Today's Games

Nfl Week 10

November 09, 2003|By Chicago Tribune

Tampa Bay (4-4) at Carolina (6-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bucs by 3.

Key stat: Under coach Jon Gruden, the Bucs, who lost to the Saints last week, are 7-0 after a defeat.

Players to watch: Pass rushers Michael Rucker (NFL-best 10 sacks) of Carolina and Simeon Rice (nine) of Tampa Bay.

The buzz: This is a pivotal game not just in the NFC South race, but for the NFC playoff picture. The Bucs' four losses have come by a total of 26 points, and they have more at stake. The Bucs' defense should dominate, as it did in their first meeting.

Chicago (3-5) at Detroit (2-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Lions by 2.

Key stat: Bears have lost 11 straight road games.

Players to watch: WR Marty Booker's return after missing three games with ankle injury will help the Bears' offense. Lions QB Joey Harrington has thrown an NFL-high 13 interceptions (vs. nine touchdown passes).

The buzz: Since their victory over the Lions, Booker, RB Anthony Thomas and LB Warrick Holdman have returned from injuries. The Lions' best player, CB Dre' Bly, is not expected to play because of a hamstring injury.

Arizona (3-5) at Pittsburgh (2-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 7.

Key stat: Steelers have lost three straight at home by an average of 16.3 points.

Players to watch: Cardinals RB Marcel Shipp goes for his third straight 100-yard rushing game. Steelers WR Hines Ward is having a solid year with 54 catches, six for TDs.

The buzz: After consecutive home victories over the 49ers and Bengals, Shipp and the Cardinals hit the road. The Steelers are falling apart, but their defense should be tough enough to slow Shipp.

Atlanta (1-7) at N.Y. Giants (4-4)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Giants by 10 1/2 .

Key stat: Giants are 1-3 at home.

Players to watch: DE Michael Strahan (nine sacks) leads a Giants pass rush that has produced 27 sacks. Falcons QB Doug Johnson has thrown six TD passes vs. 10 interceptions.

The buzz: The Falcons haven't won since their opener in Dallas, and the improving Giants aren't likely to let them do it today. QB Kerry Collins should add to his league-leading 2,185 passing yards.

Cleveland (3-5) at Kansas City (8-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 13.

Line: Chiefs by 9 1/2 .

Key stat: Chiefs lead the league with turnover differential of plus-18.

Players to watch: Chiefs RB Priest Holmes leads NFL with 12 rushing TDs and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Browns RB James Jackson is averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

The buzz: Jackson gets playing time because starter William Green has been suspended, meaning the Browns are not likely to have much of an offense. The Chiefs have won their four home games by an average of 17 points.

Houston (3-5) at Cincinnati (3-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bengals by 5 1/2 .

Key stat: Bengals have won both home games (Ravens, Seahawks) since their bye week.

Players to watch: Bengals QB Jon Kitna tossed four TD passes in the teams' last meeting. Texans rookie RB Domanick Davis is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

The buzz: Under new coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have taken on a new toughness. Their defense has struggled at times, but Houston's offense hasn't developed. QB David Carr is expected to return to the Texans' lineup.

Miami (5-3) at Tennessee (6-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Titans by 5.

Key stat: Dolphins are 4-0 on the road (Jets, Giants, Jaguars, Chargers).

Players to watch: Titans QB Steve McNair leads NFL in passing with 105.1 rating, including 13 TD passes and only three interceptions. RB Ricky Williams is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry for the Dolphins.

The buzz: The Dolphins haven't beaten a team that currently has a winning record, and they're not about to start in this game. McNair and Derrick Mason (44 catches, four TDs) are becoming one of the NFL's leading passing combinations.

Seattle (6-2) at Washington (3-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 45, 5.

Line: Seahawks by 3.

Key stat: Redskins have lost four straight by an average of 12 points.

Players to watch: LB Chad Brown leads the Seahawks with four sacks, including two last week. WR Laveranues Coles has slowed down after a fast start, but he still leads the Redskins with 46 catches.

The buzz: Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey has been sacked 26 times, not the kind of stat that leads to many victories. Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck should have time to throw, and RB Shaun Alexander should find room to run.

Indianapolis (7-1) at Jacksonville (1-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 6.

Key stat: Colts have won all five meetings.

Players to watch: The quarterbacks: Jaguars rookie Byron Leftwich is throwing interceptions (nine in 180 passes) as the Colts' Peyton Manning is throwing TD passes (16 in 270 passes).

The buzz: This hasn't exactly developed into a big AFC South rivalry, and this game isn't likely to start it. The Colts should be able to control things with RB Edgerrin James running, and they have more weapons than the Jaguars can handle.

Minnesota (6-2) at San Diego (1-7)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 5 1/2 .

Key stat: Vikings have won five straight road games, including the last two of 2002.

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