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Week 5

Raiders-Colts primed for prime-time throwdown

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Posted: Wednesday October 10, 2001 1:42 PM

 
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By B. Duane Cross, CNNSI.com

OK, Peyton Manning, here's a silver opportunity to step up and make a statement. Or at least erease the memory of that three-interception (including two returned for touchdowns) debacle against New England on Sept. 30.

After a bye week, Indianapolis plays host to Oakland on Sunday night. The teams are rated first and fifth in offense, respectively, in the AFC.

Among the matchups, the most interesting might be the meeting of the top two active selections of the 1998 NFL Draft -- No. 1, Manning, and No. 4, cornerback Charles Woodson. "He has one of the quickest releases in the game," Woodson says of Manning. "When his receivers come out of the break, the ball's there and the ball is coming quick."

Of course, the Raiders have their own stellar QB, Rich Gannon, a Pro Bowler last year with Manning. Gannon is the AFC leader in passer rating (99.6), has thrown only one interception, and ranks second to Manning in completion percentage (66.9 to 68.4).

And don't forget: Gannon directed a comeback of 31 unanswered points to upend the Colts 38-31 on Sept. 10, 2000.

Baltimore @ Green Bay -- 1 p.m. EDT
Packers lead all-time series 1-0. This game features the top team leaders in three defensive categories (Bal. No. 1, G.B. No. 2): Total (Bal.-201.3, G.B.-211.8); Run (Bal.-57.8, G.B.-65.5); Pass (Bal.-143.5, G.B.-146.3).
Cleveland @ Cincinnati -- 1 p.m. EDT
Browns lead all-time series 28-27, but Bengals have won three of the past four matchups. Teams' combined .625 winning percentage is the highest in series since Week 3 of 1989 (.750 -- Clev. 2-0; Cin. 1-1).
N.Y. Giants @ St. Louis -- 1 p.m. EDT
Rams lead all-time series 24-9, including the past four, and have outscored the Giants 69-34 in the past two games. However, Giants have won eight of their past nine regular-season games, including three consecutive.
Miami @ N.Y. Jets -- 4:15 p.m. EDT
Jets lead all-time series 35-34-1. Teams have combined for 169 points (56.3 per game) and 2,028 yards (676.0 per game) in past 3 games, while five of the past seven meetings decided by eight points or less.
Oakland @ Indianapolis -- 8:30 p.m. EDT
Raiders lead all-time series 6-2. Colts have won 14 of past 17 games at RCA Dome and averages 33.3 points per game -- tops in NFL. Raiders QB Rich Gannon had a career-high three TD runs against Colts last season.
Washington @ Dallas -- 9 p.m. EDT Monday
Cowboys lead all-time series 47-31-2. Wouldn't you just love having MNF roll four hours of highlights from yesteryear? Staubach. Longley. Kilmer. Riggins. Cosell. "Dandy" Don. Frank. Now that would be worth watching.

Alexander the Great
There were 10 100-yard rushing games last week, twice as many as in each of the first three weeks (five apiece). Included in Week 4's 100s: the season's league-high 176-yard effort by the Seahawks' Shaun Alexander.
kah-BEER BAH-jah BEE-ah-MIL-lah
Packers DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who plays only on passing downs (he has averaged only 18 plays a game), tied Mark Gastineau and Kevin Greene for the NFL record for most sacks in a season's first four games (9).
Baby Bear
Bears LB Brian Urlacher had 90-yard fumble return TD against the Falcons, the second-longest in club history. The longest is 98 yards by George Halas against the Jim Thorpe-led Oorang Indians on Nov. 4, 1923.
Paw print
Panthers TE Wesley Walls spent two seasons with the Saints (1994-95). He set the single-season reception mark for TE in Saints' history (57 catches, 1995). In Wallas' past two games against New Orleans, he has three TDs.
K.C. masterpiece
Chiefs' defense has allowed only 26 points (two TDs) in the second half this season (6.5 average). The team tops the AFC with a 25.0 defensive red-zone TD percentage.
Rush to glory
Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson leads the NFL with 412 rush yards and is tied for the lead with six TD runs. He aims to become the first rookie to lead the NFL in both since 1957 (Jim Brown -- 942 yards, 9 TD runs).

