NFL Week 11 preview

Byron Leftwich will be leading the Steelers when the play the Ravens on Sunday.
Don Wright/AP
Byron Leftwich will be leading the Steelers when the play the Ravens on Sunday.

Green Bay at Detroit

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 3.

Records: Packers 6-3 (4-5 vs. spread), Lions 4-5 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: The Lions, last year’s feel-good team, have returned to cellar-dweller status . . . Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, who threw 41 TD passes in 2011, has just 11 this season . . . Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers is first NFLer with 25 TD passes through nine games in two different seasons . . . Packers coach Mike McCarthy is 11-1 vs. Lions . . . In last game vs. Green Bay, Detroit’s Calvin Johnson collected 11 catches for 244 yards . . . Player to watch: Packers CB Tramon Williams is tied for NFL high with 15 interceptions since the start of 2010.


Key injuries: PACKERS: OUT: WR Greg Jennings (groin, abdomen), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), TE Andrew Quarless (knee), S Charles Woodson (collarbone). QUESTIONABLE: LB Terrell Manning (shoulder), CB Sam Shields (ankle). LIONS: OUT: S Amari Spievey (concussion), DT Corey Williams (knee). DOUBTFUL: S Louis Delmas (knee). QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Houston (ankle), WR Calvin Johnson (knee).

San Diego at Denver

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Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Broncos by 8.

Records: Chargers 4-5 (4-5 vs. spread), Broncos 6-3 (6-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Who’s hotter than the Broncos? . . . Denver has won four straight, including a 35-24 decision at San Diego Oct. 15 . . . Peyton Manning has thrown for 1,226 yards, 10 TDs, and zero INTs in four home games . . . Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 5-1 with 9 TDs and a 102.5 passer rating at Denver . . . Broncos CB Chris Harris had two picks in Oct. 15 game . . . San Diego’s Malcom Floyd has five catches for 157 in last two games at Mile High . . . Player to watch: Denver’s Demaryius Thomas has 100-plus yards receiving in three of four home games.

Key injuries: CHARGERS: OUT: DT Aubrayo Franklin (knee). DOUBTFUL: T Jared Gaither (groin). QUESTIONABLE: RB Ryan Mathews (neck), TE Dante Rosario (hamstring). BRONCOS: OUT: CB Tracy Porter (illness). DOUBTFUL: G Chris Kuper (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Elvis Dumervil (shoulder).

Baltimore at Pittsburgh


Time: 8:20 p.m., NBC Line: Ravens by 3½.

Records: Ravens 7-2 (4-5 vs. spread), Steelers 6-3 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Byron Leftwich gets the start at QB for the Steelers after edging out Mike Tomczak and Bubby Brister . . . Leftwich hasn’t started a game since 2009 . . . Steelers lead the all-time series, 18-14, and have won 11 of last 13 against AFC North foes, but Ravens have won four of last six vs. Pittsburgh and 11 straight vs. AFC North . . . Mouthy Ravens LB Terrell Suggs has 13½ sacks vs. Steelers . . . Not-so-mouthy Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley has 9½ sacks vs. Ravens . . . Player to watch: Ravens QB Joe Flacco has thrown for 1,501 yards and 9 TDs in last six vs. Pitt.

Key injuries: RAVENS: OUT: CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen). DOUBTFUL: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: NT Terrence Cody (arm), S Christian Thompson (thigh). STEELERS: OUT: WR Antonio Brown (ankle), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), S Troy Polamalu (calf), QB Ben Roethlisberger (right shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: LB Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring).

Chicago at San Francisco

Time: Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Line: 49ers by 6.


Records: Bears 7-2 (5-4 vs. spread), 49ers 6-2-1 (5-4 vs. spread).

Comments: This could be a really good game or it could be Jason Campbell vs. Colin Kaepernick . . . Da Bears lead the series, 29-28-1 . . . 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was Bears QB from 1987-93 . . . San Fran’s Frank Gore has rushed for at least 100 yards in three straight vs. Chicago . . . Bears CB Charles Tillman has forced NFL-high seven fumbles . . . 49ers’ Randy Moss has 86 career catches vs. Chicago . . . Player to watch: Bears’ Brandon Marshall has 51 catches for 690 yards and six TDs in his last six games.

Key injuries: BEARS: OUT: QB Jay Cutler (concussion), DE Shea McClellin (concussion). DNP: DT Matt Toeaina (calf), LB Brian Urlacher (not injury related). FULL: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand), DT Henry Melton (back). 49ERS: No information reported.

Arizona at Atlanta

Time: 1 p.m., Fox Line: Falcons by 10.

Records: Cardinals 4-5 (3-5-1 vs. spread), Falcons 8-1 (6-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Atlanta’s ageless wonder, John Abraham, has 11½ sacks in his last dozen games . . . Arizona’s Daryl Washington has nine sacks in his last 10 games . . . Arizona RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (sounds like a mystery writer) has 2 TDs in last three games . . . Player to watch: Falcons’ Rowdy Roddy White has 60 catches for 932 yards and 7 TDs in last eight home games.

Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs). QUESTIONABLE: DE Calais Campbell (calf), CB Jamell Fleming (back), TE Todd Heap (knee), CB Greg Toler (hamstring). FALCONS: OUT: WR Kevin Cone (groin), S Charles Mitchell (calf). QUESTIONABLE: DE John Abraham (back), WR Julio Jones (ankle), RB Michael Turner (groin), DT Vance Walker (ribs), LB Sean Weatherspoon (ankle).

Cleveland at Dallas

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Cowboys by 7½.

