NFL Week 9 preview

Giants QB Eli Manning has won eight straight games against AFC teams.
Sharon Ellman/Associated Press
Giants QB Eli Manning has won eight straight games against AFC teams.

Arizona at Green Bay

Time: 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Packers by 10½.

Records: Cardinals 4-4 (3-5 vs. spread), Packers 5-3 (3-5 vs. spread).


Comments: Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is the first NFLer with 20 TD passes through eight games in back-to-back seasons . . . Both QBs should be wary, as Packers and Cardinals lead NFL with 26 sacks . . . Cheeseheads have won 22 of their last 24 at Lambeau Field . . . Player to watch: Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson has 5 TDs in last four games.

Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), G Adam Snyder (quadriceps). PACKERS: OUT: WR Greg Jennings (groin, abdomen), RB John Kuhn (hamstring), LB Nick Perry (knee, wrist), CB Sam Shields (ankle), S Charles Woodson (collarbone), DE Jerel Worthy (concussion).

Miami at Indianapolis

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Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Dolphins by 2½.

Records: Dolphins 4-3 (4-3 vs. spread), Colts 4-3 (4-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Dolphins rookie QB Ryan Tannehill (left knee) is on track to play after being knocked out of last week’s game. His replacement, Matt Moore, led Miami to victory (and, no, Jamie Dukes, it’s not cool to call him “Mandy Moore”) . . . Colts’ Andrew Luck has the highest winning percentage (.571) through eight games of any rookie QB taken No. 1 overall . . . Indianapolis has won four straight in series . . . Player to watch: Dolphins DE Cameron Wake has 7½ sacks in his last four games.


Key injuries: DOLPHINS: OUT: CB Richard Marshall (back). COLTS: OUT: CB Vontae Davis (knee), TE Coby Fleener (shoulder).

Pittsburgh at NY Giants

Time: 4:25 p.m., CBS

Line: Giants by 3.

Records: Steelers 4-3 (3-4 vs. spread), Giants 6-2 (4-2-2 vs. spread).

Comments: They don’t have the best record, but is there any doubt the G-Men are the best team in the NFL? . . . Giants QB Elite Manning has won eight straight vs. AFC . . . Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 23-7 vs. NFC . . . NY kicker Lawrence Tynes has a league-high 94 points . . . Player to watch: Steeler Jonathan Dwyer (if he plays) has100-plus rush yards in two straight.


Key injuries: STEELERS: OUT: T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), S Troy Polamalu (calf), LB Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: RB Jonathan Dwyer (quadriceps), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles). GIANTS: OUT: LB Chase Blackburn (hamstring), LB Jacquian Williams (knee). DOUBTFUL: LB Keith Rivers (calf).

Philadelphia at New Orleans

Time: Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Line: Saints by 3.

Records: Eagles 3-4 (1-5-1 vs. spread), Saints 2-5 (3-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Normally a matchup of 3-4 vs. 2-5 would not qualify as a key game, but this bears watching because the loser is pretty much cooked for the season . . . Eagles have lost three straight, and coach Andy Reid and QB Michael Vick occupy the two hottest seats in the league . . . Saints have given up more than 400 yards in seven straight games . . . Player to watch: Saints DE Junior Galette has four sacks and a forced fumble in last five games.

Key injuries: EAGLES: OUT: WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring). DNP: S Nate Allen (hamstring), G Danny Watkins (ankle). SAINTS: OUT: WR Courtney Roby (shoulder), RB Darren Sproles (hand).

Denver at Cincinnati

Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Broncos by 4.

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

Comments: Bengals are on a three-game losing skid . . . Eric Decker is looking to become fifth Bronco with a TD reception in five straight games . . . Cincinnati’s A.J. Green has a six-game streak with at least once TD catch . . . Denver’s Von Miller has 17½ sacks in 22 career games . . . Player to watch: Broncos’ Peyton Manning is 7-0 with 17 scoring strikes vs. Cincinnati.

Key injuries: BRONCOS: DOUBTFUL: CB Tracy Porter (illness). PROBABLE: S Mike Adams (knee), G Chris Kuper (forearm), QB Peyton Manning (right thumb), TE Jacob Tamme (hip). BENGALS: OUT: WR Marvin Jones (knee), LB Dontay Moch (illness). PROBABLE: C Jeff Faine (hamstring), WR Andrew Hawkins (knee), RB Brian Leonard (ribs).

Baltimore at Cleveland

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Ravens by 3½.