Flattery: Pick 4
Broncos CB Deltha O'Neal tied the NFL record with four interceptions against Kansas City, the third Denver DB to turn the trick. Entering the game, he had zero in his 19-game career.
Flag: Mike Sherman
Inside two minutes. Clock is running. Down by four. ... And Dorsey Levens gets the ball in the middle of the field with no chance to get out of bounds? Not the call anyone in Green and Gold wanted.
Flattery: Snakebit
OK, so Philly was in 1-on-1 coverage, but Jake Plummer's fake-and-roll worked. Touchdown, MarTay Jenkins. Another comeback victory for the Snake-led Cards against the Eagles.
Flag: Polish sausage
Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski is a train wreck waiting to happen -- despite a contract clause that will force him to pay back about $25,000 for every game he misses due to suspension.
Flattery: Wingin' it
Bills backup QB Alex Van Pelt threw for three TDs, his first in four years, and almost brought the Bills back from a 28-9 deficit in a 42-36 loss to the Jets. Question: Does Rob Johnson hear Van Pelt's footsteps, too?
Flag: Elvis lives!
One touchdown against the Seahawks? One?! And even it went to Elvis Joseph. A chance to keep up with the Ravens and y'all dropped the ball. At least we've solved the mystery of where Elvis has been hiding.

CNNSI.com's James Quintong says many fantasy football experts like to talk about drafting two top-notch running backs early to anchor your squad and waiting later to pick up the plethora of similarly valued quarterbacks and wide receivers. But what happens when you lose a starting running back because of a bye or, worse yet, a serious injury? Check out this week's Fantasy File.

Check out Fantasy Central for more insight and analysis.


Users sounded off on which player they would take with the No. 1 overall slection in the 2002 Draft:

Julius Peppers, North Carolina -- I would definitely take Peppers because he is the best player and athlete in the country, period.
Larry, Raleigh, N.C.

David Carr, Fresno State -- Big, strong, and mobile. Great pass selection. Strong arm, yet can throw with touch. Think former Bulldog Trent Dilfer, but with brains.
Tom, Prescott, Ariz.

Eric Crouch, Nebraska -- He has the ability throw and run the ball very well. After recently breaking the Division I-A rushing TD record, he has what it takes to play in the big leagues.
James, Springfield, Va.

John Henderson, Tennessee -- He is the elite athletic DL with size who could turn out to be a monster DE in the mold of Reggie White.
David, Durban, South Africa

DeShaun Foster, UCLA -- Because of his speed and power, I think that he could be the next Edgerrin James if he plays anything like he did at UCLA.
Bill, Evansville, Ind.

Wendell Bryant, Wisconsin -- This guy is an absolute demon in stopping the run game. He has all the speed, power and intangibles that it takes to become a star in the NFL.
Blake, Green Bay, Wis.

Bryant McKinnie, Miami -- Ask the Ravens (Ogden), Rams (Pace) and Jaguars (Boselli) how nice it is to have a stud tackle anchoring your line.
Matt, La Crosse, Wis.

Adrian Peterson, Georgia Southern -- Even though he plays in Division I-AA, this dude has definite NFL potential.
Dougie, Memphis, Tenn.

Woodrow Dantzler, Clemson -- This guy is a playmaker and will be a great running back in the NFL.
Bryan, Spartanburg, S.C.

Kurt Kitner, Illinois -- He has the toughness and pure talent to be a franchise quarterback.
Josh, Ada, Ohio

Andre' Davis, Va. Tech -- Fast, great hands and can return punts like nobody else!
Chris, Westminster, Calif.

Joey Harrington, Oregon -- He has a strong arm, doesn't get rattled and has a good work ethic.
Cheston, Stilwell, Okla.

Major Applewhite, Texas -- The 2.5 pounds of brown matter between his ears makes him the most cerebral QB in the land. Hey, smart actions bring success.
Ramon, San Marcos, Texas

This week's topic: Who is the most underrated head coach in the NFL -- and why?


Your name:
Your e-mail address:
Your hometown:

Your take here (in 25 words or less)


 
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