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Week 7 at a Glance

October 17, 1998

ALL TIME EDT

SUNDAY

Arizona Cardinals (3-3) at New York Giants (2-4), 1 p.m.

This could end in a baseball score. You know, 3-2, something like that. Both teams have been struggling offensively, but both are playing pretty good defense. The Giants defensive line should manhandle the Cardinals offensive line. This is always an interesting matchup because Giants Coach Jim Fassel was the Cardinals offensive coordinator before last year. Both teams think they can win the division. Can either?

Edge: Giants.

Baltimore Ravens (2-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2), 1 p.m.

The Steelers already beat the Ravens once this year, at Baltimore. In fact, the Steelers have beaten the Ravens three straight games. The Ravens aren't quite sure if Eric Zeier or Jim Harbaugh should be their quarterback, or if Priest Holmes or Errict Rhett should be their running back. Ted Marchibroda is coaching to save his job. They are not off to a good start. The Steelers, meanwhile, also have proven not to be invincible. They are coming off a disappointing loss to the Bengals. There is some question as to whether or not Jerome Bettis will be able to play. If he can't go, the Steelers' floundering offense will be affected.

Edge: Steelers.

Carolina Panthers (0-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3), 1 p.m.

The Bucs are the best 2-3 team in the league. They should be even better after a bye week and with the addition of receiver Bert Emanuel, who had been injured. And they are at their best at home, where they have yet to lose. The Panthers appeared to get a boost from Steve Beuerlein last week, but it wasn't enough of a boost to get the Panthers their first victory. Now he's got a sore shoulder. Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott have to be salivating looking at the Panthers' pathetic run defense.

Edge: Bucs.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at Tennessee Oilers (2-3), 1 p.m.

One of these teams figures to emerge in the AFC Central, and it very well could be the winner of this game. The Oilers finally got their running game going in a win over the Ravens last week, and the Bengals have their passing game in high gear. If you could put the Bengals air attack with the Oilers ground attack, you'd have a complete offense. But neither team has been unable to do it all. The bad news for Bengals backers is, not only can't the Bengals run, they can't stop it either.

Edge: Oilers.

Dallas Cowboys (4-2) at Chicago Bears (1-5), 4:15 p.m.

The Cowboys try to beat opponents by running the ball, making enough passes to keep defenses honest, hitting a big special teams play here and there, and getting by without much of a pass rush. And so do the Bears. The problem is, the Cowboys have been much better at it than the Bears. The Bears now are going with Edgar Bennett ahead of Curtis Enis at running back in an effort to cut down turnovers.

Edge: Cowboys.

Indianapolis Colts (1-5) at San Francisco 49ers (4-1), 4:05 p.m.

This appears to be one of the most lopsided games of the year. The 49ers have one of the great offensive machines of our time, whereas the Colts defense has been thoroughly incapable. Peyton Manning has to remember to throw to the blue and white jerseys. If you think about it, you can already envision Merton Hanks head bobbling his way into the end zone with a Manning interception.

Edge: 49ers.

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-3), 1 p.m.

Too bad Rob Johnson probably won't be able to play in this one against his former team. Then again, Doug Flutie might give the Bills a better chance of pulling off an upset, given his outstanding performance last week against the Colts. The Jaguars also figure to be without a full complement, as running back Fred Taylor could miss the game. Best matchup of the week pits Bruce Smith against Tony Boselli.

Edge: Jaguars.

New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-1), 1 p.m.

It's always good to see old gin and golf opponents Mike Ditka and Dan Reeves lock horns. Both of these underrated coaches have their teams playing over their heads, though the Saints are coming off two straight losses. Second-best matchup of the week pits Chuck Smith against Willie Roaf. The Saints left tackle has been waiting for this game since last season when Smith had five sacks against the perennial Pro Bowler.

Edge: Falcons.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-5) at San Diego Chargers (2-4), 4:15 p.m.

Good thing this isn't the national TV game. Ray Rhodes could be looking at the Eagles' future when he looks across the sideline and sees an interim coach guiding the opponent, as Rhodes could join Kevin Gilbride in the ranks of fired coaches. June Jones will try to get Ryan Leaf turned around against what could be a compliant defense. Also look for the Chargers to try to run the ball more.

Edge: Chargers.

St. Louis Rams (2-3) at Miami Dolphins (3-2), 4:15 p.m.

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