Kansas City at Buffalo
Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Chiefs by 3½.
Records: Chiefs 8-0 (5-3 vs. spread), Bills 3-5 (5-3 vs. spread).
Comments: This is starting to feel like a division game as teams meet for sixth straight season. Bills have won four of those five . . . Chiefs trying to match best start (2003) . . . Bills’ two home losses have been by a combined 5 points . . . KC RB Jamaal Charles has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in all eight games . . . Buffalo WR Stevie Johnson has a TD catch in three straight vs. Chiefs . . . KC QB Alex Smith is 27-5-1 as a starter since 2011 . . . Chiefs have an NFL-high 36 sacks . . . Player to watch: Bills’ Fred Jackson has 5 rushing TDs in his past six games.
Key injuries: CHIEFS: OUT: DE Mike Catapano (ankle). PROBABLE: WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), WR Dwayne Bowe (groin), RB Jamaal Charles (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (knee, ankle), T Eric Fisher (knee, back), S Kendrick Lewis (ankle), TE Sean McGrath (knee), LB Dezman Moses (toe), CB Ron Parker (toe), RB Anthony Sherman (knee, calf). BILLS: OUT: QB EJ Manuel (knee). DOUBTFUL: QB Thad Lewis (ribs). QUESTIONABLE: WR Chris Hogan (back). PROBABLE: WR Marquise Goodwin (elbow), RB Fred Jackson (knee), WR Stevie Johnson (hip), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), RB C.J. Spiller (ankle), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DT Kyle Williams (Achilles’), DE Mario Williams (hip).
New Orleans at NY Jets
Time: 1 p.m. Fox Line: Saints by 6½.
Records: Saints 6-1 (5-2 vs. spread), Jets 4-4 (5-3 vs. spread).
Comments: The Ryan Bowl pits Rex (the HC of the NYJ) against Rob (the DC of the NOS) . . . Jets are 3-1 at home and rookie QB Geno Smith is 2-0 vs NFC foes with 455 yards, 4 TDs, and 1 INT . . . Saints’ Cameron Jordan has 6 sacks in last six games . . . Jets’ Muhammad Wilkerson aims for fifth straight game with a sack . . . Jets’ Chris Ivory (a former Saint) had a 100-yard effort in New York’s last home game . . . New Orleans RB Darren Sproles has 36 catches (tied for second in NFL) . . . Player to watch: Jets K Nick Folk is a perfect 19 for 19 on field goal attempts.
Key injuries: SAINTS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Marques Colston (knee), G Jahri Evans (hip), TE Jimmy Graham (foot), S Roman Harper (knee), DE Tom Johnson (hip), DE Cameron Jordan (ankle), S Kenny Vaccaro (concussion, back), DE Tyrunn Walker (knee). PROBABLE: LB David Hawthorne (ankle), DE Akiem Hicks (knee), S Malcolm Jenkins (knee). JETS: OUT: WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: G Willie Colon (calf), TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion), RB Alex Green (hamstring), C Nick Mangold (ribs). PROBABLE: S Antonio Allen (finger), WR Josh Cribbs (knee), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), WR Stephen Hill (foot), WR Jeremy Kerley (illness), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), WR David Nelson (quadriceps), TE Konrad Reuland (knee), WR Greg Salas (knee), CB Darrin Walls (shoulder), G Brian Winters (ankle).
Atlanta at Carolina
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Panthers by 7½.
Records: Falcons 2-5 (2-5 vs. spread), Panthers 4-3 (4-3 vs. spread).
Comments: It’s mildy surprising the Panthers are 4-3. Downright shocking the Falcons are 2-5 . . . Here’s one more shocking fact: Carolina is allowing a mere 13.7 points per game, second best in the NFL (Chiefs, 12.3) . . . Panthers QB Cam Newton has 6 passing TDs and 2 more rushing in last three games . . . Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez has a catch in 202 straight games (you’ll miss those Gonzalez nuggets next season. Or will you?) . . . Carolina’s Greg Hardy has collected 14 sacks in his last 16 games . . . Player to watch: Atlanta’s Matty “Ice” Ryan is 5-1 with 13 TDs in last six games vs. Panthers.
Key injuries: FALCONS: OUT: LB Stephen Nicholas (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: T Sam Baker (knee), S William Moore (hip), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), WR Roddy White (hamstring, ankle). PROBABLE: LB Akeem Dent (ankle), C Joe Hawley (elbow), DT Peria Jerry (toe), G Garrett Reynolds (knee), RB Jason Snelling (ankle). PANTHERS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Chase Blackburn (foot). PROBABLE: LB Thomas Davis (shoulder), DT Dwan Edwards (hamstring), DE Charles Johnson (groin), WR Marvin McNutt (ankle), RB DeAngelo Williams (quadriceps).
Chicago at Green Bay
Time: Monday, 8:40 p.m., ESPN Line: Packers by 10½.
Records: Bears 4-3 (1-5-1 vs. spread), Packers 5-2 (4-3 vs. spread).
