NFL capsules -- Week 14
The Associated Press
All times Mountain
San Diego (2-10) at Detroit (4-8)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - Lions by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Chargers 4-8. Lions 7-5.
SERIES RECORD - Chargers lead 4-3.
LAST MEETING - Chargers beat Lions 20-10 on Oct. 10, 1999, at Detroit.
LAST WEEK - Chargers lost to Chiefs 28-24. Lions beat Packers 22-14.
KEY MATCHUP - Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Lions' front seven.
Tomlinson became Chargers' all-time leader in 100-yard rushing games last week. He also leads NFL RBs in receptions. Lions defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer, brother of Chargers coach Marty, will try to devise scheme to contain Tomlinson.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Lions have surrendered 10 sacks in 2003, fewest in NFL. ... Chargers' average time of possession is 26:55, second worst in league. ... Chargers P Darren Bennett is NFL's fifth all-time leading punter with minimum of 250 punts, averaging 43.9 yards. ... Lions have won three straight at home and lost 22 straight on road. ... Lions haven't
allowed an opponent to record 100-yard receiving game since Week 1.
Chicago (5-7) at Green Bay (6-6)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE - Packers by 7.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Bears 7-5. Packers 6-6.
SERIES RECORD - Bears lead 84-76-6.
LAST MEETING - Packers beat Bears 38-23 on Sept. 29 at Chicago.
LAST WEEK - Bears beat Cardinals 28-3. Packers lost to Lions 22-14.
KEY MATCHUP - Bears RB Anthony Thomas vs. Packers RB Ahman Green. Green has 1,383 yards rushing, 91 short of Jim Taylor's club record. Taylor's mark, set in 1962, is oldest team single-season rushing record in NFL. Thomas has three 100-yard rushing games this season, one short of career high. After missing last week's win with viral pneumonia, he is expected to play.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Packers QB Brett Favre can pass Forrest Gregg for club record with 188th straight game played. He has started 185 in row, most ever by NFL QB. Favre also has TD pass in 21 consecutive games, one short of Cecil Isbell's team record. ... Packers' minus-12 turnover differential is second worst in NFL. ... Bears KR Jerry Azumah leads NFL with 31.5 average. ... Packers' 34-11 record in December in last 10 seasons is NFL's best.
Oakland (3-9) at Pittsburgh (4-8)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - Steelers by 4 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Raiders 2-9. Steelers 5-7.
SERIES RECORD - Raiders lead 11-9.
LAST MEETING - Raiders beat Steelers 30-17 on Sept. 15, 2002, at
LAST WEEK - Raiders lost to Broncos 22-8. Steelers lost to Bengals 24-20.
KEY MATCHUP - Raiders secondary vs. Steelers WRs Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress. Ward leads AFC with 78 receptions and needs 189 yards receiving to become fifth Steeler with 5,000 in career. Burress had season-high eight catches for 112 yards in last week's loss. Raiders CB Phillip Buchanon is fifth in AFC with five INTs.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Raiders WR Jerry Rice has catch in NFL-record 268 consecutive games. ... Steelers RB Jerome Bettis has 12,010 yards rushing and needs 65 to pass Thurman Thomas for ninth on NFL's career list. ... Raiders WR Tim Brown needs one TD reception to become fourth player with 100. ... Raiders are 0-6 on road this season. ... Steelers have averaged 85.3 yards rushing per game, second-worst mark in NFL, but Raiders have allowed league-high 150.8 yards on ground.
Houston (5-7) at Jacksonville(3-9)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - No line.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Texans 7-5. Jaguars 6-6.
SERIES RECORD - Texans lead 2-1.
LAST MEETING - Texans beat Jaguars 24-20 on Sept. 28 at Houston.
LAST WEEK - Texans beat Falcons 17-13. Jaguars beat Buccaneers 17-10.
KEY MATCHUP - Texans' running game vs. Jaguars' front seven. Jaguars boast league's second-best rushing defense - they have allowed just 85.4 yards per game on ground and have limited opposing starters to 58.5 yards per game over last 11. Houston's Domanick Davis leads NFL rookies with 825 yards rushing, but is questionable (ankle); team expects him to play. He would need big game with QB David Carr recovering from sprained right shoulder.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - All three meetings between Texans and Jaguars have been decided by four points or fewer. Texans won in September when QB David Carr sneaked in for winning score as time expired. ... Jaguars RB Fred Taylor is fifth among AFC RBs with 1,037 yards rushing. ... Both teams will attempt to win back-to-back games for first time this season.
Second-year Texans will try to do so for first time in franchise history.
Washington (4-8) at New York Giants (4-8)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE - Giants by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Redskins 5-5. Giants 3-7.
SERIES RECORD - Giants lead 81-58-4.
LAST MEETING - Giants beat Redskins 24-21 in OT on Sept. 21 at Washington.
