NFL week 2: Today's games


ARIZONA (1-0) AT MIAMI (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Dolphins by 9.

Vs. spread: Cardinals 0-1; Dolphins 1-0.

Last week: Cardinals beat Eagles, 25-24. Dolphins beat Broncos, 38-21.

Series: Dolphins lead 7-0.

Last meeting: Dolphins won, 38-10, on Sept. 8, 1996, in Arizona.

Outlook: Arizona is winning with QB Jake Plummer, who owns 10 comeback victories in his 27 Cardinals games. But now he is matched against a team riding high after dumping Denver on Monday night. This is no time to let down, and the Dolphins won't. Dan Marino has not lost to the Cardinals in three games and has not thrown an interception against them compared with his seven touchdowns. Miami also has not lost to the Cardinals in seven tries. Make it 8-0.

Notable: Dolphins are NFL-best 25-9 (.735) in September this decade.


CARDINALS: Out: DT Eric Swann (knee). Probable: T James Dexter (groin); DT Jerry Drake (hand); WR Andy McCullough (ill); WR Frank Sanders (ankle); LB Zack Walz (neck).

DOLPHINS: Out: LB Anthony Harris (groin); DE Dimitrius Underwood (shoulder). Doubtful: DE Kenny Mixon (ankle). Questionable: RB Cecil Collins (ankle). Probable: RB Stanley Pritchett (knee); LB Zach Thomas (trapezius).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Jaguars by 9 1/2.

Vs. spread: Jaguars 1-0; Panthers 0-1.

Last week: Jaguars beat 49ers, 41-3. Panthers lost to Saints, 19-10.

Series: Jaguars lead 1-0.

Last meeting: Jaguars won, 24-14, on Sept. 29, 1996, in Jacksonville.

Outlook: These 1995 expansion teams had early success, but that's all they have in common anymore. The Jaguars solidified their Super Bowl contender status by spanking the 49ers last week. The Panthers solidified their also-ran status by falling meekly to the Saints. Jaguars defensive coordinator Dom Capers returns to face Carolina, which fired him as coach after last season, and should have no trouble designing schemes against the Panthers. Expect Jaguars RB Fred Taylor to find some room against Carolina's weak rush defense, leading another Jacksonville victory.

Notable: Panthers coach George Seifert is 26-6 vs. the AFC.


JAGUARS: Questionable: LB Bryce Paup (pectoral); LB Bryan Schwartz (hamstring); RB Fred Taylor (foot). Probable: S Donovin Darius (ribs); RB Chris Howard (shoulder).

PANTHERS: Out: LB Hannibal Navies (knee). Questionable: RB Chris Hetherington (shoulder). Probable: QB Steve Beuerlein (knee); DT Sean Gilbert (ribs); S Mike Minter (ankle); G Anthony Redmon (elbow).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 3.

Vs. spread: Seahawks 0-1; Bears 1-0.

Last week: Seahawks lost to Detroit, 28-20. Bears beat Chiefs, 20-17.

Series: Seahawks lead 4-2.

Last meeting: Bears won, 17-0, on Sept. 9, 1990, in Chicago.

Outlook: Chicago beat Kansas City and Seattle lost to Detroit last week. Most expected those results to be opposite. Not the Bears. Under Dick Jauron, their new coach, the Bears are refreshed and optimistic. Playing at home for a second straight week is a plus. But Seattle coach Mike Holmgren has won 10 straight over the Bears and is 6-1 at Soldier Field. He knows the Bears. His quarterback, Jon Kitna, earned a 107.9 rating last week against Detroit. He did not make enough big plays to win, but his performance was solid. Another good showing from Kitna and a better effort from RB Ricky Watters will make the difference.

Notable: Watters needs 106 rushing yards to reach 8,000 for his career.


SEAHAWKS: Out: RB Dustin Johnson (concussion); WR Charles Jordan (hamstring); CB Fred Thomas (ankle); T Todd Weiner (ankle). Questionable: LB Chad Brown (neck); QB Jon Kitna (foot); LB DeShone Myles (knee); WR Mike Pritchard (knee). Probable: TE Deems May (concussion).

BEARS: Questionable: RB James Allen (hamstring); CB Tom Carter (calf). Probable: K Jeff Jaeger (hip).


