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Week 6 Breakdown

October 11, 2002|MIKE PENNER | Times Staff Writer

BUFFALO AT HOUSTON

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Buffalo by 7.

Quick slant: David Carr, Drew Bledsoe feels your pain.

Plot: It is hoped Carr enjoyed his first NFL bye week, because the pounding on the Texans' rookie quarterback resumes Sunday against the Bills. Houston has allowed 26 sacks in four games--on pace to equal the league record for most times sacked in a season, 104, set by Philadelphia in 1986 and endured by Ron Jaworski (until he was mercifully knocked out in Game 10), Randall Cunningham and Matt Cavanaugh. Buffalo's Bledsoe has been there, absorbing such a beating in nine New England seasons that it cost him his job, and eventually sent him packing. Bledsoe is here to inform Carr: Things do get better.

Monday's headline: "Baby, You Can Drive That Carr to the Repair Shop"

*

CAROLINA AT DALLAS

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Dallas by 2.

Quick slant: Journeyman journeys back to Texas.

Plot: Rodney Peete has been to two conference finals, most recently with the 2000 Raiders, although he did not play in either. The first was with the 1994 Cowboys, Peete serving as Troy Aikman's backup. Since then, Peete and the Cowboys have gone their separate ways--Peete winding up in Carolina, the Cowboys winding up with Quincy Carter. Who's the better for it? Last we checked, Peete was losing at home to Arizona, 16-13, and Kid Carter was overthrowing a wide-open Antonio Bryant near the end zone to preserve a 21-17 loss to the Giants. Moral of the story: Change is not necessarily a good thing.

Monday's headline: "Youth Is Served Up on a Platter"

*

ATLANTA AT NEW YORK GIANTS

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Off.

Quick slant: Vick as in quick, though probably not this week.

Plot: Michael Vick throws with his left arm and runs with his legs, so why should a sprained right shoulder keep him out of Sunday's game at the Meadowlands? Falcon fans demand an inquiry. Giant defensive end Michael Strahan, meanwhile, stopped just short of turning cartwheels at the news of Vick's "doubtful" status: "Yeah, I prefer to run around and watch a guy beat me 20 yards to nothing. You could give me a 30-yard lead in the 40 and he'd still beat me. If he's not going to play, it's a definite hit for them." If he's not going to play, it's Doug Johnson's game to lose. Most likely, he will.

Monday's headline: "As Reeves Watches Johnson, Fond Memories of Elway Come Flooding Back"

*

BALTIMORE AT INDIANAPOLIS

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Indianapolis by 7.

Quick slant: Colts host Baltimore. It's a ball of confusion.

Plot: Somewhere, Johnny U is sadly shaking his head. His old team, the Colts, plays host to the transplants from Cleveland and the team from his old town, Baltimore, has to travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts. This is an end-around and then some, not as simple as it was in the Lenny Moore days. But then, nothing in the NFL is anymore. Take the Ravens: They gutted their roster and now have the second-lowest payroll in the league, they rank 28th in offense, 21st in defense and have somehow scraped out a 2-2 record. And in today's NFL, that's enough for first place in the AFC North.

Monday's headline: "Colts Do It to Baltimore Again, This Time in the Middle of the Day"

*

NEW ORLEANS AT WASHINGTON

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: New Orleans by 1.

Quick slant: This week's episode of "Spurrier and the Coaches He Has Offended."

Plot: Steve Spurrier was months removed from the NFL last January when he lobbed the first insult Jim Haslett's way. Calling him "Hazelet," Spurrier noted the Saints' 0-4 season-ending slide and mused, "I saw a story where Jim Hazelet comes in [to work] at 4:30 in the morning. That's not doing him any good." Since then, the coaches have actually gutted out a breakfast together and Haslett reports that Spurrier is "a relatively nice guy." But this is not breakfast, and Spurrier is bringing a rookie quarterback, Patrick Ramsey, to the table, and this is Hazelet's payback, relatively speaking.

Monday's headline: "Early Bird Catches Up With Spurrier"

*

GREEN BAY AT NEW ENGLAND

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11.

The line: New England by 5.

Quick slant: Terry Glenn, MIA no more.

Plot: In New England, Glenn is considered the millstone that had to be shed before the Patriots could launch their Super Bowl climb. Suspended twice in 2001, Glenn appeared in only three games for the Patriots, did not play a down during the postseason and did not receive a Super Bowl ring. Traded to the Packers with a loud "good riddance," Glenn is now catching passes--eight for 154 yards in Monday's victory over the Bears--and praise from Brett Favre. Sunday, Glenn returns to Foxboro to catch a few more things, among them an earful.

Monday's headline: "Glenn Catches Flak, Not Much Else in Packer Defeat"

*

DETROIT AT MINNESOTA

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Minnesota by 4.

Quick slant: Lions, Vikings are back after open dates. Anybody miss them?

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