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Week 11

Dolphins, Titans, Seahawks in key division matchups

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Posted: Saturday November 20, 1999 05:22 PM

  Drew Bledsoe After taking it on the chin vs. the Jets, Drew Bledsoe must take on a Miami defense ranked sixth in the NFL. Jamie Squire/Allsport

ATLANTA (CNN/SI) -- Once again, the AFC features the top action for Week 11, with all three divisions producing matchups with playoff implications.

In the bunched-up AFC East, the New England Patriots (6-3) visit the Miami Dolphins (7-2) with the loser in a no-win position should intradivision records come into play for tiebreaker purposes. In the AFC Central, the Tennessee Titans (7-2) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4), an opportunity for the Steelers to stay in the wild-card hunt. In the AFC West, the Seattle Seahawks (7-2) visit the Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) with hopes of widening their division-leading lead over both the Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders (5-4).

In the NFC, the New York Giants (5-4) play the Washington Redskins (5-4) in a pivotal NFC East matchup, and the Detroit Lions (6-3) can kill the reed-thin playoff hopes of their NFC Central rivals, the (4-5) Green Bay Packers.

Here's the complete rundown:

Week 11 NFL Preview
Lions (6-3) at Packers (4-5), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
15: Number of interceptions thrown by Brett Favre, two more than his 13 touchdown passes.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Lions wide receiver Germane Crowell vs. Green Bay cornerbacks Tyrone Williams and Mike McKenzie.
Player to Watch
Antonio Freeman: Packers wide receiver has 46 receptions for 686 yards and five touchdowns.
Steelers (5-4) at Titans (7-2), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
5: Number of touchdown passes by Steelers' Kordell Stewart.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Injury-riddled Steelers secondary vs. Steve McNair and the Titans' passing game, which is averaging 218 yards per game.
Player to Watch
Troy Edwards: Steelers' rookie receiver is leading the team with 33 receptions for 390 yards and two touchdowns.
Seahawks (7-2) at Chiefs (5-4), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
4: Number of consecutive wins by the Seahawks, who own first place in the AFC West.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Seahawks' rejuvenated passing attack vs. Chiefs' defense, which gives up an average of 211 yards per game in the air.
Player to Watch
Joey Galloway: Seahawks erstwhile receiver made an immediate impact, despite holding out for the first half of the season.
Colts (7-2) at Eagles (3-7), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
1120: Combined rushing and receiving yards gained by the Colts' Edgerrin James, the most by any back in the league.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Colts' powerful offense, which averages 369 yards (third best in the league), vs. the Eagles' porous defense, which gives up an average of 334 yards per game.
Player to Watch
Donovan McNabb: Eagles' rookie quarterback got a win over the Redskins in his first start, but it wasn't because of his 60 yards passing.
Falcons (2-7) at Buccaneers (5-4), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
50: Number of catches by Falcons receiver Terence Mathis, seventh best in the league.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Falcons' anemic running game vs. Buccaneers' strong defense against the run, fourth-best in the league.
Player to Watch
Mike Alstott: Buccaneers' bruising back is averaging 4.3 yards per carry, but has fumble-itis. Coughed it up three times against the Chiefs.
Bills (7-3) at Jets (2-6), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
3rd: The Bills' position in the AFC East, despite having won seven games.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Doug Flutie and Bills' passing game vs. Jets' defense, which held Drew Bledsoe to 170 yards Monday, 60 yards less than their 230 per-game average.
Player to Watch
Curtis Martin: Jets' running back has rushed 215 times for 895 yards and three touchdowns and has gotten stronger as the season progresses.
Panthers (3-6) at Browns (2-8), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
1: Number of quarterbacks who have thrown passes for the Panthers this season. Steve Beuerlein and Peyton Manning are the only QBs who have thrown all their team's passes.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Carolina's rushing defense vs. Cleveland's paltry running game, which is averaging only 73.6 yards per game.
