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Sunday, November 9, 2003



Time/on the air: 1 p.m. TV - WRLH-35. Radio - WRNL (910), WJMO (105.7), 12:45 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 3.

Last meeting: Redskins won 14-3 at Seattle on Nov. 3, 2002.

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

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

Outlook: Washington quarterback Patrick Ramsey has been sacked 26 times, not the kind of stat that leads to many victories. Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck should have time to throw and Shaun Alexander room to run.

The Wrath of Woody: "Blitzes?" muttered Redskins coach Steve Spurrier as he watches Seahawks pass rushers pursue Patrick Ramsey. "I thought the scouting report said they were going to bring 'blintzes.' I've got to remember to wear my glasses when I'm reading those dang things." Washington 23, Seattle 20. MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-3)


Time/TV: 1 p.m. WTVR-6

Line: Titans by 5½.

Last meeting: Dolphins won 31-23 at Tennessee on Sept. 9, 2001.

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

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

Outlook: 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, 4 TDs) are becoming one of the NFL's leading passing combinations.

The Wrath of Woody: The Titans know how to use a bye week to prepare to beat a tough opponent. Tennessee 23, Miami 17. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-4)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bucs by 3.

Last meeting: Panthers won 12-9 in OT at Tampa on Sept. 14.

Key stat: Under coach Jon Gruden, the Bucs, who lost to 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 (9) of Tampa.

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

The Wrath of Woody: Let's see, yes, this is the Bucs week to win a game. Tampa 17, Carolina 16. CHICAGO BEARS (3-5)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Lions by 2.

Last meeting: Bears won 24-16 at Soldier Field on Oct. 26.

Key stat: Bears have lost 11 consecutive road games.

Players to watch: Marty Booker returns to Bears lineup after missing three games with ankle injury will help offense. Lions' Joey Harrington has thrown an NFL-high 13 interceptions (vs. 9 touchdowns).

Outlook: Since Bears' victory over the Lions, Booker, running back Anthony Thomas and linebacker Warrick Holdman have returned from injuries. The Lions' best player, cornerback Dre' Bly, is not expected to play because of a hamstring injury.

The Wrath of Woody: Instead of the NFL network, this game will be featured on the Cartoon Network. Chicago 12, Detroit 10. ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-5)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 7.

Last meeting: Steelers won 26-20 in OT at Arizona on Nov. 30, 1997.

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

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

Outlook: After consecutive home victories over 49ers and Bengals, Cardinals and Shipp hit the road. Steelers are falling apart, but their defense will have enough to slow Shipp.

The Wrath of Woody: Can the Steelers get back in the playoff race? Probably not. Pittsburgh 17, Arizona 16. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-7)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Giants by 10½.

Last meeting: Falcons won 17-10 at New York on Oct. 13, 2002.

Key stat: Giants are 1-3 at home.

Players to watch: Michael Strahan leads Giants' pass rush (9 sacks). Falcons' Doug Johnson has thrown six TD passes vs. 10 interceptions.

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

The Wrath of Woody: Disaster always is one step away for the Giants, and they somehow manage to avoid taking that step. New York Giants 27, Atlanta 10. CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-5)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Chiefs by 9½.

Last meeting: Chiefs won 40-39 at Cleveland on Sept. 8, 2002.

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

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

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

The Wrath of Woody: The Chiefs will lose, but not this week. Kansas City 17, Cleveland 14. HOUSTON TEXANS (3-5)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bengals by 5.

Last meeting: Bengals won 38-3 at Houston on Nov. 3, 2002.

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 teams' last meeting. Texans rookie Domanick Davis averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

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

The Wrath of Woody: The Texans still aren't quite good enough to win a tough road game. Cincinnati 21, Houston 20. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-1)


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 6.

Last meeting: Colts won 23-13 at Indianapolis on Sept. 21.

Key stat: Colts have won all five meetings.

Players to watch: The quarterbacks: Jaguars rookie Byron Leftwich is throwing interceptions (9 in 180 passes) as Colts' Peyton Manning is throwing TD passes (16 in 270 passes).

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

The Wrath of Woody: The Jaguars will be scoreboard watching. They can't afford to let the Falcons get ahead of them in the race for the first pick in the draft. Indianapolis 37, Jacksonville 13. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-2)


Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 5½.

