NFL: Mean Miami look set to outgun Colts; BOB TOSELAND'S VERDICT ON WEEK TEN.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Series history: Atlanta leads 5-3.
Rankings: Atlanta offence 13 (Rush 11, Pass 16), Patriots defence 10 (Rush 2, Pass 26). Patriots offence 8 (Rush 23, Pass 4), Atlanta defence 23 (Rush 4, Pass 29).
Snapshot: The Falcons have won the last three in the series and are on a hot streak of 11 wins from the last 14 games. RB Jamal Anderson gained 172 yards against the Rams last Sunday - his fifth haul of 100 yards or more in his last six outings. The Falcons also lead the NFL in average time of possession. Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe tops the NFL in third-down passing yards (772) and his favourite target is Ben Coates.
Selection: Atlanta +4.5pts.
BUFFALO BILLS at
NEW YORK JETS
Series history: Buffalo leads 43-31.
Rankings: Buffalo offence 9 (Rush 7, Pass 15), Jets defence 8 (Rush 17, Pass 10). Jets offence 7 (Rush 15, Pass 5), Buffalo defence 17 (Rush 16, Pass 18).
Snapshot: A clash of two in-form teams. The Bills, seeking their sixth straight win, have also won the last six in this series. QB Doug Flutie is weaving some magic with the help of emerging receiver Eric Moulds and strong, young RB Antowain Smith. But the Jets boast the AFC's No 2 passing defence and QB Vinny Testaverde is 5-0 as a starter.
Selection: New York Jets -3.5pts.
CAROLINA PANTHERS at
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
Series history: Tied 3-3
Rankings: Carolina offence 17 (Rush 30, Pass 6), San Fran defence 20 (Rush 9, Pass 25). San Fran offence 1 (Rush 2, Pass 1), Carolina defence 29 (Rush 24, Pass 30).
Snapshot: Kevin Greene of the Panthers leads the league in QB sacks (12) and goes up against his old team. The 49ers are 11-0 at home in the regular season under Steve Mariucci and QB Steve Young (21 TD throws this season) has also scored 41 rush TDs in his career.
Selection: San Francisco -13.5pts.
CINCINNATI BENGALS at
Series history: Cincinnati leads 4-2.
Rankings: Cincy offence 18 (Rush 20, Pass 18), Jaguars defence 27 (Rush 13, Pass 28). Jaguars offence 5 (Rush 6, Pass 12), Cincy defence 30 (Rush 30, Pass 24).
Snapshot: Bengals QB Neil O'Donnell has passed for 460 yards (three TDs and no interceptions) in two previous starts against the Jaguars and has thrown 209 passes since his last interception. The Bengals are in an injury slump and face a team which has won 17 of its last 19 at home.
Selection: Jacksonville -10.5pts.
DETROIT LIONS at
Series history: Detroit leads 12-10-2
Rankings: Detroit offence 11 (Rush 4, Pass 19), Eagles defence 13 (Rush 27, Pass 2). Eagles offence 30 (Rush 24, Pass 28), Detroit defence 12 (Rush 6, Pass 23).
Snapshot: The Eagles' pass defence ranks so high because opposing teams consistently batter them with the ground game. Detroit's running man, Barry Sanders, has notched only four TDs and three of them came in one game. The Lions can usually rely on kicker Jason Hanson.
Selection: Detroit -3.5pts.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at
Series history: Miami leads 38-19.
Rankings: Colts offence 16 (Rush 26, Pass 7), Miami defence 4 (Rush 11, Pass 4). Miami offence 26 (Rush 22, Pass 24), Colts defence 28 (Rush 29, Pass 19).
Snapshot: Any team which is 26th on rushing offence and 29th on rushing defence is in big trouble. And more bad news for the Colts is that the Miami defence steps up a notch in home games and has allowed just one TD (two shutouts) in four games. However, Colts QB Peyton Manning is improving and Marshall Faulk is the only RB with at least 500 yards both rushing and receiving. Also, the O-line has allowed one sack in the last four games.
Selection: Miami -9.5pts.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at
Series history: Minnesota leads 14-6.
Rankings: Saints offence 23 (Rush 29, Pass 17), Vikings defence 26 (Rush 22, Pass 20). Vikings offence 3 (Rush 12, Pass 3), Saints defence 24 (Rush 10, Pass 27).
