthers won, 34-28, on Nov. 11, 1999, at Carolina.

Outlook: The Falcons have allowed 70 points in two games, and it probably won't get any better against the Panthers, who look like the second-best team in the NFC West. Carolina has invested heavily in its defensive line, and if the line can mount a decent rush, the Panthers should get to Atlanta QB Chris Chandler. RB Jamal Anderson has 115 yards on 31 carries for the Falcons, but he's still not close to 100 percent.

Notable: Falcons have averaged 35.3 points in their past three games vs. the Panthers.

Injuries:

FALCONS: Out-LB Chris Draft (hamstring); WR Tim Dwight (appendicitis); WR Jamie German (ankle). Doubtful-DT Ed Jasper (ankle); QB Danny Kanell (finger). Questionable-DT Shane Dronett (arm/knee); LB Mark Simoneau (groin).

PANTHERS: Out-T James Dexter (elbow). Doubtful-LB Hannibal Navies (knee). Questionable-DE Sean Gilbert (groin); WR Muhsin Muhammad (finger); DE Chuck Smith (knee). Probable-TE Kris Mangum (flu); LB Dean Wells (neck); LB Lee Woodall (flu).

Buffalo (2-0) at New York Jets (2-0)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 9.

Line: Jets by 1.

Vs. spread: Bills 2-0; Jets 1-1.

Series: Bills lead 44-34.

Last meeting: Jets won, 17-7, on Nov. 21, 1999, at New York.

Outlook: After home wins over the Titans and Packers, this will be the first road test game for the Bills, who have been winning behind an impressive young defense that hasn't missed DE Bruce Smith at all. They're second in the league against the run, led by LB Sam Cowart and linemen Ted Washington and Pat Williams, who combined carry almost 700 pounds. Jets QB Vinny Testaverde has looked rusty after missing all of last year. But he woke up with 10 minutes left against New England on Monday night, passing for two TDs to WR Wayne Chrebet that won the game.

Notable: Bills' Rob Johnson is 6-0 with a 121.3 QB rating (10 TDs, one interception) in his past six starts.

Injuries:

BILLS: Doubtful-G Joe Panos (foot); DE Shawn Price (knee). Questionable-QB Doug Flutie (groin); LB Sam Rogers (shoulder).

JETS: None reported.

Cincinnati (0-1) at Jacksonville (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 13.

Line: Jaguars by 13.

Vs. spread: Bengals 0-1; Jaguars 1-0.

Series: Jaguars lead 6-4.

Last meeting: Jaguars won, 24-7, on Jan. 2, 2000, at Jacksonville.

Outlook: RB Fred Taylor is out one more week for the Jaguars, and this is as good a week as any, facing the lowly Bengals. It wasn't a good week for the Bengals, who lost their opener in new Paul Brown Stadium to Cleveland; lost LB Brian Simmons, one of their best players, and are going against a team that will be hungry after blowing a 23-7 halftime lead against the Ravens. The Bengals must figure a way to stop WR Jimmy Smith, who has an NFL-high 21 catches and four TDs.

Notable: Jaguars have won 29 of their past 33 at home and 16 of their past 21 division games.

Injuries:

BENGALS: Out-RB Michael Basnight (wrist); LB Brian Simmons (knee). Questionable-TE Tony McGee (foot).

JAGUARS: Out-T Leon Searcy (leg). Doubtful-LB Brant Boyer (groin). Questionable-DT Emarlos Leroy (calf); RB Fred Taylor (knee); K Mike Hollis (back). Probable-C John Wade (foot).

Philadelphia (1-1) at Green Bay (0-2)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 5.

Line: Packers by 4 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Eagles 1-1; Packers 0-2.

Series: Packers lead 21-9.

Last meeting: Packers won, 24-16, on Nov. 29, 1998, at Green Bay.

Outlook: The excitement over the Eagles has diminished after their beating by the Giants last week, but they remain a better team than last year. This would be an interesting game for QB Donovan McNabb to break out, because the Green Bay defense has been unimpressive. One good omen for the Packers was the 14 straight completions by sore-elbowed Brett Favre against Buffalo last week.

Notable: Eagles RB Duce Staley is tied for tops in the NFC with 331 yards from scrimmage.

Injuries:

EAGLES: Questionable-WR Na Brown (hand); WR Torrance Small (hamstring). Probable-QB Donovan McNabb (hip); C Bubba Miller (elbow).

PACKERS: Out-WR Corey Bradford (leg); T Earl Dotson (back); CB Mike McKenzie (knee); LB Brian Williams (knee). Doubtful-CB-S Antuan Edwards (knee); DE Billy Lyon (knee); RB Basil Mitchell (knee). Questionable-RB Dorsey Levens (knee). Probable-DT Santana Dotson (knee); QB Brett Favre (elbow); DE John Thierry (knee).

Pittsburgh (0-1) at Cleveland (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 2 1/2 .

Vs. spread: Steelers 0-1; Browns 1-1.

Series: Browns lead 53-41.

Last meeting: Browns won, 16-15, on Nov. 14, 1999, at Pittsburgh.

Outlook: This rivalry is certainly not what it used to be. The second-year Browns are bad, yet they might be better than the Steelers and Bengals, whom they beat last week, 24-7. Pittsburgh was shut out, 16-0, at home by the Ravens in their opener and then got a week off, presumably to figure out that having two mediocre quarterbacks (Kent Graham and Kordell Stewart) is like having none at all.

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