WEEK 4’S KEY MATCHUPS
Chicago at Detroit
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Lions by 3.
Records: Bears 3-0 (1-1-1 vs. spread), Lions 2-1 (2-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Da Bears have won 9 of last 10 in this series and lead the all-time slate, 96-65-5 . . . Brandon Marshall has collected 138 catches for 1,777 yards and 13 TDs in 19 career games with Chicago . . . Lions’ Calvin Johnson has 505 receptions for 8,104 yards in 95 career games (Randy Moss and Torry Holt are only others with 500-8,000 in fewer than 100 games) . . . Bears’ Charles Tillman has 5 INTs vs. Lions . . . Player to watch: Chicago’s Matt Forte has 1,199 scrimmage yards and 8 TDs against Detroit.
Key injuries: BEARS: DOUBTFUL: CB Sherrick McManis (quadriceps). QUESTIONABLE: CB Charles Tillman (knee, groin). LIONS: OUT: WR Nate Burleson (forearm). DOUBTFUL: WR Patrick Edwards (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Ziggy Ansah (abdomen), S Don Carey (hamstring), T Jason Fox (groin), T Corey Hilliard (groin).
NY Jets at Tennessee
Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Titans by 3½.
Records: Jets 2-1 (3-0 vs. spread), Titans 2-1 (2-0-1 vs. spread).
Comments: It would really be great if the Jets would wear their Titans throwbacks for this one . . . And to avoid confusion, maybe the Titans could wear their throwback Oilers (Love Ya Blue) . . . Gang Green defense allowing just 270 yards per game, third best in NFL . . . Rejuvenated Tennessee’s Chris Johnson leads AFC with 256 rushing yards . . . New York’s Bilal Powell posted a career-high 149 yards rushing last week . . . Titans safety Bernard Pollard tied for team lead with 21 tackles (some of which weren’t dirty) . . . Coach to watch: NY’s Rex Ryan. Hey, he’s fun to watch.
Key injuries: JETS: OUT: T Oday Aboushi (knee), RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), CB Dee Milliner (hamstring). TITANS: OUT: RB Shonn Greene (knee), DT Sammie Hill (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring), WR Kenny Britt (neck, ribs), TE Delanie Walker (toe), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring).
Philadelphia at Denver
Time: 4:25 p.m., Fox Line: Broncos by 11.
Records: Eagles 1-2 (1-2 vs. spread), Broncos 3-0 (2-1 vs. spread).
Comments: We don’t rush to judge but it looks like this whole Peyton Manning replacing Tim Tebow in Denver thing is going to work out . . . Broncos have won 14 straight regular-season games . . . Eagles’ LeSean McCoy has NFL highs in rushing yards (395) and scrimmage yards (514) . . . Broncos coach John Fox is 1-4 vs. Philly . . . Eight Eagles have at least one sack . . . Denver averaging a league-high 487 yards of offense. Philadelphia is No. 2 at 462 . . . Player to watch: Broncos slotman Wes Welker has a TD catch in all three games (don’t shoot the messenger).
Key injuries: EAGLES: DOUBTFUL: S Patrick Chung (shoulder). BRONCOS: DOUBTFUL: LB Paris Lenon (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: CB Champ Bailey (foot), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), S Duke Ihenacho (ankle).
Miami at New Orleans
Time: Monday 8:40 p.m., ESPN Line: Saints by 6½.
Records: Dolphins 3-0 (3-0 vs. spread), Saints 3-0 (2-1 vs. spread).
Comments: The Dolphins, who are making their NFL-leading 79th appearance on “Monday Night Football,” are seeking their first 4-0 start since 1995 (Dan Marino was still slinging it) and their third straight road win . . . Saints QB Drew Brees has won eight straight “MNF” games . . . Brees has eight straight 300-yard games . . . Dolphins’ Cameron Wake has 8½ sacks in last five games vs. NFC opponents . . . Player to watch: Miami QB Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 827 yards with 4 TDs and a 94.3 passer rating.
Key injuries: DOLPHINS: DNP: CB Dimitri Patterson (groin). LIMITED: S Chris Clemons (hamstring, quadriceps), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ribs), LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (shoulder), DT Paul Soliai (knee), DE Cameron Wake (knee). SAINTS: DNP: NT Brodrick Bunkley (calf), S Roman Harper (knee), RB Mark Ingram (toe), DE Tom Johnson (hamstring), WR Lance Moore (hand). LIMITED: S Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle), CB Chris Carr (knee), G Jahri Evans (hamstring), CB Jabari Greer (back), G Tim Lelito (calf), DE Tyrunn Walker (knee).
