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NFL Week 3 Capsules

SUNDAY’S GAMES

Tennessee (1-1) at New York Giants (1-1)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Giants -3 Total: 42½

TV/RADIO: CBS (8), KWWN (1100 AM, 98.9 FM)

■ Weather: Lows 70s, 30 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: When these teams met in 2006, the Titans rallied from a 21-0 fourth-quarter deficit to win 24-21. That’s four points short of the greatest final-period comeback ever. … Tennessee had a minus-6 turnover margin in a 19-11 loss to Pittsburgh last week. In 2000 against Cleveland, the Titans also were at minus-6 but won 24-10. … New York has yielded only two 100-yard rushers the past two seasons, but one was Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart gaining 206 in Week 16 last year.

■ Analysis: Titans QB Vince Young went from the top of the Week 1 passer chart to the bench midway in Week 2. He’s back in charge this week, and so is RB Chris Johnson, whose streak of 100-yard games ended at 12 Sunday. He’s much too shifty for a simple Giants defense.

■ Forecast: Titans 27, Giants 20

Buffalo (0-2) at New England (1-1)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Patriots -14½ Total: 42½

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: High 60s, 10 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: The Patriots have won 13 straight against Buffalo, tied with San Diego (vs. Oakland) for the longest current series winning streak. … Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick replaces Trent Edwards, perhaps because of his superior record against the Patriots. Fitzpatrick is 0-1; Edwards 0-3. … Patriots WR Randy Moss caught two of 10 passes thrown his way against the Jets for 38 yards. On the other hand, rookie TE Aaron Hernandez was 6-for-6 for 101 yards. … In last year’s opener at New England, Buffalo blew a 24-13 lead in the final 2:06 and lost, 25-24.

■ Analysis: The Patriots will be without their premier RB now that Kevin Faulk (knee) is on injured reserve. But when has missing one guy slowed the Patriots? Especially against a Bills team that’s weak along both lines and is the only team to be held to less than 190 yards in both games so far.

■ Forecast: Patriots 31, Bills 0

Cleveland (0-2) at Baltimore (1-1)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Ravens -11 Total: 37

RADIO: KXNT-FM (100.5)

■ Weather: Low 70s, 40 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: How bad are things going for Ravens QB Joe Flacco? He’s at the bottom of the passer chart — yes, even below Carolina’s Matt Moore. … Browns coach Eric Mangini said he’s optimistic about QB Jake Delhomme (questionable, ankle). But Seneca Wallace probably will start again. … Neither team allowed an offensive TD last week, but both lost. In fact, Baltimore is the only team to not have yielded a TD this season. Foes, however, are a league-best 8-for-8 on FG tries.

■ Analysis: In Flacco’s past four games, including the playoffs, he’s thrown one TD pass and eight INTs. Just as troublesome, the rushing attack is down 2 yards per carry and is at 2.7. That’s the greatest drop for any team this year. The Browns should be able to stay close.

■ Forecast: Ravens 17, Browns 13

Pittsburgh (2-0) at Tampa Bay (2-0)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Steelers -2½ Total: 33

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: High 80s, 40 percent of rain

■ Facts: In 1976, the Steelers beat the expansion Bucs 42-0 as a 26-point pick. There hasn’t been a bigger favorite since. … Pittsburgh had 127 yards of total offense in Week 2’s 19-11 victory at Tennessee behind QBs Dennis Dixon (out, knee) and fourth-stringer Charlie Batch. That’s the lowest total by a winning team since 2006. … Dating to December, the Bucs have won three straight on the road as an underdog, including last week’s 20-7 victory at Carolina.

■ Analysis: Batch, who has only 86 completions over the past nine years, likely will run the offense until Ben Roethlisberger returns in Game 5. Last week, Batch led Pittsburgh to three first downs on 10 possessions. That’s dreadful. The Bucs will draw energy from their crowd.

