NFL WEEK 2: TODAY'S GAMES

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Oakland (1-0) at Indianapolis (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 6 1/2 .

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

Series: Raiders lead 5-2.

Last meeting: Raiders won, 30-17, on Oct. 22, 1995, at Oakland.

Outlook: This won't be 2-0 at the end of three quarters, as it was last week in the Raiders-Chargers game. But a win by Oakland by any score would be a major step toward getting off the .500 cycle the Raiders have been on for a decade. Jeff Burris' interception return that broke open Indianapolis' win in Kansas City was just what the Colts need - a big defensive play to take pressure off QB Peyton Manning and friends.

Notable: Raiders WR Andre Rison is the only player in NFL history with a TD catch for seven different teams.

Injuries:

RAIDERS: Questionable-LB Eric Barton (hamstring).

COLTS: Out-WR Terrence Wilkins (head). Doubtful-DE Mark Thomas (knee). Questionable-WR Marvin Harrison (shoulder). Probable-RB Edgerrin James (hamstring); DT Ellis Johnson (thigh/knee); DE Chukie Nwokorie (hand/ankle); LB Marcus Washington (hamstring).

Green Bay (0-1) at Buffalo (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bills by 6.

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

Series: Bills lead 5-2.

Last meeting: Packers won, 31-21, on Dec. 20, 1997, at Green Bay.

Outlook: The Bills, who consistently come up with good young players, could let down after their intense win over Tennessee. They could have a problem if QB Rob Johnson's injured ankle flares up again. Green Bay, like San Francisco and Dallas, looks like it's fading and depends almost entirely on QB Brett Favre's aching elbow.

Notable: Packers WR Antonio Freeman (Poly) has 4,733 yards receiving since 1996, tops among NFC players. He has 42 career TD catches and needs one to tie for fifth on the Packers' career list.

Injuries:

PACKERS: Out-WR Corey Bradford (leg); RB Dorsey Levens (knee); CB Mike McKenzie (knee); LB Brian Williams (knee). Questionable-T Earl Dotson (back); T Chad Clifton (knee); RB Basil Mitchell (knee). Probable-QB Brett Favre (elbow); LB Antuan Edwards (ankle).

BILLS: Questionable-QB Doug Flutie (groin); RB Jonathan Linton (ribs); G Joe Panos (foot); LB Sam Rogers (shoulder). Probable-QB Rob Johnson (leg).

Cleveland (0-1) at Cincinnati (0-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bengals by 6 1/2 .

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

Series: Browns lead 27-26.

Last meeting: Bengals won, 44-28, on Dec. 12, 1999, at Cincinnati.

Outlook: The Bengals open with the first regular-season game in Paul Brown Stadium. Their hopes rest primarily on the talented but green passing duo of QB Akili Smith and WR Peter Warrick. The Browns have some nice young players - DE Courtney Brown and QB Tim Couch to name two - but unlike Jacksonville and Carolina, their free-agent signings haven't produced much.

Notable: Bengals RB Corey Dillon had 360 rushing yards in two games vs. Browns last season and has 472 rushing yards and four TDs in his past four games overall.

Injuries:

BROWNS: Probable-WR Darrin Chiaverini (head), WR JuJuan Dawson (hip); WR David Patten (neck), G Jim Pyne (ankle).

BENGALS: Out-RB Michael Basnight (wrist). Probable-S-KR Tremain Mack (ankle); DT Tom Barndt (chest).

N.Y. Giants (1-0) at Philadelphia (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 5.

Line: Eagles by 3.

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

Series: Giants lead 70-58-2.

Last meeting: Giants won, 23-17, in OT on Oct. 31, 1999, at Philadelphia.

Outlook: The winner gets the inside track to the runner-up role behind the Redskins in the NFC East. One likelihood: Unless there's another lightning delay, the clock should keep running. The Giants (Tiki Barber 144, Ron Dayne 78) ran for 223 yards against Arizona last week and the Eagles' Duce Staley had 201 all by himself in the Eagles' 41-14 shocker over the Cowboys. Dallas was banged-up, however, so if the Eagles are one of the NFL's most improved teams, they can prove it with another win today.

Notable: Giants coach Jim Fassel has never lost to the Eagles (6-0).

Injuries:

GIANTS: Doubtful-DE Jeremiah Parker (neck); CB Andre Weathers (knee). Questionable-S Sam Garnes (concussion); TE Pete Mitchell (knee).

EAGLES: Out-WR Na Brown (hand). Questionable-WR Torrance Small (hamstring).

Kansas City (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Titans by 8 1/2 .

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

Series: Chiefs lead 24-17.

Last meeting: Chiefs won, 20-19, on Sept. 1, 1996, at Houston.

