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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Game Scout - Week 9
November 3, 2006

Atlanta Falcons (5-2) at Detroit Lions (1-6)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX, Kenny Albert, Brian Baldinger, Jay Glazer
SERIES: 32nd meeting. Atlanta trails 9-22, but the Falcons left Ford Field last Thanksgiving with a 20-point victory that brought an end to the Detroit career of Steve Mariucci, a mentor of Mora and Knapp during their days together in San Francisco. Vick passed for a career-high 332 yards against the Lions in 2002. That Detroit team, however, bears no resemblance, for better or worse, to his bunch. The Lions' fickle team president, Matt Millen, has fired two head coaches and parted company with an interim boss since he convinced the Ford family to hire Rod Marinelli 10 months ago.
*2006 RANKINGS: Falcons: offense 6th (1st rush, 31st pass); defense 18th (9th rush, 27th pass). Lions: offense 13th (30th rush, 5th pass); defense 25th (16th rush, 29th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Falcons lead the league with an average of 210.9 rushing yards per game, 25 percent more than the second-best team. Despite Falcons QB Michael Vick throwing seven touchdowns in his past two games, the Lions' main priority clearly remains to stop Vick and RB Warrick Dunn on the ground. Unfortunately, Detroit's respectable run defense will be severely short-handed without suspended DT Shaun Rogers and injured DT Dan Cody. The Lions' best defense might be their own running game, which offensive coordinator Mike Martz has complemented by incorporating RB Kevin Jones significantly as a receiver in the short passing game. The Lions have to be able to keep the ball, let their defense rest and not lose the turnover battle (QB Jon Kitna has nine interceptions already). If Atlanta gets a lead, it will turn the Lions one-dimensional and run away and hide.

FAST FACTS: Falcons: TE Alge Crumpler needs two touchdown receptions to break his career high of six set in 2004. ... WR Ashley Lelie's 32 receptions of at least 25 yards since 2004 is tied with Washington WR Santana Moss for most in the league. Lions: WR Mike Furrey has 37 receptions in seven games after entering the season with a combined 21 in his three-year career. ... Kitna's 63.3 completion percentage is on pace to break the franchise record for quarterbacks with at least 400 attempts.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) at Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Sportexe Momentun
TV: CBS, Dick Enberg, Randy Cross
SERIES: 21st meeting. The Ravens lead the series 12-8 between division rivals. The Bengals have won the last three in a row, their first three-game win streak of the series. The Bengals have won two in a row in Baltimore.
*2006 RANKINGS: Bengals: offense 18th (24th rush, 12th pass); defense 21st (25th rush, 17th pass). Ravens: offense 26th (20th rush, 24th pass); defense 3rd (1st rush, 16th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: There will be an intriguing chess match between a Ravens defense that likes to blitz frequently and a Bengals offense that isn't shy about trying to hit on big pass plays. Cincinnati is starting a rookie in LT Andrew Whitworth and Baltimore will certainly try to exploit him, but the Ravens' lone defensive weakness this season has been a propensity to allow big plays. Bengals RB Rudi Johnson has been outspoken that he wants the ball more, but the temptation will be to allow QB Carson Palmer to attack a secondary with rookies in SS Dawan Landry and nickelback Ronnie Prude, who could often be matched against big-play WR Chris Henry. Offensively, the Ravens were successful in coach Brian Billick's first game calling the plays, but expect a bit more of a straight-forward approach based on RB Jamal Lewis pounding away at Cincinnati's 25th-ranked run defense.

FAST FACTS: Bengals: Johnson has topped 1,450 rushing yards each of the past two seasons, but is on pace for just 1,194 in 2006. ... WR Chad Johnson (415) needs three receptions to move into second place in franchise history. Ravens: TE Todd Heap has scored a touchdown in five of the past six games. ... LB Adalius Thomas has 25 sacks in his past 39 games.

Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at Washington Redskins (2-5)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
SERIES: 92nd meeting. Cowboys lead 55-34-2, including a win earlier this season.
*2006 RANKINGS: Cowboys: offense 5th (5th rush, 10th pass); defense 4th (4th rush, 12th pass). Redskins: offense 14th (7th rush, 21st pass); defense 26th (15th rush, 30th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: With WR Santana Moss likely to miss the game with a strained hamstring, it becomes even more critical for the Redskins to get a big effort out of RB Clinton Portis. Dallas knows the ground game sets up Washington's spread offense, so the Cowboys will load up against Portis if the Redskins are minus Moss, who leads the team in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. Dallas will focus on its own running game as well in an effort to avoid putting too much pressure on QB Tony Romo in his second career start. The Redskins' defense has struggled, but it has been far stronger against the run (3.8 yards per carry) and the secondary should have CBs Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers together for the first time this season.

FAST FACTS: Cowboys: Coach Bill Parcells is 14-8 against Redskins coach Joe Gibbs. ... Have won 15 of the past 18 meetings. ... WR Terrell Owens' teams are 55-22 (.714) when he has at least one touchdown catch. Redskins: QB Mark Brunell has completed 64.1 percent of his pass attempts -- his career best for a season was 63.4 in 1996. ... Brunell has a 99.0 passer rating in seven career games against Dallas.

Green Bay Packers (3-4) at Buffalo Bills (2-5)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: AstroPlay
TV: FOX, Ron Pitts, Terry Donahue
SERIES: 10th meeting. The Bills lead the series 6-3 and have won all four games played in Buffalo. The teams' last meeting was in 2002, a 10-0 Packers victory in Green Bay. Defensive end Vonnie Holliday, now with Miami, set a franchise record with five sacks and also forced three fumbles by quarterback Drew Bledsoe, now with Dallas. The Packers haven't shut out an opponent since that game. The teams last met in Buffalo in 2000, a 27-18 Bills win.
*2006 RANKINGS: Packers: offense 9th (11th rush, 8th pass); defense 30th (9th rush, 32nd pass). Bills: offense 29th (23rd rush, 28th pass); defense 15th (18th rush, 14th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Packers are beat up at the skill positions, with lead blocker FB Brandon Miree and backup RB Vernand Morency, who was seeing significant carries, unlikely to play. But with Green Bay's starting receivers nicked up as well, coach Mike McCarthy said he intends to continue to lean on the resurgent ground game. A lack of success in the running game is a big reason why the Bills made changes to three spots along the offensive line during their bye week. Buffalo needs more consistent production from RB Willis McGahee to help protect QB J.P. Losman, who has already been sacked 21 times. The real concern is rookie RT Terrance Pennington in his first start matched up against Packers DE Aaron Kampman, who is tied for the league lead with 8.5 sacks.

FAST FACTS: Packers: QB Brett Favre seeks fourth consecutive game without an interception for just the second time in his career. ... Green's 51 rushing touchdowns are second most in team history. ... WR Donald Driver has a reception in 71 consecutive games, second behind Sterling Sharpe (103) in franchise history. Bills: PK Rian Lindell has a franchise-best 81.63 field-goal accuracy percentage. ... McGahee needs 61 rushing yards to become franchise's seventh player to reach 3,000.

Houston Texans (2-5) at New York Giants (5-2)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: CBS, Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
SERIES: 2nd meeting. The Texans lead the series 1-0. The Texans and Giants meet for the first time in four years. Houston won the previous meeting 16-14 at Reliant Stadium on Nov. 24, 2002. Houston's defense picked off Kerry Collins twice in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
*2006 RANKINGS: Texans: offense 22nd (27th rush, 17th pass); defense 28th (26th rush, 25th pass). Giants: offense 4th (4th rush, 11th pass); defense 14th (12th rush, 19th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: QB David Carr gets the start for the Texans after being benched in the second half last Sunday, with Gary Kubiak sending a clear message that he won't stand for turnovers. But the bigger onus falls on rookie RB Wali Lundy, who has produced career highs in rushing yards each of the past two games. Houston must sustain drives and avoid turnovers to have any chance against a far superior opponent. The Giants relied heavily on their running game in very windy conditions last weekend, but with conditions expected to be calmer QB Eli Manning can attempt to exploit the Texans' vulnerable secondary. Houston has stepped up its defensive effort in recent games, but the unit needs to create more turnovers. The key for the Texans will be stopping the run with their front seven so the safeties can focus on pass support.

