Jacksonville (5-1) at Dallas (3-3)
Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 4
Line: Cowboys by 6
Vs. spread: Jaguars 4-2; Cowboys 2-4.
Worth watching: Two fine matchups in the secondary: Jaguars WRs Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith vs. Cowboys CBs Deion Sanders and Kevin Smith.
Outlook: Coming off a tough Monday night loss, the Cowboys face one of those must-win-to-save-face games -- the kind Dallas usually wins. True, Jacksonville has won 10 of its past 11 regular-season games. But a trip to Texas Stadium against a desperate team is a little different.
Notable: Cowboys are only team in the NFL without a rushing TD and have managed just seven TDs in 24 trips inside the red zone.
JAGUARS: Out: CB Aaron Beasley (hip). Questionable: RB Natrone Means (ankle). Probable: S Dana Hall (back); LB James Hamilton (quadriceps); DE Clyde Simmons (wrist).
COWBOYS: Out: DT Chad Hennings (groin); RB Daryl Johnston (shoulder); T Mark Tuinei (knee). Questionable: CB Wendell Davis (knee); S Darren Woodson (knee). Probable: QB Troy Aikman (back); G Larry Allen (hamstring); LB Fred Strickland (knee).
Arizona (1-5) at Philadelphia (2-4)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Eagles by 8
Vs. spread: Cardinals 4-2; Eagles 3-3.
Last week: Cardinals lost to Giants, 27-13. Eagles lost to Jaguars, 38-21.
Worth watching: Both teams are making quarterbacks changes, one by design, the other by necessity. Rodney Peete will replace slumping Ty Detmer for the Eagles. And with Kent Graham injured, the Cardinals will go with third-year man Stoney Case.
Outlook: In Arizona, the Vince Tobin regime is on the rocks after four straight losses. Ex-Bear Kevin Butler is out after missing some key FG attempts. But can the oft-waived Joe Nedney do any better?
Notable: Philadelphia's first six games were against teams that are currently at .500 or better.
CARDINALS: Doubtful: CB J. J. McCleskey (knee). Questionable: Tommy Bennett (chest); QB Kent Graham (ankle-knee), DT Brad Ottis (back). Probable: T James Dexter (knee); T Matt Joyce (knee); RB Derrick Moore (knee).
EAGLES: Out: CB Bobby Taylor (knee); WR Michael Timpson (shoulder). Questionable: TE Jason Dunn (hamstring); WR Chris T. Jones (knee); C Bubba Miller (ankle). Probable: S Brian Dawkins (leg); LB Jeff Herrod (hamstring).
New England (5-1) at N.Y. Jets (4-3)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Patriots by 3 1/2
Vs. spread: Patriots 4-2; Jets 4-3.
Last week: Patriots beat Bills, 33-6. Jets lost to Dolphins, 31-20.
Worth watching: New England RB Curtis Martin ran for 199 yards the Patriots' September victory over the Jets. New York's Adrian Murrell has rushed for 100 yards in two of the past three meetings.
Outlook: Bill Parcells almost stunned his old team five weeks ago in the first so-called Tuna Bowl, and this is the Jets' chance to show they will make a run at a playoff berth a year after going 1-15. The Jets must stop QB Drew Bledsoe from making too many big plays and could use a big pass rush from DE Hugh Douglas, who is having an off year.
Notable: The teams are separated by one point in the all-time series -- Patriots 1,658 to Jets 1,657.
PATRIOTS: Out: CB Steve Israel (knee). Doubtful: DE Ferric Collons (shoulder). Questionable: DE Willie McGinest (knee). Probable: RB Derrick Cullors (ribs); T Zefross Moss (back).
JETS: Out: P Brian Hansen (knee). Doubtful: WR Alex Van Dyke (hamstring). Probable: C Roger Duffy (knee).
Seattle (3-3) at St. Louis (2-4)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Seahawks by 1 1/2
Vs. spread: Seahawks 2-4; Rams 2-4.
Last week: Seahawks had a bye. Rams lost to 49ers, 30-10.
Worth watching: The Seahawks have thrived under the efficient leadership of 40-year-old Warren Moon (78.2 quarterback rating, six TD passes). Efficiency hasn't been a trait of the Rams' young quarterback, Tony Banks (60.2 rating, four TDs, six interceptions).
Outlook: The Rams haven't scored more than 17 points since Week 1, so the Seahawks should be able to play a conservative road game and still win. Seattle is looking more and more like a playoff team despite its 0-2 start.
Notable: Seattle is the only team in the NFL with three players with 200 rushing yards.
SEAHAWKS: Out: DE Phillip Daniels (knee); QB John Friesz (thumb). Questionable: S Bennie Blades (neck); DE Martin Harrison (knee). Probable: WR Joey Galloway (ankle); WR Ronnie Harris (hamstring); DT Cortez Kennedy (knee); RB Chris Warren (hamstring).
RAMS: Questionable: WR Eddie Kennison (groin); RB Lawrence Phillips (toe); G Zach Wiegert (shoulder). Probable: DE Leslie O'Neal (foot); WR Torrance Small (groin).
N.Y. Giants (4-3) at Detroit (4-3)
Line: Lions by 6 1/2
Vs. spread: Giants 3-3; Lions 4-3.
Last week: Giants beat Cardinals, 27-13. Lions beat Bucs, 27-9.
Worth watching: Detroit RB Barry Sanders has rushed for more than 100 yards in his past five games and is the league's No. 4 all-time rusher with 12,513 yards. The Giants are hoping RB Tyrone Wheatley's 103-yard effort last week was not just another tease.
