NFL News and Notes Week 3

Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Eagles re-sign Reed
September 19th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Wednesday they have re-signed safety/kick returner J.R. Reed and released tackle Pat McCoy.

The team also signed tackle Jonathan Palmer to the practice squad and released tight end Lee Vickers from that unit.

Reed, a fourth-round draft choice of the club in 2004, played in the Eagles' 2007 season-opening loss at Green Bay, muffing a punt return with time winding down and the game on the line.

Reed raced up the field and tried to haul in a short kick, but the ball glanced off his body and to the ground, where it was recovered by Green Bay cornerback Jarrett Bush. A few plays later Mason Crosby hit a 42-yard field goal with seconds remaining, giving the Packers a 16-13 victory.

Reed was jettisoned two days later when the Eagles signed running back/kick returner Reno Mahe to a one-year deal.

The 25-year-old Reed spent an impressive rookie season as the Eagles' primary kickoff returner, averaging 23.1 yards on 33 returns. He then suffered nerve damage that effected his lower leg and foot in an accident during the 2005 offseason and missed that entire campaign.

Reed was released by the Eagles on September 3, 2006 and landed in St. Louis, where he played six games and recorded five tackles. He also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 and with the New York Giants this summer.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Jaguars place Sensabaugh on injured reserve, re-sign Fudge
September 19, 2007

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars placed safety Gerald Sensabaugh on injured reserve Wednesday and re-signed safety Jamaal Fudge.

Sensabaugh injured his shoulder in Sunday's 13-7 win over Atlanta. The third-year player had started both games this season, getting eight tackles and a fumble recovery.

Fudge, who played in six games last season after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent, was waived in final roster cuts earlier this month.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Packers' injury report overflowing going into Chargers game
September 19, 2007

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes the roots of his team's fast start lie partially in his training camp schedule, which allowed for more rest and recovery time than usual.

Given more time to recuperate, the theory went, players would have more energy when the regular season rolled around. So far, you can't argue with a 2-0 record after the Packers started 1-4 in each of their past three seasons.

But given all that time to rest up, what's with the injuries?

"We started fast in our first two games, but we've got way too many guys on IR and way too many guys on the injury report," McCarthy said. "Rest and recovery? I'm not going to give them any more rest, I can tell you that, so we need to recover better."

A whopping 13 players missed all or part of practice on Wednesday. That's a discouraging development for the Packers, who will be trying to prove their quick start is for real on Sunday against a talented San Diego team coming off an embarrassing loss to New England.

Among those who did not practice for the Packers on Wednesday were tight end Bubba Franks (knee), cornerback Al Harris (back), wide receiver Greg Jennings (hamstring), defensive lineman Corey Williams (ankle) and cornerback Charles Woodson (hip).

The list of players limited in practice included left tackle Chad Clifton (ankle), defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins (wrist), defensive lineman Johnny Jolly (heel), defensive lineman Aaron Kampman (rib), backup offensive lineman Tony Moll (neck), running back Vernand Morency (knee), backup safety Aaron Rouse (hamstring) and offensive lineman Jason Spitz (calf).

Beyond that, defensive lineman Mike Montgomery (knee) and offensive lineman Tony Palmer (neck) already have been ruled out for Sunday's game. And the Packers already have placed eight players, most notably third-down back Noah Herron and wide receiver Carlyle Holiday, on injured reserve.

In response to what might be the worst early-season injury situation he has seen, McCarthy didn't have his remaining healthy players practice in full pads on Wednesday.

"I haven't been in this situation ... as I can recall, even as an assistant, this early in the season," McCarthy said. "But that's where we are."

McCarthy said Morency, who hurt his knee on the first day of training camp, had a fairly full day of practice Wednesday.

That also was the case last week, when Morency had a good practice on Wednesday, but his knee flared up on Thursday and he was inactive for Sunday's victory over the New York Giants.