Player to Watch
Wesley Walls: Panthers tight end has caught 31 passes and scored seven touchdowns, tops among tight ends.
Patriots (6-2) at Dolphins (7-2), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
31.1: Average starting yard marker for the Dolphins, the best in the league.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Drew Bledsoe and the league's fourth-best offense vs. Miami's sixth-best defense.
Player to Watch
J.J. Johnson: Dolphins' running back Likely to make first career NFL start with fellow rookie Cecil Collins out with a broken fibula.
Rams (7-2) at 49ers (3-6), 4:15 p.m.
Key Stat
20: Receiving touchdowns by Jerry Rice in 27 career games against the Rams.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Pass rush of Rams vs. beat up offensive line of the 49ers.
Player to Watch
Kevin Carter: Rams defensive end ranks second in the league with 9 1/2 sacks, including 5 1/2 in the last two games.
Chargers (4-5) at Bears (4-6), 4:15 p.m.
Key Stat
95: Combined catches by Bears receiving duo Marcus Robinson (47) and Bobby Engram (48), ranking them second in the NFC to Minnesota's Cris Carter (64) and Randy Moss (53) for most catches by a duo.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Bears' sixth-ranked passing attack, which is averaging 254.4 yards per game, against the Chargers' talented defense, which is giving up only 198.3 yards per game in the air.
Player to Watch
Marty Booker: Bears wideout gave them another deep threat against the Vikings last week, catching seven passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.
Cowboys (5-4) at Cardinals (3-6), 4:15 p.m.
Key Stat
6-2: Jason Garrett's career record as a starter.  Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Dallas offense against the Cardinals' defense, which is allowing 20.8 points per game.
Player to Watch
Michael Pittman: Rushed for 133 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries in his first career start, and his performance was the 10th most rushing yards by a player in his first career start in the '90's.
Ravens (3-6) at Bengals (1-9), 4:05 p.m.
Key Stat
26: League-leading number of punts inside the 20-yard line by Ravens punter Kyle Richardson.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Struggling passing offense of the Bengals vs. the Ravens' pass rush, which is tied for 12th in the league with 25 sacks.
Player to Watch
Corey Dillon: Hasn't scored a touchdown since the first week in the season, and has only two 100-yard rushing games this season.
Giants (5-4) at Redskins (5-4), 4:15 p.m.
Key Stat
4,277: Passing yardage pace for Redskins quarterback Brad Johnson this season, which would break Jay Schroeder's club record of 4,109 yards set in 1986.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Redskins' defense, allowing 28.6 points per game, third-worst in the league, vs. the struggling Giants' offense, which is averaging only 17.4 points per game.
Player to Watch
Stephen Davis: Redskins emerging running back leads league with 14 rushing touchdowns and is on pace to tie Emmitt Smith's all-time single-season record of 25 rushing touchdowns, set in 1995.
Saints (2-7) at Jaguars (8-1), 8:20 p.m.
Key Stat
0: Number of turnovers by Billy Joe Tolliver in Saints 24-6 win over the 49ers.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Ricky Williams and the Saints' running game vs. the Jaguars top-ranked defense, which allows only 86 rushing yards per game.
Player to Watch
Mark Brunell: Jaguars' quarterback is the scourge of fantasy league players, with his paltry passing stats, but he comes up big in the stat that counts the most: won-loss record.
Raiders (5-4) at Broncos (3-7), 9 p.m. Monday
Key Stat
10,432: Number of receiving yards by Tim Brown, who moved past Harold Jackson last week into 14th place on the all-time list.   Stats matchup
Key Matchup
Oakland's rushing game, second-best in the league, vs. Broncos' defense, which holds opponents to an average of 98 yards per game on the ground.
Player to Watch
Chris Miller: Third quarterback for the Broncos has acquitted himself well during his two starts, winning against the Chargers and leading a failed comeback against the Seahawks.

Related information
Jets safety Victor Green wants the ball in Doug Flutie's hands. (126 K)
Brett Favre thinks the Packers can still make the playoffs. (111 K)
Emmitt Smith says his broken hand hasn't been a big problem. (137 K)
Michael Westbrook isn't worried about playing with a broken wrist. (190 K)
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