Kansas City (+2) at Buffalo,
Larry Johnson gets to be the number one running back for the Chiefs just in time to face the Bills' 31st-ranked rush defense. The unit's best player -- Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sam Adams -- was benched for all but one play in the second half of the most recent game, a loss to New England on Oct. 30. "Obviously, I'm not in the future plans," he said.
San Francisco (+13) at Chicago,
Not even Drew Rosenhaus would find nice things to say about the 49ers if he was their agent. The team is 32nd in offense, 32nd in defense and has been inside their opponents' 20-yard line 10 times, the lowest in the league.
Arizona (+4) at Detroit, 1 p.m.
The spin cycle is alive and well outside the Beltway. The Cardinals have scored a touchdown on 3 of 21 trips inside their opponents' 20-yard line. Their response? Ratchet up the PR machine and sign PK Neil Rackers to a four-year extension. Rackers is 26 for 26 on field goals and has scored 86 of the team's 146 points.
Houston (+171/2) at Indianapolis,
Texans QB David Carr has been sacked 183 times in 52 career games. He only attempted nine passes in a 38-20 loss to the Colts on Oct. 23. It would have been more, but he was sacked five times.
Baltimore (+61/2) at Jacksonville,
1 p.m. (WUSA-9, WJZ-13)
Who says the Ravens -- they of the 77 penalties -- are unwatchable? The Jaguars' normal end-of-week routine of sweating through the NFL's blackout policy was averted after they sold the requisite number of tickets for today's game by the end of last week. In previous weeks, they have lifted the blackout just before the league's 72-hour deadline; in one case, they had to apply for an extension. Remember, some teams have waiting lists for season tickets.
New England (-3) at Miami, 1 p.m.
Miami quarterback Gus Frerotte's wife isn't a huge fan of sportswriters (can't say we blame her). There have been calls for Frerotte to be benched -- he is the lowest-rated passer in the AFC and has lost four of his last five starts. "She gets a little fired up," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "I'm just glad you guys aren't around when she gets upset."
Minnesota (+91/2) at
New York Giants, 1 p.m.
The Vikings are 3-24 outdoors since the start of the 2001 season. Brad Johnson, 37, is expected to start at quarterback for Minnesota; Daunte Culpepper went 1-4 in his career against the Giants.
New York Jets (+9) at Carolina,
The Jets clearly noticed Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had eight catches for 132 yards against them last week. On Wednesday, New York signed former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi basketball player Corey Lamkin to their practice squad. Lamkin, like Gates, played basketball -- not football -- in college. They also are similarly sized -- Lamkin is 6 feet 6, 240 pounds; Gates is 6-4, 260.
Denver (-3) at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.
Add Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan to the list of people who don't like Raiders owner Al Davis. Shanahan was fired as Raiders coach four games into the 1989 season (he went 8-12 overall). Davis had a meeting early in the morning to tell Shanahan he "might be fired," then waited 24 hours to actually do it. There also is an unresolved spat about $250,000 which Shanahan alleges Davis still owes him. There are, however, some things money can't buy: The Broncos are 15-5 against Oakland under Shanahan.
Green Bay (+9) at Atlanta, 4:15 p.m.
The Packers are the first team in league history to start 1-7 despite outscoring their opponents. The slow start comes courtesy of several injuries and ineffective kicking from Ryan Longwell. He missed a field goal and an extra point in a one-point loss to Tampa Bay and two field goals in a three-point loss to Minnesota.
St. Louis (+7) at Seattle, 4:15 p.m.
The Rams are 37-0 when one of their running backs rushes for more than 100 yards dating from 1995. Seattle, meantime, hasn't given up 100 yards to a running back this year. The biggest test is on the Rams' offensive line -- rookies T Alex Barron and G Claude Terrell are expected to start, as is 266-pound rookie FB Madison Hedgecock.
Cleveland (+71/2) at Pittsburgh,
8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Saying this is the league's best rivalry is a bit like saying Joan Cusack's best role was her bit part in "My Bodyguard." Still, the rivalry has had some NHL-like moments: The pregame fistfight between Cleveland's William Green and Pittsburgh's Joey Porter last year; Lynn Swann and Ron Bolton spitting on each other in the late 1970s (Bolton was ejected, Swann was not); and when Joe "Turkey" Jones drove Pittsburgh's Terry Bradshaw into the ground headfirst on a sack in 1976.
Dallas (+3) at Philadelphia, 9 p.m. Tomorrow (WJLA-7, WMAR-2)
Julius Jones (team-high 407 yards rushing) is expected to play for Dallas after missing four games with a high ankle sprain.