Records: Ravens 5-2 (2-5 vs. spread), Browns 2-6 (4-3-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Ravens beat Browns, 23-16, Sept. 27 . . . Baltimore is 4-0 following bye weeks in the John Harbaugh era. Ravens also have won 14 straight after a loss . . . Cleveland rookie Brandon Weeden threw for 320 yards in the September matchup . . . Baltimore QB Joe “Cool” Flacco is 9-0 vs. Cleveland . . . Player to watch: Ravens’ Terrell Suggs has 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles vs. Brownies.

Key injuries: RAVENS: OUT: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), WR LaQuan Williams (ankle). PROBABLE: T Bryant McKinnie (thigh), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder, chest), CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle), DE DeAngelo Tyson (foot), G Marshal Yanda (shoulder). BROWNS: OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), DE Brian Sanford (knee). DOUBTFUL: DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). QUESTIONABLE: WR Josh Cooper (thigh), LB D’Qwell Jackson (foot, toe).

Chicago at Tennessee

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bears by 3½.

Records: Bears 6-1 (4-3 vs. spread), Titans 3-5 (3-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Series is tied, 5-5 . . . Titans have won 10 of last 12 vs. NFC foes at home . . . Bears’ Brandon Marshall has 34 catches for 461 yards and 3 scores in last four games . . . Rejuvenated: Tennessee’s Chris Johnson has rushed for 550 yards the last five weeks . . . Titans’ Kendall Wright leads NFL rooks with 40 receptions . . . Player to watch: Chicago’s Tim Jennings has seven interceptions in his last eight games.

Key injuries: BEARS: OUT: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand). PROBABLE: LB Lance Briggs (toe), T Jonathan Scott (groin), TE Matt Spaeth (ankle). TITANS: OUT: LB Patrick Bailey (ribs), G Leroy Harris (knee), QB Jake Locker (left shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: CB Tommie Campbell (ankle), T David Stewart (knee), LB Will Witherspoon (hamstring).

Carolina at Washington

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Redskins by 3½.

Records: Panthers 1-6 (3-4 vs. spread), Redskins 3-5 (4-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Carolina has lost five straight . . . Game is a battle of last two Heisman Trophy winners in Redskins’ Robert Griffin III and Panthers’ Cam Newton . . . They’re also two of the most exciting and dynamic QBs in the league . . . Weekly Luke Kuechly update: BC rookie LB leads Panthers with 62 tackles . . . Skins have NFL-high 62 penalties . . . Player to watch: Carolina’s Justin Medlock was 5 for 5 on field goals last week.

Key injuries: PANTHERS: DOUBTFUL: DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring), DE Thomas Keiser (elbow), WR Brandon LaFell (head). QUESTIONABLE: DE Frank Alexander (knee), DT Dwan Edwards (ankle). PROBABLE: C Geoff Hangartner (knee), TE Ben Hartsock (ankle). REDSKINS: OUT: WR Pierre Garcon (foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB Perry Riley (hamstring). PROBABLE: LB London Fletcher (hamstring), CB David Jones (Achilles), P Sav Rocca (right knee), CB Josh Wilson (shoulder).

Detroit at Jacksonville

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Lions by 4½.

Records: Lions 3-4 (3-4 vs. spread), Jaguars 1-6 (3-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Lions are clearly the most talented 3-4 team in the league . . . Jaguars are clearly the worst 1-6 team in the league. Jacksonville is 0-3 at home and has been outscored, 95-20 . . . Lions are 1-3 on the road . . . Jags kicker Josh Scobee has hit 20 straight field goals . . . Player to watch: Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has thrown for 1,843 yards, 17 TDs, and 1 INT in last six games vs. AFC opponents.

Key injuries: LIONS: OUT: S Louis Delmas (knee), S Amari Spievey (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: WR Calvin Johnson (knee), LB DeAndre Levy (hamstring). PROBABLE: DE Cliff Avril (back), LB Justin Durant (quadriceps), TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee), LB Stephen Tulloch (knee), DT Corey Williams (knee), WR Titus Young (knee). JAGUARS: OUT: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), RB Greg Jones (hip), S Dwight Lowery (ankle), CB Rashean Mathis (groin), RB Montell Owens (shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: CB Derek Cox (back).

Buffalo at Houston

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Texans by 10.