"He went most of the practice," McCarthy said. "I know we had him limited participation, but we worked him as much as we could, trying to get the other three guys ready, too. Tomorrow morning's medical review will be a factor in whether he goes this week or not."

The ongoing injury is frustrating to Morency, who came into training camp as the projected starter.

"I feel like I am a spark on this club," Morency said. "I want to be out there as soon as possible. But the doctors and the team and myself are trying to be smart. It's a long season. But I want to be out there ASAP. I'm doing my rehab, doing everything I'm supposed to do, and just praying every single day like I normally do."

If it was up to him, would he have been back out there already?

"Probably stupidly," Morency said. "Knowing that I'm not where I need to be at, but being a competitor, you feel like you can still help the team out any which way. Would I have been able to cut and play my game? No."

For now, Morency has been reduced to helping rookies Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn. Despite the 2-0 start, the Packers' running game has struggled in the first two games.

"Yeah, our running game is not where everybody expected it to be," Morency said. "But yet, it's still early in the season, and everybody's still learning. It'll get there."

McCarthy said Jennings, who also has been inactive for the first two games, most likely wouldn't return to practice until Friday. The outlook for the Packers' other injured starters also was unclear.

McCarthy said the players who didn't practice Wednesday would be pushed in rehabilitation, and he'd have a better idea on Thursday who might be available to play.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Vikings safeties Sharper, Smith, miss practice
September 19, 2007

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -The Minnesota Vikings' last line of defense is suddenly looking a little shaky.

Starting safeties Darren Sharper (hip) and Dwight Smith (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, the first day of preparation for Sunday's game at Kansas City.

Sharper intercepted two passes and Smith also picked off one in Sunday's loss at Detroit. If they cannot go, Tank Williams and Mike Doss will get the start.

Williams and Doss have a combined 11 years of experience, but Williams is coming off a major knee injury last season and Doss has been hampered by a calf injury since the third game of the preseason. Doss practiced on Wednesday, but was still listed on the injury report.

Running back Chester Taylor (hip/oblique), fullback Tony Richardson (forearm) and receiver Troy Williamson (hamstring) were limited in practice on Wednesday.

Coach Brad Childress said Sharper and Smith were doing some rehab work in the pool and Taylor was ``progressing.''

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Niners LB Manny Lawson out for season with torn knee ligament
September 20, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -Linebacker Manny Lawson will miss the rest of the San Francisco 49ers' season after tearing a ligament in his left knee.

Lawson, a starting outside linebacker in the 49ers' 3-4 defensive scheme, went down with the injury during Wednesday's practice. The injury didn't initially appear to be serious, and Lawson rode on a stationary bike for the rest of the team's workout.

But tests determined Thursday that Lawson tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

Lawson is second on the team with 14 tackles, showing impressive improvement from his rookie year. He started 11 games last season after San Francisco chose him with the 22nd overall selection, making 65 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks.

Veteran Hannibal Navies and seldom-used second-year pro Parys Haralson are the top candidates to replace Lawson.

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Vikings' QB Jackson misses again; Doss, Williams getting ready at safety
ASSOCIATED PRESS

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, and it's appearing more likely that veteran Kelly Holcomb will start for Minnesota against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jackson injured his groin in the fourth quarter against Detroit last Sunday, and has been unable to participate in the first two practices of the week.

But Vikings coach Brad Childress was still playing it coy Thursday, saying the window is still open for Jackson to recover and play at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

''I'm still keeping it open because I watched him move around and he did better this morning,'' Childress said.

Holcomb, acquired late in the preseason in a trade with Philadelphia to provide more experience behind the young Jackson, has been working to get acclimated with the Vikings and appears to have leapfrogged incumbent backup Brooks Bollinger on the depth chart.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Holcomb was ''absolutely'' ready to play if the Vikings need him Sunday. He also said that missing practice is more detrimental to a young player such as Jackson, who has only four career starts, as opposed to a veteran.

''I'll be honest with you, Tarvaris needs every rep that he can get,'' Bevell said. ''He needs to be in there. He needs to be running the offense.''

