The Associated Press
Week 12 (times MST)
Carolina (8-2) at Dallas (7-3)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — Cowboys by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Panthers 5-5. Cowboys 6-3.
SERIES RECORD — Cowboys lead 3-2.
LAST MEETING — Cowboys beat Panthers 14-13 on Oct. 13, 2002, at Dallas.
LAST WEEK — Panthers beat Redskins 20-17. Cowboys lost to Patriots 12-0.
KEY MATCHUP — Panthers RB Stephen Davis vs. Cowboys’ front seven. Davis is NFL’s third-leading rusher with 1,084 yards and six TDs rushing. Panthers average 148.9 yards rushing per game, third in league. Cowboys have NFL’s No. 2 rushing defense, allowing only 83.1 yards per game. Davis has six 100-yard rushing games in 2003. Cowboys’ defense has allowed one 100-yard rusher in past 15 games.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Both teams are strong inside the 20, allowing the fewest points in the red zone in NFC (Dallas, 89; Carolina, 90). … Cowboys and Panthers, along with Ravens, are only teams with more rushing plays than passing plays on offense this season. Since 1990, 36 of 49 clubs that finished the season with more rushing plays than passing plays made the playoffs. … Panthers DE Mike Rucker is tied for NFL lead with 11 sacks.
Seattle (7-3) at Baltimore (5-5)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — Ravens by 1.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Seahawks 4-6. Ravens 6-4.
SERIES RECORD — Ravens lead 1-0.
LAST MEETING — Ravens beat Seahawks 31-24 on Dec. 7, 1997, at Baltimore.
LAST WEEK — Seahawks beat Lions 35-14. Ravens lost to Miami 9-6 in OT.
KEY MATCHUP — Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander vs. Ravens RB Jamal Lewis. Drafted in 2000, they are first and second among RBs taken in first round of their draft class: Lewis has 3,935 yards, Alexander has 3,641. Lewis is NFL’s leading rusher with 1,244 yards this season and has seven TDs rushing. Alexander has 835 yards rushing and eight TDs, and is part of a more-balanced offense. Seahawks can stack the line and try to force Ravens to pass.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Seahawks are 10-2 when Alexander rushes for 100 yards. … Lewis has rushed for 100 yards in seven of last nine games. … Ravens QB Anthony Wright makes seventh career start. … Ravens LB Terrell Suggs leads NFL rookies with six sacks. … Seahawks convert 47.2 percent of third downs, best in NFL. … Seahawks have plus-6 turnover differential. Ravens are minus-5. … Seahawks are one of three teams with three WRs with 30 receptions: Darrell Jackson (38), Koren Robinson (37) and Bobby Engram (33).
New England ENGLAND (8-2) at Houston (4-6)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Patriots by 6.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Patriots 8-1. Texans 5-5.
SERIES RECORD — First meeting.
LAST WEEK — Patriots beat Cowboys 12-0. Texans beat Bills 12-10.
KEY MATCHUP — Patriots SS Rodney Harrison and ILB Tedy Bruschi vs. Texans RB Domanick Davis. Davis leads NFL rookies with 655 yards rushing and has had 100 or more yards in three of his five starts. Davis, taken No. 101 in draft, has three TDs rushing and averages 4.7 yards per carry. Harrison and Bruschi are leading tacklers on defense that allows only 91.6 yards rushing per game.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Patriots last played in Houston in 1988, losing to Oilers 31-6. … Patriots recorded first shutout in 130 games last week. … Patriots are 5-0 at home this season. … Texans have yet to win back-to-back games. … Texans’ Corey Bradford leads all NFL WRs with at least 15 receptions by averaging 22.3 yards per catch. … Patriots are one of four teams with three INTs returned for TDs this season. … Patriots have won 22 straight games when leading after three quarters.
Jacksonville (2-8) at New York Jets (3-7)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Jets by 4 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Jaguars 4-6. Jets 2-5.
SERIES RECORD — Jaguars lead 3-2.
LAST MEETING — Jaguars beat Jets 28-3 on Sept. 29, 2002 at Jacksonville.
