NFL

Around the league

2012-10-28T00:00:00Z Around the leagueThe Associated Press The Associated Press
October 28, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Redskins (3-4) at Steelers (3-3)

10 a.m. • Ch 11 • Line: Steelers by 4 1/2

• For fans into quarterbacks who keep plays alive, this is the game. Sensational Redskins rookie Robert Griffiin III put on quite a show in the Meadowlands last Sunday with his speed and shiftiness - not to mention a strong and pinpoint arm. Ben Roethlisberger does it with his strength and power. Both banged-up defenses are vulnerable to such exploits, especially Washington's if LB London Fletcher's 231-game streak ends because of hamstring and balance issues. Fletcher hasn't missed a game since entering the league as an undrafted rookie with the Rams in 1998.

Patriots (4-3) at Rams (3-4) at London

10 a.m. • Ch 13 • Line: Patriots by 7

• The Rams have played well at home, so shifting this game 4,000 miles away isn't a particularly good idea. But at least they went over to England early; the Patriots decided not to depart until week's end. New England coach Bill Belichick won't let his players think about anything but football - American football, not soccer - when they get over there. "The time change, the travel - that's certainly different than most normal games," Belichick said, "but it's not anything we haven't dealt with before. We've traveled to the West Coast. We're just going the other direction. Hopefully, we'll be able to deal with it."

Falcons (6-0) at Eagles (3-3)

10 a.m. • Line: Eagles by 3

• One of the more impressive stats in the NFL is Andy Reid's record after bye weeks: 13-0. Stretching that will be difficult against the league's only unbeaten team. Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo after the Eagles' last game, so Todd Bowles gets to design something to slow Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez and an offense that makes big plays. "In this business you're graded on performance whether you're a player, whether you're a coach, head coach, assistant, it doesn't matter," said Reid, who has been under fire by critics who point to Philly's underachieving nature. "You're graded on performance." The Falcons' performance has been their best ever; they've not been undefeated this deep into a season.

Panthers (1-5) at Bears (5-1)

10 a.m. • Line: Bears by 7 1/2

• Everything is going right for the Bears and wrong for the Panthers. Two days after Carolina's general manager was fired, star linebacker Jon Beason went on injured reserve with right knee and left shoulder problems that will require surgery. In the past two weeks, the Panthers also lost center Ryan Kalil and cornerback Chris Gamble to season-ending injuries. They've dropped four straight. Chicago has won four straight, allowing a total of 34 points. These Monsters of the Midway are led by the secondary, where Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Major Wright have been superb. "He's an excellent football player," coach Lovie Smith said of Tillman. "He does so much, and you see it time after time."

Jaguars (1-5) at Packers (4-3)

10 a.m. • Line: Packers by 15

• This is a tough enough assignment for the reeling Jaguars with Maurice Jones-Drew on hand. MJD won't be at Lambeau Field, sidelined for several weeks with a sprained left foot. Green Bay has its offense in form after some sloppiness, but will be without defensive leader Charles Woodson in the secondary. Woodson broke his right collarbone. "He's a guy people have to account for every time," Aaron Rodgers said. "I know if I was playing our defense, I would want to know where he's at."

Seahawks (4-3) at Lions (2-4)

10 a.m. • Line: Lions by 2 1/2

• The Lions are on a short week after their offense was invisible Monday night in Chicago. The Seahawks haven't played since Oct. 18, when they did little with the ball at San Francisco. Seattle has won the last three in the series, and could make the day miserable for Detroit's offense if it can't find a running game. Plus, Lions QB Matthew Stafford has five TD passes and six interceptions one season after throwing for 41 TDs with 16 picks. The Seahawks' defensive strength is in the secondary.

Colts (3-3) at Titans (3-4)

10 a.m. • Line: Titans by 3 1/2

• Two inconsistent teams with improving outlooks, particularly the Titans, whose offense has come alive the last two weeks with Matt Hasselbeck in for injured QB Jake Locker, and running back Chris Johnson finally finding his way. But Tennessee's defense has struggled: It has only nine sacks, ranks 30th in yards surrendered and has just seven takeaways. But the Colts have forced only three turnovers, dropping them to minus-9 in turnover margin. Still, they have beaten Minnesota and Green Bay, albeit at home; Indy is 0-2 on the road.

Dolphins (3-3) at Jets (3-4)

10 a.m. • Line: Jets by 2

• The Dolphins probably should have beaten the Jets in Week 3, with usually reliable Dan Carpenter missing some makable field goals. Since throwing two interceptions at Arizona on Sept. 30, Ryan Tannehill has none in two games. He has a quarterback rating of at least 91.0 in each game during that span, with Miami winning twice. The Jets have not swept Miami in Rex Ryan's three-plus years as their coach. They come off a painful overtime defeat at New England, when they got too conservative late in regulation. If that loss lingers, another could be on the way at the Meadowlands.

Chargers (3-3) at Browns (1-6)

10 p.m. • Line: Chargers by 3

• After that debacle at home against Denver in which they blew a 24-0 lead, the Chargers had two weeks to lick their wounds and find some solutions. A key will be if they can improve that ragged pass defense; they're already stingy against the run. Cleveland has stayed close in most of its games, but also has lost four straight and nine of the last 11 against San Diego.

Raiders (2-4) at Chiefs (1-5)

1:05 p.m. • Line: Chiefs by 1 1/2

• Once among the fiercest and most anticipated rivalries, Raiders-Chiefs has become barely watchable. At least Oakland has the excuse of going through a transition period, and it comes off an uplifting comeback victory. That the Raiders fell behind so badly against weak Jacksonville is another story. One thing the Chiefs can do is run the ball with Jamaal Charles. One thing the Raiders can't do, despite having Darren McFadden, is run the ball. KC will go heavy on the ground with Brady Quinn now at quarterback.

49ers (5-2) at Cardinals (4-3)

5:30 p.m. Monday • ESPN • Line: 49ers by 7

• Arizona has lost three straight, in great part because it can't protect its quarterbacks. This is hardly the matchup for fixing that problem: San Francisco has the league's stingiest and most physical defense. The Cardinals are the only team in the league not to allow more than 21 points. Of course, they're not likely to score that many against the Niners, whose 100 points given up are the fewest for any club that's played seven games.

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