FAST FACTS: Texans: Carr has an NFL-high six fourth-quarter touchdown passes. ... Rookie TE Owen Daniels' five touchdown receptions is just one shy of the single-season franchise record of six. Giants: P Jeff Feagles will move into sixth place all-time with his 296th game played. ... Manning can tie a career best with a touchdown pass in his 12th consecutive game. ... RB Tiki Barber holds the NFL record by leading the team in rushing for 71 consecutive games.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) at St. Louis Rams (4-3)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: CBS, Don Criqui, Steve Beuerlein
SERIES: Ninth meeting. The series is tied 4-4, though Kansas City has won the last three including two blowout wins. A 54-34 Chiefs win in 2000 marked the most points ever scored at Arrowhead Stadium.
*2006 RANKINGS: Chiefs: offense 15th (13th rush, 16th pass); defense 9th (17th rush, 7th pass). Rams: offense 4th (21st rush, 4th pass); defense 27th (27th rush, 21st pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Chiefs are averaging just 9.7 points on the road, and can't afford to fall behind in what promises to be a very loud road environment. QB Damon Huard has proven to have a firm grasp of the offense, but Kansas City's offensive success still begins with RB Larry Johnson producing on the ground to set up Huard to pick apart secondaries off play-action. Johnson is coming off a 39-carry game and figures to get another heavy workload with the Rams allowing 4.8 yards per carry and 134.9 rushing yards per game. If St. Louis' defense can get off the field, the offense should be able to move the ball consistently as long as the play-calling remains balanced. The Rams get into trouble when they fall behind because they don't protect QB Marc Bulger well, but St. Louis is averaging 29.0 points at home and should keep the game within reach.

FAST FACTS: Chiefs: Johnson is on pace for 393 carries and 455 touches this season. The NFL record is 496 by Tampa Bay's James Wilder in 1984. ... Are an NFL-best 20-5 (.833) in interconference play since 1995. Rams: Bulger has not thrown a first-half interception this season and has just one overall. ... Are 16-1 (.941) at home against the AFC since 1998.

Miami Dolphins (1-6) at Chicago Bears (7-0)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS, Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
SERIES: 10th meeting. The Dolphins hold a 6-3 all-time series lead, winning their last meeting, 27-9, in Dec. 2002 when Ricky Williams rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
*2006 RANKINGS: Dolphins: offense 16th (27th rush, 6th pass); defense 5th (13th rush, 4th pass). Bears: offense 12th (19th rush, 9th pass); defense 1st (5th rush, 2nd pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: Winging it all over the field hasn't worked for the Dolphins, with QB Joey Harrington throwing seven interceptions while throwing 146 passes over the past three games. Chicago's pass defense is too strong and the Bears have blown too many opponents out in the first half for Miami to keep relying so heavily on the passing game. The Dolphins must stick with RB Ronnie Brown, even if the ground game isn't reeling off big chunks of yardage. The Bears have been particularly explosive at home, with QB Rex Grossman posting a passer rating of 100.5 or better in all four games at Soldier Field this season. Still, the Dolphins' best hope is to stuff RB Thomas Jones and hope to pressure Grossman into mistakes under pressure even though Miami's secondary has been burned consistently all season.

FAST FACTS: Dolphins: Brown has averaged 4.7 yards per carry in five career games against the NFC. ... TE Randy McMichael needs five receptions to break Bruce Hardy's franchise record of 256 for tight ends. Bears: DE Mark Anderson leads all rookies and is fourth in the NFL with 7.5 sacks.