LAST WEEK — Jaguars lost to Titans 10-3. Jets lost to Colts 38-31.
KEY MATCHUP — Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich vs. Jets QB Chad Pennington. Both played their college ball at Marshall and were drafted in first round: Leftwich at No. 7 in 2003 draft, Pennington at No. 18 in 2000. Leftwich has recorded a TD, either by passing or rushing, in eight of his nine games. He’s thrown eight TDs and 11 INTs this year. Pennington, who broke his wrist in preseason, has thrown nine TDs and only three INTs in four games this year. For his career, he has 22 TDs and no INTs inside opponents’ 20.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Jets DE Shaun Ellis leads AFC with 10 1/2 sacks. Jets lead AFC and are tied for second in NFL with 28 sacks. … WR Santana Moss has eight TDs in his last six games and leads AFC with nine TDs receiving. … Both of Jets’ 1995 first-round draft picks are with Jaguars: TE Kyle Brady (No. 9) and DE Hugh Douglas (No. 16). … Jaguars have minus-4 turnover differential. Jets are plus-2.
Indianapolis (8-2) at Buffalo (4-6)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Colts by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Colts 7-3. Bills 3-6.
SERIES RECORD — Bills lead 34-28-1.
LAST MEETING — Colts beat Bills 30-14 on Nov. 4, 2001, at Buffalo.
LAST WEEK — Colts beat Jets 38-31. Bills lost to Texans 12-10.
KEY MATCHUP — Colts QB Peyton Manning vs. Bills’ entire offense. Bills haven’t scored TD in their past three games and turned over ball 10 times in that span. Last week against Jets, Manning threw for 401 yards and one TD. Bills have 453 yards passing total during three-game skid. Manning leads NFL with 2,876 yards passing, is tied for lead with 19 TDs passing and is second with 101.5 passer rating. Bills will need more than safeties and field goals to keep up with Manning and fast-paced Colts.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Former AFC East rivals meet for first time since realignment. … Last week, RB Edgerrin James tied club record with 42 touches from scrimmage (36 rushes, six receptions) and surpassed Lydell Mitchell to become Colts’ all-time leading rusher with 5,540 yards. … Colts K Mike Vanderjagt leads NFL with 106 points and has not missed a kick this season. He made all 31 PATs and 25 FGs. … Bills’ defense has allowed only one TD in three of its past four games and ranks sixth in points allowed (17.0 per game).
San Francisco (5-5) at Green Bay (5-5)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — OFF.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — 49ers 5-4. Packers 5-5.
SERIES RECORD — Packers lead 30-26-1.
LAST MEETING — Packers beat 49ers 20-14 on Dec. 15, 2002, at San Francisco.
LAST WEEK — 49ers beat Steelers 30-14. Packers beat Buccaneers 20-13.
KEY MATCHUP — 49ers WR Terrell Owens vs. Packers FS Darren Sharper. Owens had eight receptions for 155 yards and one TD on Monday night. Owens has 56 receptions in 2003, and averages 14.1 yards per catch. Since 1999, Sharper has 27 INTs, most in NFL. He has two this season. If weather in Green Bay cooperates, 49ers will try to send Owens deep and test Sharper.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — For four consecutive years (1995-98), these teams met in playoffs. Packers won three of four, and also won a wild-card game in 2001. … 49ers lead NFC with plus-10 turnover differential. Packers are minus-6. … Packers RB Ahman Green leads NFL with 1,500 yards from scrimmage. His 10 TDs rushing are tops in NFC. His team is 20-2 when he rushes for 100 yards. He has scored a TD in seven consecutive games and needs one for longest streak in franchise history.
Detroit (3-7) at Minnesota (6-4)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — Vikings by 10 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Lions 5-5. Vikings 6-4.
SERIES RECORD — Vikings lead 53-29-2.
LAST MEETING — Vikings beat Lions 23-13 on Sept. 21 at Detroit.
LAST WEEK — Lions lost to Seahawks 35-14. Vikings lost to Raiders 28-18.
