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October 02, 2006
WE LIKE THE MATCHUP
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October 02, 2006

Start 'em

WE LIKE THE MATCHUP

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FRANK GORE 49ers AT Chiefs In 2005 quarterback Alex Smith's ineptitude left Gore chipping away at stacked lines, but now teams have to respect San Francisco's passing game. As a result the 49ers suddenly have an explosive ground attack. (Just make sure Gore's strained abdomen isn't serious.) And Kansas City hasn't yet held a team under 115 yards rushing.

THOMAS JONES Bears VS. Seahawks Sure, Jones has his work cut out for him against Seattle, third in the league against the run. But little things add up in his favor: Cedric Benson, once a threat for playing time, has all but disappeared; he had no touches in Week 3. And TE Desmond Clark's injury elevates Jones's chances for a red-zone look.

DOMINIC RHODES Colts VS. Jets Although he has struggled, Rhodes hasn't lost any ground to Joseph Addai; in fact, he outcarried Addai five-to-one in Sunday's important win over Jacksonville. Even at 2.6 yards per carry, it'll probably take an Indy loss for Rhodes to be shunted aside, and he has a chance to bust loose against the Jets' 25th-ranked run defense.

JULIUS JONES Cowboys AT Titans Marion Barber siphoned off valuable carries in Week 2, costing Jones 39 yards and a TD. But that's to be expected in a time-share. A wise owner will hang tough, using Jones when there's plenty of yardage to be had--such as against the Titans, who allowed two Chargers to run for 70-plus yards each.

TIGHT END

KELLEN WINSLOW Browns AT Raiders It's all coming together for Winslow, who fancies himself one of the NFL's elite tight ends and may well be, in view of his seven-catch, 92-yard game in Week 3. Oakland's had trouble with pass coverage, allowing touchdowns in each of the first two games to tight ends who undoubtedly are among the elite, Antonio Gates and Todd Heap.

RANDY MCMICHAEL Dolphins AT Texans McMichael has been relegated to serving as an extra offensive lineman in order to provide maximum protection for Daunte Culpepper. However, this week he'll get his best chance of the season to run some routes and snag some balls against a Texans squad that has put no pressure on opposing passers.

WIDE RECEIVER

TERRY GLENN Cowboys AT Titans With or without an injured T.O. lining up across from him, Glenn is having a fantastic season, having snared 10 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. Through three weeks Tennessee has allowed 50 or more yards to six receivers, including 153 to Laveranues Coles. Look for similar numbers from the Cowboys' top threat.

BRAYLON EDWARDS Browns AT Raiders Edwards is finally making his mark on the NFL, coming off a five-catch, 116-yard, one-touchdown performance against Baltimore. The Oakland defense is ranked second against the pass and 31st against the run--but that's only because the Raiders have faced primarily rushing teams ( San Diego and Baltimore).

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