Snapshot: The Vikings have won six of the last eight in the series and will be looking for more big plays on offence given their record of nine TD strikes of 40 yards or more. Kicker Gary Anderson has succeeded on 21 straight field goal attempts. The Saints' defence has at least one sack in 56 straight games and is chasing Washington's NFL record of 60.
Selection: Minnesota -13.5pts.
OAKLAND RAIDERS at
Series history: Baltimore leads 1-0.
Rankings: Oakland offence 20 (Rush 13, Pass 22), Ravens defence 22 (Rush 18, Pass 22). Ravens offence 15 (Rush 19, Passing 10), Oakland defence 2 (Rush 7, Pass 3).
Snapshot: Ravens receiver Jermaine Lewis, who averages 57.3 yards on his seven TDs, goes up against rookie CB sensation Charles Woodson. Even so, Baltimore's most prolific catcher is RB Priest Holmes.
Selection: Oakland 2.5pts.
ST LOUIS RAMS at
Series history: Chicago leads 48-31-3
Rankings: Rams offence 19 (Rush 17, Pass 20), Chicago defence 21 (Rush 26, Pass 5). Chicago offence 12 (Rush 16, Pass 9), Rams defence 14 (Rush 23, Pass 10).
Snapshot: With both offences hampered by injuries and the wind-speeds at Soldier Field likely to pick up, do not expect a flurry of points. But expect the Chicago defence - nine fumble takeaways - to harass bungling St Louis QB, Tony Banks.
Selection: Chicago -6.5pts.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at
Series history: Denver leads 40-35-1.
Rankings: San Diego offence 27 (Rush 10, Pass 30), Denver defence 19 (Rush 12, Pass 21). Denver offence 2 (Rush 1, Pass 8), San Diego defence 1 (Rush 1, Pass 8).
Snapshot: The Chargers lead the league in defence for the first time since 1965 giving up an average of 68 rushing yards. Expect Terrell Davis and company to blow this particular battleship out of the water. John Elway needs 42 more yards to attain 50,000. Broncos have won ten of the past 11 at home against the Chargers.
Selection: Denver -15.5pts.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS at
Series history: Washington leads 64-41-2.
Rankings: Redskins offence 14 (Rush 14, Pass 13), Arizona defence 11 (Rush 20, Pass 12). Arizona offence 29 (Rush 28, Pass 26), Redskins defence 25 (Rush 28, Pass 7).
Snapshot: The Cards have won five of the latest six home meetings against Washington and lead the league in takes (25). Redskins coach Norv Turner is 1-7 against the Cardinals, who should get enough from receivers Frank Sanders and Rob Moore to secure the handicap win.
Selection: Arizona -4.5pts.
TENNESSEE OILERS at
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Series history: Tennessee leads 4-1.
Rankings: Oilers offence 10 (Rush 9, Pass 11), Tampa Bay defence 3 (Rush 3, Pass 9). Tampa Bay offence 24 (Rush 8, Pass 27), Oilers defence 16 (Rush 15, Pass 16).
Snapshot: The Oilers have enough balance to end Tampa Bay's unbeaten run of four at the Raymond James Stadium. However, Alstott and Dunn racked up 243 rushing yards against the Vikes.
Selection: Tennessee +2.5pts.
NEW YORK GIANTS at
Series history: Dallas leads 45-25-2.
Rankings: Giants offence 28 (Rush 25, Pass 25), Dallas defence 6 (Rush 8, Pass 14). Dallas offence 6 (Rush 5, Pass 14), Giants defence 17 (Rush 19, Pass 15).
Snapshot: Live on Sky Sports 1, 6.30pm Sunday. See preview facing page.
Selection: Dallas -8.5pts.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at
Series history: Kansas City leads 26-13.
Rankings: Chiefs offence 25 (Rush 18, Pass 23), Seattle defence 15 (Rush 25, Pass 6). Seattle offence 22 (Rush 20, Pass 21), Chiefs defence 5 (Rush 21, Pass 1).
Snapshot: Live on Sky Sports 1, approx 9pm Sunday. See preview facing page.
Selection: Kansas City +2.5pts.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at
Series history: Green Bay leads 18-11.
Rankings: Green Bay offence 4 (Rush 27, Pass 2), Steelers defence 9 (Rush 14, Pass 13). Steelers offence 21 (Rush 3, Pass 29), Green Bay defence 7 (Rush 5, Pass 17).
Snapshot: Live on Channel 5, 1.20am Tuesday. See Monday's Racing Post for preview.
Selection: Pittsburgh +2.5pts.
TOSELAND'S BEST BETS
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Nov 6, 1998|
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