TODAY'S GAMES

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Arizona (1-2) at St. Louis (1-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 10 1/2

Key stat: Rams haven't held an opponent to fewer than 23 points.

Players to watch: Rams RB Lamar Gordon, averaging 5.1 yards per carry in limited action, takes over from the injured Marshall Faulk. RB Emmitt Smith is averaging only 3.6 yards a carry for the Cardinals.

The buzz: No Kurt Warner. No Marshall Faulk. These are not the Rams you have known. Despite last week's upset of the Packers, these are pretty much the Cardinals you have known, although Jeff Blake-to-Anquan Boldin is a solid passing combination.

Tennessee (2-1) at Pittsburgh (2-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 3

Key stat: Titans have no interceptions.

Players to watch: Both quarterbacks are off to good starts, with the Titans' Steve McNair and the Steelers' Tommy Maddox each having thrown five touchdown passes. Maddox has completed 70 of 110 passes, but has been intercepted four times.

The buzz: Titans' Jeff Fisher vs. Steelers' Bill Cowher has become one of the NFL's top coaching matchups, and Tennessee has won 10 of the past 13 meetings. Can the Steelers control the ball with the running of Amos Zereoue and Jerome Bettis?

Jacksonville (0-3) at Houston (1-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Jaguars by 3

Key stat: Jaguars have been outscored 61-30 in their past two losses.

Players to watch: The Jaguars are likely to give rookie QB Byron Leftwich his first start. The Texans are giving playing time to rookie RB Tony Hollings.

The buzz: Mark Brunell's elbow injury may give Leftwich, who has looked good in garbage time, a chance. Except for the first half of the opener, the Jaguars have looked like one of the NFL's worst teams.

Philadelphia (0-2) at Buffalo (2-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 45

Line: Bills by 3

Key stat: Eagles have won 21 of their past 23 games when they score 20 points or more.

Players to watch: Can Bills QB Drew Bledsoe bounce back from an off game in Miami to continue a season that looks promising? Will Eagles QB Donovan McNabb throw his first touchdown pass (against three interceptions)?

The buzz: The Eagles had a week off to contemplate their offense, which has produced 10 points in two games. The Bills may have trouble running the ball if RB Travis Henry is slowed by a rib injury, but Bledsoe can move the offense anyway.

New England (2-1) at Washington (2-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 9

Line: Redskins by 3

Key stat: Patriots' two victories have come against teams with a combined 0-5 record.

Players to watch: Redskins WR Laveranues Coles has had at least 100 yards receiving in all three games. RB Kevin Faulk leads the Patriots with 10 catches for 96 yards.

The buzz: The Patriots' defense has been devastated by injuries and is running out of linebackers, which may prompt the return to a 4-3 alignment, and QB Tom Brady has an injured elbow. Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey has thrown for a league-high 889 yards.

Cincinnati (0-3) at Cleveland (1-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Browns by 4 1/2

Key stat: Browns have beaten the Bengals in the past three meetings.

Players to watch: Bengals RB Corey Dillon has rushed for 941 yards and five touchdowns in eight games vs. the Browns. Browns WR Kevin Johnson has 44 receptions for a 16.3-yard average in eight games vs. the Bengals.

The buzz: QB Tim Couch replaces the injured Kelly Holcomb and gets another chance to show he can be the Browns' starter. The Bengals are winless under Marvin Lewis, but they were competitive vs. the Raiders and Steelers.

San Francisco (1-2) at Minnesota (3-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 1

Key stat: Vikings are the 10th team since 1970 to begin the season with three division victories.

Players to watch: Two of the NFL's top receivers: Terrell Owens leads 49ers with 20 catches for a 12.2-yard average and one touchdown; Randy Moss has 16 catches for a 16.4-yard average and one touchdown.

The buzz: Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper leads the NFL in passing, but a sore back may keep him out. Enter Gus Frerotte, who threw for a touchdown in relief of Culpepper last week. San Francisco's offensive line is still fighting injuries.

San Diego (0-3) at Oakland (1-2)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Raiders by 7

Key stat: Raiders have won nine of the past 11 meetings.

Players to watch: Chargers QB Drew Brees is struggling, with three touchdown passes vs. six interceptions. Raiders QB Rich Gannon hasn't thrown an interception in 95 passes, but has thrown for only 516 yards.

The buzz: The Raiders were embarrassed in a 21-point loss in Denver on Monday night and will make the Chargers pay. San Diego isn't generating much offense and is losing by a gaudy 17 points per game.

Dallas (1-1) at N.Y. Jets (0-3)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

TV: Ch. 5

Line: Jets by 3

Key stat: Jets have scored 39 points in three games.

Players to watch: Cowboys WR Joey Galloway has 10 catches for an 18.2-yard average in the first two games. Jets DE Shaun Ellis is second in the NFL with four sacks.

The buzz: After a week off, Bill Parcells brings his team back to the Meadowlands, where the Cowboys beat the Giants two weeks ago. Until the Jets find a way to score, they will have trouble winning, even at home.

Atlanta (1-2) at Carolina (2-0)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Panthers by 6

Key stat: Falcons have won the past six meetings.

Players to watch: Panthers DE Mike Rucker has three sacks in two games. Falcons QB Doug Johnson has thrown four touchdown passes vs. six interceptions.

The buzz: Carolina is in position to start 3-0 for the second straight year. RB Stephen Davis, averaging 4.6 yards a carry, should find room against Atlanta's 26th-ranked rushing defense.

Detroit (1-2) at Denver (3-0)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Broncos by 12

Key stat: Broncos have beaten Bengals, Chargers and Raiders by an average of 25 points.

Players to watch: Rookie WR Charles Rogers leads the Lions with 14 catches but is averaging only 9.3 yards per reception. Broncos DE Bertrand Berry leads the NFL with 4 1/2 sacks.

The buzz: The Broncos are taking advantage of a soft early schedule to establish Jake Plummer as their quarterback and should breeze past the Lions, who have lost 17 straight on the road.

Indianapolis (3-0) at New Orleans (1-2)

Time: 8:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Line: Colts by 1 1/2

Key stat: It's the Saints' No. 25 offense vs. the Colts' No. 5 defense.

Players to watch: Can Colts RB Edgerrin James improve his average of 3.7 yards a carry? Can Saints RB Deuce McAllister do better than 3.8 yards a carry.

The buzz: The Saints' only victory came in their only home game, against Houston. The Colts might be ripe for an upset after their fast start. But their defense has allowed only 26 points in three games, and the Saints haven't shown much offensive spark.

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