Comments: The lone matchup of teams with winning records this week . . . The league’s oldest rivalry (1921) has been incredibly even with Bears holding the all-time edge, 92-88-6 . . . Including playoffs, Cheesehead QB Aaron Rodgers has won six straight vs. Chicago . . . Bears WR Alshon Jeffery has 20 receptions for 457 yards in his last four games . . . Packers have won 23 of last 24 games at Lambeau Field . . . Chicago’s Julius Peppers has 112½ sacks since 2002 . . . Player to watch: Packers’ Jordy Nelson has 12 catches for 199 yards and 2 TDs in last two vs. Bears.
Key injuries: BEARS: DNP: LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), QB Jay Cutler (groin). LIMITED: CB Charles Tillman (knee). FULL: WR Joe Anderson (abdomen), LB Blake Costanzo (knee), S Major Wright (knee). PACKERS: OUT: TE Jermichael Finley (neck), LB Clay Matthews (thumb). DNP: LB Nick Perry (foot). LIMITED: WR James Jones (knee), TE Ryan Taylor (knee). FULL: LB Brad Jones (hamstring).
THIS WEEKEND’S OTHER GAMES
Minnesota at Dallas
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Cowboys by 10.
Records: Vikings 1-6 (2-5 vs. spread), Cowboys 4-4 (7-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Vikings are deciding between QBs Josh Freeman, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Fran Tarkenton . . . Cowboys will stick with Tony Romo at QB (he has the highest November winning percentage in Super Bowl era at .820, 21-4) . . . Minny’s Adrian Peterson aims for third straight vs. Dallas with a TD . . . Player to watch: Dallas’s Dez Bryant tied for NFC lead with 8 TD catches. He leads NFL in sideline outbursts.
Key injuries: VIKINGS: OUT: RB Matt Asiata (shoulder), CB Chris Cook (hip), TE Rhett Ellison (ankle), DT Fred Evans (knee), S Jamarca Sanford (groin). PROBABLE: LB Chad Greenway (wrist), CB A.J. Jefferson (ankle), WR Greg Jennings (knee), T Phil Loadholt (illness), RB Adrian Peterson (not injury-related), WR Rodney Smith (hip), K Blair Walsh (left hamstring), DT Kevin Williams (knee). COWBOYS: OUT: CB Morris Claiborne (hamstring), LB DeVonte Holloman (neck), G Brian Waters (elbow), S J.J. Wilcox (knee). DOUBTFUL: WR Miles Austin (hamstring), DE DeMarcus Ware (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: S Danny McCray (hip, toe). PROBABLE: DT Marvin Austin (back), S Barry Church (hamstring), RB Lance Dunbar (hamstring), WR Dwayne Harris (hip), DT Jason Hatcher (neck), RB DeMarco Murray (knee), DE George Selvie (shoulder).
San Diego at Washington
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Even.
Records: Chargers 4-3 (5-1-1 vs. spread), Redskins 2-5 (2-5 vs. spread).
Comments: LB Perry Riley Jr. leads the Redskins with 61 tackles. And give yourself a silver star if you knew that (or if you’ve heard of Perry Riley Jr.) . . . Chargers’ Philip Rivers has the league’s top completion percentage (73.9) and his 111.1 passer rating is second only to Peyton Manning . . . ’Skins have NFL’s worst starting field position (22.7-yard line) . . . Player to watch: San Diego’s Ryan Mathews aiming for his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game.
Key injuries: CHARGERS: OUT: T Mike Remmers (ankle). DOUBTFUL: LB Donald Butler (groin). QUESTIONABLE: G Chad Rinehart (toe), WR Eddie Royal (toe). PROBABLE: DE Lawrence Guy (toe), LB Jarret Johnson (hamstring), S Eric Weddle (toe). REDSKINS: QUESTIONABLE: S Jose Gumbs (ankle). PROBABLE: DE Stephen Bowen (shoulder, knee), S Reed Doughty (concussion), WR Pierre Garcon (calf), QB Robert Griffin III (knee), WR Leonard Hankerson (foot), NT Chris Neild (calf), TE Logan Paulsen (knee), RB Chris Thompson (shoulder).
Tennessee at St. Louis
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Titans by 3.
Records: Titans 3-4 (4-2-1 vs. spread), Rams 3-5 (3-5 vs. spread).
Comments: St. Louis boss Jeff Fisher (I bet he wears his sunglasses at night) led the Oilers/Titans to a 147-126 record and a Super Bowl appearance from 1994-2010 . . . In his past four starts, Tennessee’s Jake Locker is 83 of 132 for 922 yards and 8 TDs . . . Rams DE Robert Quinn has an NFC-high 10 sacks . . . Player to watch: Former Titan TE Jared Cook leads Rams with 375 receiving yards.
