NFL capsules — Week 9

The Associated Press

NFL Capsules
The Associated Press
NFL matchups for Week 9 (timesMST):
Sunday

OAKLAND (2-5) At DETROIT (1-6)
11 a.m., CBS

Opening line — Raiders by 2 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Raiders 0-7. Lions 3-4.
Series record — Raiders lead 6-2.
Last meeting — Raiders beat Lions 37-21 on Oct. 13, 1996, at Oakland.
Last week — Raiders had bye, lost to Chiefs 17-10 in Week 7. Lions lost to Bears 24-16.
Key matchup — Raiders P Shane Lechler vs. Lions P Nick Harris. In a game with two anemic offenses, both punters could be busy. Lions top NFL with 6.6 punts per game, while Raiders are tied for second with six punts per contest. Lechler leads league with 49.8-yard gross average. Harris was waived by Bengals earlier this season and signed by Lions to replace injured John Jett.
Streak, stats and notes — Lions have lost one fumble this season, fewest in NFL. … Lions have surrendered six sacks in 2003, tied for second fewest in NFL. Raiders have sacked opponents 11 times, tied for fifth-worst total in league. … Raiders QB Marques Tuiasosopo (Washington, 2000) and Lions QB Joey Harrington (Oregon, 2001) are former Pac-10 Offensive Players of Year. … Raiders have plus-2 turnover differential. Lions are minus-5.

SAN DIEGO (1-6) At CHICAGO (2-5)
11 a.m., CBS

Opening line — Bears by 2 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Chargers 2-5. Bears 3-4.
Series record — Tied 4-4.
Last meeting — Bears beat Chargers 23-20 in OT on Nov. 21, 1999, at San Diego.
Last week — Chargers lost to Dolphins 26-10. Bears beat Lions 24-16.
Key matchup — Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Bears MLB Brian Urlacher. Tomlinson is AFCs third-leading rusher with 719 yards and averages 5.1 yards per carry. He is one of four AFC RBs to lead his club in receptions (43). He ranks second on team with 260 yards receiving. Urlacher, All-Pro in past two seasons, anchors Bears’ defense. He’ll need to be on top of his game to contain Tomlinson, one of NFL’s top offensive threats.
Streak, stats and notes — Bears have only seven sacks in seven games, second-worst total in NFL. Seven players in NFL have at least as many sacks as Bears do. Chargers have 15 sacks. … Chargers have not won in Chicago since 1970. … Bears K Paul Edinger has connected on all seven attempts from 40-plus yards. … Chargers P Darren Bennett is second in AFC with 37.8 net average. … Both teams have minus-5 turnover differentials.

NEW YORK GIANTS (3-4) At NEW YORK JETS (2-5)
11 a.m., Fox

Opening line — Giants by 1 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Giants 3-4. Jets 2-4.
Series record — Giants lead 5-4.
Last meeting — Giants beat Jets 41-28 on Dec. 5, 1999, at Giants.
Last week — Giants beat Vikings 29-17. Jets lost to Eagles 24-17.
Key matchup — Giants QB Kerry Collins vs. Jets DE Shaun Ellis. Ellis leads NFL with nine sacks, sparking league’s best pass rush. Jets have 26 sacks on season, tops in NFL, while Giants have allowed only 12. Collins has second-most yards passing in league (1,882) and leads offense that averages 259.7 yards per game in air. Jets allow only 152.7 yards passing and will need to pressure Collins to win.
Streak, stats and notes — Jets DE John Abraham, who has six sacks, will not play (groin). … Giants WR Amani Toomer has 17 career 100-yard receiving games and needs one to pass Homer Jones for most in team history. … Giants DE Michael Strahan has eight sacks. Giants have 24 sacks, most in NFC. Jets lead NFL with plus-18 sack differential (26 sacks, 8 allowed). … Giants have minus-7 turnover differential. Jets are plus-5. … Jets average 84.6 yards rushing per game, only a fraction better than Buffalo, NFL’s worst rushing team.

CAROLINA (6-1) At HOUSTON (2-5)
11 a.m., Fox

Opening line — Panthers by 5 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Panthers 4-3. Texans 3-4.
Series record — First meeting.
Last week — Panthers beat Saints 23-20 in OT. Texans lost to Colts 30-21.
Key matchup — Panther DE Mike Rucker vs. Texans QB Tony Banks. With regular QB David Carr doubtful withankle injury, Banks will likely get his first start since 2001 with Redskins. Texans will need to give Banks, who set single-season fumble record (since broken) in 1996 with Rams, time to throw. Texans have allowed only 12 sacks this season after allowing 76 last year. Panthers have 17 sacks on season, eight from Rucker, who is tied for NFC lead.
Streak, stats and notes — Texans coach Dom Capers was first coach in Panthers history and led team to NFC championship game in 1996 while winning Coach of Year honors. … Panthers are first NFL team with three OT road wins in one season. … Texans RB Domanick Davis leads NFL rookies with 409 yards rushing. … Texans WR Andre Johnson, the No. 3 overall pick in draft, leads AFC rookies with 35 catches. … Panthers K John Kasay is perfect on kicks this season, 10-for-10 on PATs and 17-for-17 on FGs.

