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NFL Capsules - Week 7

| Sunday, Oct. 19, 2003

Broncos (5-1) at Vikings (5-0)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Line: No line.

Series record : Vikings lead, 6-4.

Last meeting : Vikings beat Broncos, 23-20, on Oct. 31, 1999, at Denver.

Last week : Broncos beat Steelers, 17-14. Vikings had bye, beat Falcons, 39-26, in Week 5.

Broncos rankings: Offense -- Overall (9), Rush (3), Pass (21); Defense -- Overall (2t), Rush (11), Pass (5)

Vikings rankings: Offense -- Overall (1), Rush (4), Pass (9); Defense -- Overall (21), Rush (10), Pass (21)

Key matchup : Vikings WR Randy Moss vs. Broncos CBs Lenny Walls and Deltha O'Neal. Moss is most potent weapon in NFL's most prolific offense. He leads NFL with six TDs receiving, five of which have come in past two games. With Vikings' first-string QB Daunte Culpepper returning after missing two weeks with back injury, O'Neal and Walls must use tight coverage on Moss.

Streaks, stats and notes : Vikings' offense averages 6.2 yards per play, best in NFL. Broncos rank third with 5.7-yard average. ... Dating back to last season, Vikings have won eight in row. ... Vikings lead NFL with 13 interceptions and plus-10 turnover differential. Vikings FS Brian Russell leads league with five INTs. Broncos have turnover differential of zero. ... Broncos have outscored opponents 102-39 in first half of games. ... Steve Beuerlein will start at QB for Broncos, replacing injured Jake Plummer (foot).

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Vikings, no line.

    Titans (4-2) at Panthers (5-0)

    Sunday, 1 p.m .

    Line : Panthers by 21/2.

    Series record : Panthers lead, 1-0.

    Last meeting : Panthers beat Titans (then Oilers), 31-6, on Nov. 24, 1996, at Houston.

    Last week : Titans beat Texans, 38-17. Panthers beat Colts, 23-20 in OT.

    Titans rankings: Offense -- Overall (10), Rush (29), Pass (2); Defense -- Overall (20), Rush (4), Pass (27)

    Panthers rankings: Offense -- Overall (19), Rush (2), Pass (31); Defense -- Overall (23), Rush (14), Pass (26)

    Key matchup : Titans QB Steve McNair vs. Panthers DE Mike Rucker. McNair is best in NFL with 1,601 yards passing and 107.8 QB rating. He leads NFL's No. 2 passing offense against defense that has allowed second-lowest point total (68). Panthers are vulnerable against pass, allowing 239.6 yards per game, while Titans average 273.5 yards passing on offense. Rucker leads Panthers with five sacks this season.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Panthers RB Stephen Davis has four 100-yard rushing games this season. He has 23 career 100-yard games and his teams are 19-4 in those contests. ... Titans DE Jevon Kearse has at least one sack in three straight games. ... Titans have NFL's best road record since 1995 (38-29). ... Panthers' defense has not allowed a point in first quarter this season. ... Titans coach Jeff Fisher became fourth youngest to reach 80 victories last week, behind John Madden, Don Shula and Bill Cowher.

  • Jerry DiPaola says: Titans, plus-21/2.

    Patriots (4-2) at Dolphins (4-1)

    Sunday, 1 p.m.

    Line : Dolphins by 51/2.

    Series record : Dolphins lead 46-29.

    Last meeting : Patriots beat Dolphins, 27-24 in OT, on Dec. 29, 2002, at New England.

    Last week : Patriots beat Giants, 17-6. Dolphins beat Jaguars, 24-10.

    Patriots rankings: Offense -- Overall (21), Rush (14), Pass (26); Defense -- Overall (22), Rush (7), Pass (24)

    Dolphins rankings: Offense -- Overall (20), Rush (8), Pass (28); Defense -- Overall (16), Rush (2), Pass (29)

    Key matchup : Patriots' front seven vs. Dolphins RB Ricky Williams. In two games against Patriots as a Dolphin, Williams has rushed for 290 yards and two TDs. A workhorse back, he leads NFL with 26.8 attempts per game, although he only averages 3.4 yards per carry and 92.2 yards per game. Patriots allow only 89.3 yards rushing per game, seventh best in league, but have surrendered seven TDs rushing, tied for second worst.

    Streaks, stats and notes : In this series, team with more yards rushing has won 12 of past 13 games and 19 of past 21. ... Since Dolphins joined AFL in 1966, Patriots are 0-13 in games in Miami in September or October. ... Game features AFC's top two current starting QBs in winning percentage: Miami's Jay Fiedler (33-14, .702) and New England's Tom Brady (24-12, .667). ... Patriots have plus-6 turnover differential, second in AFC. Dolphins are plus-3.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Dolphins, minus-51/2.

    Chiefs (6-0) at Raiders (2-4)

    Monday , 9 p.m.

    Line : Chiefs by 31/2

    Series record : Tied, 43-43-2.