Still, the Vikings said that if Jackson is healthy, he's the starter.

In other injury news, safety Dwight Smith missed his second straight practice with a hamstring injury and fellow starting safety Darren Sharper (hip) was limited.

That makes the decision to keep veteran safeties Tank Williams and Mike Doss on the roster all the more important.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said he was preparing as if Doss and Williams would be playing most of the snaps in Sunday's game at Kansas City.

''We have to do that because neither Dwight nor Darren practiced yesterday, so you have to prepare that way,'' Frazier said. ''Hopefully they will both be ready by Sunday, but we have to get Tank and Mike ready.''

Doss has been bothered by a calf injury for the last month and hasn't played in a regular-season game since he tore knee ligaments while with the Indianapolis Colts against Washington on Oct. 22.

He has been practicing and said he feels ready to go if needed.

''It's been almost a year since I've been in a real, regular-season game,'' Doss said. ''I'm looking forward to getting back out there.''

Running back Chester Taylor (hip/oblique), fullback Tony Richardson (forearm) and receiver Troy Williamson (hamstring) were also limited in practice.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Dolphins' Zach Thomas could miss Sunday vs. Jets
ASSOCIATED PRESS

DAVIE, Fla. -- Dolphins middle linebacker Zach Thomas underwent tests Thursday for a possible concussion, and he may miss Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

Thomas played every snap in Miami's loss last week to Dallas but said he felt ''a little lightheaded'' in the locker room after the game, coach Cam Cameron said. Thomas complained of a migraine Wednesday and missed practice, which led to the tests.

Thomas has fought migraine and concussion problems in the past but has missed only 13 games in a 12-year career. A decision on whether he can play this week is likely by Friday, Cameron said.

''In a lot of cases, the player wants to play,'' the coach said. ''Sometimes you've just got to take a deep breath, and sometimes it's tough. You know what it means to lose a player like Zach Thomas. But there is a lot bigger picture out there that you are accountable to.''

If Thomas doesn't play, outside linebacker Channing Crowder would start in the middle, and Donnie Spragan would likely move into the lineup on the outside.

Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, had 10 tackles against the Cowboys. Teammate Joey Porter said Thomas displayed no symptoms during the game, other than repeatedly wanting a new mouthpiece.

''When you have a concussion or something, a new mouthpiece always fits tighter and you get a better grip on it,'' Porter said. ''He had a mouthpiece, but he just wanted another one. A brand new one is harder. The old one, you tend to chew on it, and you wear it out a little bit.''

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Week 3 betting news and notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arizona at Baltimore


Baltimore lost its only home game to Arizona on a field goal as time expired in a 16-13 defeat on Nov. 23, 1997. The Ravens have taken the other two meetings between the teams, the most recent coming during the 2003 season.

Buffalo at New England

Buffalo has lost 12 of its last 13 games to New England and hasn't won at Foxborough since a 16-13 victory on Nov. 5, 2000.

Detroit at Philadelphia

Philadelphia has won its last four meetings with Detroit by a combined 122-76. The Lions' last victory over the Eagles was a 13-11 win on Nov. 16, 1986.

Indianapolis at Houston

The Texans rank third in rushing defense but they're in the middle of the pack in defending the pass - a flaw that could hurt them against the Colts' Pro Bowl tandem. Peyton Manning has 25 touchdown passes against the Texans - tied for his most against any opponent - and Marvin Harrison has three consecutive 100-yard receiving games against them.

Miami at N.Y. Jets

Trent Green is having a shaky first season with the Dolphins, posting a quarterback rating of just 70.8 while throwing for 506 yards, three touchdowns and the four INTs. The Jets swept the season series with the Dolphins in 2006.

Minnesota at Kansas City

Kansas City is 20-4 at home against NFC teams since 1995, the best record in the NFL during that span.This is the first meeting between the teams since 2003, when Minnesota beat Kansas City 45-20 to even the all-time series at four wins apiece. The teams haven't played at Arrowhead Stadium since 1999.