Last meeting: Vikings won 35-27 at Minnesota on Nov. 28, 1999.

Key stat: Vikings have won five consecutive road games, including last two of '02.

Players to watch: Two of the game's most exciting offensive players: Vikings' Randy Moss leads NFL with nine TD receptions; Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

Outlook: Chargers play first time in San Diego since wildfires forced many of them to evacuate their homes. Vikings have lost two consecutive, but Moss could have a big day against a shaky secondary.

The Wrath of Woody: Winning a game in the NFL is tough. No one knows that better than Marty Schottenheimer. Minnesota 24, San Diego 20. NEW YORK JETS (2-6)


Time/On the air: 4:15 p.m. Radio - WRNL (910)

Line: Jets by 3.

Last meeting: Raiders won 30-10 in Oakland on Jan. 12, 2003 in AFC semifinals.

Key stat: Raiders have won 10 of past 12 meetings.

Players to watch: Jets' Shaun Ellis having a big year, leading AFC with 9½ sacks. Raiders' Jerry Rice has 37 catches but no TDs.

Outlook: The Raiders love playing the Jets and have a chance to end their four-game losing streak, which began with a loss to the Bears. However, they're down to their third-string quarterback, Rick Mirer.

The Wrath of Woody: Hurricane Isabel took down trees that still are less splintered than the Raiders. New York Jets 27, Oakland 16. BUFFALO BILLS (4-4)


Time/On the air: 4:15 p.m. TV - WTVR-6 . Radio - WRNL (910), 12:45 p.m.

Line: Cowboys by 4.

Last meeting: Bills won 10-7 at Buffalo on Sept. 22, 1996.

Key stat: Cowboys are the only team in the top five in total defense, rushing defense and pass defense.

Players to watch: How much will Bills use newly activated Willis McGahee? Troy Hambrick leads the Cowboys with 544 yards rushing, five for TDs.

Outlook: The Bills were off last week, giving them time to do something about an offense that has been held to fewer than 10 points in three of the past six games. Cowboys' top-ranked defense could have a big day.

The Wrath of Woody: The Cowboys aren't doing this with smoke and mirrors. Dallas 19, Buffalo 17. BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-3)


Time/on the air: 8:30 p.m. TV - ESPN (Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire, Mike Patrick). Radio - WRNL (910), 8 p.m.

Line: Rams by 7.

Last meeting: Rams won 27-10 at St. Louis on Sept. 12, 1999.

Key stat: Rams are 4-0 at home (49ers, Cardinals, Falcons, Packers).

Players to watch: Marshall Faulk returns after missing five games, which will speed up the Rams' offense. Ravens' Jamal Lewis leads NFL with 1,045 yards rushing (5.6 yards per carry).

Outlook: Rams' league-leading offense adds Faulk for matchup with Ravens and Ray Lewis, who has an interception in each of the past two games. With rookie Kyle Boller at quarterback, Ravens don't have the passing attack to keep up.

The Wrath of Woody: The Rams offense isn't good enough to cover this spread but is good enough to win this game. St. Louis 20, Baltimore 16. PHILADELPHA EAGLES (5-3)


Tomorrow/on the air: 9 p.m. TV - ABC (Al Michaels, John Madden). Radio - WRNL (910), 8:30 p.m.

Line: Packers by 5.

Last meeting: Packers won 6-3 at Green Bay on Sept. 17, 2000.

Key stat: Packers have scored at least 24 points the past five games (3-2).

Players to watch: Rookie middle linebacker Nick Barnett (2 sacks, 2 interceptions) has become a key defender for the Packers. Rookie tight end L. J. Smith, a second-round pick, has 17 catches for Eagles.

Outlook: With five wins in past six games, Eagles are one of the NFL's hottest teams. But Brett Favre leads the NFL with 16 TD passes, and Packers have motivation - they've cut Vikings' lead in NFC North to two games.

The Wrath of Woody: If this is how Brett Favre plays with a broken thumb, the rest of the NFL had better hope he never recovers. Green Bay 29, Philadelphia 27.

Bye week: New England, Denver, New Orleans, San Francisco.

rath of Woody - Last week, 9-5; Year, 78-52; Against the line - Last week, 7-6-1; Year, 59-66-5.

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