NFL Week 7 preview

Matt Schaub and the Texans, after a loss to Green Bay last week, welcome the Ravens on Sunday.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Matt Schaub and the Texans, after a loss to Green Bay last week, welcome the Ravens on Sunday.

Washington at NY Giants

Time: 1 p.m., Fox Line: Giants by 6.

Records: Redskins 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread), Giants 4-2 (3-2-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Redskins finding success with what Mike Shanahan jokingly refers to as his “East Coast offense” — I think that’s code for “give the ball to Robert Griffin III” . . . Jints QB Elite Manning has won 10 of his last 14 starts vs. Washington . . . Skins linebacker London Fletcher has at least nine tackles and a forced fumble in two straight vs. New York . . . In four games vs. Redskins, NY’s Jason Pierre-Paul has 25 tackles and 5 sacks . . . Player to watch: Washington’s Alfred Morris leads all rookies with 538 yards rushing.


Injuries: REDSKINS: OUT: S Brandon Meriweather (knee). DOUBTFUL: WR Pierre Garcon (foot). QUESTIONABLE: CB Cedric Griffin (hamstring), CB David Jones (Achilles), S Jordan Pugh (head), P Sav Rocca (right knee), RB Darrel Young (hamstring). PROBABLE: NT Barry Cofield (shoulder), TE Fred Davis (knee), CB DeAngelo Hall (knee), DE Doug Worthington (calf). GIANTS: OUT: DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), S Kenny Phillips (knee), RB Da’Rel Scott (knee), LB Jacquian Williams (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB Michael Boley (hip), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot). PROBABLE: RB Andre Brown (concussion), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot, knee), CB Corey Webster (hand, hamstring).

Baltimore at Houston

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Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Texans by 7.

Records: Ravens 5-1 (2-4 vs. spread), Texans 5-1 (4-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Ravaged Ravens have never lost to the Texans (6-0, including postseason) . . . Baltimore also has won four straight, longest streak in AFC . . . Houston defense yields an AFC-low 19.2 points per game . . . Ravens QB Joe “Cool” Flacco is 4-0 with 6 TDs vs. Houston . . . Texans QB Matt Schaub is 9-1 in his last 10 vs. anybody . . . Houston DE J.J. Watt has at least one sack in five straight . . . Ravens RB Ray Rice is 141 rushing yards shy of 5,000 for his career . . . Player to watch: Texans’ Arian Foster has two 100-plus rushing games vs. Ravens.

Injuries: RAVENS: QUESTIONABLE: NT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee), T Bryant McKinnie (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (knee), CB Jimmy Smith (abs). PROBABLE: T Ramon Harewood (head). TEXANS: OUT: DE David Hunter (toe). QUESTIONABLE: S Quintin Demps (thumb, forearm), CB Johnathan Joseph (groin). PROBABLE: LB Bryan Braman (knee), G Antoine Caldwell (concussion), NT Shaun Cody (back), LB Bradie James (calf), WR Lestar Jean (knee), S Shiloh Keo (neck, back, thumb), C Chris Myers (hip), LB Jesse Nading (foot, neck), T Derek Newton (forearm), G Wade Smith (knee), RB Ben Tate (toe).

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati


Time: 8:20 p.m., NBC Line: Steelers by 1.

Records: Steelers 2-3 (1-4 vs. spread), Bengals 3-3 (2-3-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Steelers rookie Alameda Ta’amu was arrested last week for fleeing police, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault by vehicle. Who does he think he is, a Bengal? . . . Cincy QB Andy Dalton is coming off a career-high 381 passing yards last week . . . Isaac Redman last week became first Steelers RB to have 100 receiving yards since Frenchy Fuqua (stop laughing) in 1970 . . . Bengals have AFC-high 20 sacks . . . Player to watch: Steelers QB Big Ben Roethlisberger is 14-2 in Ohio — his home state.

Injuries: STEELERS: OUT: LB Chris Carter (hamstring), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles), S Troy Polamalu (calf), RB Isaac Redman (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: C Maurkice Pouncey (knee). PROBABLE: LB Brandon Johnson (hamstring), LB Lawrence Timmons (foot). BENGALS: DOUBTFUL: RB Brian Leonard (ribs). QUESTIONABLE: WR Armon Binns (ankle), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee). PROBABLE: WR Andrew Hawkins (back), LB Roddrick Muckelroy (ankle), DT Devon Still (shoulder), G Kevin Zeitler (elbow).

Detroit at Chicago

Time: Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Line: Bears by 6½.