San Diego at Green Bay

Green Bay has won seven of eight all-time meetings against San Diego, with the Chargers' only victory coming at Lambeau Field in 1984.

San Francisco at Pittsburgh

The 49ers have won four of their last five games against the Steelers, including two victories in Pittsburgh, where they haven't lost since Sept. 13, 1987.The Steelers, meanwhile, have won 11 of their last 12 interconference games since the beginning of the 2004 season.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

These teams have not met since a 28-21 St. Louis victory on Oct. 18, 2004. The Rams snapped a four-game losing streak in the series.

Cincinnati at Seattle


Seattle returns to the comforts of Qwest Field, where it rarely loses. The Seahawks are an NFC-best 27-6 at home since 2003, and beat Tampa Bay 20-6 there in Week 1.

Seattle is also 5-2 in its last seven games against the AFC.  Shaun Alexander has averaged 136.4 yards per game in his last five contests against AFC teams, scoring 10 touchdowns in those games.

Seattle is 23-2 when Alexander has at least two rushing scores in a game.These teams haven't met in Seattle since 1999. The Bengals beat the Seahawks 27-24 at home in 2003, tying the all-time series at eight wins apiece.

Cleveland at Oakland

Cleveland is playing its first road game of the season. The Browns lost their last three contests away from home in 2006 en route to posting a 2-6 road record for the second consecutive year.The franchise is 20-44 on the road since rejoining the NFL for the 1999 season.

Jacksonville at Denver

Denver outgained Jacksonville 188-12 on the ground in the most recent meeting to win 20-7 on Oct. 2, 2005. The Jaguars' only win in four all-time trips to Denver was a 30-27 upset on Jan. 4, 1997 that sent them to the AFC championship game in just their second year of existence.

Carolina at Atlanta

The Falcons have been held to a combined 14 points and 388 total yards in losing their last two home games against the Panthers. Carolina had lost its previous seven trips to the Georgia Dome.

N.Y. Giants at Washington

New York took both meetings with Washington last season, winning 19-3 at home on Oct. 8 before a 34-28 victory in the Dec. 30 matchup at FedEx Field. The all-time series is tied 37-37-1.

Dallas at Chicago

The Cowboys and Bears have not met since Thanksgiving Day 2004, as Julius Jones ran for 150 yards and two TDs on 33 attempts in Dallas' 21-7 victory.These teams have alternated wins in their last five meetings, but Chicago has won the last three matchups at Soldier Field.

Tennessee at New Orleans


The Titans will try for their fourth straight victory over the Saints and third in a row at the Superdome. Tennessee won 27-11 on Sept. 21, 2003 in the teams' most recent meeting.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Spaeth may be out for 49ers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Matt Spaeth, left, could miss Sunday's game against San Francisco.

Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth, who has two touchdown catches in two games, might have his scoring streak interrupted.

Spaeth (quad contusion) did not practice for the second day in a row and probably won't play against the San Francisco 49ers if he doesn't practice today, said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

"He's made some good progress, but we'll wait and see," Arians said. "If he can't practice [today], for a young guy, it would be hard to play on Sunday."

If Spaeth cannot play, veteran Jerame Tuman will move up to the second tight end against the 49ers. It also means Arians will use a fullback or an extra lineman in certain situations when the Steelers typically use a three-tight end formation.

Spaeth, a third-round draft choice from Minnesota, said he initially bruised his left thigh in the season-opening victory in Cleveland, then took another hit on the same area against the Buffalo Bills.

Spaeth came out of the game, stretched his thigh with the help of trainer John Norwig, and returned to play against the Bills. He caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter, his second in as many games.

"You don't feel it as much during the game with all the adrenaline going," Spaeth said. "But, a couple hours after the game you really feel it."

Other injuries

Running back Najeh Davenport (hamstring) and guard Kendall Simmons (shoulder) each returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday's session with injuries.