New Orleans Saints (5-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
SERIES: 30th meeting. The Saints lead the series, 18-11, and are 5-4 against the Bucs since the two teams became NFC South foes in 2002. In their first matchup this season, on Oct. 8 in the Superdome, Reggie Bush ran back a punt 65 yards for the game-winning score with just more than four minutes to play in the Saints' 24-21 victory.
*2006 RANKINGS: Saints: offense 7th (22nd rush, 3rd pass); defense 13th (21st rush, 9th pass). Bucs: offense 30th (29th rush, 26th pass); defense 22nd (30th rush, 11th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Saints needed a Reggie Bush punt return for a touchdown to avoid an upset in the first meeting, in large part because Bucs RB Carnell Williams rushed for a season-high 112 yards to help Tampa Bay control the clock. But despite a rookie quarterback in Bruce Gradkowski and a young offensive line, coach Jon Gruden still isn't sold on the theory that the Bucs have to be a run-heavy team. However, Tampa Bay gets in trouble when the offense is consistently producing three-and-outs because the defense has struggled to stop the run all season and eventually wears down. That includes giving up 143 rushing yards to New Orleans on Oct. 8. The Saints fell way behind against Baltimore last weekend and turned one-dimensional, so expect New Orleans to come out looking to re-establish its ground game.

FAST FACTS: Saints: WR Marques Colston needs just 108 receiving yards to break TE Cam Cleeland's rookie team record of 684 set in 1998. ... RB Deuce McAllister has averaged 100.1 rushing yards in seven starts against Tampa Bay. ... McAllister needs one touchdown to tie Dalton Hilliard (39) for most in franchise history. Bucs: Gradkowski's 69.1 passer rating leads all rookies. ... Are 8-0 when Williams gets at least 21 carries.

Tennessee Titans (2-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS, Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots
SERIES: 24th meeting. Titans lead the series 13-10 but the Jaguars won the last two, including a 40-13 win at Alltel Stadium to close out the 2005 season.
*2006 RANKINGS: Titans: offense 28th (12th rush, 29th pass); defense 32nd (31st rush, 17th pass). Jaguars: offense 21st (6th rush, 25th pass); defense 7th (11th rush, 10th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: Time of possession and field possession figure to play a key role will both teams expected to lean heavily on their ground games. As rookie QB Vince Young develops, the Titans are attempting to ease the pressure on the passing game by getting significant carries to RBs Travis Henry and LenDale White. The Jaguars are minus three key defensive starters, but must be disciplined with Young having scored a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games. Meanwhile, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor appears invigorated with rookie Maurice Jones-Drew spelling him throughout the game. Taylor has 11 carries for 10 or more yards in the past three games, helping to make up for a struggling passing game. QB David Garrard gets his second consecutive start for the Jaguars, and the Titans' secondary could struggle without CB Pacman Jones, who was suspended one game by the team.

FAST FACTS: Titans: All eight of WR Bobby Wade's receptions have resulted in first downs. ... S Chris Hope has a takeaway in first consecutive games. Jaguars: Taylor leads AFC players with at least 100 carries with an average of 4.5 yards per carry. ... Have allowed only one of seven opponents to score on their opening possession.

Minnesota Vikings (4-3) at San Francisco 49ers (2-5)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX, Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan, Chris Myers
SERIES: 42nd meeting. The 49ers lead the series 21-19-1, including 12-7-1 in San Francisco. This will be the Vikings' first trip to San Francisco since the 1997 season, when they played the 49ers in the regular season and again in the playoffs. San Francisco won both games. The Vikings won the past two meetings in 1999 and 2003.
*2006 RANKINGS: Vikings: offense 17th (18th rush, 14th pass); defense 12th (2nd rush, 26th pass). 49ers: offense 20th (10th rush, 22nd pass); defense 31st (22nd rush, 31st pass)

Sunday, 4:05 ET, FOX
Surface: Grass
Sheridan's line:
KEYS TO THE GAME: The NFL is a copycat league, but the 49ers don't have the offensive personnel to spread the field and take advantage of the Vikings' secondary the way New England did on Monday night. With a porous defense and an offensive line that doesn't pass block particularly well, San Francisco must run the ball well behind RB Frank Gore, but it's a tough proposition against the league's No. 2 run defense. Offensively, the Vikings just have to avoid the turnovers that doomed them against the Patriots. QB Brad Johnson was benched in the second half Monday, but gets the start this Sunday and simply can't do the 49ers any favors. Expect a heavy dose of RB Chester Taylor to set up a controlled passing game off play-action.

