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Week 7

5-1 Ravens travel down the road to face 4-2 Redskins

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Latest Update: Thursday October 12, 2000 6:03 PM

By Jon A. Dolezar,

  Falcons at Rams
Panthers at Saints
Raiders at Chiefs
Ravens at Redskins
Cowboys at Giants
Chargers at Bills
Bengals at Steelers
Colts at Seahawks
Browns at Broncos
Jets at Patriots
Eagles at Cardinals
49ers at Packers
Vikings at Bears
Jaguars at Titans

ATLANTA -- The roller-coaster season of the Washington Redskins faces another stern test this Sunday, as the AFC Central-leading Baltimore Ravens pay a visit to FedEx Field in the marquee game of Week 7.

The "Battle of the Beltway" comes one week after the "Battle of the Bay Area," the only matchup in the NFL featuring teams located closer together. Roughly 23 miles separate the Raiders and 49ers, while the Ravens and Redskins are 36 miles apart.

Despite their close proximity, this will be only the second regular-season meeting between the two teams since the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens five seasons ago. In the first contest, on Oct. 26, 1997, Bam Morris ran for a career-high 176 yards to lift the Ravens to a win against the Redskins.

Art Modell announced this week that he wouldn't mind seeing the Ravens move into the NFC East in 2002 when the NFL undergoes what is likely to be a massive division realignment. That would create natural East Coast rivalries with the Redskins, Giants and Eagles.

The Ravens and Redskins engaged in a little turf war during the summer, trying to woo each other's fans by taking out ads in the other city's largest daily newspapers.

The action on the field this Sunday is sure to be as fiery as the off-field territorial bickering between the teams' strong-willed owners. Both squads come in riding three-game winning streaks, and the winner will emerge with improved playoff position in addition to local bragging rights. Baltimore's rushing defense is ranked No. 1 in the league, allowing only 50.7 yards per game, while Washington's ground attack is ranked seventh overall with 128.2 yards per game.