THIS WEEKEND’S OTHER GAMES
Baltimore at Buffalo
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Ravens by 3.
Records: Ravens 2-1 (2-1 vs. spread), Bills 1-2 (2-1 vs. spread).
Comments: This is just the Ravens’ second trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium (2007) and the rest of the league is envious . . . Baltimore defense has allowed 7 TDs — all of those in Week 1 . . . Buffalo defense gave up 513 yards of offense last week . . . Ravens’ Terrell Suggs has 4 sacks in four games vs. Bills . . . Player to watch: Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller averaging just 3.6 yards per carry (6.0 last season).
Key injuries: RAVENS: OUT: WR Jacoby Jones (knee). DOUBTFUL: NT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot). QUESTIONABLE: LB Arthur Brown (chest), DT Chris Canty (thigh), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), LB Pernell McPhee (knee), RB Ray Rice (hip), WR Brandon Stokley (groin), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe). BILLS: OUT: CB Ron Brooks (foot), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), K Dustin Hopkins (right groin). QUESTIONABLE: S Jairus Byrd (foot), CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring).
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bengals by 3½.
Records: Bengals 2-1 (2-0-1 vs. spread), Browns 1-2 (1-2 vs. spread).
Comments: Bengals lead the Buckeye Bowl, 42-37, including 7 of last 9 . . . Bengals coming off historic performance in which they allowed 30 unanswered points yet came back to win . . . Brian Hoyer gets QB nod for Cleveland after orchestrating last-second win last week . . . Browns TE Jordan Cameron had 3 TD catches last week . . . Player to watch: Bengals QB Andy Dalton is 3-1 with 1,050 yards and 8 TDs vs. Brownies.
Key injuries: BENGALS: DOUBTFUL: CB Leon Hall (hamstring), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring), S Reggie Nelson (hamstring), G Mike Pollak (knee). BROWNS: OUT: LB Quentin Groves (ankle), QB Brandon Weeden (right thumb), DE Billy Winn (quadriceps). DOUBTFUL: LB Jabaal Sheard (knee). QUESTIONABLE: K Billy Cundiff (right thigh), G Shawn Lauvao (ankle).
Seattle at Houston
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 2.
Records: Seahawks 3-0 (3-0 vs. spread), Texans 2-1 (0-3 vs. spread).
Comments: This is just the third meeting between the clubs (1-1) . . . Seahawks have won eight straight but have never been 4-0 . . . Seahawks are 10-1 when Russell Wilson posts a 100-plus passer rating . . . Texans have won 5 of past 6 home games in September . . . Player to watch: Houston’s Arian Foster has four 100-plus-yard rushing games in his last six vs. NFC foes.
Key injuries: SEAHAWKS: OUT: DT Jordan Hill (biceps), S Jeron Johnson (hamstring), RB Spencer Ware (ankle). DOUBTFUL: T Breno Giacomini (knee), C Max Unger (arm). TEXANS: OUT: LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: T Duane Brown (toe), CB Kareem Jackson (illness), WR Andre Johnson (shin), CB Johnathan Joseph (toe), LB Darryl Sharpton (hip, foot).
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Colts by 8.
Records: Colts 2-1 (1-2 vs. spread), Jaguars 0-3 (0-3 vs. spread).
Comments: Colts are on letdown alert after shocking the 49ers in San Fran in Week 3 . . . Colts’ 439 rushing yards through three games is most since 1984 (remember Randy McMillan and Curtis Dickey?) . . . Jacksonville bulldog Maurice Jones-Drew has 1,389 rushing yards vs. Indy . . . Paul Posluszny leads Jags with 31 tackles (shocker!) . . . Player to watch: Colts WR Reggie Wayne is 1 TD shy of 80.
Key injuries: COLTS: OUT: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), DT Ricky Jean Francois (groin), S LaRon Landry (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: S Joe Lefeged (knee). JAGUARS: OUT: WR Mike Brown (back), WR Stephen Burton (concussion), CB Dwayne Gratz (ankle), S Dwight Lowery (concussion).
NY Giants at Kansas City
Time: 1 p.m., Fox Line: Chiefs by 4.
Records: Giants 0-3 (0-3 vs. spread), Chiefs 3-0 (2-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Giants lead all-time series, 10-2, and haven’t lost in Kansas City since 1995 . . . Jints are 0-3 for 11th time in history. Since 1990, three 0-3 teams have made the playoffs . . . Chiefs are 12-3 in last 15 vs. NFC and Andy Reid is 10-9 vs. Tom Coughlin . . . Giants WR Hakeem Nicks has 14 100-plus-yard games . . . Player to watch: KC’s Jamaal Charles had 172 scrimmage yards last week and leads all RBs with 18 catches.