FAST FACTS: Vikings: Have outscored opponents 59-16 in the fourth quarter and overtime. ... Taylor is on pace for 336 carries, which would break Robert Smith franchise record (295 in 2000). 49ers: Gore's 631 rushing yards has already surpassed his team-high 608 as a rookie last season. ... Have scored more than 20 points in every game in winning six of past seven meetings at home.

Cleveland Browns (2-5) at San Diego Chargers (5-2)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker
SERIES: 21st meeting. The Chargers lead the series 12-7. The Browns and Chargers played to a 16-16 tie in 1973. San Diego has won five of the last six games played between the two teams.
*2006 RANKINGS: Browns: offense 31st (31st rush, 27th pass); defense 17th (28th rush, 5th pass). Chargers: offense 3rd (2nd rush, 15th pass); defense 2nd (6th rush, 6th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Chargers finally got RB LaDainian Tomlinson untracked on the ground last weekend and figure to feature the run heavily again against a Browns defense allowing 136.1 rushing yards per game. San Diego simply wants to avoid turnovers because its defense should dominate the game even without suspended OLB Shawne Merriman. The issue for Cleveland will be in running the ball well enough to set up shots against San Diego's weaker secondary. Chargers DT Jamal Williams has a 50-pound advantage on Browns C Hank Fraley and should be able to clog up the middle, meaning Browns RB Reuben Droughns will have a difficult time running between the tackles. With or without help from the ground game, Browns QB Charlie Frye must avoid turnovers because Cleveland has to do just about everything right to keep the game close into the fourth quarter.

FAST FACTS: Browns: Have won eight of their past 10 game when scoring at least 20 points. ... Defense is second in NFL allowing just 5.42 net yards per pass play. Chargers: Will wear throwback uniforms in honor of Alumni Weekend. ... Have won seven consecutive November games. ... Seek first 4-0 home record since 2001.

Denver Broncos (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
SERIES: 19th meeting. The Denver Broncos lead the all-time series against the Pittsburgh Steelers 11-6-1. However, the Steelers got a huge postseason win last season. Pittsburgh came to Invesco Field at Mile High for the AFC Championship Game and won 34-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.
*2006 RANKINGS: Broncos: offense 19th (3rd rush, 30th pass); defense 10th (7th rush, 15th pass). Steelers: offense 10th (16th rush, 7th pass); defense 6th (8th rush, 8th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: Quite simply, the Steelers need a better performance from QB Ben Roethlisberger coming off a four-interception outing. Pittsburgh is a run-first team, but the Broncos have the ability to limit the ground game and force the Steelers to move the ball through the air. When Roethlisberger looks downfield, expect him to attack Broncos CB Darrent Williams, who confidence could be rattled after getting abused by Colts WR Reggie Williams last weekend. The Broncos aren't sure how much they'll get out of ailing RB Tatum Bell, but rookie Mike Bell was very impressive in extended duty against the Colts. Denver needs to establish the running game to help an offensive line still overcoming the loss of LT Matt Lepsis and to keep QB Jake Plummer out of harm's way against the Steelers' various blitz packages.

FAST FACTS: Broncos: Coach Mike Shanahan needs win to tie Hank Stram for 17th all-time with 136 victories. ... Tatum Bell has topped 100 rushing yards in all three road games this season. Steelers: Are 129-30 (.811) under coach Bill Cowher when out-rushing an opponent. ... Roethlisberger is 12-3 (.800) at home as a starter.