INDIANAPOLIS (6-1) At MIAMI (5-2)
11 a.m., CBS

Opening line — Dolphins by 3.
Record vs. spread — Colts 5-2. Dolphins 5-2.
Series record — Dolphins lead 46-21.
Last meeting — Dolphins beat Colts 21-13 on Sept. 15, 2002, at Indianapolis.
Last week — Colts beat Texans 30-21. Dolphins beat Chargers 26-10.
Key matchup — Colts RB Edgerrin James vs. Dolphins RB Ricky Williams. James was taken No. 4 in the 1999 draft and Williams was taken No. 5 by Saints. Last year, in first head-to-head meeting in NFL, James ran 30 times for 138 yards and Williams ran 24 times for 132 yards. Williams is workhorse, leading NFL with 184 carries. After missing three games with back injury, James bounced back with 104 yards rushing last week.
Streak, stats and notes — Dolphins have allowed fewest points in AFC (87). Colts have allowed third-fewest points (126). … Colts QB Peyton Manning leads NFL with 15 TDs passing and tops AFC with 105.5 passer rating. … Colts K Mike Vanderjagt leads NFL with 76 points. He’s perfect 22-of-22 on PATs and 18-of-18 on FGs. … Dolphins CB Patrick Surtain is tied for NFL lead with six INTs. … Miami defense allows 12.4 points per game, No. 1 in NFL.

JACKSONVILLE (1-6) At BALTIMORE (4-3)
11 a.m., CBS

Opening line — Ravens by 6 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Jaguars 2-5. Ravens 4-3.
Series record — Jaguars lead 8-5.
Last meeting — Ravens beat Jaguars 17-10 on Oct. 20, 2002, at Baltimore.
Last week — Jaguars lost to Titans 30-17. Ravens beat Broncos 26-6.
Key matchup — Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich vs. Ravens QB Kyle Boller. Both rookie QBs have struggled. Leftwich, drafted No. 7 overall out of Marshall, is 1-3 in four starts with four TDs and nine INTs. Boller, the only rookie to begin the season as starter, is 4-3, but only because Ravens have NFL’s top running game. Boller was drafted No. 19 out of California. He has thrown five TDs and seven INTs and has passer rating of 62.2. Despite playing in fewer games, Leftwich has carried team more because Jaguars lack strong running game. He has more yards passing than Boller, 1,105 vs. 982.
Streak, stats and notes — Ravens RB Jamal Lewis leads NFL with 977 yards rushing through seven games. He averages nearly 140 yards per game and has six TDs rushing. … Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has 689 yards from scrimmage in five games against Ravens. … Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio was Ravens LB coach for three seasons (1999-2001).

NEW ORLEANS (3-5) At TAMPA BAY (4-3)
11 a.m., Fox

Opening line — Buccaneers by 8.
Record vs. spread — Saints 4-4. Buccaneers 4-3.
Series record — Saints lead 15-7.
Last meeting — Saints beat Buccaneers 23-20 in OT on Dec. 1, 2002, at New Orleans.
Last week — Saints lost to Panthers 23-20 in OT. Buccaneers beat Cowboys 16-0.
Key matchup — Saints’ slippery fingers vs. Buccaneers’ quick hands. Saints have NFL’s third-worst turnover differential at minus-8 in part because of league-high 10 fumbles lost. QB Aaron Brooks has fumbled seven times and lost five — more than 17 NFL teams have lost this season. WR-KR Michael Lewis has lost two. Bucs have NFL’s third-best differential at plus-11, and have recovered six opponents’ fumbles.
Streak, stats and notes — Bucs have yielded six sacks, tied for second best in NFL. … Bucs QB Brad Johnson leads NFC with 14 TD passes and is second with 1,747 yards passing. … Saints rank first in NFL, converting 49.1 percent of third downs (56 of 114). … Saints RB Deuce McAllister has rushed for 100 yards in five consecutive games and needs 100 yards to pass Ricky Williams for longest such streak in club history.

