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The Baltimore Sun


Notes about the AFC's top 10 teams: Colts (9-1) -- Indianapolis catches a major break tonight, facing the Eagles without quarterback Donovan McNabb. Jeff Garcia will replace McNabb, and he's a shell of the player he was in San Francisco, with a 4-11 record in his past 15 starts.


Chargers (8-2) -- Fullback Lorenzo Neal says he is in awe watching teammate LaDainian Tomlinson, who has set four NFL records while scoring 22 touchdowns in the first 10 games. "Sometimes you're like a cheerleader. You just want to start clapping," Neal said.


Ravens (8-2) -- The Ravens can eliminate defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh (4-6) from AFC North contention today. "It's a must-win, a have-to-have game," Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said. "Guys know it's a state of emergency."


Patriots (7-3) -- New England's players are thrilled about the new FieldTurf that has replaced the ragged grass field at Gillette Stadium. "There would be times [when] there were holes we were putting our feet in," left tackle Matt Light said.


Chiefs (7-4) -- The Austin American-Statesman reported that ailing owner Lamar Hunt couldn't watch Thursday's victory over Denver because the NFL Network wasn't available in his hospital room. So Hunt called his daughter and listened to the telecast through the phone.


Broncos (7-4) -- Quarterback Jake Plummer likely will lose his starting spot to rookie Jay Cutler after another poor outing in Thursday's loss to Kansas City. Plummer has thrown more interceptions (12) than touchdown passes (11).


Jaguars (6-4) -- After bullying Eli Manning in Monday's win over the Giants, the Jaguars will try today to stomp another quarterback from the Class of 2004. But the Bills' J.P. Losman is coming off a career-best 340-yard passing performance while guiding his first NFL fourth-quarter comeback victory in Sunday's 24-21 win over the Texans.


Bengals (5-5) -- Receiver Chad Johnson, who has an NFL-record 450 receiving yards in the past two games, said he is looking forward to another matchup with underrated Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden today. "He's one of the best cover corners I've been able to go against," Johnson said. "He ranks right up there with Champ [Bailey], DeAngelo [Hall], Nate Clements and those guys because of his ability to cover small areas of the field with no help."


Jets (5-5) -- Quarterback Chad Pennington will have a chance to get back on track today against the Texans' struggling pass defense. Pennington has thrown nine interceptions and just four touchdown passes in the past six games.


Dolphins (5-6) -- The combined winning percentage of the Dolphins' final five opponents (.620) is greater than the teams on the remaining schedules of fellow wild-card contenders Jacksonville (.565), Cincinnati (.541), Kansas City (.540), Denver (.520) and the Jets (.350).

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