Time: 4: 15 p.m.

Line: Titans by 14 1/2.

Vs. spread: Browns 0-1; Titans 0-1.

Last week: Browns lost to Steelers, 43-0. Titans beat Bengals, 36-35.

Series: Browns lead 30-21.

Last meeting: Titans (then Oilers) won, 37-10, on Nov. 5, 1995, in Cleveland.

Outlook: After a pitiful offensive showing against Pittsburgh, Cleveland has chosen to move rookie Tim Couch into the starting quarterback slot. Is Couch ready? Well, Ty Detmer certainly wasn't. He struggled mightily against Pittsburgh (6-for-12 for 52 yards, QB rating of 25.2). Tennessee struggled early against Cincinnati before compiling 403 yards of offense, 162 of it by WR Kevin Dyson. They should roll today even without QB Steve McNair, who has been sidelined with a ruptured disc.

Notable: Titans are 14-5 when RB Eddie George scores a TD rushing or receiving.


BROWNS: Probable: DE Roy Barker (shoulder); LB Lenoy Jones (quadriceps); S Tim McTyer (neck); S Marquez Pope (quadriceps).

TITANS: Out: WR Derrick Mason (knee); QB Steve McNair (back). Questionable: WR Isaac Byrd (groin); TE Jackie Harris (ribs); DE Kenny Holmes (ankle); S Steve Jackson (hamstring); G Jason Layman (finger); T Jason Mathews (back); DT Joe Salave'a (calf); CB Denard Walker (shoulder).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Packers by 6.

Vs. spread: Packers 0-1; Lions 1-0.

Last week: Packers beat Raiders, 28-24. Lions beat Seahawks, 28-20.

Series: Packers lead 70-60-7.

Last meeting: Lions won, 27-20, on Oct. 15, 1998, in Detroit.

Outlook: So Ron Rivers is outrunning Dorsey Levens? Rivers, replacement for the retired Barry Sanders, rushed 16 times for 96 yards in Detroit's rousing victory at Seattle last week. QB Charlie Batch threw three touchdown passes, DE Robert Porcher had three sacks and the Lions' defense held Mike Holmgren's ballyhooed offensive system and players to 205 yards. Of course, doing that to QB Brett Favre and the Packers will be more challenging. Look for Favre, again, to win it late.

Notable: Favre has 3,698 passing yards against the Lions, more than against any other team, but has thrown 21 interceptions in the past 12 meetings.


PACKERS: Probable: G Joe Andruzzi (knee); T Earl Dotson (back); QB Brett Favre (thumb); DE Vonnie Holliday (back).

LIONS: Out: DE Jared DeVries (foot); WR Herman Moore (knee). Questionable: TE Pete Chryplewicz (calf); C Mike Compton (knee); T Tony Ramirez (ankle).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 11.

Vs. spread: Raiders 1-0; Vikings 0-1.

Last week: Raiders lost to Packers, 28-24. Vikings beat Falcons, 17-14.

Series: Raiders lead 6-3.

Last meeting: Vikings won in OT, 16-13, on Nov. 17, 1996, in Oakland.

Outlook: The Raiders played Green Bay surprisingly tough and then stood by helplessly as the Packers kept driving for big yards and big points for a last-minute victory. Now Oakland hits the road again in its second of three straight games against the NFC Central. What it will find in Minnesota is a team eager to duplicate last season's offensive exploits, a team yearning to blow its offense open. Oakland allowed 409 yards and 28 points at Green Bay. Look for improvement, but not enough, in a testy battle featuring big plays. QB Rich Gannon will have to find WR Tim Brown open deep a few times for the Raiders to have a chance.

Notable: Raiders have lost their season opener four consecutive years.


RAIDERS: Out: QB Scott Dreisbach (leg); T Matt Stinchcomb (shoulder). Questionable: RB Zack Crockett (foot).

VIKINGS: Out: WR Matthew Hatchette (ankle). Questionable: CB Antonio Banks (quadriceps). Probable: DE Stalin Colinet (toe); DE Martin Harrison (knee); RB Moe Williams (hamstring).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bucs by 6 1/2.

Vs. spread: Bucs 0-1; Eagles 1-0.

Last week: Bucs lost to Giants, 17-13. Eagles lost to Cardinals, 25-24.