PITTSBURGH (2-5) At SEATTLE (5-2)
2:05 p.m., CBS

Opening line — Seahawks by 4 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Steelers 3-4. Seahawks 2-5.
Series record — Seahawks lead 7-6.
Last meeting — Seahawks beat Steelers 29-10 on Sept. 26, 1999, at Pittsburgh.
Last week — Steelers lost to Rams 33-21. Seahawks lost to Bengals 27-24.
Key matchup — Steelers WR Hines Ward vs. Seahawks CBs Marcus Trufant and Ken Lucas. Ward ranks second in AFC with 46 receptions and is tied for second with five TDs receiving. He has at least one reception in team-record 79 consecutive games. Seattle secondary allowed Saints’ Donte’ Stallworth 101 yards receiving in Week 1, but hasn’t allowed 100-yard game since. Trufant has one INT on season.
Streak, stats and notes — Seahawks’ offense ranks second in NFL, converting 48.3 percent of third downs (42 of 87). … Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck has won nine of past 13 starts. … Steelers have minus-6 turnover differential. Seahawks are plus-7. … Steelers are off to their worst start since 1988. … Steelers average only 84.9 yards rushing, fractions better than Jets and Bills, who are NFL’s worst. Ten individual RBs rush for more yards per game than Steelers do as team.

CINCINNATI (3-4) At ARIZONA (2-5)
2:05 p.m., CBS

Opening line — Bengals by 3.
Record vs. spread — Bengals 5-2. Cardinals 2-5.
Series record — Bengals lead 5-2.
Last meeting — Bengals beat Cardinals 24-13 on Dec. 3, 2000, at Cincinnati.
Last week — Bengals beat Seahawks 27-24. Cardinals beat 49ers 16-13 in OT.
Key matchup — Bengals CB Tory James vs. Cardinals QB Jeff Blake. James leads team with three INTs and has eight passes defended in seven games this season. Blake has been turnover prone, throwing nine INTs on 196 attempts for a 4.6 INT percentage, among worst in NFC. Last year, with Oakland, James had four tackles and two passes defended against Cardinals.
Streak, stats and notes — Cardinals have NFL’s worst turnover differential at minus-14. They have 19 giveaways, tied for most with Buffalo, and NFL-low five takeaways. Bengals have plus-2 differential. … Bengals QB Jon Kitna has eight TD passes in last four games and is tied for third in AFC with 11 on season. … Cardinals have never lost at home to Bengals, beating them in Arizona in 1994 and St. Louis in 1985. … Cardinals RB Marcel Shipp posted career highs last week with 35 rushes for 165 yards.

WASHINGTON (3-4) At DALLAS (5-2)
2:15 p.m., Fox
Opening line — Cowboys by 4.
Record vs. spread — Redskins 2-3. Cowboys 5-2.
Series record — Cowboys lead 50-34-2.
Last meeting — Redskins beat Cowboys 20-14 on Dec. 29, 2002, at Washington.
Last week — Redskins had bye, lost to Bills 24-7 in Week 7. Cowboys lost to Buccaneers 16-0.
Key matchup — Redskins RB Trung Canidate vs. Cowboys’ front seven. Canidate and Ladell Betts (doubtful, arm) combined have 539 yards rushing — 12 individual RBs in NFL have more. As team, Redskins average 100.6 yards rushing per game. Cowboys defense has allowed one 100-yard rusher in past 12 games and holds opponents to 3.2 yards per rush, third-best in NFL. Redskins need to establish running game to give battered QBs (sacked 25 times in seven games) a break.
Streak, stats and notes — Cowboys are only NFL team to rank in top five in three major defensive categories: yards per game (first, 244.7), yards rushing per game (third, 82.4) and yards passing per game (third, 162.3). … Redskins DE Bruce Smith has 196 1/2 career sacks and needs two to pass Reggie White for most in NFL history. … Redskins K John Hall leads NFC and is tied for second in NFL with six touchbacks on kickoffs.

PHILADELPHIA (4-3) At ATLANTA (1-6)
2:15 p.m., Fox

Opening line — Eagles by 4.
Record vs. spread — Eagles 3-4. Falcons 2-5.
Series record — Eagles lead 11-10-1.
Last meeting — Eagles beat Falcons 20-6 on Jan. 11 at Philadelphia in NFC divisional playoff game.
Last week — Eagles beat Jets 24-17. Falcons had bye, lost to Saints 45-17 in Week 7.
Key matchup — Eagles QB Donovan McNabb vs. Falcons QB Kurt Kittner. In a matchup of two slumping QBs, whoever does least harm might win. McNabb has worst passer rating of any regular starter at 54.8. McNabb has thrown seven INTs and only three TDs, and has fumbled eight times. Last week, Kittner replaced ineffective Doug Johnson, who threw 10 INTs in first six games while subbing for injured Michael Vick. Kittner wasn’t much better, completing only nine of 29 passes with one INT and one TD. His 2003 rating in one start and two brief relief appearances, is 26.4.
Streak, stats and notes — Falcons coach Dan Reeves needs win to become sixth to reach 200 for career, but team has lost six straight. … Both teams have minus-6 turnover differentials. … Eagles are 10-1 when McNabb and WR James Thrash connect for TD, including playoff win over Falcons. … Falcons’ Ellis Johnson leads NFL DTs with four sacks.

