Today's Games

Nfl Week 11

November 16, 2003|By Chicago Tribune

St. Louis (6-3) at Chicago (3-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 6.

Players to watch: In his second game back from injury, Rams RB Marshall Faulk will get the ball often. How often will the Bears give the ball to RB Anthony Thomas, averaging 4.6 yards per carry?

The buzz: WR Torry Holt, who leads the NFL with 66 catches, will challenge the Bears' secondary. Faulk will challenge the line and linebackers. The Bears' offense again will struggle to hold up its end of the deal.

Houston (3-6) at Buffalo (4-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bills by 7.

Players to watch: Texans RB Domanick Davis leads NFL rookies with 587 rushing yards). Bills QB Drew Bledsoe has thrown only six touchdown passes vs. eight interceptions.

The buzz: The Bills' offense has all but disappeared, totaling 11 points in the past two games, losses to Dallas and Kansas City. Unless Bledsoe can get something going early, an upset is possible.

Washington (4-5) at Carolina (7-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 45, 5.

Line: Panthers by 6.

Players to watch: WR Laveranues Coles has 51 catches and four 100-yard games for the Redskins. WR Steve Smith leads the Panthers with 52 catches, five for touchdowns.

The buzz: If RB Stephen Davis' sore ankle doesn't keep him out or slow him down, he'll have a shot at a big day against his old team. Even if he doesn't, the Panthers are a confident bunch with a three-game lead in the NFC South.

Jacksonville (2-7) at Tennessee (7-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Titans by 10.

Players to watch: RB Fred Taylor is averaging 4.2 yards a carry for Jaguars. Titans QB Steve McNair's big year continues: 15 touchdown passes vs. three interceptions.

The buzz: Tennessee's top-ranked rushing defense figures to shut down Taylor, and even though rookie QB Byron Leftwich is coming off his best game, the Jaguars won't be able to score enough.

Atlanta (2-7) at New Orleans (4-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Saints by 8 1/2 .

Players to watch: Saints QB Aaron Brooks has thrown 13 touchdown passes vs. six interceptions. Falcons QB Kurt Kittner, who starts this third straight game, has thrown two touchdown passes vs. four interceptions.

The buzz: The Saints were off last week, plenty of time to rest up for a Falcons team that still is playing without Michael Vick. Only another huge game from Warrick Dunn (who had 178 rushing yards in the upset of the Giants last week) can save the Falcons.

Arizona (3-6) at Cleveland (3-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Browns by 6.

Players to watch: Browns WR Andre Davis (21 catches, four for touchdowns) takes on bigger role after the surprise release of Kevin Johnson. Cardinals RB Marcel Shipp has averaged 107 rushing yards in his four starts.

The buzz: If they weren't playing the Cardinals, the Browns might be in trouble after a week that featured Johnson's release and the four-game suspension of leading rusher William Green. But QB Kelly Holcomb should do just enough.

Kansas City (9-0) at Cincinnati (4-5)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Chiefs by 6.

Players to watch: Bengals QB Jon Kitna is quietly having a solid year (13 touchdown passes vs. nine interceptions). Chiefs QB Trent Green has thrown 14 touchdown passes vs. seven interceptions.

The buzz: The Bengals quickly have become a tough team to beat in Cincinnati, and the Chiefs' unbeaten season will be on the line. RB Priest Holmes, averaging 4.7 yards a carry with a league-leading 14 touchdowns, needs a big game.

N.Y. Giants (4-5) at Philadelphia (6-3)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Eagles by 3 1/2 .

Players to watch: Giants DE Michael Strahan is tied for the NFL lead with 11 sacks. Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has thrown only five touchdown passes vs. seven interceptions.

The buzz: Will the Giants begin to fade away after last week's stunning home loss to the Falcons? Unless the Eagles are spending too much time celebrating their Monday night victory in Green Bay, they should win for the seventh time in eight games.

N.Y. Jets (3-6) at Indianapolis (7-2)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Colts by 6.

Players to watch: Jets QB Chad Pennington has thrown 28 touchdown passes vs. six interceptions in 14 career starts. Colts QB Peyton Manning leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes.

The buzz: The Colts will try to bounce back after an upset loss in Jacksonville, but now it's the Jets who have a shot at an upset. The Pennington-to-Santana Moss connection may be tough on a shaky Colts defense.

San Diego (2-7) at Denver (5-4)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Broncos by 8

Players to watch: After leading the Chargers to an upset of the Vikings last week, QB Doug Flutie remains the starter. RB Clinton Portis has rushed for 100 yards in his past three games against the Chargers, and is averaging 5.1 yards a carry for the season.

The buzz: The Broncos were 4-1 when QB Jake Plummer left the lineup with a broken foot, and he's expected to return today.

Detroit (3-6) at Seattle (6-3)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 10 1/2 .

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