Each is expected to play against the 49ers.

49ers wide receiver Darrell Jackson (back), acquired in a trade from the Seattle Seahawks, did not practice for the second day in a row. Bajema (ankle) and receiver Arnaz Battle (groin) practiced on a limited basis.

Back comes Frazier

Linebacker Andre Frazier was glad to be back in the Steelers' locker room, slightly more than a year after he was released by the team.

The Steelers claimed him off waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals, who released him after their 51-45 loss to the Cleveland Browns to make room for linebacker Dhani Jones. The Steelers released linebacker Marquis Cooper to make room for Frazier.

"I'm familiar with all the guys," said Frazier, who originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent before the 2005 season. "Coach [Dick] LeBeau was here then, so there are a lot of things I still remember."

Frazier (6-5, 255) played one season with the Steelers and was with them in training camp last season. He made it to the final cut before he was released in favor of Arnold Harrison, another undrafted free agent.

During the final preseason game last season, Frazier was seen arguing on the sidelines with former coach Bill Cowher. Asked if that led to his release, Frazier said, "I don't know. We spoke face-to-face and he told me it was never like that. I'm taking him at his word, so I doubt it."

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Packers place Palmer on IR
September 20th, 2007

Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - The Green Bay Packers placed guard Tony Palmer on injured reserve Thursday.

Palmer played in the team's first two games this season, but is suffering from a neck injury.

He saw action in six games in 2006 as a rookie out of Missouri.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Cardinals' Johnson out
September 20th, 2007

Flagstaff, AZ (Sports Network) - Arizona Cardinals center Al Johnson will miss Sunday's game at Baltimore with a knee injury.

Johnson played in the opener against San Francisco, but sat out last week's 23-20 win against Seattle.

He is in his first year with Arizona after spending the first four seasons of his career with Dallas.

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McNair to start Sunday, Ogden out
Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair will start Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden will be out for the second consecutive week.

McNair missed last week's win over the New York Jets with a groin pull.

"Steve seems to have gotten through the week OK, so hopefully it will show up that way on Sunday," Ravens coach Brian Billick said Friday. "It was just a matter of how he felt. He felt pretty good, so that was the key."

Meanwhile, Ogden is definitely out with a nagging turf toe injury and a sprained left foot.

"It won't be this week, but he's progressing," Billick said.

Cornerback Samari Rolle missed practice for the second consecutive day because of illness.

"We'll see," Billick said. "He's got a little bit of a bug going on."

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Eagles TE Smith undergoes surgery, sidelined for Sunday
September 21st, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Eagles tight end L.J. Smith underwent surgery Friday to clean out scar tissue surrounding his injured groin, and will miss Sunday's game against Detroit.

Smith, who underwent successful offseason sports hernia surgery, strained his groin during training camp and continues to battle the injury. The tight end has posted just 26 yards on four receptions over the Eagles' first two games. Taking Smith's place against the Lions will be veteran Matt Schobel and rookie Brent Celek.

Smith has 172 receptions and 14 touchdowns over his four-year career in Philly. A second-round draft choice out of Rutgers in 2003, he earned the full-time starting job in 2005 and has since registered 111 catches and eight touchdowns in that role.

Also, running back Brian Westbrook practiced Friday, and is expected to start Sunday, while quarterback Donovan McNabb practiced without a brace on his surgically-repaired right knee. McNabb, playing his first meaningful game at Lincoln Financial Field since last November 19, when he tore his right ACL, connected on 28-of-46 passes for 240 yards in Monday's 20-12 loss to Washington.

On the defensive side, free safety Brian Dawkins, who suffered a neck stinger while tackling Todd Yoder and was forced out of Monday's game, did not practice Friday because of neck spasms, and cornerback Lito Sheppard participated in limited conditioning work. Dawkins remains a game-time decision.

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Burress questionable for Giants
September 21st, 2007

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burres is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Washington because of an ankle injury.