■ Forecast: Buccaneers 14, Steelers 10

Cincinnati (1-1) at Carolina (0-2)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Bengals -3 Total: 38

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Low 70s, 50 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: Carolina rookie QB Jimmy Clausen gets his first start after having torched Tampa Bay for 59 yards on 13 throws last week after taking over for Matt Moore. Clausen will face a defense that had four INTs last week. … Cincinnati was 0-for-4 on first-and-goal possessions against the Ravens, but won 15-10 on five Mike Nugent FGs. … Carolina had an 18-play drive behind Clausen against the Bucs, the longest by any team this year. They turned the ball over on downs after 78 yards.

■ Analysis: The Bengals overwhelmed Baltimore’s Joe Flacco last week, much of the time sending only four men on the pass rush. If Cincinnati can afford again to have seven men roam the secondary, Clausen’s brain will fry while looking for receivers.

■ Forecast: Bengals 24, Panthers 7

Atlanta (1-1) at New Orleans (2-0)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Saints -4 Total: 49½

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Indoors

■ Facts: The Saints didn’t cover against the 49ers on Monday despite a plus-4 turnover edge. Counting last season’s NFC title game, New Orleans is 1-2 when having such an edge since 2008. Other league teams are 34-0. … Since 1984, Atlanta is 21-4 against the Saints in the Superdome. The Falcons went an astonishing 16-0 in the Dome from 1984 to 1999, including 10 straight-up victories as an underdog. … In Atlanta’s 41-7 Week 2 victory over Arizona, its average starting field position was its 41, whereas the Cards started at their 21. That 20-yard gap is the greatest in the league this year.

■ Analysis: Even during the Saints’ Super Bowl run, they looked vulnerable, starting with a stinging home loss to Dallas in Game 14. Last week it had to be particularly disturbing to watch Alex Smith lead a late tying TD drive. Atlanta, even if RB Michael Turner (probable, groin) doesn’t play, has the hunger and the league’s best pass defense through two games.

■ Forecast: Falcons 34, Saints 28

San Francisco (0-2) at Kansas City (2-0)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: 49ers -2½ Total: 36

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Mid 60s, 30 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: Here’s something you don’t see every decade — an 0-2 team favored on the road against a 2-0 squad. This is the only time it’s happened in the past 35 years. … In their most recent meeting, in 2006 in San Francisco, the Chiefs beat the 49ers 41-0, their most lopsided victory the past six seasons. … San Francisco not only extended its first-possession TD drought to a league-high 18 games against New Orleans on Monday, but gave the Saints two points by snapping the ball through the end zone.

■ Analysis: San Francisco showed its newfound strength with three 80-plus-yard TD drives against New Orleans, five short of its total all last season. Kansas City, meanwhile, had no offensive TDs last week against Cleveland and has a secondary that makes occasional major lapses in coverage. San Francisco is just too physical, too.

■ Forecast: 49ers 23, Chiefs 10

Detroit (0-2) at Minnesota (0-2)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Vikings -11½ Total: 42

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Indoors

■ Facts: The Vikings have one TD in their past 15 possessions, last week on a sustained two-play, 1-yard march against Miami. … Behind backup QB Shaun Hill, Detroit narrowly missed overcoming a 17-point deficit in the final seven minutes against Philadelphia last week, losing 35-32. … Minnesota QB Brett Favre had no TD throws and three INTs last week. The last time that happened was against the Lions in 2006, but his Packers won 17-9.

■ Analysis: Detroit RB Jahvid Best compiled 254 yards running and receiving against the Eagles, not bad for a guy in his second game. And with Detroit’s potent defensive line going against a suspect Minnesota unit that couldn’t get a key yard for Adrian Peterson last week, 11½ points is too much for the defending NFC North champs to spot.

■ Forecast: Vikings 21, Lions 17

Dallas (0-2) at Houston (2-0)

Time: 10 a.m. Line: Texans -3 Total: 47

TV: Fox (5)

■ Weather: Mid-80s, 40 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: Dallas hasn’t visited Houston since the Texans’ first game in the NFL in 2002. Houston won 19-10 as an 8-point underdog. … The Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1993 despite a 0-2 start, but got holdout RB Emmitt Smith back for Game 3. … Last week at Washington, Houston’s Matt Schaub fell three yards short of becoming the 11th QB to throw for 500 in a game. The Redskins have been victims three times. … Houston OLT Duane Brown begins a four-game suspension (PEDs), to be replaced by a fifth-year guy making his first career start, Rashard Butler. Also still suspended is standout LB Brian Cushing.