Records: Bills 3-4 (3-4 vs. spread), Texans 6-1 (5-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Buffalo stampede: Fred Jackson is 9 rushing yards shy of 4,000 for his career, while backfield mate C.J. Spiller leads NFL with a 7.26 yards-per-carry average . . . Bills are 16-8 following bye weeks since 1990 . . . Texans’ J.J. Watt leads NFL with 9½ sacks and 15 tackles for losses . . . Buffalo has given up just eight sacks . . . Player to watch: Houston’s Arian Foster (659 rushing yards) leads NFL with 10 total TDs.

Key injuries: BILLS: OUT: DE Mark Anderson (knee), G Chad Rinehart (ankle). DOUBTFUL: CB Terrence McGee (knee), T Erik Pears (hip). QUESTIONABLE: T Cordy Glenn (ankle), DT Kyle Williams (ankle). PROBABLE: DE Chris Kelsay (ankle), G Andy Levitre (knee), CB Justin Rogers (thigh), WR Brad Smith (chest), RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder), DE Mario Williams (wrist), C Eric Wood (knee). TEXANS: OUT: RB Ben Tate (hamstring). PROBABLE: LB Bryan Braman (neck), NT Shaun Cody (back), CB Johnathan Joseph (groin), S Shiloh Keo (back), NT Earl Mitchell (ankle), LB Jesse Nading (foot, neck), DE Antonio Smith (ankle), G Wade Smith (knee), WR Kevin Walter (illness), G Cody White (illness), QB T.J. Yates (elbow).

Tampa Bay at Oakland

Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Raiders by 1½.

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

Comments: Raiders are 5-0 all-time vs. Buccaneers at home . . . Tampa Bay is seeking its fourth straight game with at least 28 points (that’d be a franchise record) . . . Oakland QB Carson Palmer has thrown for at least 200 yards in 13 straight games (that is a franchise record) . . . Player to watch: Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman has nine TD passes and one INT in last three games.

Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: PROBABLE: DE Michael Bennett (ankle), CB Brandon McDonald (ankle), T Donald Penn (wrist), CB Eric Wright (Achilles). RAIDERS: OUT: T Khalif Barnes (groin), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot). DOUBTFUL: LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: RB Taiwan Jones (knee), LB Rolando McClain (toe).

Minnesota at Seattle

Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 4.

Records: Vikings 5-3 (4-4 vs. spread), Seahawks 4-4 (5-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson leads the NFL with 775 rushing yards; Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch is No. 2 at 757 . . . Seahawks have second-best run defense in NFC at 84.9 per game . . . Vikings face a rookie QB (Russell Wilson) for third time this season — they lost to Andrew Luck and RGIII . . . Player to watch: Minnesota LB Chad Greenway has an NFL-high 81 tackles.

Key injuries: VIKINGS: OUT: TE John Carlson (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: S Mistral Raymond (ankle). PROBABLE: DT Fred Evans (knee), DT Letroy Guion (ribs), P Chris Kluwe (left knee), RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), QB Christian Ponder (knee), CB Antoine Winfield (knee). SEAHAWKS: OUT: WR Braylon Edwards (knee), DE Jason Jones (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: G James Carpenter (illness), CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring), DE Greg Scruggs (oblique). PROBABLE: WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), DT Alan Branch (not injury related), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), G John Moffitt (knee).

Dallas at Atlanta

Time: 8:20 p.m., NBC Line: Falcons by 4.

Records: Cowboys 3-4 (3-4 vs. spread), Falcons 7-0 (5-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Atlanta has a plus-10 turnover differential while Dallas is at minus-10 . . . Falcons DE John Abraham’s 119 sacks are most by an active player . . . Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware has 99 sacks since 2006, most in NFL . . . Atlanta’s Matty “Ice” Ryan has 17 TD passes and six INTs; Dallas’s Tony Romo has nine TD passes and 13 INTs . . . Cowboys TE Jason Witten is four receptions shy of breaking Michael Irvin’s team mark (747) . . . Player to watch: Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez is one TD reception shy of 100 for his career.

Key injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: LB Dan Connor (neck), C Phil Costa (ankle), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), DE Sean Lissemore (ankle), RB DeMarco Murray (foot). QUESTIONABLE: WR Dez Bryant (hip), WR Kevin Ogletree (hamstring). FALCONS: OUT: WR Kevin Cone (groin), G Garrett Reynolds (back), LB Sean Weatherspoon (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee), DT Vance Walker (illness).

Jim McBride can be reached at