LAST WEEK - Redskins lost to Saints 24-20. Giants lost to Bills 24-7.
KEY MATCHUP - Redskins CB Champ Bailey vs. Giants QB Kerry Collins. Bailey committed two pass interference penalties in last week's loss, both of which set up TDs. He'll get chance to redeem himself against Giants. Collins leads NFL with 486 pass attempts and NFC with 279 completions and 3,048 yards.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Redskins DE Bruce Smith has 198 sacks, tied with Reggie White for most in NFL history. ... Giants are 40-5 under head coach Jim Fassel when leading at halftime. ... Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey reinjured right foot at end of practice Wednesday, leaving early for X-rays. If he can't play, Tim Hasselbeck will make second straight start.
... Ten of Redskins' games have been decided by seven points or fewer. ...In last week's loss, Giants set season lows with 10 first downs and 20:53 time of possession. Their 24 yards rushing was lowest mark since 2000.
Indianapolis (9-3) at Tennessee (9-3)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - Titans by 3 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Colts 7-4. Titans 7-4.
SERIES RECORD - Titans lead 10-8.
LAST MEETING - Colts beat Titans 33-7 on Sept. 14 at Indianapolis.
LAST WEEK - Colts lost to Patriots 38-34. Titans lost to Jets 24-17.
KEY MATCHUP - Colts QB Peyton Manning vs. Titans QB Steve McNair. MVP contenders McNair (103.5) and Manning (98.5) are ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in NFL in passer rating. Manning will make 93rd straight start at QB, breaking John Unitas' club record. He needs two TDs to become first QB in league history to post 25 or more in six consecutive seasons.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Either Colts or Titans have led or tied for division lead in all 30 weeks of AFC South's history. ... Colts K Mike Vanderjagt has made 32 FGs in row, second-longest streak of all-time (Gary Anderson, 40). Vanderjagt hasn't missed kick all year, converting all 28 FGs and 35 PATs. ... Titans WR Derrick Mason needs 32 yards receiving to become first player in club history with three straight 1,000-yard seasons. ... Colts have won six of seven on road, while Titans have won 10
straight at home. ... Manning and WR Marvin Harrison have connected for 66 TDs, third most in NFL history.
Cincinnati (7-5) at Baltimore (7-5)
11 a.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - Ravens by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Bengals 9-3. Ravens 7-4.
SERIES RECORD - Ravens lead 10-5.
LAST MEETING - Bengals beat Ravens 34-26 on Oct. 19 at Cincinnati.
LAST WEEK - Bengals beat Steelers 24-20. Ravens beat 49ers 44-6.
KEY MATCHUP - Ravens RB Jamal Lewis vs. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. Lewis,
NFL's rushing leader with franchise-record 1,442 yards, leads offense that has scored club-record 88 points in last two games. Ravens look to continue roll against Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who will make first visit to Baltimore since serving as Ravens defensive coordinator from 1996-2001 and winning Super Bowl after 2000 season.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Bengals are alone or tied for first place in division through 12 games for first time since 1990; win over Ravens would give them first five-game winning streak since 1988. ... With 48, Ravens' Todd Heap is only AFC TE to lead team in receptions. ... Bengals WR Chad Johnson leads AFC with 16 catches of 20 yards or more and six for 40 or more. ... Bengals QB Jon Kitna needs two TD passes to surpass career high of 23, set with Seattle in 1999.
Dallas (8-4) at Philadelphia (9-3)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE - Eagles by 5.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Cowboys 7-4. Eagles 8-4.
SERIES RECORD - Cowboys lead 51-37.
LAST MEETING - Cowboys beat Eagles 23-21 on Oct. 12 at Dallas.
LAST WEEK - Cowboys lost to Dolphins 40-21. Eagles beat Panthers 25-16.
KEY MATCHUP - Cowboys S Roy Williams vs. Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. McNabb was NFL's worst-rated passer following October loss to Cowboys, but has bounced back to lead Eagles to seven straight wins. McNabb has passer rating of 100.0 or higher in three of last five starts. Williams is major reason Cowboys' defense has allowed league-best 162.4 yards passing.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Eagles can clinch playoff berth with win or with tie, Packers loss or tie and Saints loss or tie. ... Eagles' 25-5 mark in November and December since 2000 is best in NFL. ... Cowboys are NFL's only team among top five in three major defensive categories: total yards, yards rushing and yards passing allowed. Eagles were last club to finish first in all three in 1991. ... Cowboys have allowed two 100-yard rushers in last 17 games.
Seattle (8-4) at Minnesota (7-5)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE - Vikings by 1.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Seahawks 5-6. Vikings 6-6.
SERIES RECORD - Seahawks lead 5-2.
LAST MEETING - Seahawks lead Vikings 48-23 on Sept. 29, 2002, at Seattle.