ST. LOUIS (5-2) At SAN FRANCISCO (3-5)
2:15 p.m., Fox

Opening line — Rams by 2 1/2.
Record vs. spread — Rams 5-1. 49ers 3-4.
Series record — Rams lead 55-50-2.
Last meeting — Rams beat 49ers 27-24 in OT on Sept. 14 at St. Louis.
Last week — Rams beat Steelers 33-21. 49ers lost to Cardinals 16-13 in OT.
Key matchup — Rams WR Tory Holt vs. 49ers’ hobbled secondary. Holt leads NFL with 52 receptions, is tied for first with eight TDs receiving and second with 778 yards. He averaged 134 yards in past four games. Niners FS Zack Bronson, who has started every game this season, is expected to miss game (back), as is top reserve safety Ronnie Heard (ankle). John Keith, who began season on practice squad, should start in Bronson’s place. Whoever plays for 49ers will have to chase Holt all over field.
Streak, stats and notes — 49ers won 17 straight in series from 1990-98. Rams have won eight of past nine. … 49ers are 15-1 when RB Garrison Hearst rushes for 100 yards. … 49ers have plus-7 turnover differential. Rams are plus-3. … Rams DE Leonard Little has seven sacks, tied for fifth in NFL. … This week 49ers changed kickers for fourth time in 15 games, waiving Owen Pochman and signing Todd Peterson.

GREEN BAY (3-4) At MINNESOTA (6-1)
6:30 p.m., ESPN

Opening line — Vikings by 4.
Record vs. spread — Packers 3-4. Vikings 6-1.
Series record — Vikings lead 42-41-1.
Last meeting — Vikings beat Packers 30-25 on Sept. 7 at Green Bay.
Last week — Packers had bye, lost to Rams 34-24 in Week 7. Vikings lost to Giants 29-17.
Key matchup — Packers QB Brett Favre vs. Vikings’ ball-hawking secondary. Favre ranks second in NFC with 13 TD passes, but has thrown nine INTs this season, tied for sixth most in NFL. Vikings ranks second in NFL with 17 INTs. Safeties Corey Chavous and Brian Russell are each tied with Miami’s Pat Surtain for league lead with six INTs. Favre is only 2-9 at Minnesota’s Metrodome and must be careful with his throws to keep the raucous crowd quiet.
Streak, stats and notes — Vikings WR Randy Moss leads NFL with 791 yards receiving and is tied for first with eight TD receptions. Moss has more than 100 yards receiving in seven of his 11 games against Packers. … Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper leads NFL with 105.7 QB rating. … Packers RB Ahman Green leads NFL with 58 first downs and ranks second in NFC with 963 yards from scrimmage. … Vikings lead NFC with plus-12 turnover differential. Packers are minus-4.

NEW ENGLAND (6-2) at DENVER (5-3)
7 p.m., ABC

Opening line — Broncos by 2.
Record vs. spread — Patriots 6-1. Broncos 4-4.
Series record — Broncos lead 23-14.
Last meeting — Broncos beat Patriots 24-16 on Oct. 27, 2002, at New England.
Last week — Patriots beat Browns 9-3. Broncos lost to Ravens 26-6.
Key matchup — Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. Broncos’ pass rush. Brady has thrown eight TD passes and seven INTs in 2003. He has been sacked 17 times, tied for seventh most in NFL. Broncos allow only 171.9 yards passing per game and have sacked opposing QBs 21 times, tied for fourth in league. Broncos are only team that has three players with five or more sacks: DE Bert Berry (seven), DE Trevor Pryce (five) and DE Reggie Hayward (five).
Streak, stats and notes — Clubs meet for ninth consecutive season, longest active streak between non-division rivals. … Broncos are 16-5 in games following loss since 2000. … Patriots’ defense has not allowed first-quarter TD in seven consecutive weeks. … Broncos have won 12 of last 14 against Patriots. … Broncos K Jason Elam ranks second in NFL with 70 points, having made 19 of 19 PATs and 17 of 18 FGs attempted.