KEY MATCHUP — Lions CBs Andre’ Goodman and Dre’ Bly vs. Vikings WR Randy Moss. Moss is second in NFL with 67 receptions and 1,023 yards receiving. He’s tied for league lead with 10 TDs receiving. In 11 career games against Lions, Moss has 63 catches for 1,024 yards. Vikings are 11-0 when Moss has 150-yard receiving game. Bly leads team with four INTs. Bly and Goodman will need to contain Moss or that streak could grow to 12 games.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Lions have lost two fumbles this year, fewest in NFL. … Vikings SS Corey Chavous leads NFL with seven INTs. FS Brian Russell is tied for second with six INTs. Combined, they have more INTs than 20 NFL teams. Lions have thrown 16 INTs this season, tied for most in NFL. … Vikings have plus-7 turnover differential. Lions are minus-6. … Lions K Jason Hanson has 24 career 50-yard FGs, third in NFL history; all-time leader Morten Andersen has 40.
Pittsburgh (3-7) at Cleveland (4-6)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Browns by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Steelers 4-6. Browns 4-6.
SERIES RECORD — Browns lead 55-48.
LAST MEETING — Browns beat Steelers 33-13 on Oct. 5 at Pittsburgh.
LAST WEEK — Steelers lost to 49ers 30-14. Browns beat Cardinals 44-6.
KEY MATCHUP — Steelers WR Hines Ward vs. Browns CBs Daylon McCutcheon and Anthony Henry. Ward is one of league’s top receivers. He leads AFC with 64 catches and is second among AFC WRs with eight TDs. A constant threat, he has at least four catches in nine of 10 games this season and has five TDs in last four weeks. Henry and McCutcheon, who ran back an INT 75 yards for TD in Week 5 meeting, will have unenviable task of covering Ward. Browns’ secondary can’t completely focus on Ward, or else Pittsburgh’s other deep threat, WR Plaxico Burress, will have big game.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Both teams’ defenses allow less than 300 yards per game (Steelers, 299.8; Browns, 295.3). … Steelers QB Tommy Maddox is third in AFC with 2,357 yards passing, but has thrown 12 INTs, tied for fourth most in NFL. … Steelers have minus-8 turnover differential. Browns are plus-1.
New Orleans (5-5) at Philadelphia (7-3)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — Eagles by 5 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Saints 5-5. Eagles 6-4.
SERIES RECORD — Eagles lead 14-8.
LAST MEETING — Eagles beat Saints 21-7 on Sept. 24, 2000, at New Orleans.
LAST WEEK — Saints beat Falcons 23-20 in OT. Eagles beat Giants 28-10.
KEY MATCHUP — Saints DE Willie Whitehead vs. Eagles OT Tra Thomas. Whitehead has already matched his career-best season total with 5 1/2 sacks in 10 games. Eagles have allowed 29 sacks this season, tied for third most in NFL. Thomas was second-team All-Pro last year and will be lined up across from Whitehead. Eagles need strong play on both edges of offensive line as Saints DE Charles Grant leads team with six sacks.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Eagles have NFL’s best record in November and December since 2000 (23-5). … Saints RB Deuce McAllister has 100 yards rushing in club-record seven straight games, after posting 173 yards and two TDs last week. He needs 100 yards to tie George Rogers for club record for 100-yard games in career (16). McAllister is third in NFC with 1,044 yards rushing. … Eagles have 13 TDs rushing, tied for second most in NFL.
St. Louis (7-3) at Arizona (3-7)
2:05 p.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — Rams by 8.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Rams 6-3. Cardinals 3-7.
SERIES RECORD — Rams lead 27-21-2.
LAST MEETING — Rams beat Cardinals 37-13 on Sept. 28 at St. Louis.
LAST WEEK — Rams beat Bears 23-21. Cardinals lost to Browns 44-6.
KEY MATCHUP — Rams WR Torry Holt vs. Cardinals CBs Renaldo Hill and David Barrett. Holt is leading receiver in NFLl this season. He leads league with 75 receptions and 1,140 yards and is tied for lead with 10 TDs receiving. He averages 15.2 yards per catch. In last meeting against Cards, he caught season-high 12 passes for 133 yards and one TD. Hill, who has two INTs on season, and Barrett will be very busy chasing Holt.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Cardinals have only five INTs this season, tied with Jets for lowest total in NFL. Rams have thrown 14 INTs, tied for sixth most. … Cardinals have NFLs worst turnover differential at minus-17, and fewest takeaways with just eight in 10 games. Their 25 giveaways are tied for second worst in league. Rams have plus-4 differential. … Rams have scored at least 30 points in last two games against Cardinals. … Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin leads NFL rookies with 60 catches and 876 yards receiving.
