Today's Games

Nfl Week 9

November 02, 2003|By Chicago Tribune

Indianapolis (6-1) at Miami (5-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 9.

Line: Dolphins by 3.

Key stat: The road team has won six of the past seven meetings in this former AFC East rivalry.

Players to watch: Dolphins QB Brian Griese has a sore thumb but will get a chance to repeat his three-TD-pass performance of last Monday night. Colts QB Peyton Manning leads the NFL with 15 TD passes.

The buzz: It will be strength vs. strength when RB Edgerrin James goes up against the Dolphins' top-ranked rushing defense. Can Manning pass against the Dolphins and CB Patrick Surtain, who leads the league with six interceptions?

San Diego (1-6) at Chicago (2-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bears by 2 1/2 .

Key stat: The Chargers haven't held anyone below 20 points.

Players to watch: The running backs: Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson is averaging 5.1 yards a carry; the Bears' Anthony Thomas is averaging 5.5.

The buzz: Thomas is due back after missing two games with a foot injury, and with him the Bears can control the ball. The Bears' improving run defense has a shot at containing Tomlinson, and QB Chris Chandler has been steady in his first two starts for Chicago.

Oakland (2-5) at Detroit (1-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Raiders by 3.

Key stat: Four of the Raiders' losses have been by seven points or fewer.

Players to watch: QB Marques Tuiasosopo makes his first start for the Raiders. Lions QB Joey Harrington has thrown only eight TD passes against 12 interceptions.

The buzz: The Raiders are 0-4 on the road but had their bye week to prepare for the Lions. As if they needed it. Tuiasosopo should have a smooth ride in place of the injured Rich Gannon.

N.Y. Giants (3-4) at N.Y. Jets (2-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 5.

Line: Giants by 2 1/2 .

Key stat: The Giants have held their past three opponents to 17 points or fewer, but have just one victory to show for it.

Players to watch: Giants' Jeremy Shockey leads NFL tight ends with 37 catches (10.9-yard average). RB Curtis Martin is averaging 4.0 yards a carry for the Jets.

The buzz: The Giants ended a three-game losing streak with an upset of the Vikings and have a chance to build momentum and make a run at a playoff berth. Can QB Chad Pennington make big some big plays for the Jets?

Carolina (6-1) at Houston (2-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Panthers by 6 1/2 .

Key stat: One of the Panthers' victories was by 20 points; the other five have been by an average of 3.2 points.

Players to watch: Panthers DE Mike Rucker leads the AFC with eight sacks. Texans rookie RB Domanick Davis goes for his third straight 100-yard rushing game.

The buzz: QB David Carr is out with an ankle injury, so the Texans have to go with ex-Raven Tony Banks, who hasn't been able to generate much offense. Panthers RB Stephen Davis could improve his 5.1-yard rushing average.

New Orleans (3-5) at Tampa Bay (4-3)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Buccaneers by 8.

Key stat: The Saints won both meetings last season.

Players to watch: Saints RB Deuce McAllister has rushed for 100 yards in his past four games. RB Michael Pittman leads the Bucs with 465 yards rushing, averaging 4.3 a carry.

The buzz: The Bucs, who have lost twice in overtime, are the best 4-3 team the NFL has seen in quite a while. The defense is capable of stopping McAllister, and QB Brad Johnson can beat the Saints with a short passing game.

Pittsburgh (2-5) at Seattle (5-2)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 4 1/2 .

Key stat: The Steelers have lost four straight by an average of 13 points.

Players to watch: Steelers WR Hines Ward is second in the AFC in receptions (46) and TD receptions (five). RB Shaun Alexander is averaging 4.4 yards a carry for the Seahawks.

The buzz: The Steelers continue to fade in the weak AFC North as QB Tommy Maddox disappoints. They haven't been able to run the ball and probably won't start doing it this week.

Cincinnati (3-4) at Arizona (2-5)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Bengals by 3.

Key stat: The Bengals have won two straight (Ravens, Seahawks) since their bye week.

Players to watch: Marcel Shipp is establishing himself as the Cardinals' running back after rushing for 165 yards in last week's win over the 49ers. Bengals WR Chad Johnson is averaging 18.4 yards a catch.

The buzz: The revitalized Bengals hit the road after two home victories over playoff contenders. The Cardinals aren't headed to the playoffs, but the development of Shipp gives them an edge.

Washington (3-4) at Dallas (5-2)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

TV: Chs. 45, 5.

Line: Cowboys by 4 1/2 .

Key stat: It's the Cowboys' No. 1 defense vs. the Redskins' No. 18 offense.

Players to watch: RB Trung Canidate is averaging 4.8 yards a carry for the Redskins. RB Troy Hambrick is getting only 3.2 a carry for the Cowboys.

The buzz: Redskins coach Steve Spurrier and owner Daniel Snyder are feuding again, which doesn't help heading into an old rivalry game. Although QB Patrick Ramsey is having a decent year, the Dallas defense should control the game.

Philadelphia (4-3) at Atlanta (1-6)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Eagles by 4 1/2 .

Key stat: The Eagles have won four of five games since their bye week.

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