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News » Rivals meeting this week with plenty at stake

Rivals meeting this week with plenty at stake

Rivals meeting this week with plenty at stake
Rivalries. Three of them -- the oldest, one of the most intense and one of the newest -- top the weekend games in Week 11 of the National Football League schedule.The lead in the NFC North could be on the line at Lambeau Field where the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers meet for the 175th time in the most played series in NFL history. The visiting Bears own an 89-79-6 advantage in the rivalry, which began in 1921. The Bears are tied with Minnesota at 5-4 atop the division. Green Bay is a game behind at 4-5.Tonight, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins renew their NFC East rivalry. This rivalry became most intense in the 1970s -- George Allen, the Redskins coach, was paranoiac in the week leading up to games against Tom Landry and the Cowboys.The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans have been been meeting only since 1995 but 18 of the 27 games between the AFC South rivals have been decided by seven points or less. The Titans own a 14-12 advantage in the series, not counting their 33-14 upset of the Jags in the 1999 AFC playoffs.

>Game of the day

Cowboys (5-4) at Redskins (6-3)

TV: Ch. 2, 8:15 p.m.

The line: Cowboys (-1 1/2).

The scoop: Washington has won three of the last four, including a 26-24 victory at Texas Stadium on Sept. 28. . . . Tony Romo will be back at QB for Dallas. That and a week off should resurrect the Cowboys. . . . RB Clinton Portis of the Redskins, who leads the league in scrimmage yards (rushing and receiving) is an uncertain starter because of a knee strain. Cowboys killer WR Santana Moss also has been ailing recently.

Outlook: The Cowboys can't afford to lose. Dallas, 28-17.


>Top attractions

Titans (9-0) at Jaguars (4-5)

Kickoff: 4:15 p.m.

The line: Titans (-3).

The scoop: Tennessee is looking to become the 11th team since 1970 to start the season 10-0. Six of those teams went on to win the Super Bowl. . . . Tennessee ranks fifth in the league in defense, has allowed only five sacks and leads the league with a plus-10 turnover ratio. . . . Only the Colts (21) have scored more than 17 against the Titans. Any wonder why the Titans are unbeaten? . . . The Jaguars are one of the major disappointments of the season. They are a middling team in both offensive and defensive statistics.

Outlook: Jacksonville defense comes through, 13-10.


Ravens (6-3) at Giants (8-1)

TV: Ch. 4, 1 p.m.

The line: Giants (-7).

The scoop: Let's see what cool rookie QB Joe Flacco does against the Giants' defensive pressure. New York leads the NFC with 30 sacks and also is No. 1 in rushing yards and yards per carry with both Derrick Ward (5.5) and Brandon Jacobs (5.3) averaging over five years per attempt. The longest run either has is a 44-yard gain by Jacobs. . . . The Ravens are second in the league in defense. . . . Baltimore is 3-0 all-time against the G-Men, including a rout in Super Bowl XXXV.

Outlook: Giants get to Flacco. New York, 17-7.


Bears (5-4) at Packers (4-5)

TV: Ch. 29, 1 p.m.

The line: Packers (-3 1/2).

The scoop: The Bears are likely to get QB Kyle Orton back for this one. . . . The Packers have been hurt because QB Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) has hardly practiced the last three weeks. . . . Green Bay WR Greg Jennings (NFC leader with 801 receiving yards on 43 catches) is as good as any in the NFL. He's a Mid-American Conference product (Western Michigan).

Outlook: The Bears swept the series last year, but not this time. Packers, 23-17.


Vikings (5-4) at Buccaneers (6-3)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Buccaneers (-4).

The scoop: The Bucs and Vikes used to meet twice a year in the old NFC Central division. . . . Minnesota has won four of its last five to get back in the division race. . . . The Bucs had last week off after escaping Kansas City with a come-from-behind win in OT. The Bucs are 2-0 in OT this season.

Outlook: Expect low scoring. The Vikings are sixth in the league in defense and the Bucs are seventh. Tampa Bay, 17-14.


Chargers (4-5) at Steelers (6-3)

TV: Ch. 4, 4 p.m.