Chicago (3-7) at Denver (6-4)
2:05 p.m., Fox
OPENING LINE — Broncos by 10.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Bears 5-5. Broncos 5-5.
SERIES RECORD — Broncos lead 6-5.
LAST MEETING — Broncos beat Bears 17-12 on Nov. 10, 1996, at Denver.
LAST WEEK — Bears lost to Rams 23-21. Broncos beat Chargers 37-8.
KEY MATCHUP — Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe vs. Bears SS Mike Green and FS Mike Brown. Sharpe has 496 yards receiving and seven TDs, tied for fifth most in NFL and most by any tight end. He averages 12.1 yards per catch. Brown, who has two INTs, and Green (one) will need to keep tabs on Sharpe, who has a knack for finding holes in defenses. Broncos are 5-0 this year when Sharpe scores TD.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Broncos RB Clinton Portis has rushed for 100 yards in six of nine games he played this year and has 19 TDs rushing in past 19 games. … Bears QB Chris Chandler needs 139 yards passing and two TDs to become fifth active QB with 28,000 yards and 170 career TDs. … Broncos are only team in NFL with three players with five or more sacks: DE Bert Berry (seven), DE Reggie Hayward (six) and DE Trevor Pryce (five). … Bears have minus-5 turnover differential. Broncos are minus-3.
Tennessee (8-2) at Atlanta (2-8)
2:15 p.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Titans by 7.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Titans 7-3. Falcons 3-7.
SERIES RECORD — Tied 5-5.
LAST MEETING — Falcons beat Titans 30-17 on Dec. 19, 1999, at Tennessee.
LAST WEEK — Titans beat Jaguars 10-3. Falcons lost to Saints 23-20 in OT.
KEY MATCHUP — Titans QB Steve McNair vs. Falcons’ porous defense. McNair leads NFL with 103.9 passer rating and is tied for second in AFC with 16 TDs passing. He has NFL’s best TD-to-INT ratio at 4:1 (16 TDs, four INTs). Titans average 241.5 yards passing per game. Falcons allow NFL-worst 255.9 yards passing per game. They’ve allowed 18 TDs passing in 10 games, second-worst total in league.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Falcons punt returner Allen Rossum leads NFC and ranks second in NFL with 14-yard average. … Titans have NFL’s second-best turnover differential at plus-11. Falcons are minus-3. … Falcons WR Peerless Price has at least one catch in 60 consecutive games. … Falcons are one of two NFL teams with two 400-yard rushers: RBs Warrick Dunn (658) and T.J. Duckett (418). … Titans DE Jevon Kearse is third in conference with 9 1/2 sacks.
Oakland (3-7) at Kansas City (9-1)
2:15 p.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 11 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Raiders 1-8. Chiefs 8-2.
SERIES RECORD — Chiefs lead 44-43-2.
LAST MEETING — Chiefs beat Raiders 17-10 on Oct. 20 at Oakland.
LAST WEEK — Raiders beat Vikings 28-18. Chiefs lost to Bengals 24-19.
KEY MATCHUP — Raiders’ front seven vs. Chiefs RB Priest Holmes. Holmes is among NFL’s top offensive threats. He leads league with 14 TDs rushing and is third in AFC with 924 yards rushing. He leads Chiefs with 45 receptions and is fourth on team with 435 yards receiving. In last meeting, he had 123 yards rushing with a TD, and four catches for 50 yards as Chiefs held on for win. Raiders will need to keep Holmes quiet.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Raiders QB Rick Mirer will make third start of season. Before 2003, his last start was in 1999 with Jets. … Raiders WR Jerry Rice needs two catches to become first player in NFL history with 1,500. He has a catch in NFL-record 266 consecutive games. … Chiefs’ top three receivers are Tony Gonzalez (567 yards), Eddie Kennison (542) and Johnnie Morton (507). … Chiefs have NFL-best plus-18 turnover differential. Raiders are plus-3.