Key injuries: TITANS: OUT: LB Moise Fokou (knee). QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Griffin (quadriceps), WR Justin Hunter (finger), DE Ropati Pitoitua (calf), TE Craig Stevens (back), T David Stewart (shoulder). PROBABLE: LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring), DT Jurrell Casey (ankle), LB Zaviar Gooden (hamstring), DE Derrick Morgan (shoulder). RAMS: OUT: G Harvey Dahl (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Benny Cunningham (ankle), QB Brady Quinn (hip), DE Robert Quinn (illness), RB Daryl Richardson (foot), RB Zac Stacy (foot). PROBABLE: QB Kellen Clemens (right shoulder), T Jake Long (knee), CB Brandon McGee (illness), WR Austin Pettis (thigh), S Darian Stewart (foot), C Scott Wells (thigh).
Philadelphia at Oakland
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Raiders by 2½.
Records: Eagles 3-5 (3-5 vs. spread), Raiders 3-4 (5-2 vs. spread).
Comments: Nick Foles is back at the helm for the Eagles. He has a 101.3 passer rating this season . . . Eagles are 0-3 all time in Oakland . . . Oakland rookie LB Sio Moore has 2½ sacks in last two games . . . Philly’s LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 1,017 yards from scrimmage . . . Player to watch: Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor is 3-0 at home and leads NFL QBs with 391 rushing yards.
Key injuries: EAGLES: OUT: QB Michael Vick (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: LB Jake Knott (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: S Patrick Chung (shoulder), WR Damaris Johnson (ankle), LB Casey Matthews (hip). PROBABLE: LB Connor Barwin (back), C Jon Dorenbos (groin), QB Nick Foles (concussion), WR DeSean Jackson (ankle), P Donnie Jones (left foot), T Jason Peters (shoulder, finger), RB Chris Polk (shoulder), DE Cedric Thornton (knee). RAIDERS: OUT: S Tyvon Branch (ankle), C Andre Gurode (quadriceps), T Tony Pashos (hip). QUESTIONABLE: WR Andre Holmes (hamstring), T Menelik Watson (calf).
Tampa Bay at Seattle
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 15½.
Records: Buccaneers 0-7 (1-6 vs. spread), Seahawks 7-1 (5-3 vs. spread).
Comments: Battle of former North Carolina State QBs Russell Wilson (Seahawks) and Mike Glennon (Buccaneers) . . . Anyone else get the feeling every game could be Greg Schiano’s last on the Tampa sideline? . . . Seahawks’ win would be 12th straight at home, tying a franchise record . . . Buccaneers’ Vincent Jackson averaging 89 yards receiving per game . . . Player to watch: Seattle CB Richard Sherman has 7 INTs in last seven home games.
Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: OUT: RB Jeff Demps (groin), RB Doug Martin (shoulder), G Carl Nicks (foot). QUESTIONABLE: S Mark Barron (hip), S Dashon Goldson (knee), DT Derek Landri (back), WR Chris Owusu (foot), LB Dekoda Watson (shoulder). SEAHAWKS: OUT: RB Derrick Coleman (hamstring), T Breno Giacomini (knee), S Jeron Johnson (hamstring). PROBABLE: DE Michael Bennett (illness), RB Marshawn Lynch (knee), G J.R. Sweezy (elbow), S Earl Thomas (illness).
Baltimore at Cleveland
Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Ravens by 2.
Records: Ravens 3-4 (4-3 vs. spread), Browns 3-5 (4-4 vs. spread).
Comments: This really should be a great rivalry. But it isn’t. Browns haven’t beaten the Ravens since 2007 (11 straight losses) . . . Cleveland has lost three straight since its promising 3-2 start . . . Baltimore TE Dallas Clark (who else forgot he was still active and playing for the Ravens) needs 3 catches to reach 500 for his career . . . Player to watch: Brownies LB D’Qwell Jackson has a team-high 69 tackles.
Key injuries: RAVENS: OUT: G Kelechi Osemele (back, knee). QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandon Stokley (thigh). PROBABLE: LB Josh Bynes (finger, thigh), NT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), T Michael Oher (ankle), RB Bernard Pierce (thigh). BROWNS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Quentin Groves (ankle), DE Billy Winn (quadriceps). PROBABLE: DE Desmond Bryant (thumb), RB Willis McGahee (knee), RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ribs), CB Chris Owens (finger), LB Jabaal Sheard (wrist).
Indianapolis at Houston
Time: 8:30 p.m., NBC Line: Colts by 2.
Records: Colts 5-2 (4-3 vs. spread), Texans 2-5 (1-6 vs. spread).
Comments: QB Case Keenum, who starred at the University of Houston, makes his first home start for Texans . . . QB Andrew Luck, who starred at Stratford High in Houston, has thrown for 4 TDs and zero INTs in two games vs. Texans . . . Colts LB Robert Mathis has 11½ sacks in 2013 and 15½ vs. Texans . . . Player to watch: Houston’s Arian Foster averaging 150.4 rushing yards in five career games vs. Colts.
Key injuries: COLTS: OUT: CB Josh Gordy (groin), S Delano Howell (neck), CB Greg Toler (groin). QUESTIONABLE: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), LB Cam Johnson (knee). PROBABLE: C Samson Satele (knee), LB Bjoern Werner (foot). TEXANS: QUESTIONABLE: RB Arian Foster (hamstring).Jim McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org