"He was limited," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin after practice on Friday. "He did some things. He didn't complete the full practice, but he did a few things and we will see. It is going to be one of those deals depending on how he feels on game day."

Burress has 10 catches for 176 yards and four touchdowns this season.

In other injury news, New York will again be without running back Brandon Jacobs, who suffered a sprained knee in Week 1 and missed Week 2 as a result.

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Jags could be without Henderson for first time in his 6-year career
September 21, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson missed his third consecutive practice Friday and was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at Denver.

Henderson, a two-time Pro Bowler who has not missed a game in his six-year career, suffered a concussion last week against Atlanta. He returned to the game later, then had to be helped to the locker room with what team officials called ``heat-related issues.''

If Henderson does not play, backup Rob Meier likely will start alongside Marcus Stroud.

The Jaguars have been banged up along the defensive line in recent weeks, with Stroud (ankle) and ends Paul Spicer (back) and Reggie Hayward (Achilles' tendon) still recovering from injuries.

Jacksonville, though, should have defensive tackle Tony McDaniel available for the first time this season. McDaniel sprained his left knee in the preseason and sat out the first two games. He returned to practice last week and was listed as probable Friday.

Cornerback Brian Williams (ankle) also missed practice Friday but was listed as probable.

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Colts' Morris, Clark, Diem questionable for game against Texans
September 21, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Colts linebacker Rob Morris may miss his second straight game because of a strained abdominal muscle.

Morris has been bothered by the injury since suffering it in practice late last week. He was held out of the Colts' 22-20 divisional road win over Tennessee and hasn't practiced since.

Colts coach Tony Dungy said Morris was not expected to play Sunday at Houston, but a final decision on his availability will be made that morning.

Tight end Dallas Clark and offensive tackle Ryan Diem also are listed as questionable with sore necks. Both sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday, but took part in Friday's workout.

Second-year offensive tackle Charlie Johnson, who missed the Colts' first two games due to a sprained left knee, returned to practice Thursday and may play Sunday.

Linebacker Freddy Keiaho, who missed the game against Tennessee after dislocating his right elbow in the season opener with New Orleans, will return to the starting lineup against the Texans.

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Week 3 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo

Week 1 in the NFL was a cornucopia of cash for square bettors as favorites posted a solid 11-5 record against the spread. But the books came back with a vengeance in the sequel, capitalizing on Overreaction Week when the chalk posted a feeble 4-12 mark against the number in Week 2. So what does that have in store for us in Week 3? Well, my friends, that's why they play the games.

We have three home dogs and three more games with teams favored by eight points or more this week -- both situations that a savvy bettor normally looks to exploit. But the question is whether or not you have the stones to back Buffalo and a 17-point lead or to take Atlanta at home against a shaky Carolina squad. Remember, it's not about being a hero - it's just about winning money.

OK, so that's pretty much the most boring lead I've ever written. Seriously, it's sickening and it's crap. Forgive me. But the truth is that I've spent so much time prying apart all of these games that I haven't had time to manufacture some cheesy storyline. Look, it's Week 3. We still don't know much about any of these teams. Injuries are rampant, no one can run more than 10 plays without fumbling, and the influx of young quarterbacks in the league has sharps making the same face that O.J. must've made when he heard the first siren. It's early, and while a lot of my preseason inclinations were sound there are some kinks to be worked out. In the meantime, sit back, relax, and soak in the knowledge of Doc's Sports Week 3 Power Rankings:

1) New England Patriots
(2-0) - It's just a matter of how much, if any, mercy this team will have this weekend against Buffalo. I mentioned it in this week's Ferringo Report but it bears repeating: the Patriots are 73-37-3 ATS since the start of 2001. That's a 66.4-percent clip. The Patriots have won 12 of the last 13 meetings and have held Buffalo to a TD or less in four of the last seven meetings.

