NFL WEEK 10

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Miami (5-3) at Buffalo (4-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bills by 2

Vs. spread: Dolphins 3-3; Bills 4-4.

Last week: Dolphins lost to Bears in OT, 36-33. Bills lost to Broncos in OT, 23-20.

Worth watching: QB Alex Van Pelt gets the start after guiding the Bills into overtime last week. The Dolphins' Dan Marino looks to bounce back after an 18-for-39 showing against the Bears.

Outlook: Van Pelt can't do it alone, but he won't have to. Bills rookie Antowain Smith is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Miami's best hope is a big running game because Buffalo goes without LB Chris Spielman, who is out for the season with a neck injury.

Notable: Bills' turnover ratio of minus-15 is second-worst in NFL.

Injuries:

DOLPHINS: Out: RB Stanley Pritchett (knee); DE Jason Taylor (arm). Doubtful: G Keith Sims (elbow). Probable: DE Trace Armstrong (concussion); WR Charles Jordan (knee); T Richmond Webb (knee).

BILLS: Out: LB Damien Covington (knee); LB Chris Spielman (neck-injured reserve). Doubtful: LB Marlo Perry (hamstring). Questionable: DE Phil Hansen (wrist); LB John Holecek (ankle); DE Mark Pike (quadriceps). Probable: DE Jim Jeffcoat (knee); T Corey Louchiey (back); S Kurt Schulz (hip); DE Bruce Smith (shoulder); RB Tim Tindale (knee).

New England (5-3) at Minnesota (6-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Patriots by 1

Vs. spread: Patriots 4-4; Vikings 7-1.

Last week: Patriots lost to Packers, 28-10. Vikings beat Bucs, 10-6.

Worth watching: Ex-Raven Leroy Hoard steps in at running back for injured star Robert Smith. The Patriots need a bounce-back game from RB Curtis Martin, who has been held under 100 yards five straight games.

Outlook: The Vikings, with five straight wins and growing confidence, are surging. They must deal with the loss of Smith and his 96.9 rushing yards per game, but QB Brad Johnson is capable of compensating. The struggling Patriots have lost three of four and have only six sacks in that span.

Notable: Since his 40-carry, 199-yard game in the overtime win against the Jets in Week 3, Martin has averaged only 18 carries a game.

Injuries:

PATRIOTS: Out: DE Ferric Collons (chest). Doubtful: CB Steve Israel (knee). Questionable: CB Jimmy Hitchcock (hamstring).

VIKINGS: Out: RB Robert Smith (ankle). Questionable: DE Derrick Alexander (ankle); RB Leroy Hoard (rib); DE Fernando Smith (ankle); S Orlando Thomas (hamstring).

Philadelphia (4-4) at Arizona (1-7)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Eagles by 4

Vs. spread: Eagles 3-4; Cardinals 5-3.

Last week: Eagles beat Cowboys, 13-12. Cardinals lost to Oilers, 41-14.

Worth watching: Cardinals rookie QB Jake Plummer, who'll try to improve on his disastrous, four-interception first start.

Outlook: The Cardinals were playing tough at home until last week's blowout loss. The Eagles barely handled the Cardinals two weeks ago in Philadelphia, but no doubt learned a few lessons. Plus, they know about Plummer, who got extensive playing time in that game.

Notable: In his 14th year, Eagles WR Irving Fryar is on pace for career bests of 92 catches and 1,276 yards.

Injuries:

EAGLES: Out: S Charles Emanuel (ankle-injured reserve); WR Chris T. Jones (knee). Questionable: G Ian Beckles (foot); DE Jon Harris (toe). Probable: S Brian Dawkins (foot); TE Jason Dunn (hamstring); LB Ray Farmer (ankle); P Tom Hutton (quadriceps); G Joe Panos (shoulder-hamstring); WR Michael Timpson (shoulder).

CARDINALS: Out: RB Kevin Bouie (hamstring); RB Derrick Moore (knee); LB Tony McCombs (foot). Doubtful: LB Eric Hill (neck); CB J. J. McCleskey (knee). Questionable: S Matt Darby (concussion); QB Kent Graham (ankle-knee); DT Eric Swann (knee). Probable: S Tommy Bennett (neck); WR Rob Moore (knee); DT Brad Ottis (neck).

Oakland (3-5) at Carolina (4-4)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Panthers by 3

Vs. spread: Raiders 4-4; Panthers 2-4.

Last week: Raiders lost to Seahawks, 45-34. Panthers beat Falcons, 21-12.

Worth watching: Raiders RB Napoleon Kaufman has rushed for 100 yards in five of his past six games. Panthers RB Tshimanga Biakabutuka played like a No. 1 draft choice in a 104-yard, two-TD effort against the Falcons.

Outlook: With QB Kerry Collins healthier and their defense improving, the Panthers have won two straight, albeit against New Orleans and Atlanta. The Raiders will run up some points, but you can expect the NFL's worst defense will give them back.