LAST WEEK - Seahawks beat Browns 34-7. Vikings lost to Rams 48-17.
KEY MATCHUP - Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck vs. Metrodome. Seahawks, 7-0 at
home this season, will look to double win total on road against Vikings. Hasselbeck has thrown eight TDs in last two games, including five in team's most recent road game, 44-41 OT loss to Ravens on Nov. 23. His 92.4 road passer rating since 2002 is second best in NFL behind Jets' Chad Pennington, but Seahawks need wins away from home as playoff race heats up.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Seahawks' offense is converting on 48.1 percent of third downs, best mark in NFL. ... Vikings WR Randy Moss has 7,982 career yards receiving and, with 160 last week, passed Jerry Rice (7,866) for most in first six seasons in NFL history. ... Seahawks' Chad Brown leads NFC LBs with five sacks. ... Vikings lead NFL with 23 INTs.
Tampa Bay (5-7) at New Orleans (6-6)
11 a.m., Fox
OPENING LINE - Even.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Buccaneers 4-7. Saints 6-6.
SERIES RECORD - Saints lead 16-7.
LAST MEETING - Saints beat Buccaneers 17-14 on Nov. 2 at Tampa Bay.
LAST WEEK - Buccaneers lost to Jaguars 17-10. Saints beat Redskins 24-20.
KEY MATCHUP - Buccaneers DE Simeon Rice and DT Warren Sapp vs. Saints QB Aaron Brooks. Rice is tied for NFL lead with 12 sacks, and Sapp needs two more to break team career record. Buccaneers were held without sack for second time in three games last week, but set NFL record earlier this season with at least one sack in 69 consecutive games. Elusive Brooks, who had two TDs rushing and one passing last week, will need to be effective again to keep Buccaneers from stacking line of scrimmage against RB Deuce McAllister.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - McAllister has 100 yards rushing in club-record nine straight games. Barry Sanders (14) and Marcus Allen (11) are only players in NFL history to accomplish feat 10 games in row. ... Buccaneers QB Brad Johnson leads NFL with eight fourth-quarter TD passes. ... The Saints are 6-0 vs. teams under .500, 0-6 vs. winning teams.
Arizona (3-9) at San Francisco (5-7)
2:05 p.m., Fox
OPENING LINE - 49ers by 9 1/2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Cardinals 4-8. 49ers 5-6.
SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 14-10.
LAST MEETING - Cardinals beat 49ers 16-13 on Oct. 26 at Arizona.
LAST WEEK - Cardinals lost to Bears 28-3. 49ers lost to Ravens 44-6.
KEY MATCHUP - Cardinals RB Marcel Shipp vs. 49ers' front seven. Shipp rushed for 165 yards on 35 carries when Cardinals upset 49ers in October. He'll look for repeat performance to boost offense that has averaged just 287.1 yards per game.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Cardinals RB Emmitt Smith has 76 career 100-yard games, one short of Walter Payton's league record. ... 49ers WR Terrell Owens needs 137 yards for fourth straight 1,000-yard season. ... Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin leads NFL rookies with 70 receptions, 1,032 yards receiving and six TDs. ... Last week's loss to Ravens was 49ers' most lopsided since December 1999. ... Both Cardinals and 49ers are 0-6 on road. ... 49ers have 31 sacks, tied for fourth in NFL. ... 49ers WR Tai Streets has five TD catches, tying career high.
New York Jets (5-7) at Buffalo (5-7)
2:15 p.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - Bills by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Jets 3-6. Bills 4-6.
SERIES RECORD - Bills lead 47-39.
LAST MEETING - Jets beat Bills 30-3 on Oct. 12 at New York.
LAST WEEK - Jets beat Titans 24-17. Bills beat Giants 24-7.
KEY MATCHUP - Jets' pass rush vs. Bills' starting QB. Drew Bledsoe missed final 19 minutes of last week's win and, after he missed practice Wednesday feeling tired and dizzy, his status is uncertain. Whether Bledsoe or Alex Van Pelt is taking snaps for Bills, Jets' rush figures to be factor. DE Shaun Ellis has 11 1/2 of Jets' league-leading 34 sacks, and Bills have allowed 36, tied for most in NFL.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Jets RB Curtis Martin has 869 yards rushing and needs 131 to join Barry Sanders as only RBs to gain 1,000 yards in each of first nine seasons. ... In two home games against Jets under coach Gregg Williams, Bills have scored 67 points and gained 857 yards - and lost both. ... Jets QB Chad Pennington has thrown 24 TDs and no INTs in red zone. ... Bills have allowed 16 sacks in last five games.
OPENING LINE - Patriots by 3.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Dolphins 6-6. Patriots 9-2.
SERIES RECORD - Dolphins lead 45-31.
LAST MEETING - Patriots beat Dolphins 19-13 in OT on Oct. 19 at Miami.