Series: Eagles lead 3-2.

Last meeting: Bucs won, 21-6, on Sept. 3, 1995, in Philadelphia.

Outlook: The Eagles' Duce Staley is a diminutive running back who is fun to watch. He hits holes quickly and keeps chucking, and has gained 100 or more yards from scrimmage in each of his past seven games. He is one of the few bright spots for the Eagles, losers again last week in painful fashion. Now come the Bucs and their stressed-out QB, Trent Dilfer, who absolutely needs a big game, a victory. He is on the verge of getting benched for good after just two '99 starts. His last one was lousy (a fumble and an interception returned for TDs) against the Giants. This one could be better.

Notable: Eagles scored more than 17 points last week for the first time in 13 games.


BUCS: Questionable: WR Reidel Anthony (ribs). Probable: LB Jeff Gooch (hamstring); G Frank Middleton (shoulder); T Jason Odom (knee-ankle); LB Shelton Quarles (ankle); DE Steve White (foot).

EAGLES: Out: John Welbourn (knee-IR). Questionable: DT Bill Johnson (ankle); WR Torrance Small (rib). Probable: S Brian Dawkins (eye); QB Koy Detmer (back).


Time: 4: 15 p.m., Ch. 9.

Line: Broncos by 3 1/2.

Vs. spread: Broncos 0-1; Chiefs 0-1.

Last week: Broncos lost to Dolphins, 38-21. Chiefs lost to Bears, 20-17.

Series: Chiefs lead 43-34.

Last meeting: Broncos won, 35-31, on Dec. 6, 1998, in Denver.

Outlook: The Broncos hope to rebound from Monday night's opening debacle in Miami by winning at Arrowhead Stadium, where they prevailed, 30-7, last year in what was the signature game for the Chiefs' deplorable season. It was the game in which the Chiefs and LB Derrick Thomas unraveled, showing their frustration with a bushel of ugly personal-foul penalties. Denver seeks improvement. Kansas City seeks retribution. Take the angry team.

Notable: Broncos have won 21 of their past 25 AFC West games.


BRONCOS: Out: S George Coghill (knee). Questionable: WR Rod Smith (groin). Probable: CB Ray Crockett (arm); RB Terrell Davis (wrist); QB Brian Griese (thigh-shoulder); T Matt Lepsis (leg); RB Anthony Lynn (toe); WR Ed McCaffrey (leg); QB Chris Miller (elbow); G Mark Schlereth (back); TE Shannon Sharpe (ankle); CB Chris Watson (thigh); LB Al Wilson (groin).

CHIEFS: Out: DE John Browning (Achilles-IR); RB Vershan Jackson (knee-IR); CB Sean Williams (hand-IR). Questionable: TE Tony Gonzalez (knee); DE Dan Williams (thigh). Probable: DT Chester McGlockton (back); DT Ty Parten (shoulder); G Dave Szott (knee).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Patriots by 4.

Vs. spread: Colts 1-0; Patriots 1-0.

Last week: Colts beat Bills, 31-14. Patriots beat Jets, 30-28.

Series: Patriots lead 35-22.

Last meeting: Patriots won, 21-16, on Nov. 1, 1998, in Indianapolis.

Outlook: Indianapolis won one AFC East game last year. The Colts can double that number today, but they'll have to do it against a team that usually shakes them silly. Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe owns a career-most nine victories against the Colts. In the last five meetings, he has thrown 11 TD passes and one interception. The Patriots' defensive stars (Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Lawyer Milloy) made huge plays at big times last week. New England played confidently against the Jets and should illustrate even more confidence here.

Notable: Bledsoe has more pass attempts in his first six seasons (3,382) than any other QB in any six-season stretch.


COLTS: Out: LB Jeff Brady (knee-ankle); RB Darick Holmes (ankle). Questionable: CB Paul Miranda (knee). Probable: CB Jason Belser (knee); LB Cornelius Bennett (knee); CB Tyrone Poole (thigh); KR Terrance Wilkins (head).

PATRIOTS: Out: LB Ted Johnson (biceps). Questionable: G Heath Irwin (knee); T Zefross Moss (ankle).


Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bengals by 1.

Vs. spread: Chargers 0-0; Bengals 1-0.