Key injuries: GIANTS: OUT: C David Baas (neck), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), G Chris Snee (hip), CB Corey Webster (hip). DOUBTFUL: T David Diehl (thumb). QUESTIONABLE: S Cooper Taylor (shoulder), LB Jacquian Williams (knee). CHIEFS: OUT: TE Travis Kelce (knee). QUESTIONABLE: G Jeff Allen (groin), TE Anthony Fasano (ankle, knee), CB Brandon Flowers (knee), S Kendrick Lewis (ankle).
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Steelers by 3.
Records: Steelers 0-3 (0-3 vs. spread), Vikings 0-3 (1-2 vs. spread).
Comments: We know this game is in London, and that’s great and all, but why is it on TV in Boston? Or anywhere? . . . Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown leads the AFC with 324 receiving yards . . . Steelers are the lone NFL team without a takeaway . . . Minny TE Kyle Rudolph (he’s not mini) has a TD catch in 5 of last 7 vs. AFC . . . Player to watch: Vikings LB Erin (sweet name!) Henderson had 2 sacks and an INT last week.
Key injuries: STEELERS: PROBABLE: CB Cortez Allen (ankle), RB Le’Veon Bell (foot), DE Brett Keisel (hamstring), NT Steve McLendon (hamstring), TE Heath Miller (knee). VIKINGS: OUT: CB Chris Cook (groin), RB Rhett Ellison (knee), QB Christian Ponder (rib), S Jamarca Sanford (hamstring).
Arizona at Tampa Bay
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Buccaneers by 2½.
Records: Cardinals 1-2 (2-1 vs. spread), Buccaneers 0-3 (1-2 vs. spread).
Comments: The Mike Glennon Era begins for Buccaneers as the rookie QB takes over for the struggling Josh Freeman (he’s not done) . . . Tampa Bay has lost 8 of 9 . . . Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald has league-high 64 receiving TDs since 2007 . . . Bucs’ Doug Martin is second in NFL with 297 rushing yards (where was he last week?) . . . Player to watch: Arizona DT Darnell Dockett had three sacks last week vs. Saints.
Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: LB Kevin Minter (hamstring), DT Dan Williams (not injury related). QUESTIONABLE: S Rashad Johnson (finger). BUCCANEERS: OUT: CB Michael Adams (knee), G Gabe Carimi (illness), TE Tom Crabtree (ankle), DT Derek Landri (knee). QUESTIONABLE: WR Vincent Jackson (ribs), CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring), WR Mike Williams (hamstring).
Dallas at San Diego
Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Cowboys by 2.
Records: Cowboys 2-1 (3-0 vs. spread), Chargers 1-2 (2-0-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Chargers’ Antonio Gates has 84 TD catches since 2003, most among NFL TEs . . . Dallas rookie TE Gavin Escobar had his first TD catch last week . . . Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware has 15 sacks in last 13 games vs. AFC foes . . . San Diego QB Philip Rivers is 3 TD passes shy of 200 . . . Cowboys are 29-6 when Tony Romo posts a 110-plus passer rating . . . Player to watch: Dallas’s Dez Bryant has a TD catch in five straight vs. AFC.
Key injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: WR Miles Austin (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: WR Dwayne Harris (hip). CHARGERS: OUT: WR Malcom Floyd (neck). DOUBTFUL: G Jeromey Clary (clavicle), G Chad Rinehart (toe). QUESTIONABLE: T King Dunlap (concussion), CB Shareece Wright (hamstring).
Washington at Oakland
Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Redskins by 3.
Records: Redskins 0-3 (0-3 vs. spread), Raiders 1-2 (3-0 vs. spread).
Comments: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who used to coach the Raiders, has 21 wins vs. Oakland . . . Raiders (and Lions) have 113 losses since start of 2003 . . . Redskins are 0-3 for the first time since 2001 . . . Washington defense has allowed NFL-high 59 plays of 10-plus yards . . . Redskins linebacker London Fletcher has played in 243 straight games . . . Player to watch: Raiders running back Darren McFadden is averaging 95.5 scrimmage yards in last 6 vs. NFC teams.
Key injuries: REDSKINS: QUESTIONABLE: TE Fred Davis (ankle), K Kai Forbath (right groin), LB Brandon Jenkins (ankle), CB Jerome Murphy (not injury-related), TE Jordan Reed (thigh). RAIDERS: OUT: S Tyvon Branch (ankle), T Menelik Watson (knee). QUESTIONABLE: DE Jason Hunter (quadriceps), G Lucas Nix (ankle), QB Terrelle Pryor (concussion).
Jim McBride can be reached at email@example.com