Week 7 NFL Preview
Falcons (2-4) at Rams (5-0), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
336: Season-low passing total for Kurt Warner in the Rams' 41-20 Week 4 win over the Falcons.  Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Rams wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt (combined 52 catches for 1,125 yards and eight touchdowns) against Falcons cornerbacks Ray Buchanan and Ashley Ambrose (combined five interceptions and 15 passes defensed).
Player to Watch
Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis: Rams' record-setting signal caller has dominated the Falcons in three career meetings, completing 42-of-64 passes for 722 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception.
Panthers (2-3) at Saints (2-3), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
236.6: Yards allowed per game by the Saints, the lowest average in the league.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Saints outside linebackers Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell (combined five interceptions last season) against Panthers tight end Wesley Walls (seven catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns in two games vs. Saints last season).
Player to Watch
Ricky Williams, RB, New Orleans: Second-year rusher is on pace for 1,510 yards, and is aiming to become the Saints' first 1,000-yard rusher since Dalton Hilliard gained 1,262 yards in 1989.
Raiders (4-1) at Chiefs (3-2), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
157: Rushing yards by Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, putting him on pace for a career-high 502 yards.  Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Raiders linebackers Elijah Alexander, Greg Biekert and William Thomas (combined 29 career interceptions) against Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has caught a touchdown pass in his past three games against the Raiders.
Player to Watch
Tim Brown, WR, Oakland: Coming off a 172-yard, two-touchdown performance; has 62 catches for 902 yards in his past nine meetings with the Chiefs.
Chiefs LB Marvcus Patton thinks the game is a must-win.
Chiefs WR Derrick Alexander believes a win could spark a run to the top.
Ravens (5-1) at Redskins (4-2), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
+14: League-leading turnover margin for the Ravens, while the Redskins are tied for third in the NFC with a +3 ratio. Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Ravens quarterback Tony Banks (54 interceptions in 1,795 career attempts) against Redskins cornerbacks Champ Bailey, Deion Sanders and Darrell Green (combined 104 interceptions in 431 games).
Player to Watch
Derek Smith, LB, Washington: Underrated middle linebacker has 26 tackles and one sack in the Redskins' four wins and only 10 tackles in their two losses.
Cowboys (2-3) at Giants (4-2), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
47-26-2: Cowboys' record against the Giants (.640 winning percentage), including wins in three of the past four.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Cowboys' 31st-ranked rushing defense (178.2 yards per game) against Giants duo of Tiki Barber (76 carries for 443 yards and four touchdowns) and Ron Dayne (83 carries for 250 yards and two touchdowns).
Player to Watch
Kerry Collins, QB, New York: Completing 67.9 percent of his passes in the Giants' four wins and only 47.5 percent in their two losses.
Chargers (0-6) at Bills (2-3), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
44.98: Career punting average for Chargers punter Darren Bennett, the second-highest ever among qualifiers (250 punts) behind Sammy Baugh's average of 45.10.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Chargers' 30th-ranked rushing offense (66.8 yards per game) against Bills' fourth-ranked rushing defense (77.0 yards per game).
Player to Watch
Jonathan Linton, RB, Buffalo: Replaced Antowain Smith in the starting lineup, but has struggled with only 69 yards on 20 carries.
Bengals (0-5) at Steelers (2-3), 1 p.m.
Key Stat
103.4: Jerome Bettis' rushing average in nine career games against the Bengals.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Steelers quarterback Kent Graham against Bengals defensive line that has recorded only five sacks and six stuffs in five games.
Player to Watch
Corey Dillon, RB, Cincinnati: Traditionally has played well against the Steelers, with 375 yards on 81 carries in his past four games against Pittsburgh.
Colts (3-2) at Seahawks (2-4), 4:05 p.m.
Key Stat
.692: Seahawks quarterback Brock Huard's winning percentage (9-4) in 13 career starts at Husky Stadium while at Washington.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison (348 catches for 4,704 yards and 37 touchdowns in 65 career games) against Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs (14 interceptions, 48 passes defensed in 48 career games).
Player to Watch
Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis: Has thrown five interceptions in the Colts' two losses and only two in their three wins. Manning completed 23-of-39 passes for 335 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his only other game against Seattle, a 27-23 Colts loss on Dec. 20, 1998 at the Kingdome.
Browns (2-4) at Broncos (3-3), 4:05 p.m.
Key Stat
19: Difference in sacks allowed by the Browns' offensive line through six games this season (six) compared to their total through the first six games of 1999 (25).   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Browns quarterback Tim Couch (19 passes picked off in 21 games) against Broncos cornerbacks Terrell Buckley (37 interceptions in 132 games) and Ray Crockett (31 interceptions in 178 games).
Player to Watch
Ed McCaffrey, WR, Denver: Has caught 19 passes in the past two games (including a career-high 10 balls and two touchdowns against San Diego last Sunday), and is on pace for a career-high 96 catches.
QB Brian Griese thinks Denver can re-assert itself vs. the Browns.
Denver RB Terrell Davis is content to wait until he's full healed.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan says injuries are a part of life in the NFL.
Jets (4-1) at Patriots (2-4), 4:05 p.m.
Key Stat
214: Number of touchdowns scored by each team in the 80-game all-time series, which the Jets lead 44-35-1.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn (on pace to tie his career-high with 90 catches) against Jets cornerbacks Marcus Coleman (seven tackles, one pass defensed in Week 2 meetings against Patriots) and Aaron Glenn (15 interceptions since the start of the 1996 season).
Player to Watch
Chris Slade, LB, New England: Veteran pass-rushing linebacker has 39 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and 1 1/2 stuffs this season, and has posted 37 1/2 of his 49 1/2 career sacks at Foxboro Stadium.
Jets QB Vinny Testaverde says coach Al Groh will determine his status.
Jets RB Curtis Martin has faith in Testaverde and backup Ray Lucas.
Eagles (3-3) at Cardinals (2-3), 4:15 p.m.
Key Stat
6-2: Vince Tobin's record against the Eagles, including wins in each of the past five games.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Cardinals linebacker Ronald McKinnon (51 tackles, two stuffs) against scrambling Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (31 rushes for 221 yards and two touchdowns this season).
Player to Watch
Frank Sanders, RB, Arizona: After a big two-touchdown game against the Browns, he's on pace for a career-high 12 TD catches.
49ers (2-4) at Packers (2-4), 4:15 p.m.
Key Stat
88.4: Brett Favre's career quarterback rating against the 49ers, with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven games.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Packers middle linebacker Bernardo Harris (35 tackles, two sacks, two stuffs) against 49ers running back Charlie Garner, who has 791 total yards and five touchdowns and is on pace for 2,109 yards.
Player to Watch
Jeff Garcia, QB, San Francisco: Threw four touchdowns in the heartbreaking overtime loss to the Raiders and is now on target to pass for 3,888 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Vikings (5-0) at Bears (1-5), 8:35 p.m.
Key Stat
.722: Dennis Green's winning percentage (13-5) in 18 career games against the Bears.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Bears quarterback Cade McNown (39 sacks on 433 career pass attempts) against Vikings defensive lineman John Randle (13 1/2 sacks in 20 meetings with the Bears).
Player to Watch
Randy Moss, WR, Minnesota: Has caught 24 passes for 415 yards (138.3 yards per game) in his past three games against the Bears; now has caught 33 touchdowns in his 37 NFL games.
Jaguars (2-4) at Titans (4-1), 9:00 p.m. Monday
Key Stat
21-5: Titans' record when Eddie George rushes for more than 100 yards.   Stats matchup | Preview
Key Matchup
Jaguars wide receivers Keenan McCardell (49 catches for 532 yards and two touchdowns) and Jimmy Smith (46 catches for 631 yards and six touchdowns) against Titans cornerbacks Samari Rolle (five interceptions in past 21 games) and Denard Walker.
Player to Watch
Eddie George, RB, Tennessee: Averaging a career-low 3.7 yards per carry, but four rushing TDs put him on pace for a career-high 12 this season.

Related information
Stories's NFL Week 7 At A Glance
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