Indianapolis Colts (7-0) at New England Patriots (6-1)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 8:15 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/05/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: NBC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Andrea Kremer
SERIES: 69th meeting. The Patriots lead the all-time series 43-25. The Colts finally got the Foxborough monkey off their backs last year with a 40-21 beat down of the Patriots. It's the first time the Colts won in New England since 1995. Even with that victory, this series has been all Patriots of late. Peyton Manning is 1-7 in Foxborough and 3-10 all-time against the Patriots. New England is 24-11 at home against its former AFC East rivals. The Patriots won seven consecutive games from 1996-99 and are 17-6 against Indianapolis since 1993.
*2006 RANKINGS: Colts: offense 2nd (17th rush, 1st pass); defense 20th (32nd rush, 3rd pass). Patriots: offense 11th (8th rush, 13th pass); defense 11th (3rd rush, 23rd pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Colts' porous run defense was beaten down for 227 yards in Denver last Sunday, and Indianapolis still managed to win. But eventually the Colts will get burned if they keep playing with fire. New England has a bruising combination in RBs Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney who have the ability to wear the defense down and keep Peyton Manning & Co. off the field. The Colts must find a way to slow the ground game so DE Dwight Freeney can become a factor again as a pass rusher. Few have been able to frustrate Manning like Patriots coach Bill Belichick, but the Colts' signal-caller did torch New England for 321 yards and three touchdowns last season. Then again, the Patriots were without FS Rodney Harrison and DE Richard Seymour that day. Still, the Colts will put points on the board, and the difference could come down to whether the Patriots are responding by scoring touchdowns or settling for field goals.

FAST FACTS: Since Patriots QB Tom Brady's first career start on Sept. 30, 2001, Brady (64) and Manning (59) have the most wins among NFL quarterbacks. Colts: Seek to become second team to start consecutive seasons 8-0 (Green Bay, 1929-31). Patriots: Brady is 6-1 against Indianapolis. ... Are 12-1 when Dillon has at least 90 yards rushing.

Oakland Raiders (2-5) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Monday, 8:30 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/06/06
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: ESPN, Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann, Tony Kornheiser, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya
SERIES: 50th meeting. Raiders lead series 27-22. Raiders won last game in 2002 season opener 31-17 as Charlie Garner rushed for 127 yards and Rich Gannon threw two touchdown passes. In last game in Seattle, Shawn Alexander rushed for 266 yards at Husky Stadium, including an 88-yard run, as the Seahawks won 34-27.
*2006 RANKINGS: Raiders: offense 32nd (15th rush, 32nd pass); defense 8th (24th rush, 1st pass). Seahawks: offense 23rd (26th rush, 19th pass); defense 23rd (14th rush, 28th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: With the Seahawks still without QB Matt Hasselbeck and RB Shaun Alexander and the Raiders still -- well, inept offensively, the team that capitalizes most on its scoring opportunities should win. Raiders QB Andrew Walter is the AFC's lowest-rated passer at 49.0 and has nine interceptions to just three touchdown passes. For Oakland to move the ball, it needs the power running game to set up the play-action pass and attack a Seattle secondary that has struggled all season with big pass plays. Ironically, pass defense is the Raiders' greatest strength and Oakland has vaulted to the top of the league allowing just 159.1 passing yards per game. Seattle's running game has been near non-existent with the offensive line struggling, so backup QB Seneca Wallace will likely be asked to routinely work against that stout pass defense while the Seahawks utilize a lot of three- and four-receiver sets.

FAST FACTS: Raiders: Walter is on pace to throw 338 passes for 2,114 yards, which would be the second-lowest total in franchise history among those with at least 300 passes (Cotton Davidson, 1,977 in 1962). ... WR Randy Moss has been the target on 32.8 percent of the team's pass plays (58 of 177). Seahawks: WR Darrell Jackson is averaging 16.3 yards per catch -- his career-best was 16.7 in 2003. ... WR Deion Branch's teams are 15-2 when he has at touchdown reception.

   
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