Records: Lions 2-3 (1-4 vs. spread), Bears 4-1 (4-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Da Bears lead this ancient Black & Blue rivalry, 94-65-5 . . . QB Matthew Stafford won his only “Monday Night Football’’ start vs. Bears, posting a 107.7 rating last October. Lions are 10-0 when Stafford has a rating of 105-plus . . . Bears QB Jay Cutler has won 5 of last 6 vs. Detroit. His teams are 25-0 when he has a 100-plus rating . . . Chicago’s Devin Hester (he’s ridiculous) needs one return TD to break all-time mark (19) he shares with Neon Deion Sanders . . . Player to watch: Lions RB Mikel LeShoure has 228 scrimmage yards in two road games.

Injuries: LIONS: DNP: CB Jacob Lacey (concussion). LIMITED: DE Cliff Avril (back), CB Bill Bentley (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (knee), TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee), LB Stephen Tulloch (knee), DT Corey Williams (knee), WR Titus Young (knee). FULL: DE Ronnell Lewis (eye). BEARS: OUT: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand). DNP: WR Earl Bennett (illness), DE Julius Peppers (coach’s decision), LB Brian Urlacher (coach’s decision). LIMITED: LB Blake Costanzo (thumb), WR Devin Hester (quadriceps), CB Sherrick McManis (hip).

Tennessee at Buffalo

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bills by 3½.

Records: Titans 2-4 (2-4 vs. spread), Bills 3-3 (3-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Matt Hasselbeck gets his third straight start at QB for Titans. He has 198 career TD passes . . . Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has 12 TD passes this season — but none in his last two games . . . Titans’ Rob Bironas has 199 career field goals . . . Bills’ Leodis McKelvin leads NFL with 24-yard average on punt returns . . . Player to watch: Tennessee’s Kendall Wright leads all NFL rookies with 33 receptions.

Injuries: TITANS: OUT: CB Tommie Campbell (ankle), QB Jake Locker (left shoulder), RB Javon Ringer (knee). QUESTIONABLE: DT Jurrell Casey (shoulder), LB Colin McCarthy (ankle), T Mike Otto (knee). PROBABLE: LB Patrick Bailey (hand). BILLS: OUT: DE Mark Anderson (knee), T Cordy Glenn (ankle), G Kraig Urbik (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Spencer Johnson (ankle), CB Terrence McGee (knee), S Da’Norris Searcy (ankle), DT Kyle Williams (ankle). PROBABLE: WR Brad Smith (chest), DE Mario Williams (wrist).

Cleveland at Indianapolis

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Colts by 1½.

Records: Browns 1-5 (3-2-1 vs. spread), Colts 2-3 (2-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Andrew Luck is one 300-yard passing game away from becoming second Colts rookie with four (see Manning, Peyton) . . . Browns rookie Brandon Weeden has passed for 522 yards and 4 TDs in last two games . . . Cleveland ranks third in NFL with 10 INTs . . . Colts’ Dwight Freeney has seven sacks vs. Browns . . . Player to watch: Trent Richardson is first Browns rook to score TDs in each of first four contests.

Injuries: BROWNS: OUT: LB Scott Fujita (shoulder, neck), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), G Jason Pinkston (illness). QUESTIONABLE: WR Travis Benjamin (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), RB Trent Richardson (chest, ribs), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). PROBABLE: LB Tank Carder (foot), WR Josh Gordon (knee), WR Greg Little (illness), DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder, foot), S Ray Ventrone (hand, calf), S T.J. Ward (hand), QB Brandon Weeden (foot), LB Christian Yount (shoulder). COLTS: OUT: RB Donald Brown (knee), CB Darius Butler (shoulder), LB Robert Mathis (knee), DE Fili Moala (knee), DE Cory Redding (knee), NT Martin Tevaseu (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: LB Pat Angerer (foot), G Joe Reitz (knee). PROBABLE: CB Vontae Davis (ankle), LB Dwight Freeney (ankle), T Winston Justice (ankle).

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Saints by 2.

Records: Saints 1-4 (2-3 vs. spread), Buccaneers 2-3 (4-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman has thrown 5 TDs and zero picks in last three vs. Saints (Tampa is 2-1 in those games) . . . Tampa’s Ronde Barber is only NFLer ever with 25 sacks and 40 INTs . . . Player to watch: Saints’ Marques Colston has 18 receptions for 285 yards and 4 TDs in last two games.

Injuries: SAINTS: OUT: LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: PROBABLE: RB Travaris Cadet (shoulder), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), G Jahri Evans (toe), CB Jabari Greer (groin), DE Turk McBride (ankle), WR Lance Moore (hamstring), LB Scott Shanle (illness). BUCCANEERS: PROBABLE: WR Vincent Jackson (calf), G Carl Nicks (foot).

Dallas at Carolina

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Cowboys by 2.