    Last meeting : Raiders beat Chiefs, 24-0, on Dec. 28. 2002, at Oakland.

    Last week : Chiefs beat Packers, 40-34 in OT. Raiders lost to Browns, 13-7.

    Chiefs rankings: Offense -- Overall (7), Rush (7), Pass (13); Defense -- Overall (26), Rush (27), Pass (20)

    Raiders rankings: Offense -- Overall (25), Rush (24), Pass (22); Defense -- Overall (28), Rush (32), Pass (15)

    Key matchup : Chiefs RB Priest Holmes vs. Raiders' defense. In his last two games against Raiders, Holmes has recorded 461 yards from scrimmage and three TDs. He is second in NFL with 821 yards from scrimmage this season. Raiders have struggled against pass and especially against run. They allow NFL-worst 164.7 yards rushing per game. Holmes is tied for NFL lead with eight TDs rushing. If Raiders aren't careful, he could rush for 200 yards on Sunday.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Chiefs are off to best start in franchise's 44-year history. ... In loss to Browns, Raiders were penalized an NFL season-high 19 times for 128 yards, and had one stretch when they were flagged on five straight plays. ... Raiders P Shane Lechler leads NFL with 50.6-yard gross average. He also leads league with 36 punts. Chiefs P Jason Baker is second with 35 punts. ... Holmes' eight TDs are three fewer than entire Raiders team has scored.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Chiefs, minus-31/2.

    Cowboys (4-1) at Lions (1-4)

    Sunday , 1 p.m.

    Line : Cowboys by 3.

    Series record : Lions lead, 9-8.

    Last meeting : Lions beat Cowboys, 9-7, on Nov. 3, 2002, at Detroit.

    Last week : Cowboys beat Eagles, 23-21. Lions had bye, lost to 49ers, 24-17, in Week 5.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Lions are only team in NFL with no fumbles lost this season. Cowboys are one of three teams with only one fumble lost. ... Lions CB Dre' Bly is tied for second in NFL with four INTs. ... Cowboys QB Quincy Carter ranks first in NFC and third in NFL, averaging 7.79 yards per pass attempt. ... Lions have surrendered only four sacks in 2003, tied for second fewest in NFL. Cowboys have sacked opponents' QBs 10 times. ... Cowboys have plus-3 turnover differential; Lions have differential of zero.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Cowboys, minus-3.

    Saints (2-4) at Falcons (1-5)

    Sunday, 1 p.m.

    Line : Saints by 21/2.

    Series record : Falcons lead, 41-27.

    Last meeting : Falcons beat Saints, 24-17, on Nov. 17, 2002, at Atlanta.

    Last week : Saints beat Bears, 20-13. Falcons lost to Rams, 36-0.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Falcons coach Dan Reeves needs win to become sixth to reach 200 all-time. ... Saints are 14-2 when WR Joe Horn has a 100-yard receiving game. ... Falcons have allowed four safeties this season, three in last two games. ... Falcons were shut out on Monday for first time since Oct. 3, 1993, when they lost 6-0 to Chicago. ... Saints' Grady Jackson leads NFC DTs with 2.5 sacks. ... Saints CB Ashley Ambrose started 48 games for Falcons from 2000-02.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Saints, minus-1/2.

    Packers (3-3) at Rams (3-2)

    Sunday , 1 p.m.

    Line : Rams by 4.

    Series record : Rams lead, 44-40-2.

    Last meeting : Rams beat Packers, 45-17, on Jan. 20, 2002, at St. Louis in NFC playoff game.

    Last wee k: Packers lost to Chiefs, 40-34 in OT. Rams beat Falcons, 36-0.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Packers QB Brett Favre is 11-19 lifetime indoors. Rams play in Edward Jones Dome. Last time Favre played there, he threw playoff-record-tying six interceptions, three of which were run back for TDs. ... Packers are 17-1 when running back Ahman Green runs for 100 yards. He's tied for NFL lead with eight TDs rushing. He leads NFC with 699 yards rushing. ... Rams QB Marc Bulger has 9-2 record as starter.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Rams, minus-4.

    Eagles (2-3) at NY Giants (2-3)

    Sunday , 1 p.m.

    Line : Giants by 3.

    Series record : Giants lead, 75-61-2.

    Last meeting : Giants beat Eagles, 10-7 in OT, on Dec. 28, 2002, at Giants.

    Last week : Eagles lost to Cowboys, 23-21. Giants lost to Patriots, 17-6.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Giants have NFL's second-worst turnover differential at minus-8. Eagles are little better at minus-6. ... Eagles RB Duce Staley has 4,443 yards rushing and needs 40 to pass QB Randall Cunningham for third in club history. ... Giants DE Michael Strahan needs a half-sack to become second Giant, after Lawrence Taylor, with 100 in career. ... Eagles K David Akers is perfect on kicks this season, 9-for-9 on PATs and 6-for-6 on FGs. Three different Giants have missed FGs this season.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Eagles, plus-3.

