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SPORTS WEEKEND | WEEK 7 PRIMER

Game Of The Week

October 13, 2000|ROBYN NORWOOD

Baltimore (5-1) at Washington (4-2), 10 a.m.

The frenzy will start anew if the Redskins don't win this rare battle of the beltway. The Ravens' offense isn't much, but the defense is so good they're winning on field goals alone. They'll need touchdowns this week.

The line: Washington by 3 1/2.

UPSET OF THE WEEK

San Fran. (2-4) at Green Bay (2-4), 1:15 p.m., Ch. 11

Brett Favre has a passer rating of 77.8 and Jeff Garcia is at 105.1. That's an incredible reversal of expectations--and a 49er upset would reverse a trend in which the Packers have won six of the last seven meetings.

* The line: Green Bay by 4 1/2.

POTENTIAL STAR OF THE WEEK

St. Louis Ram receiver Isaac Bruce

You could pick Kurt Warner every week, but with the Ram receivers going against an Atlanta secondary that proved it can't keep up in a 41-20 loss last month, give it to Bruce. At the moment, he's on pace to break Jerry Rice's NFL record of 1,848 yards receiving.

POTENTIAL STIFF OF THE WEEK

Jacksonville Coach Tom Coughlin

First he pulled quarterback Mark Brunell for the first time in his career, then he let him dangle before naming him the starter for the Monday night game against Tennessee. If Coughlin wanted a textbook ploy for how to lose a team, this might be it.

THE BREAKDOWN

* Atlanta at St. Louis, 10 a.m., Ch. 11

The undefeated Rams are skating through another easy schedule. Their only threats to a 16-0 season appear to be Kansas City, Washington, Minnesota and Tampa Bay.

The line: St. Louis by 18.

* Carolina at New Orleans, 10 a.m.

The Saints are leading the league in total defense and will be going against an unreliable Panther offense. The potential for another New Orleans victory is certainly there.

The line: Pick 'em.

* Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 10 a.m.

Something we thought we'd never say: Let Kordell Stewart start at quarterback. He led Steelers to two victories while Kent Graham was injured.

The line: Pittsburgh by 8.

* Dallas at N.Y. Giants, 10 a.m.

The Giant offense has slumped the last three games. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have just slumbered, and running back Emmitt Smith is barely on pace for 1,000 yards.

The line: Giants by 4.

* Oakland at Kansas City, 10 a.m., Ch. 2

Andre Rison returns to Kansas City, where he was cut, but it's not the first time. He has made four trips there to answer charges of theft and passing bad checks.

The line: Kansas City by 2 1/2.

* San Diego at Buffalo, 10 a.m.

While the Chargers are going with two quarterbacks, the Bills start with battered Rob Johnson, already sacked 22 times and knocked out of two games this season.

The line: Buffalo by 10.

* Cleveland at Denver, 1 p.m.

The Browns are 2-4 and have lost three in succession. Incredibly, their players are still talking about making the playoffs, despite last week's 29-21 loss to Arizona.

The line: Denver by 12 1/2.

* Indianapolis at Seattle, 1 p.m.

Colts have a chance to regain confidence after Peyton Manning threw three interceptions last week against New England. Edgerrin James has only one 100-yard game this season.

The line: Indianapolis by 5 1/2.

* N.Y. Jets at New England, 1 p.m.

Quarterback Vinny Testaverde is likely to start despite a pinched nerve that sidelined him last week, but Jet Coach Al Groh is playing games with injury reports.

The line: New England by 3.

* Philadelphia at Arizona, 1:15 p.m.

Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb's job just got a lot harder with running back Duce Staley sidelined for the season. Darnell Autry is taking Staley's place.

The line: Philadelphia by 3.

* Minnesota at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper of the Vikings was the 11th overall pick in 1999 draft, and the Bears' Cade McNown was No. 12. Culpepper's team is 5-0; McNown's team is 1-5.

The line: Minnesota by 6.

* Jacksonville at Tennessee,

6 p.m., Mon., Ch. 7

The Jaguars beat everybody but the Titans last season. Now the 2-4 Jaguars would be happy to beat just about anybody.

The line: Tennessee by 6.

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