Last week: Chargers did not play. Bengals lost to Titans, 36-35.

Series: Chargers lead 14-9.

Last meeting: Bengals won, 38-31, on Nov. 2, 1997, in Cincinnati.

Outlook: The Chargers didn't play last week, the only NFL team to have a bye on opening weekend. How strange for the Chargers to be the only team at home watching the season unfold and pass them by? There is time to catch up, right now. As a matter of fact, each team in their division (AFC West) lost last week, so the Chargers are in first place at 0-0. If only the Bengals could gain a bye every week. They lost another game in sorry fashion last week, wilting when it counted most.

Notable: Chargers played an AFC-high 11 games decided by eight points or fewer last year, going 5-6 in those games.


CHARGERS: Out: WR Charlie Jones (hip); QB Ryan Leaf (shoulder). Questionable: S Michael Dumas (hamstring); G Kendyl Jacox (knee). Probable: LB Gerald Dixon (knee); WR Jeff Graham (groin); S Greg Jackson (thumb); CB Jimmy Spencer (foot).

BENGALS: Questionable: WR James Hundon (toe). Probable: C Brock Gutierrez (ankle); RB Brian Milne (knee); S Greg Myers (ankle); RB Nick Williams (ankle).


Time: 4: 05 p.m., Ch. 45.

Line: 49ers by 10 1/2.

Vs. spread: Saints 1-0; 49ers 0-1.

Last week: Saints beat Panthers, 19-10. 49ers lost to Jaguars, 41-3.

Series: 49ers lead 42-15-2.

Last meeting: 49ers won, 31-20, on Nov. 22, 1998, in San Francisco.

Outlook: Big game for the Saints, a potential confidence-builder against the team that has dominated the NFC West for two decades. Big game for the 49ers after last week's blowout loss at Jacksonville. Hands are wringing in San Francisco. Is this it? Are the good times gone? Can QB Steve Young do it anymore? He can, but he needs some help, especially from the running game. Saints rookie RB Ricky Williams is expected to start after leaving in the second quarter last week with an ankle injury.

Notable: 49ers coach Steve Mariucci is 16-0 at home.


SAINTS: Out: WR Brett Bech (abdominal strain). Doubtful: CB Earl Little (concussion). Questionable: TE Cam Cleeland (Achilles); LB Vinson Smith (flu); RB Ricky Williams (ankle). Probable: DE Jared Tomich (calf). 49ERS: Out: TE Shonn Bell (shoulder); TE Greg Clark (rib). Questionable: T Tyrone Hopdon (shoulder); LB Anthony Peterson (hamstring). Probable: RB Travis Jervey (ankle); DT Reggie McGrew (knee); G Phil Ostrowski (foot); LB Lee Woodall (hip).

N.Y. JETS (0-1) AT BUFFALO (0-1)

Time: 8: 20 p.m., ESPN.

Line: Bills by 4.

Vs. spread: Bills 0-1; Jets 0-1.

Last week: Jets lost to Patriots, 30-28. Bills lost to Colts, 31-14.

Series: Bills lead 43-33.

Last meeting: Jets won, 17-10, on Dec. 19, 1998, in Buffalo.

Outlook: Both teams seek to avert not only an 0-2 start but also an 0-2 division start. The Jets turn to Rick Mirer at quarterback and hope that Keyshawn Johnson (eight catches, career-high 194 receiving yards against New England) can maintain his fast pace. It is the Jets' first chance to show what they can do without the injured Vinny Testaverde. Flutie was all over the place in his team's loss at Indianapolis. He completed only 22 of 42 passes in the scrambling mode that is his game. The Jets will try to box him in, keep him contained and let the game boil down to Curtis Martin vs. Antowain Smith at running back.

Notable: Bills DE Bruce Smith has a career-best 29.5 sacks vs. the Jets.


JETS: Out: WR Wayne Chrebet (foot); DT Jason Ferguson (ankle); TE Eric Green (neck); RB Leon Johnson (knee-IR); CB Otis Smith (shoulder); QB Vinny Testaverde (Achilles-IR). Probable: DT Ernie Logan (calf).

BILLS: Out: RB Thurman Thomas (liver contusion). Doubtful: G Joe Panos (neck). Questionable: LB Dan Brandenburg (ankle).

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