    Ravens (3-2) at Bengals (1-4)

    Sunday , 1 p.m.

    Line : Ravens by 21/2.

    Series record : Ravens lead, 10-4.

    Last meeting : Ravens beat Bengals, 27-23, on Dec. 1, 2002, at Cincinnati.

    Last week: Ravens beat Cardinals, 26-18. Bengals had bye, lost to Bills, 22-16 in OT, in Week 5.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Lewis has more yards rushing than 23 NFL teams. He nearly has double Bengals total of 384 yards. ... Bengals coach Marvin Lewis faces former team for first time. He was defensive coordinator for Ravens from 1996-01 and helped team to Super Bowl championship in 2000 season. ... Ravens rookie QB Kyle Boller has been saved by NFL's best rushing game. Ravens have worst passing offense, averaging less than 100 yards per game. Boller has worst passer rating of any starting QB (48.9).

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Ravens, minus-21/2.

    Chargers (0-5) at Browns (3-3)

    Sunday , 1 p.m.

    Line : Browns by 6.

    Series record : Chargers lead, 10-7-1.

    Last meeting : Browns beat Chargers, 20-16, on Oct. 7, 2001, at Cleveland.

    Last week : Chargers had bye, lost to Jaguars, 27-21 on Oct. 5. Browns beat Raiders, 13-7.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Chargers have lost nine straight and 12 of 14. ... Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer was head coach of Browns from 1984-88. Browns are 10-3-1 all-time at home against former head coaches. ... Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson leads all RBs with 29 receptions. He averages more yards per catch (5.5) than yards per carry (5.1). ... Browns RB William Green has rushed for 260 yards in past two games. Last Brown to gain 260-plus yards in two games was Earnest Byner in 1984.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Chargers, plus-6.

    NY Jets (1-4) at Texans (2-3)

    Sunday , 4:05 p.m.

    Line : Jets by 3.

    Series record : First meeting.

    Last week : Jets beat Bills, 30-3. Texans lost to Titans, 38-17.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Jets last played in Houston in 1995 against Oilers, and last won there in 1990. ... Jets lead NFL with plus-15 sack differential (19 sacks on defense, four allowed on offense). Texans are minus-2. ... Texans play second of three consecutive games against teams that made playoffs last year. They lost to Titans last week, play Jets on Sunday, then are at Colts next week.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Jets, minus-3.

    Bears (1-4) at Seahawks (4-1)

    Sunday , 4:15 p.m.

    Line : Seahawks by 10.

    Series record : Seahawks lead, 5-2.

    Last meeting : Seahawks beat Bears, 14-13, on Sept. 19, 1999 at Chicago.

    Last week : Bears lost to Saints, 20-13. Seahawks beat 49ers, 20-19.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Bears last traveled to Seattle in 1984 and have not won there since 1976 in Seahawks' first season in NFL. ... Bears need one victory to become the first NFL team with 650. Bears are 649-473-42. ... Seahawks are tied for NFL bests with plus-10 turnover differential and only four giveaways. Bears have minus-7 differential (third worst). ... 16-year veteran QB Chris Chandler will start for Bears, replacing Kordell Stewart (leg).

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Seahawks, minus-10.

    Redskins (3-3) at Bills (3-3)

    Sunday , 4:15 p.m.

    Line : Bills by 21/2

    Series record : Series tied, 5-5.

    Last meeting: Bills beat Redskins, 34-17, on Nov. 7, 1999, at Washington.

    Last week : Redskins lost to Buccaneers, 35-13. Bills lost to Jets, 30-3.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Redskins last beat Bills in Super Bowl in 1992. ... Bills, Chargers and Ravens are only teams Smith has not recorded a sack against. Former Jet Ken O'Brien (17.5 sacks) is only QB to be sacked by Smith more than Bledsoe. ... Bills have NFL's worst running game, averaging 57.5 yards per game. 20 individual RBs average more yards rushing per game than Bills.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Bills, minus-21/2.

    Buccaneers (3-2) at 49ers (2-4)

    Sunday , 4 p.m.

    Line : Bucs by 31/2.

    Series record : 49ers lead, 12-3.

    Last meeting : Buccaneers beat 49ers, 31-6, on Jan. 12 in NFC playoff game at Tampa Bay.

    Last week : Buccaneers beat Redskins, 35-13. 49ers lost to Seahawks, 20-19.

    Streaks, stats and notes : Bucs' only win in San Francisco was 24-23 in 1980. ... Bucs QB Brad Johnson is tied for NFL lead with 12 TD passes and tops NFC QBs with 101.1 rating. Bucs have allowed NFL-low two sacks. ... RB Garrison Hearst has 15 100-yard games with 49ers and team is 14-1 in those contests. ... Bucs are tied for NFL lead with plus-10 turnover differential. 49ers are plus-4.

  • Jerry DiPaola says : Bucs, minus-31/2.

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