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Week 7 Capsules

October 17, 2003|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

DALLAS AT DETROIT

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Dallas by 3.

Introduction: Dallas quarterback Quincy Carter isn't dazzling anybody with his play, but as long as the Cowboys keep winning, don't expect any complaints from Coach Bill Parcells.

Plot: The Lions haven't been able to stop anyone, giving up 367.4 yards a game. Quarterback Joey Harrington has passed for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns but also has had eight passes intercepted. The Lions will be without rookie receiver Charles Rogers, who is sidelined because of a broken collarbone. The Cowboys have won four in a row and will be seeking their first 5-1 start since 1995. Bottom line: The Cowboy secondary will have a big game against Harrington, who has a tendency to throw interceptions when pressured.

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NEW ORLEANS AT ATLANTA

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: New Orleans by 1 1/2.

Introduction: If you believed that the Falcons would still be a good team after quarterback Michael Vick suffered a preseason leg injury ... you don't now.

Plot: Backup quarterback Doug Johnson has not been getting the job done for the Falcons and will be benched in favor of Kurt Kittner. The Falcons have the NFL's worst defense. They have given up 175 points and more than 400 yards a game. New Orleans' top threat is running back Deuce McAllister, who has rushed for 544 yards and three touchdowns.

Bottom line: Aaron Brooks has to start playing better for the Saints to have a chance, because three touchdown passes and four interceptions are not starting-quarterback numbers.

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GREEN BAY AT ST. LOUIS

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11.

The line: St. Louis by 4.

Introduction: The Packers have to be smarting after blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead in their overtime loss to Kansas City last week.

Plot: With Marc Bulger settled in as the Rams' No. 1 quarterback, Coach Mike Martz's offense looked sharp against the Falcons last week. St. Louis receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce will be difficult to stop for the Packers' inconsistent secondary. Green Bay's Brett Favre has passed for 1,261 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Bottom line: With starter Marshall Faulk sidelined because of a hand injury, Lamar Gordon, who rushed for a career-high 92 yards against Atlanta, needs to have a big game for the Rams.

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TENNESSEE AT CAROLINA

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Carolina by 1 1/2.

Introduction: After slowing down Colt quarterback Peyton Manning last week, the Panthers' aggressive defense gets the NFL's hottest passer in the Titans' Steve McNair.

Plot: McNair, who has thrown 11 touchdown passes with two interceptions, leads the league with 1,601 passing yards and a 107.1 quarterback rating. Derrick Mason has 276 receiving yards in consecutive games. The Panthers are seeking the first 6-0 start in franchise history. Quarterback Jake Delhomme does not have to do much because of Carolina's rushing game. Stephen Davis is second in the NFC in rushing.

Bottom line: Unless running back Eddie George has a flashback to his All-Pro days, the Titans will be in trouble.

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NEW ENGLAND AT MIAMI

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Miami by 5 1/2.

Introduction: With a two-game winning streak, quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots believe they're ready for the Dolphins in this matchup between the top teams in the AFC East.

Plot: Running back Ricky Williams' production has been down in recent weeks, but the Dolphins still count on him. Miami quarterback Jay Fiedler has thrown five touchdown passes with five interceptions. New England running back Mike Cloud has scored three touchdowns in the last two games. Patriot Coach Bill Belichick has a 15-4 record against the AFC East.

Bottom line: Led by Ty Law and an opportunistic secondary, the Patriots may have enough defense to pull off an upset on the road.

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PHILADELPHIA AT N.Y. GIANTS

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: N.Y. Giants by 2 1/2.

Introduction: With Dallas sitting comfortably in first place in the NFC East, the Eagles and Giants find themselves fighting to get back to respectability.

Plot: Quarterback Kerry Collins continues to have problems leading the Giants into the end zone. In five games, New York has 95 points. The Giants' Jeremy Shockey leads NFL tight ends with 29 catches for 299 yards. Defensive end Michael Strahan has 15 1/2 career sacks against the Eagles. Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb has two touchdown passes with five interceptions. The Eagles rank third in the NFL at 5.1 yards a carry.

Bottom line: Don't be shocked to see Coach Andy Reid make some major changes if the Eagles struggle.

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BALTIMORE AT CINCINNATI

Kickoff: Sunday, 10 a.m.

The line: Baltimore by 2.

Introduction: Bengal Coach Marvin Lewis will face his former team for the first time, and his No. 1 task will be slowing down Raven running back Jamal Lewis.

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