Outlook: The Titans' "new" offense looked a lot like its old offense in Buffalo last week with one exception - keeping QB Steve McNair in the pocket negates the scrambling that was one of the Titans' best weapons en route to the Super Bowl last season. This is a tough start for the Chiefs - playing the AFC's two best teams in consecutive weeks.

Notable: Titans have won eight regular-season games in a row to open Adelphia Coliseum and need a win today to tie the Chiefs for best stadium opening in NFL history.

Injuries:

CHIEFS: Out-G Dave Szott (arm). Doubtful-FB Donnell Bennett (foot); TE Jason Dunn (shoulder). Questionable-RB Dante Hall (back). Probable-DT John Browning (knee); CB James Hasty (shoulder); DT Chester McGlockton (ribs).

TITANS: Out-DE Byron Frisch (ankle); TE Michael Roan (knee/ankle). Questionable-LB Frank Chamberlin (shoulder); LB Randall Godfrey (shoulder); C Kevin Long (ankle); WR Derrick Mason (thigh); WR Yancey Thigpen (thigh).

Chicago (0-1) at Tampa Bay (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bucs by 7.

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

Series: Bears lead 30-14.

Last meeting: Bucs won, 20-6, on Jan. 2 at Chicago.

Outlook: The "improved" Bears are in a tough spot - a loss here and they're 0-2 in the NFC. That's likely - Chicago hasn't scored an offensive touchdown against the Bucs in 10 quarters. X-factor could be Bears QB Cade McNown, who opened the season by completing 27 of 41 passes for 290 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 87 yards and one TD. Tampa Bay may finally be getting an offense to go with the league's best defense. WR Keyshawn Johnson has to be accounted for and Shaun King is getting better at quarterback.

Notable: Bucs have held the Bears below 20 points in each of their past eight meetings.

Injuries:

BEARS: Out-TE John Allred (shoulder). Probable-TE Dustin Lyman (shoulder).

BUCS: Doubtful-S Dexter Jackson (ankle). Probable-S John Lynch (thigh); CB Floyd Young (hamstring).

Miami (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 3.

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

Series: Dolphins lead 4-2.

Last meeting: Vikings won, 38-35, on Sept. 25, 1994, at Minnesota.

Outlook: Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper did a lot last week against Chicago , but this is a far better test against one of the NFL's quickest defenses. "I don't know how many teams are going to just let me run around like that," he said after running for 73 yards. QB Jay Fiedler isn't Dan Marino, but journeyman Lamar Smith looks better than any running back the Dolphins have had in a while.

Notable: Dolphins have started 2-0 six consecutive seasons and have the NFL's best September record (27-9) over the past 10 years.

Injuries:

DOLPHINS: Out-CB Ben Kelly (knee); CB Terrance Shaw (knee). Questionable-S Greg Jeffries (hamstring). Probable-DE Trace Armstrong (gluteal contusion); C John Bock (ankle); RB Autry Denson (ankle).

VIKINGS: Out-DE Michael Boireau (knee/hand). Doubtful-G Chris Liwienski (knee). Questionable-DE Gabe Northern (groin). Probable-DE John Burrough (knee); LB Jim Nelson (shoulder).

Atlanta (1-0) at Denver (0-1)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Broncos by 5 1/2 .

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

Series: Broncos lead 6-3.

Last meeting: Broncos won, 34-19, in Super Bowl XXXIII on Jan. 31, 1999.

Outlook: This was supposed to be the battle of the rehabbing running backs - Terrell Davis and his good friend, Jamal Anderson. But Davis sprained his ankle Monday night, backup Olandis Gary is gone for the year with a knee injury and the Denver starter might be another Anderson - sixth-round draft choice Mike, a former Marine who will turn 27 in 10 days.

Notable: Broncos are 33-7 under coach Mike Shanahan at Mile High Staduim and have won four of their past five home openers.

Injuries:

FALCONS: Out-LB Chris Draft (hamstring); WR Jammi German (ankle); LB Mark Simoneau (groin). Doubtful-QB Danny Kanell (finger). Questionable-DT Shane Dronett (arm); WR Terance Mathis (hip); DE Brady Smith (groin); T Michael Thompson (neck).

BRONCOS: Out-RB Olandis Gary (knee-injured reserve). Doubtful-LB Al Wilson (shoulder). Questionable-RB Terrell Davis (ankle). Probable-WR Ed McCaffrey (groin); LB John Mobley (knee); DE Kavika Pittman (neck).

St. Louis (1-0) at Seattle (0-1)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Rams by 8.

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

Series: Rams lead 4-2.

Last meeting: Seahawks won, 17-9, on Oct. 19, 1997, at St. Louis.