LAST WEEK - Dolphins beat Cowboys 40-21. Patriots beat Colts 38-34.
KEY MATCHUP - Dolphins K Olindo Mare vs. his team's history. Mare missed
two potential game-winning field goals when Patriots beat Dolphins in October to break 13-game losing streak at Miami in September and October. Now, Dolphins must confront own past: Miami has have won just seven of last 35 road games in December and January and is 3-17 on road after Dec. 1 against teams with winning records. In what could be another close, low-scoring affair, Mare might again be called upon with game on line.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Patriots can clinch division title with win. Tie, plus Broncos loss or tie and loss by either Bengals or Ravens would clinch playoff spot for Patriots. ... Game features AFC's top two QBs in terms of winning percentage: Patriots' Tom Brady (30-12, .714) and Dolphins' Jay Fiedler (34-15, .694). ... For 15th year in row, Dolphins will not have losing season. ... Patriots' eight-game winning streak is longest current run in NFL.
Kansas City (11-1) at Denver (7-5)
2:15 p.m., CBS
OPENING LINE - Even.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Chiefs 8-4. Broncos 6-6.
SERIES RECORD - Chiefs lead 49-38.
LAST MEETING - Chiefs beat Broncos 24-23 on Oct. 5 at Kansas City.
LAST WEEK - Chiefs beat Chargers 28-24. Broncos beat Raiders 22-8.
KEY MATCHUP - Chiefs RB Priest Holmes vs. Broncos RB Clinton Portis. Portis has had 100 yards rushing in 12 of last 15 games and is second in AFC with 1,234 yards despite missing a game. He'll lead offense that is second in NFL in average time of possession at 32:46 and will look to keep Chiefs' high-scoring unit off field. Holmes is second in NFL with 1,736 yards from scrimmage and has scored league-leading 17 TDs.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Chiefs can clinch division title with win or tie, and can clinch playoff berth with losses by Dolphins and Colts. ... Chiefs have won 13 in row when leading entering fourth quarter. ... Broncos' defense has allowed two TDs in last 12 quarters. ... With eight TDs, Broncos' Shannon Sharpe is tied for most by NFL TE. ... With Holmes (559), TE Tony Gonzalez (631), WR Eddie Kennison (601) and WR Johnnie
Morton (601), Chiefs are NFL's only team with four players with at least 500 yards receiving.
Carolina (8-4) at Atlanta (2-10)
6:30 p.m., ESPN
OPENING LINE - Even.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Panthers 5-7. Falcons 3-8.
SERIES RECORD - Falcons lead series 11-6.
LAST MEETING - Panthers beat Falcons 23-3 on Sept. 28 at Carolina.
LAST WEEK - Panthers lost to Eagles 25-16. Falcons lost to Texans 17-13.
KEY MATCHUP - Panthers DE Mike Rucker vs. Falcons QB Michael Vick. After completing eight of 11 passes for 60 yards last week, Vick will make first start of season against Panthers. His mobility will be immediately tested by Rucker, who has career-high 12 sacks this season. Vick passed for 2,936 yards and rushed for 777 in 2002, but missed first 11 games of 2003 after breaking leg during preseason.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Panthers can clinch division with win and Saints loss. ... Falcons WR Peerless Price has catch in 62 straight games. ... Panthers have won last six games decided by three points or fewer. ... Falcons' Ellis Johnson leads NFL DTs with seven sacks after posting two in last week's loss. ... Panthers RB Stephen Davis has club-record 1,258 yards rushing and needs 175 to surpass career high set in 2001 with Redskins.
St. Louis (9-3) at Cleveland (4-8)
7 p.m., ABC
OPENING LINE - Rams by 5.
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Rams 7-4. Browns 4-8.
SERIES RECORD - Browns lead 10-9.
LAST MEETING - Rams beat Browns 34-3 on Oct. 21, 1999, at St. Louis.
LAST WEEK - Rams beat Vikings 48-17. Browns lost to Seahawks 34-7.
KEY MATCHUP - Rams QB Marc Bulger vs. Browns' pass defense. Bulger, 15-3 as starter, leads Rams' passing game that averages 261.7 yards per game. Browns, however, have allowed just 178.8 yards passing per game and have not allowed a receiver to catch 10 passes in 60 games - longest current streak in NFL. Browns have also had sack in eight straight games.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Rams can clinch playoff berth with win and Saints loss or tie, or with tie, Saints loss and Packers loss or tie. ... Cleveland will host first Monday night game since returning to NFL in 1999. ... Rams RB Marshall Faulk has 127 career TDs and needs four to tie Cris Carter for fourth all-time. ... Browns' defense is NFL's third best in red zone, having allowed 11 TDs in 33 trips. ... Rams WR Torry Holt is
on pace for 1,849 yards receiving, which would top Jerry Rice's single-season NFL record of 1,848.