The line: Steelers (-5).

The scoop: Despite last week's loss to the Colts, the Steelers still lead the league in defense (240.3 ypg allowed) . . . Pittsburgh's 3.5-yard average per rush trails even Buffalo (3.6) and its sacks allowed percentage is next to last in league. Somehow the Steelers keep on winning. . . . This is the Bolts' third trip to Eastern time zone (plus London trip) in the last seven weeks. . . . Even with LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego is 25th in the league in rushing.

Outlook: The Chargers have to wake up some time. San Diego, 27-24.


Broncos (5-4) at Falcons (6-3)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Falcons (-6 1/2).

The scoop: The Broncos lead the AFC West while the Falcons are the surprise team in the NFC with rookie QB Matt Ryan running the show. . . . Atlanta is second in the league in rushing with Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood leading the way. . . . Ryan (11 TDs, 5 INTs) will be facing a Denver pass defense that is allowing opponents to complete 70.1 percent of their passes. . . . Denver QB Jay Cutler passed for a career-high 447 yards in a win at Cleveland last week.

Outlook: The Falcons (4-0 at home) are gaining confidence each week. Atlanta, 35-27.


>Best of the rest

Browns (3-6) at Bills (5-4)

TV: ESPN, Monday, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Bills (-5 1/2).

The scoop: The Browns are averaging over 25 points a game in their last five. Can the Bills keep up with that? . . . Duel of two QBs from the 2007 draft class -- Brady Quinn and Trent Edwards.

Outlook: The Bills look tactically spent. They have no answers for lack of a run game and weak pass rush. Browns, 37-26.


Cards (6-3) at Seahawks (2-7)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Cardinals (-3).

The scoop: The Cards have been held under 20 points just once (17 at Washington). . . . Seattle has won 8 of 12 against the Cards since 2002. . . . Arizona QB Kurt Warner leads the league with a 70.6 completion percentage. . . . Seattle has QB Matt Hasselbeck (back) is back.

Outlook: The Cards should overwhelm the 27th-ranked defense. Arizona, 41-24.


Eagles (5-4) at Bengals (1-8)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Eagles (-9).

The scoop: The Eagles expended a lot of energy in a loss to the Giants last Sunday night. Now they have to be wary of a letdown in order to stay in wild card contention. Their remaining schedule is brutal (at Baltimore, Arizona, at Giants, Cleveland, at Washington, Dallas).

Outlook: Unless they sleepwalk, Eagles, 28-13.


Texans (3-6) at Colts (5-4)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Colts (-8).

The scoop: Indy is due for an easy win. Victories have been by 3, 4, 28, 3 and 4 points. . . . Colts QB Peyton Manning ranks behind the Bills' Edwards in passer rating.

Outlook: Colts gradually getting into rhythm. Indy, 31-14.


Raiders (2-7) at Dolphins (5-4)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Dolphins (-10).

The scoop: Tony Sparano looks like a top Coach of the Year candidate. . . . With Chad Pennington at QB, Miami is tied for eighth in league in offense and is seventh in passing.

Outlook: Fish have easy closing schedule. Miami, 16-3.


Lions (0-9) at Panthers (7-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Panthers (-14).

The scoop: Lions QB Daunte Culpepper should be better prepared than last week when he was rushed into duty. . . . The Panthers are coming off an unimpressive performance at Oakland.

Outlook: Detroit keeps it close for a while. Carolina, 30-20.


Saints (4-5) at Chiefs (1-8)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Saints (-5).

The scoop: Nobody's injury list can match Kansas City's. . . . The inconsistent Saints lost despite gaining more than 500 yards at Atlanta last week.

Outlook: A "Brees" for Drew and the Saints, 38-17.


Dog of the day

Rams (2-7) at 49ers (2-7)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: 49ers (-6 1/2).

The scoop: The Rams have been outscored, 81-16, the last two weeks. . . . The Niners blew a chance to upset the Cards with shaky clock management and strategy on the goal line at game's end.

Outlook: Mike Singletary gets first coaching victory. Niners, 30-17.

e-mail: mnorthrop@buffnews.com

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 18, 2008

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