Records: Browns 2-7 (4-4-1 vs. spread), Cowboys 4-5 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Brandon Weeden (2,088) is 360 passing yards shy of breaking Tim Couch’s Browns rookie record . . . Dallas’s Tony “Smiles” Romo is 20-3 with a 111.7 passer rating in November . . . Cowboys TE Jason Witten has 58 catches in his past six games . . . Player to watch: Cleveland WR Josh Gordon leads all rookies with 417 receiving yards.

Key injuries: BROWNS: OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), S Ray Ventrone (hand, calf). QUESTIONABLE: CB Joe Haden (oblique), DT Ahtyba Rubin (calf). COWBOYS: OUT: C Phil Costa (ankle), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), DE Sean Lissemore (ankle). DOUBTFUL: C Ryan Cook (knee), CB Mike Jenkins (back), RB DeMarco Murray (foot).

Cincinnati at Kansas City

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bengals by 3½.

Records: Bengals 4-5 (3-5-1 vs. spread), Chiefs 1-8 (3-6 vs. spread).

Comments: Series is tied at 13-13 . . . Cincy QB Andy Dalton (his hair matches his uniform) has 92.3 passer rating and 8 TD passes on the road in 2012 . . . Chiefs LB Tamba Hali has 5 sacks in his last six games . . . Matt Cassel is one TD pass shy of 60 for his Chiefs career . . . Player to watch: Bengals WR A.J. Green has a TD reception in eight straight games.

Key injuries: BENGALS: DOUBTFUL: WR Marvin Jones (knee), S Reggie Nelson (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: C Jeff Faine (hamstring), WR Andrew Hawkins (knee). CHIEFS: OUT: G Jon Asamoah (thumb), WR Jon Baldwin (head, neck), TE Jake O’Connell (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: G Ryan Lilja (knee), QB Brady Quinn (head).

New York Jets at St. Louis

Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Rams by 3½.

Records: Jets 3-6 (5-4 vs. spread), Rams 3-5-1 (6-3 vs. spread).

Comments: Nice to see the locker room overhaul has really paid off for the Jets. Oy . . . Rams rookie Chris Givens has at least one 50-yard reception in five straight games . . . Jets are 5-0 when RB Shonn Greene rushes for 100 yards . . . St. Louis’s Robert Quinn has 8½ sacks in last nine games . . . Player to watch: Jets TE Dustin Keller has 17 catches for 207 yards in last three games.

Key injuries: JETS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Jeremy Kerley (heel, hamstring), RB Joe McKnight (ankle), DT Sione Po’uha (back, ankle), RB Bilal Powell (concussion), LB Bart Scott (toe). RAMS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Mario Haggan (thigh), WR Austin Pettis (toe), DE Eugene Sims (knee), S Darian Stewart (knee).

Philadelphia at Washington

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Redskins by 3½.

Records: Eagles 3-6 (1-7-1 vs. spread), Redskins 3-6 (4-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Redskins’ Robert Griffin III leads all rookie QBs with a 65.6 completion percentage and a 93.9 passer rating . . . . . . Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan is the lone NFLer with at least 10 sacks (12) and 2 INTs (2) . . . Player to watch: Eagles TE Brent Celek has at least one TD catch in two straight vs. Washington.

Key injuries: EAGLES: OUT: WR Jason Avant (hamstring), WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring), RB Chris Polk (toe), QB Michael Vick (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: G Danny Watkins (ankle). REDSKINS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Pierre Garcon (foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee).

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Buccaneers by 1.

Records: Panthers 2-7 (4-5 vs. spread), Buccaneers 5-4 (7-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Buccaneers have scored at least 28 points in a franchise-record five straight . . . Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams has rushed for at least two TDs in four of last eight vs. Tampa Bay . . . Carolina rookie LB Luke Kuechly has a team-high 88 tackles . . . Panthers DE Charles Johnson has 25½ sacks in last 31 games . . . Player to watch: Bucs QB Josh Freeman has thrown 13 TDs and 1 pick in his last five games.

Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: QUESTIONABLE: T Jamon Meredith (ankle). PANTHERS: OUT: DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring).

Jacksonville at Houston

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Texans by 15½.

Records: Jaguars 1-8 (4-5 vs. spread), Texans 8-1 (7-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Texans have won four straight in the series . . . Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny has a team-high 70 tackles (he deserves to be on a winning team) . . . Houston RB Arian Foster has scored at least one TD in 11 straight games . . . Player to watch: Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert has thrown for 828 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs on the road this season.

Key injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), RB Greg Jones (thigh), S Dwight Lowery (ankle), CB Rashean Mathis (groin). TEXANS: OUT: RB Ben Tate (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: TE Owen Daniels (back), LB Tim Dobbins (shoulder).

New Orleans at Oakland

Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Saints by 5.

Records: Saints 4-5 (5-4 vs. spread), Raiders 3-6 (3-6 vs. spread).

Comments: Marques Colston (55 TDs) needs one TD to pass Deuce McAllister for most in Saints history . . . Raiders FB Marcel Reese has 15 receptions in his last two games . . . Oakland’s Denarius Moore has a TD catch in four of his last five games . . . Saints LB Curtis Lofton has a team-high 81 tackles . . . Player to watch: Raiders TE Brandon Myers already has career highs in receptions (44), yards (499), and TDs (2).

Key injuries: SAINTS: OUT: DE Junior Galette (ankle), T Zach Strief (groin), CB Corey White (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Darren Sproles (hand). RAIDERS: OUT: RB Mike Goodson (ankle), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: S Tyvon Branch (neck), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring).

Jim McBride can be reached at