Cincinnati (5-5) at San Diego (2-8)
2:15 p.m., CBS
OPENING LINE — Bengals by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Bengals 7-3. Chargers 3-7.
SERIES RECORD — Chargers lead 17-10.
LAST MEETING — Chargers beat Bengals 34-6 on Sept. 8, 2002, at Cincinnati.
LAST WEEK — Bengals beat Chiefs 24-19. Chargers lost to Broncos 37-8.
KEY MATCHUP — Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Bengals’ front seven. Tomlinson is second in AFC with 971 yards rushing and tied for third with seven TDs rushing. He also leads team and is second in AFC with 57 receptions, easily the most of any RB in league. He needs 29 yards rushing for third-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Bengals have struggled to contain him previously; in last two games against them, Tomlinson has rushed for over 100 yards and TD.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — For first time since 1990, Bengals are alone or tied for first place in division after 10 games. … Bengals RB Rudi Johnson has rushed for 482 yards and four TDs in last four games. … Bengals WR Peter Warrick has 10 TDs receiving in past 17 games. … Bengals WR Chad Johnson leads AFC with 881 yards receiving. He also has five TDs. … QB Doug Flutie is set to make third start of season for Chargers.
Washington (4-6) at Miami (6-4)
6:30 p.m., ESPN
OPENING LINE — Dolphins by 6 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Redskins 4-4. Dolphins 5-5.
SERIES RECORD — Dolphins lead 6-4.
LAST MEETING — Redskins beat Dolphins 21-10 on Jan. 2, 2000, at Washington.
LAST WEEK — Redskins lost to Panthers 20-17. Dolphins beat Ravens 9-6 in OT.
KEY MATCHUP — Redskins SS Ifeanyi Ohalete vs. Dolphins RB Ricky Williams. Williams is NFL’s biggest workhorse. He leads league with 246 rushing attempts. His totals are down this season, averaging only 3.3 yards per carry and 80.2 yards per game. He still can dominate, and Redskins have been soft against run at times. They allow 126.8 yards rushing per game, and Ohalete might need to sneak close to line to keep Williams in check.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Teams have split two Super Bowl meetings, with Dolphins winning in January 1973 to close out perfect season, and Redskins winning in January 1983 after strike-shortened season. … Redskins WR Laveranues Coles has four 100-yard receiving games this season and 818 yards after being signed as free agent from Jets. … Dolphins will play in orange jerseys for first time.
NEW YORK GIANTS (4-6) At TAMPA BAY (4-6)
7 p.m., ABC
OPENING LINE — Buccaneers by 5 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Giants 3-6. Buccaneers 4-6.
SERIES RECORD — Giants lead 9-5.
LAST MEETING — Giants beat Buccaneers 17-13 on Sept. 12, 1999, at Tampa Bay.
LAST WEEK — Giants lost to Eagles 28-10. Buccaneers lost to Packers 20-13.
KEY MATCHUP — Giants QB Kerry Collins vs. Buccaneers DE Simeon Rice. Collins leads NFL with 417 attempts and 244 completions, and tops NFC with 2,655 yards passing. He needs 345 yards for fourth consecutive 3,000-yard passing season. In 10 games this year, Collins has been sacked only 18 times. Rice is tied for NFL lead with 11 sacks. He has carried Bucs’ pass rush as rest of team has only 10 sacks. Their tally of 21 is right at NFL median for team totals. Rice will need to pressure Collins to force him into errant throws. He has tossed 13 INTs this season, tied for second most in league.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Giants RB Tiki Barber will face twin brother and Bucs CB Ronde Barber for third time in NFL. … Bucs QB Brad Johnson is second in NFC with 2,494 yards passing and is tied for NFL lead with 19 TDs. He has also thrown 11 INTs. … Giants defense has 28 sacks, tied for second most in NFL. … Bucs deactivated WR Keyshawn Johnson for rest of season.