Records: Cowboys 2-3 (2-3 vs. spread), Panthers 1-4 (2-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Cowboys are 8-1 vs. Panthers in regular season, 0-2 in playoffs . . . Carolina’s Cam Newton is only QB in NFL history with 5,000 passing yards (5,205), 25 passing TDs, and 15 rushing TDs in his first two seasons . . . Panthers rookie LB Luke Kuechly has 36 tackles . . . Player to watch: Cowboys QB Tony Romo is 34-8 when he posts a 100-plus passer rating.

Injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: S Matt Johnson (hamstring), DE Sean Lissemore (ankle), RB DeMarco Murray (foot). QUESTIONABLE: WR Dez Bryant (groin), C Ryan Cook (hamstring), P Chris Jones (left knee), LB Anthony Spencer (shoulder). PROBABLE: CB Morris Claiborne (knee), C Phil Costa (knee), P Brian Moorman (right groin). PANTHERS: OUT: CB Chris Gamble (shoulder). DOUBTFUL: LB Jon Beason (knee). PROBABLE: DE Antwan Applewhite (knee), C Geoff Hangartner (knee), S Colin Jones (shoulder).

Green Bay at St. Louis

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 5.

Records: Packers 3-3 (2-4 vs. spread), Rams 3-3 (5-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Rams are looking for their first 4-0 home start since 2003 . . . Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is fresh off a 6-TD, zero-INT effort vs. Houston. Cheeseheads are 24-0 when he has a 100-plus passer rating . . . Packers rookie CB Casey Hayward has three INTs in his last two games . . . Rams DE Chris Long has four sacks in last four games . . . Player to watch: Rams rookie WR Chris Givens has 50-yard receptions in three straight games.

Injuries: PACKERS: OUT: WR Greg Jennings (groin), LB Nick Perry (knee), DT B.J. Raji (ankle), CB Sam Shields (shin, ankle). PROBABLE: TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder), RB Alex Green (shoulder), CB Davon House (shoulder), S Sean Richardson (hamstring), QB Aaron Rodgers (calf), TE D.J. Williams (hamstring). RAMS: OUT: WR Danny Amendola (shoulder), LB Mario Haggan (thigh), T Rodger Saffold (knee). QUESTIONABLE: T Wayne Hunter (back). PROBABLE: CB Janoris Jenkins (back).

Arizona at Minnesota

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Vikings by 6½.

Records: Cardinals 4-2 (3-3 vs. spread), Vikings 4-2 (3-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Good news for Cardinals’ John Skelton: He gets the start at QB in place of injured Kevin Kolb. Bad news for Cardinals’ John Skelton: His guys have given up league highs in sacks (28) and QB hits (44) . . . Vikings’ Percy Harvin leads the NFL with 49 receptions . . . Minny’s Jared Allen has a sack in four straight . . . Player to watch: Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (a Minnesota native) has three 100-yard games in five games vs. Vikings.

Injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), S Kerry Rhodes (back). DOUBTFUL: RB Anthony Sherman (knee), CB Greg Toler (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: CB Michael Adams (hamstring), TE Todd Heap (knee), LB Reggie Walker (head). PROBABLE: DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring), TE Jim Dray (knee), LB Quentin Groves (hamstring), LB Paris Lenon (knee), LB O’Brien Schofield (knee), G Adam Snyder (elbow). VIKINGS: OUT: S Mistral Raymond (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: RB Matt Asiata (knee), LB Marvin Mitchell (calf). PROBABLE: DE Jared Allen (groin), S Robert Blanton (hamstring), RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), QB Christian Ponder (knee), WR Jerome Simpson (low back), CB Antoine Winfield (knee).

Jacksonville at Oakland

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Raiders by 6.

Records: Jaguars 1-4 (2-3 vs. spread), Raiders 1-4 (2-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Tough start(s): Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert has zero first-quarter TD passes in 19 career starts. Jaguars have not scored on their opening drive in 16 straight . . . Raiders are 1-4 vs. Jaguars, with their lone win coming in inaugural meeting in 1996 . . . Jags’ Josh Scobee has nailed 14 staight field goals . . . Player to watch: Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski leads league with 38 FGs of 50-plus yards since 2000.

Injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: S Dwight Lowery (ankle), WR Laurent Robinson (concussion), LB Daryl Smith (groin). PROBABLE: DT Tyson Alualu (not injury related), S Dawan Landry (knee), C Brad Meester (not injury related), DE George Selvie (knee). RAIDERS: OUT: T Khalif Barnes (groin), TE Richard Gordon (hamstring), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot). QUESTIONABLE: RB Taiwan Jones (knee), C Alex Parsons (shoulder, back). PROBABLE: G Mike Brisiel (concussion), K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin), RB Darren McFadden (shoulder), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), TE Brandon Myers (knee, ear), DT Richard Seymour (knee).

Jim McBride can be reached at