Outlook: The Giants are one of the NFL's surprise teams in their first year under coach Jim Fassel and seem to be playing with more confidence under new QB Danny Kanell. The Lions are looking to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Notable: The Giants played perhaps their best game of last season when they won at Detroit, 35-7.
GIANTS: Out: QB Dave Brown (pectoral); C Derek Engler (ankle); C Brian Williams (eye). Doubtful: RB Rodney Hampton (knee); WR Thomas Lewis (toe). Questionable: RB Tiki Barber (knee); DE Cedric Jones (knee). Probable: RB Tyrone Wheatley (shoulder).
LIONS: Out: TE Pete Chryplewicz (shoulder); T Ray Roberts (knee). Doubtful: CB Kevin Abrams (hamstring); TE David Sloan (back).
Carolina (2-4) at New Orleans (2-5)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: Panthers by 4 1/2
Vs. spread: Panthers 1-4; Saints 2-4.
Worth watching: Rookie QB Danny Wuerffel will get his first start for the Saints, replacing Heath Shuler (two TD passes, 11 interceptions). Panthers rookie WR Rae Carruth has 18 catches, two for touchdowns, in his past three games.
Outlook: Well, at least New Orleans coach Mike Ditka didn't give up a No. 1 draft choice for a quarterback he has given up on (Shuler cost a No. 3 and a No. 5). Wuerffel must prove his awkward, shot put-like delivery isn't a liability in the NFL. The Panthers put up a good fight in their loss at Minnesota.
Notable: The Saints have committed 28 turnovers and have a league-worst takeaway-giveaway ratio of minus-16.
PANTHERS: Questionable: DE Mike Fox (chest). Probable: CB Clifton Abraham (thigh); QB Steve Beuerlein (knee); WR Muhsin Muhammad (wrist).
SAINTS: Out: G Chris Naeole (ankle). Probable: TE Irv Smith (knee); QB Danny Wuerffel (sternum); RB Ray Zellars (ankle).
San Francisco (5-1) at Atlanta (1-5)
Time: 1 p.m.
Line: 49ers by 10 1/2
Vs. spread: 49ers 5-1; Falcons 2-3.
Last week: 49ers beat Rams, 30-10. Falcons beat Saints, 23-17.
Worth watching: San Francisco's Steve Young leads the NFL with a quarterback rating of 117.2.
Outlook: The 49ers go for their sixth straight victory against the PTC weak portion of their schedule (but only two games remain against weak NFC West foes after this week). The Falcons finally picked up their first win last week. It may have done wonders for their confidence, but that won't help today.
Notable: Without injured WR Jerry Rice, the 49ers have scored 152 points in six games, or 25.3 per game, about the same they averaged with Rice dating to 1981.
49ERS: Out: T Harris Barton (knee); CB Marquez Pope (foot); WR Jerry Rice (knee); TE Brent Jones (leg). Probable: T Derrick Deese (eye); S Tim McDonald (shoulder); CB Rod Woodson (back).
FALCONS: Out: C Roman Fortin (ankle). Questionable: TE Adam Schreiber (hamstring); DE John Burrough (shoulder). Probable: DE Lester Archambeau (groin); CB Ronnie Bradford (rib); T Matt Willig (turf toe).
Denver (6-0) at Oakland (2-4)
Time: 4 p.m., Ch. 4
Line: Broncos by 5 1/2
Vs. spread: Broncos 5-1; Raiders 3-3.
Last week: Both teams had a bye.
Worth watching: Denver QB John Elway, fourth in the NFL in passing with 12 TD passes and only five interceptions, faces the NFL's No. 25 pass defense. The Raiders' Jeff George (No. 2 in passing) has put up big numbers but not enough victories.
Outlook: The Raiders don't seem tough enough to pull off an upset -- they've already lost home games to AFC West rivals Kansas City and San Diego. The Broncos are simply rolling, having scored at least 29 points in each of their past five games and outscoring opponents, 190-85, in that span. They should coast to the first 7-0 start in franchise history.
Notable: Raiders are the only team with a winning record against Elway (14-10).
BRONCOS: Doubtful: WR Patrick Jeffer (hamstring). Probable: CB Ray Crockett (shoulder).
RAIDERS: Questionable: T Pat Harlow (back); DE Lance Johnstone (ankle). Probable: CB Albert Lewis (hamstring); S James Trapp (ribs).
Pittsburgh (4-2) at Cincinnati (1-5)
Time: 4 p.m.
Line: Steelers by 5 1/2
Vs. spread: Steelers 2-4; Bengals 0-6.
Last week: Steelers beat Colts, 24-22. Bengals lost to Oilers, 30-7.
Worth watching: Steelers RB Jerome Bettis has rushed for 686 yards, fourth in the NFL, and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Bengals WR Carl Pickens has just 31 catches and three TDs.
Outlook: The Bengals are falling apart, and last week coach Bruce Coslet questioned how much some of his players even wanted to win. They might want to win this one, but the Steelers should literally run right through the league's worst rushing defense.
Notable: Steelers' Kordell Stewart has an NFL-best 133.8 fourth-quarter quarterback rating.
STEELERS: Out: WR Mike Adams (knee); WR Will Blackwell (ankle); S Lethon Flowers (knee); WR Charles Johnson (knee). Questionable: CB Randy Fuller (groin); DE Mike Vrabel (ankle). Probable: TE Kirk Botkin (ankle); LB Donta Jones (ankle); S Carnell Lake (hamstring); QB Kordell Stewart (concussion).
BENGALS: Out: S Tremain Mack (foot). Doubtful: G Ken Blackman (knee). Questionable: DT Brentson Buckner (knee). Probable: CB Ashley Ambrose (knee); DE John Copeland (thigh)
Pub Date: 10/19/97