■ Analysis: This game reeks of last year’s Cowboys visit to New Orleans, when the Saints were 13-0 and Wade Phillips’ beleaguered club was on a two-game losing streak and a 7½-point underdog. Phillips had a whale of a game plan and Dallas won 24-17.

■ Forecast: Cowboys 27, Texans 21

Washington (1-1) at St. Louis (0-2)

Time: 1:05 p.m. Line: Redskins -3½ Total: 38½

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Indoors

■ Facts: The Rams have lost 14 consecutive home games, which is worse than it appears. They are 5-8-1 against the spread in that span. Also, a loss here gives them an NFL-record fourth straight 0-3 start overall. … In 2008, as a 13-point favorite, Washington was a 19-17 loser to visiting St. Louis. … The Redskins, who blew a 17-point second-half lead against Houston last week, might be without starting OLT Trent Williams (knee). … Ex-Rams and Florida Tuskers (UFL) field boss Jim Haslett returns to St. Louis as Washington’s defensive coordinator.

■ Analysis: Washington, which yielded 526 yards in its OT loss to Houston, surely was hurt by DT Albert Haynesworth’s absence (questionable, ankle). Meanwhile, St. Louis is making progress. It lost a league-high seven games by 20-plus points last year, but its two losses in 2010 are by 4 and 2 points.

■ Forecast: Rams 20, Redskins 17

Philadelphia (1-1) at Jacksonville (1-1)

Time: 1:05 p.m. Line: Eagles -3 Total: 44½

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Mid-80s, 40 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: Eagles QB Michael Vick, the league’s No. 4-rated passer, has 140 rushing yards and a 7.4 per-carry average. In his last full season with Atlanta in 2006, he ran for 1,039 yards to rank 21st but was only 22nd on the passer chart. … Jacksonville is allowing a league-worst 10.1 yards per pass. … Jaguars QB David Garrard won’t have to look over his shoulder now that Luke McCown is out for 2010 (knee). … The Eagles gave up 444 yards to Detroit in a 35-32 victory last week, the second-most productive day by the Lions in six seasons.

■ Analysis: For an elusive guy, Vick gets sacked too much, including a NFL-high six times last week. If it took him too long to solve Detroit’s pass defense, one of the worst in league history, he’s in for even more trouble against Jacksonville’s rejuvenated rush led by Tyson Alualu and Aaron Kampman.

■ Forecast: Jaguars 24, Eagles 20

Indianapolis (1-1) at Denver (1-1)

Time: 1:15 p.m. Line: Colts -5½ Total: 48

TV/RADIO: CBS (8), KXNT-FM (1005.)

■ Weather: Mid-80s

■ Facts: Injuries to Denver’s starting cornerbacks, Champ Bailey (ankle) and Andre Goodman (thigh), might leave coach Josh McDaniel no choice but to start rookies this week. … Even though the Colts "held" the Giants to 120 rushing yards last week after giving up 257 to Houston the week before, New York still averaged 4.8 per carry. … The Broncos beat Seattle 31-14 last week thanks largely to interceptions of two Matt Hasselbeck passes inside the 10. One was by Bailey.

■ Analysis: Denver might’ve had a chance with a healthy backfield and sack master Elvis Dumervil (IR), but it doesn’t. And if anyone can take advantage of inexperience in the secondary, it’s Peyton Manning. The key is for the Colts not to score too fast so their defense can get some rest.

■ Forecast: Colts 35, Broncos 27

San Diego (1-1) at Seattle (1-1)

Time: 1:15 p.m. Line: Chargers -5½ Total: 44

TV/RADIO: KWWN (1100 AM, 98.9 FM)

■ Weather: Mid-60s, 60 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: San Diego has started the previous three seasons with a 2-3 mark en route to winning the AFC West title. Over that span, only the 2008 Dolphins and Vikings had similar starts before winning the division. … Seattle could not get off the field last week in Denver, allowing the Broncos to convert 14 of 20 third-down tries. … The Seahawks’ heralded OLT, Russell Okung (questionable, ankle), who missed the first two games, didn’t practice Thursday.

