Chicago (+61/2) at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

The plodding Steelers don't exactly have tons of big-play ability. Their longest rushing play in the past four games is 24 yards. Their longest passing play in that span was thrown by wide receiver Antwaan Randle El; he threw a 51-yarder against the Browns. The Steelers also have lost three straight games.

Cleveland (+121/2) at Cincinnati,

1 p.m.

Reuben Droughns became the Browns' first 1,000-yard rusher in 20 years last week. And in the all-Ohio game, perhaps it's fitting Cleveland rookie Charlie Frye is expected to start at quarterback. Frye is from Willard, Ohio, and played at Akron.

Houston (+ 61/2) at Tennessee,

1 p.m.

Titans running back Chris Brown doesn't have a 100-yard rushing game this year, after having had six last season. The only other noteworthy stat is that the teams have combined for four wins. In comparison, the tussle between the Jets and Raiders, who have combined for six wins, seems like "Masterpiece Theatre."

Indianapolis (-81/2) at Jacksonville,

1 p.m.

Excitement is so high that not only is the game sold out, the Jaguars proudly note they have 500 people waiting for tickets! Apparently, it's the 1972 Dolphins and their friends who are trying to get in to root against Indianapolis.

New England (-31/2) at Buffalo,

1 p.m.

Buffalo running back Willis McGahee hasn't had a rushing touchdown in six games. Though it's not all his fault. The Bills threw the ball on first and goal leading 23-3 against Miami last week; the pass was intercepted. The Dolphins came back to win, 24-23.

Oakland (-3) at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

The Jets' quarterbacks are excited for this one -- Oakland has only three interceptions this year. The Raiders' running backs are looking forward to it, too. Opponents have run the ball 426 times and thrown 341 passes against the Jets this season. No one else, however, really cares.

St. Louis (+7) at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

The Vikings are quite the reclamation project. Wide receiver Koren Robinson had four catches for 148 yards and a touchdown against Detroit last week; he had spent 28 days in the offseason at an alcohol treatment facility. Darren Bennett, 40, will be the team's punter today. He thought he had retired after being waived in the preseason and was to spend this week at a conference in San Diego to train on Internet software for his new company. No wonder running back Onterrio Smith, suspended for the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, said this week he wants to come back.

Tampa Bay (+51/2) at Carolina, 1 p.m.

A game that will determine first place in something called the NFC South. Tip o' the jaunty cap to the NFL schedule-makers for putting this one after NASCAR season and before the college football bowl games.

New York Giants (-9) at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m.

The Giants hope to build their road toughness. They have won one game away from Giants Stadium dating from the middle of last season (1-7 record in that span). "We have to start building our road toughness, especially as we get down the stretch, because three of our last four are on the road, and they're not easy places to play," said running back Tiki Barber, clearly forgetting that two of those games are in Washington and Oakland.

San Francisco (+16) at Seattle,

4:05 p.m.

Special teams dynamo Keith Lewis will start at safety for the 49ers for the first time. Lewis set a school record at Oregon by blocking seven kicks in his career. He also blocked a punt to set up a field goal in a 17-10 loss to Arizona last weekend.

Baltimore (+141/2) at Denver,

4:15 p.m.

Ravens Coach Brian Billick has used 10 starting quarterbacks in his seven seasons. Today marks the first of three straight games in which the Broncos will play teams with 4-8 records; after Baltimore they play at Buffalo and host Oakland.

Kansas City (+3) at Dallas, 4:15 p.m.

The Chiefs get to tee off on Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who has been sacked 431 times in his 13-year career.

Miami (+131/2) at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.

Chargers Coach Marty Schottenheimer experimented with an unbalanced line in a 34-10 win over the Raiders last week. The team used a formation with tight end Antonio Gates at tackle at one end and moved lineman Shane Olivea to the other end, next to tackle Leander Jordan.

Detroit (+6) at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m.

The Packers may start three rookies on defense -- safety Nick Collins and linebackers Roy Manning and Brady Poppinga. As one Milwaukee columnist wrote, "ESPN ought to bring in Dick Vitale for this tussle. It would be the first thing to render him speechless."

New Orleans (+101/2) at Atlanta, Tomorrow, 9 p.m.

The first time a Falcons-Saints game has appeared on "Monday Night Football" in their 72 career meetings.