Notable: Raiders have made only 25 of 98 third-down conversions.

Injuries:

RAIDERS: Out: CB Lionel Washington (hamstring). Questionable: DE Lance Johnstone (ankle); TE John Henry Mills (hamstring). Probable: S Eddie Anderson (foot); RB Derrick Fenner (neck); LB Rob Frederickson (heel); T Pat Harlow (back); RB Napoleon Kaufman (knee); T Lincoln Kennedy (foot); S Dan Land (elbow); CB Albert Lewis (knee).

PANTHERS: Questionable: DE Shawn King (groin). Probable: LB Micheal Barrow (shoulder); DE Mike Fox (chest); LB Renaldo Turnbull (groin).

San Diego (4-4) at Cincinnati (1-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Pick

Vs. spread: Chargers 5-3; Bengals 1-7.

Last week: Chargers beat Colts, 35-19. Bengals lost to Giants, 29-27.

Worth watching: Chargers RB Gary Brown, who had 169 yards last week, will try to do it again against the Bengals' 29th-ranked rushing defense. Can Cincinnati QB Jeff Blake exploit a weak San Diego pass defense?

Outlook: The Bengals' offense showed signs of life against the Giants, but their defense hasn't held anyone under 20 points. The Chargers seem to be improving, having won three of their past four to reach the .500 mark.

Notable: Chargers rookie Freddie Jones averages 13.6 yards per catch, impressive for a tight end.

Injuries:

CHARGERS: Out: K John Carney (knee); LB Toran James (knee); CB Mark Montreuil (knee-injured reserve). Questionable: QB Jim Everett (elbow); RB Carwell Gardner (knee).

BENGALS: Out: DE Ramondo Stallings (groin). Questionable: DT Brentson Buckner (knee); CB Tito Paul (knee). Probable: DE John Copeland (thigh); RB Corey Dillon (knee); LB Ricardo McDonald (knee); CB Corey Sawyer (hamstring); WR Darnay Scott (ribs); LB Tom Tumulty (neck).

Jacksonville ( 5-3) at Tennessee (4-4)

Line: Jaguars by 1

Vs. spread: Jaguars 4-3; Oilers 6-2.

Last week: Jaguars lost to Steelers in OT, 23-17. Oilers beat Cardinals, 41-14.

Worth watching: Oilers RB Eddie George, who has beaten the sophomore jinx with five 100-yard rushing games. Jaguars WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell could have a big day against Tennessee's soft secondary.

Outlook: The Oilers have averaged 33 points during their three-game winning streak, and QB Steve McNair has thrown 69 passes without an interception. Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has been bothered by a knuckle injury, but Rob Johnson is an extremely capable backup.

Notable: Visitors have won all four games in the series, with each decided by seven points or fewer.

Injuries:

JAGUARS: Out: CB Aaron Beasley (hip); LB Kevin Hardy (knee). Questionable: RB Natrone Means (ankle); DT Kelvin Pritchett (knee). Probable: QB Mark Brunell (finger); S Dana Hall (back); S Mike Logan (hand); CB Dave Thomas (quadriceps).

OILERS: Questionable: CB Steve Jackson (ankle); DT Gary Walker (shoulder).

Seattle (5-3) at Denver (7-1)

Time: 4 p.m., Ch. 4

Line: Broncos by 8 1/2

Vs. spread: Seahawks 4-4; Broncos 5-3.

Last week: Seahawks beat Raiders, 45-34. Broncos beat Bills in OT, 23-20.

Worth watching: The continuing comeback of Warren Moon, 40, who has guided the Seahawks to four wins in their past five games. Broncos RB Terrell Davis is putting up MVP numbers, including an NFL-best rushing 1,068 yards.

Outlook: The Seahawks face a detour in Denver unless RB Chris Warren celebrates his return to the lineup with a huge game. The Broncos struggled to beat Buffalo, but John Elway and Davis at Mile High should be too much.

Notable: Elway is 17-9 against the Seahawks with 36 TD passes, his most against any AFC West foe.

Injuries:

SEAHAWKS: Out: RB Lamar Smith (leg). Questionable: S Bennie Blades (back); G Derrick Graham (neck); T Walter Jones (ankle). Probable: QB John Friesz (thumb); DE Martin Harrison (knee); WR Mike Pritchard (knee).

BRONCOS: Out: DE Neil Smith (triceps). Questionable: DT Michael Dean Perry (knees). Probable: RB Howard Griffith (knee); G Brian Habib (back); DT Keith Traylor (ankle).

St. Louis (2-6) at Atlanta (1-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Falcons by 3

Vs. spread: Rams 2-6; Falcons 3-3.

Last week: Rams lost to Chiefs, 28-20. Falcons lost to Panthers, 21-12.

Worth watching: In a game expected to feature little offense, watch the pass rushers. The Falcons' Chuck Smith leads the NFL with nine sacks, and the Rams' Leslie O'Neal has eight.