Outlook: The Rams demonstrated Monday night that they're the same team they were last year. In other words, "speed kills" on offense. St. Louis, however, didn't show much defense (until it counted), but that might not be a problem today, because the Seahawks showed no offense last week. QB Brock Huard replaced Jon Kitna in the third quarter of the shutout in Miami, but Kitna gets another shot this week.

Notable: Rams, who were 5-3 on the road last season, have scored at least 30 points in seven consecutive games.

Injuries:

RAMS: Out-DT D'Marco Farr (knee); LB Leonard Little (ankle). Questionable-CB Todd Lyght (toe). Probable-WR AZ-Zahir Hakim (knee); DE Sean Moran (knee).

SEAHAWKS: Out-DT Tim Watson (knee). Questionable-DE John Hilliard (groin). Probable-TE Christian Fauria (hamstring); QB Jon Kitna (back).

Carolina (0-1) at San Francisco (0-1)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Panthers by 3 1/2 .

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

Series: Tied 5-5.

Last meeting: Panthers won, 41-24, on Dec. 18, 1999, at Carolina.

Outlook: Off a loss that could have been a win in Washington last week, the Panthers look like a possible playoff contender. Off a loss in Atlanta last week, the 49ers look a little improved on offense, but that's about it. Look for the Carolina receivers, stifled by the Redskins' Champ Bailey, Darrell Green and Deion Sanders, to romp a bit through the inexperienced San Francisco secondary.

Notable: Panthers QB Steve Beuerlein had 668 yards passing with eight TD passes in two games vs. the 49ers last season.

Injuries:

PANTHERS: Out-T James Dexter (elbow); LB Hannibal Navies (knee). Probable-DT Dean Gilbert (groin); TE Kris Mangum (knee); WR Mushin Muhammad (hamstrng); DE Chuck Smith (knee); LB Lee Woodall (shoulder).

49ERS: Out-RB Paul Smith (calf). Doubtful-S Lance Schulters (ankle). Probable-C Ben Lynch (shoulder); LB Jeff Ulbrich (shoulder).

New Orleans (0-1) at San Diego (0-1)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Chargers by 5 1/2 .

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

Series: Chargers lead 6-1.

Last meeting: Chargers won, 20-6, on Sept. 6, 1997, at New Orleans.

Outlook: The new Saints look a lot like the old. The defense is solid, but the offense needs work. Although he fumbled twice, RB Ricky Williams was the lone bright spot for the Saints last week, rushing for 84 yards on 20 carries. It's the same story for the Chargers, as Mike Riley will have to show patience with QB Ryan Leaf.

Notable: Chargers K John Carney needs five points to become the first player in club history with 1,000 points.

Injuries:

SAINTS: Out-LB Charlie Clemons (calf); S Rob Kelly (fibula). Doubtful-CB Fred Thomas (knee). Questionable-CB Alex Molden (groin); LB Darrin Smith (hamstring). Probable-RB Ricky Williams (foot), S Chris Oldham (hamstring); CB Corey Harris (ankle); TE Andrew Glover (knee/back); LB Phil Clarke (shoulder).

CHARGERS: Out-S Jason Perry (knee). Doubtful-DE Al Fontenot (calf). Questionable-WR Reggie Jones (knee); CB Fakhir Brown (shoulder). Probable-WR Nate Jacquet (Achilles); WR Curtis Conway (shoulder); QB Ryan Leaf (groin); DE Darren Mickell (hip).

Dallas (0-1) at Arizona (0-1)

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

Line: Cardinals by 3 1/2 .

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

Series: Cowboys lead 50-24-12.

Last meeting: Cardinals won, 13-9, on Nov. 21, 1999, at Arizona.

Outlook: The Cowboys were overrated entering the season because they're THE COWBOYS. In reality, they're probably no better than the Cardinals. QB Randall Cunningham will start in place of Troy Aikman, but Dallas' best bet is a healthy Emmitt Smith, because the Cardinals allowed the Giants to run for 223 yards last week.

Notable: Smith has 24 rushing TDs in 20 career games against the Cardinals.

Injuries:

COWBOYS: Out-QB Troy Aikman (concussion); WR Joey Galloway (knee); CB Dwayne Goodrich (hamstring); CB Charlie Williams (knee). Probable-QB Randall Cunningham (thumb); CB Mario Edwards (hamstring); TE David LaFleur (groin); RB Emmitt Smith (hand).

CARDINALS: Out-DE Thomas Burke (knee); C Mike Gruttadauria (knee); DE Andre Wadsworth (knee). Doubtful-G Lester Holmes (knee); T L.J. Shelton (knee); LB Zack Walz (knee). Probable-QB Chris Greisen (ankle); CB Tom Knight (hip); LB Johnny Rutledge (knee); WR Frank Sanders (leg).

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