■ Analysis: How good can Seattle be when its leader along the defensive line, tackle Colin Cole, has a resume that includes "cut from Lions practice squad"? Even if Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) can’t play, Michael Tolbert (82 yards last week) should do fine.

■ Forecast: Chargers 34, Seahawks 14

Oakland (1-1) at Arizona (1-1)

Time: 1:15 p.m. Line: Cardinals -4½ Total: 39

TV/RADIO: None

■ Weather: Indoors

■ Facts: Refs marched off 10 penalties against the Cardinals in each of their first two games. Only Oakland has been punished more often (22 flags). … The Cardinals yielded 21 first downs on Atlanta’s first 40 plays last week. … Until Darren McFadden’s 30-carry performance last week for 150 yards for Oakland, his biggest workload was a 21-carry, 164-yard effort in his second game as a pro in 2008. In his next outing, he had only 14 carries for 42 yards against Buffalo. … Raiders QB Jason Campbell not only has been benched for Bruce Gradkowski, but not allowed to talk to the media about it.

■ Analysis: The Cards are coming off a 34-point loss and a players-only clear-the-air meeting. Thus, Arizona is unlikely to come out flat in its first game before the home fan. Also, the last 15 regular-season teams coming off defeats of 30 points or more are 11-4-1 ATS.

■ Forecast: Cardinals 28, Raiders 20

New York Jets (1-1) at Miami (2-0)

Time: 5:20 p.m. Line: Dolphins -2½ Total: 35½

TV/RADIO: NBC (3), KWWN (1100 AM, 98.9 FM)

■ Weather: Mid-80s, 30 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: Miami is 2-0 despite being the only team in the league not to start a drive in enemy territory. … The Jets’ woes mount. This week they are without CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) in addition to NT Kris Jenkins (IR, knee) and LB Calvin Pace (foot). … The Dolphins gained only 68 passing yards against Minnesota last week after Chad Henne hit Brandon Marshall for a 46-yard gain on their first play. … New York QB Mark Sanchez threw three TD passes in a comeback victory against New England last week. That’s nine short of his 2009 total.

■ Analysis: The Dolphins’ defense is getting a lot of high-fives for its speedy edge pass rush, yet it wasn’t exactly stuffing the Vikings last week, allowing 22 first downs. With Sanchez showing signs of life and RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene a nice 1-2 punch, the Jets roll again.

■ Forecast: Jets 24, Dolphins 17

MONDAY’s GAME

Green Bay (2-0) at Chicago (2-0)

Time: 5:30 p.m. Monday Line: Packers -3 Total: 46

TV/RADIO: ESPN (30)

■ Weather: Mid 80s, 20 percent chance of rain

■ Facts: Chicago’s 27-20 victory at Dallas last week as a 7-point underdog was its greatest road upset since beating Indianapolis 29-13 in the 2008 opener. … The temperature should be more comfortable this night than when they met in Week 16 in 2008, when the gauge read 2 degrees. … Green Bay LB Clay Mathews had three sacks in each of his first two games to lead the league. … Jay Cutler, the 21st-rated passer in 2009, is No. 1 this week. Then again, Houston’s David Carr was rated first after five weeks in 2006 before his spiral to insignificance.

■ Analysis: The Packers have suffered two key blows, with RB Ryan Grant out for the year (ankle) and OLT Chad Clifton (knee, questionable) again hobbled. RB Brandon Jackson has no giddy-up as Grant’s replacement. Meanwhile, Bears RB Matt Forte and WR Johnny Knox should provide offensive thrills against a depleted secondary.

■ Forecast: Bears 28, Packers 24

Last week: 10-6 vs. spread; 11-5 straight up

Season total: 18-11-3 (.621) vs. spread; 19-13 (.598) straight up

 

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