Atlanta (-21/2) at Miami, 1 p.m.

The Falcons have basically abandoned the pass. Their 71 rushing first downs lead the league, but they only have five passing plays for 25 yards or more, which is second fewest in the league. The Dolphins also have been thinking run lately -- they have eight interceptions and three fumbles on passing plays this season but have yet to turn over the ball on a running play.

Carolina (-1) at Tampa Bay,

1 p.m.

Bucs Coach Jon Gruden said this week that Chris Simms still is his starter, but also maintained the team didn't acquire backup Tim Rattay "to hold a clipboard forever," according to the Tampa Tribune.

Cincinnati (-3) at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (WUSA-9, WJZ-13)

The Ravens' next four opponents (the Bengals twice, the Jaguars and the Steelers) are 15-7, so they face an uphill battle if they want to sneak into the playoff picture. Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown for 300 yards in both of his career starts against Baltimore.

Detroit (+11/2) at Minnesota,

1 p.m.

The Lions and Vikings are both hurting at quarterback. Last week, Detroit quarterback Jeff Garcia re-injured the left leg that was broken during preseason, and Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper was lost for the season when his knee basically exploded. Joey Harrington starts for Detroit, while the Vikings will go with old pro Brad Johnson.

Houston (+131/2) at Jacksonville,

1 p.m.

The Texans are the league's worst passing team at 91.9 yards per game, and only the Steelers have attempted fewer passes this season than Houston's 162. That hasn't stopped Texans quarterback David Carr from getting sacked a league-high 37 times.

Oakland (+4) at Kansas City,

1 p.m.

In the Raiders' three wins this season, running back LaMont Jordan has gotten at least 20 rushing attempts. In their four losses, he hasn't. However, the Chiefs rank eighth in the league against the run. Quarterback Trent Green will try to become the first Kansas City signal-caller to beat Oakland six straight times.

San Diego (-61/2) at New York Jets,

1 p.m.

The Jets have downgraded their hopes from the playoffs to playing "meaningful games in December," according to GM Terry Bradway. Is that even possible? New York ranks 26th or worse in every statistical category on offense.

Tennessee (+3) at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Can anyone remember a time when Titans quarterback Steve McNair hasn't been hurt? He was sacked six times in Tennessee's loss to the Raiders last week (he had been sacked eight times in his first six games), further inflaming his bad back. But Cleveland's less-than-ferocious pass rush has 10 sacks, second-worst in the league.

Chicago (-3) at New Orleans,

4:05 p.m.

A big reason for the Bears' recent success has been the steadily improving play of quarterback Kyle Orton, who has five touchdown passes and one interception in his last 136 attempts. The Chicago coaches are helping him out by balancing the pass and the run: Last week in their win over the Lions, the Bears threw the ball 31 times and ran it 29.

New York Giants (-11)

at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. (WTTG-5, WBFF-45)

The 49ers likely will start Cody Pickett at quarterback, and during the week they signed Jesse Palmer to be his backup. Palmer had better learn the San Francisco system in a hurry: The team's starters (Alex Smith vs. the Redskins, and Ken Dorsey vs. the Bucs) each went down with an injury in their last two starts.

Seattle (-4) at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.

Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander, who leads the league with 12 total touchdowns and is coming off a bye week, has torched the Cardinals of late: In his last two games against Arizona, he has rushed for 294 yards and seven touchdowns.

Pittsburgh (-31/2) at Green Bay,

4:15 p.m. (WUSA-9, WJZ-13)

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has led Pittsburgh to eight victories when the team has trailed in the second half, seven of those coming when the team trailed in the fourth quarter. However, he'll miss this game after having arthroscopic knee surgery, giving Charlie Batch his chance to give Roethlisberger the Wally Pipp treatment.

Indianapolis (-31/2) at New England,

9 p.m. Monday (WJLA-7, WMAR-2)

Say what you will about the Colts' schedule (their opponents are 17-34), but they're still the 36th team to start 7-0 in the league's 86-year history.