Seattle at Cleveland Time: 1 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 3...

September 09, 2001

Seattle at Cleveland

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 3.

Outlook: Butch Davis debuts as Browns coach after an off-season housecleaning. Returning, though, is QB Tim Couch, who had a 63.7 completion percentage in seven starts before getting hurt last year. The Browns may start rookie RB James Jackson, but won't have DE Courtney Brown. The Seahawks are missing three injured cornerbacks - Shawn Springs, Willie Williams and Ike Charlton. New Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck had a preseason passer rating of 116.0, second behind Denver's Brian Griese.

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville

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

Line: Jaguars by 3.

Outlook: The Jaguars are injury-riddled, but still dangerous. In a 34-24 win over the Steelers last November, RB Fred Taylor rushed for a franchise-record 234 yards and four TDs. He also averaged 107.6 yards a game in 2000. The Steelers beefed up their defense with NT Casey Hampton (first round) and LB Kendrell Bell (second). They were the only team to beat both AFC championship game participants, Baltimore and Oakland, last year.

Carolina at Minnesota

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 10.

Outlook: Panthers' Chris Weinke will be the first fourth-round QB rookie to start an opener since Mike Pagel did it for the Baltimore Colts in 1982 (a 24-13 loss to New England). Weinke has a rebuilt offensive line and one of the league's most productive receivers in Muhsin Muhammad. The Vikings feature the game's most dangerous player in WR Randy Moss. He had five catches for 106 yards and a 36-yard TD vs. Carolina last season.

Atlanta at San Francisco

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: 49ers by 3 1/2 .

Outlook: The 49ers won four of their last six a year ago, when their limp defense showed signs of a turnaround. After giving up 32.3 points a game in the first 10 weeks, they allowed just 16.5 in the final six. They've added the draft's best pure pass rusher in DE Andre Carter, and welcomed back DT Dana Stubblefield from the Redskins. Falcons QB Chris Chandler was just 32-for-64 against the 49ers last year.

St. Louis at Philadelphia

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Rams by 3.

Outlook: The Rams' league-leading pass offense goes against the NFC's No. 3 pass defense. St. Louis' 133 TDs and 1,066 points the past two years are NFL records for a two-year span. RB Marshall Faulk produced an NFL record 26 TDs in 2000, and QB Kurt Warner passed for 3,429 yards in only 11 games. The Eagles beat the Rams in their last meeting, the regular-season finale of 1999, by forcing seven turnovers in a game that didn't mean anything to St. Louis.

Miami at Tennessee

Time: 8:30 p.m., ESPN.

Line: Titans by 6.

Outlook: The Dolphins have won their past nine season openers, and their past four games against Tennessee. They blanked the Titans, 17-0, in 1999 when CB Sam Madison picked off three passes. Madison has an NFL-high 20 interceptions since 1998. The Dolphins held QB Steve McNair to a 38.8 passer rating (no TDs, four interceptions) in two games. Miami RB Lamar Smith has 11 TD runs in the past nine regular-season games. Titans RB Eddie George has rushed for a league-high 4,107 yards since 1998.

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