Outlook: Both NFC West patsies have trouble moving the ball, the Rams averaging 273.0 yards per game, the Falcons 272.1. Atlanta is hoping for an offensive spark from the return of oft-injured QB Chris Chandler. The Rams are still waiting for a breakout game from inconsistent QB Tony Banks.

Notable: Rams swept the series last season with ease, winning two games by a 93-43 margin.

Injuries:

RAMS: Out: S Gerald McBurrows (knee-injured reserve). Questionable: WR Keith Crawford (knee); DT Jeff Zgonina (abdomen). Probable: WR Eddie Kennison (groin); RB Lawrence Phillips (ankle); WR Torrance Small (groin).

FALCONS: Doubtful: LB Ruffin Hamilton (back). Questionable: CB Ronnie Bradford (foot); C Roman Fortin (ankle). Probable: CB Juran Bolden (quadriceps); TE O. J. Santiago (ankle); TE Ed

West (knee).

Tampa Bay (5-3) at Indianapolis (0-8)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bucs by 4 1/2

Vs. spread: Bucs 5-3; Colts 2-5.

Last week: Bucs lost to Vikings, 10-6. Colts lost to Chargers, 35-19.

Worth watching: The defenses. DE Chidi Ahanotu leads the Bucs with seven sacks. Ex-Ravens DT Dan Footman shares the Colts' lead with only three.

Outlook: Can anyone here score? In the past two weeks, the Bucs have averaged just 7.5 points, the Colts 12.5. Indianapolis has an outside shot at its first victory but must go with QB Paul Justin instead of injured Jim Harbaugh, out with a broken hand after his "scuffle" with NBC's Jim Kelly, the former Bills quarterback.

Notable: Colts gained a season-low 31 rushing yards last week.

Injuries:

BUCS: Questionable: TE Jackie Harris (groin). Probable: WR Reidel Anthony (ankle); RB Tony Bouie (hamstring); LB Derrick Brooks (quadriceps); TE Patrick Hape (abdomen); G Frank Middleton (elbow); LB Shelton Quarles (shoulder).

COLTS: Out: LB Tony Bennett (knee-injured reserve). Doubtful: QB Jim Harbaugh (hand). Questionable: LB Quentin Coryatt (ankle); LB Stephen Grant (neck). Probable: LB Elijah Alexander (hip); CB Carlton Gray (buttocks); G-T Kipp Vickers (knee).

Dallas (4-4) at San Francisco (7-1)

Time: 4 p.m., chs. 45, 5

Line: 49ers by 6

Vs. spread: Cowboys 2-4; 49ers 6-2.

Last week: Cowboys lost to Eagles, 13-12. 49ers beat Saints, 23-0.

Worth watching: 49ers QB Steve Young leads the NFL in passing and has a 13-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Outlook: In August, this looked like a big game, the annual preview of the NFC championship. But the disappearance of Emmitt Smith and the Dallas running game has changed all that. The 49ers are riding high, leading the league in total defense and allowing a miserly 65.4 yards per game rushing.

Notable: 49ers are an NFL-best 17-3 in November since 1992.

Injuries:

COWBOYS: Out: DT Chad Hennings (groin); RB Daryl Johnston (neck); T Mark Tuinei (knee). Doubtful: LB Vinson Smith (jaw). Questionable: DE Shante Carver (elbow); S Darren Woodson (knee). Probable: QB Troy Aikman (concussion); RB Emmitt Smith (knee).

49ERS: Out: T Harris Barton (knee); CB Marquez Pope (foot); WR Jerry Rice (knee). Doubtful: C-G Jesse Sapolu (ankle); DT Bryant Young (ankle-foot). Questionable: DT Junior Bryant (elbow); TE Brent Jones (leg). Probable: C Chris Dalman (ankle-knee); G Derrick Deese (foot-knee); LB Jim Schwantz (foot); CB Rid Woodson (back).

Detroit (4-4) at Green Bay (6-2)

Time: 8 p.m. ESPN

Line: Packers by 10

Vs. spread: Lions 4-4; Packers 1-7.

Last week: Lions had a bye. Packers beat Patriots, 28-10.

Worth watching: Lions WR Herman Moore leads the NFL with 57 catches for 804 yards. Packers RB Dorsey Levens, who has a career-high 696 rushing yards, is averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

Outlook: The Packers have won three straight since losing to the Lions and figure to get their revenge at the friendly confines of Lambeau Field, where they have won 19 consecutive games. They reminded all concerned that they are still Super Bowl champions with an easy victory at New England. Can Packers QB Brett Favre and Lions RB Barry Sanders match big games?

Notable: Sanders needs 122 yards to pass Tony Dorsett (12,739) for third on the all-time rushing list.

Injuries:

LIONS: Questionable: RB Terry Battle (ankle); S Van Malone (abdomen).

PACKERS: Questionable: DT Paul Frase (back); G Aaron Taylor (knee). Probable: QB Brett Favre (turf toe).

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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