2) San Diego Chargers
(1-1) - There has been a rush of mid-week money on San Diego, and I think it could force this number up to -6 or higher by kickoff. The Chargers are 16-7-2 ATS on the road and 16-5-2 ATS following a loss. And don't tell me San Diego isn't missing Cam Cameron and Wade Phillips right now.

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) - Granted, it has been against pretty feeble competition, but the Steelers have dominated both of their opponents this season. Pittsburgh is 13-2-2 against the total in its last 17 home games and 9-3-1 ATS against the NFC since the start of 2004. The Steelers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher against them in their past 27 games.

4) Indianapolis Colts (2-0) - The Colts are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games and are 1-3 ATS in their last four against Houston. They do have revenge on their side, losing 27-24 to the Texans last December. The Colts are 9-1 ATS as road favorites with revenge.

5) Chicago Bears (1-1) - I'm guessing the Bears defense will be geared up for T.O. this week. The Bears held perhaps the best two running backs in football - LT and LJ - to a combined 80 total rush yards in two games this year. Also, there are starting to be rumblings the Rex's time may be up if he doesn't start to produce. FINALLY!!!

6) Baltimore Ravens (1-1) - Brian Billick is a stellar 10-2 ATS against a team off a straight up win as an underdog. I think Steve McNair will play this weekend, but after watching him in the opener you have to wonder if that's a good thing.

7) Dallas Cowboys
(2-0) - Terrance Newman has been able to do a bit more this week in practice, and the return of Dallas' top corner can only help what has been a putrid defense. The Cowboys are 8-20-3 ATS after a win of more than 14 points, meaning they are constantly overvalued after a blowout.

8) Tennessee Titans (1-1) - You definitely have to worry about a letdown this week after Tennessee's near-upset of the Colts. However, playing on Monday Night Football - with an extra day of preparation and the juice of a primetime audience - should minimize that. Also, teams are 71-49 ATS (59.6 percent) after facing Indianapolis over the last seven years. The Titans are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 11-1 ATS as an underdog.

9) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) - The Jags have been ranked in the top 15 in rushing defense every year since 1999, including fourth last year. Jacksonville is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine road games but is 10-3-1 ATS as an underdog. The Jags have been allowing 4.9 yards per rush this year while Denver has yielded 5.1.

10) Washington Redskins (1-0) - Losing your top two offensive linemen (Jon Jansen, Randy Thomas) definitely hurts, but it also helps to have experienced veteran guys like Jason Fabini and Todd Wade to step in. In the Skins-Giants series, the favorite is 5-0 ATS and the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

11) Denver Broncos (2-0) - Travis Henry never runs well against Jacksonville. He averages a personal-low of 52.7 yards per game and 2.7 yards per carry against them. Denver is 0-7 ATS in AFC games but is 4-1 ATS against Jacksonville. Also, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in this series. Call me crazy, but I see some points getting put on the board in this one.

12) Houston Texans (2-0) - No Andre Johnson means no chance this week. Johnson has accounted for 60 percent of Houston's passing offense and 24 percent of its total offense. The Texans are 5-2 ATS as an underdog and 5-2 ATS at home lately. And get this: the home team is also 5-2 ATS in this series.

13) Philadelphia Eagles
(0-1) - That did not look like an Andy Reid team last Monday Night. Reid is 5-2-1 ATS on a Sunday game following a MNF contest. This team has big questions in its secondary. The Eagles are 39-11 SU when Donovan McNabb completes more than 60 percent of his passes. Also, Brian Westbrook will be limited this weekend with a strained knee. Things are not looking good in Philly.

14) Green Bay Packers (2-0) - Banged up isn't the word for what the Packers are. A whopping 15 players - including six starting defenders - were on the injury report and limited in practice this week. Most will play, but you have to wonder about how physical they can be against the Chargers. Green Bay is 3-9-2 ATS at home and 4-9 ATS following a win.

15) Seattle Seahawks (1-1) - If Seattle can't generate pressure with their front four again this week they are in big, big trouble. Shaun Alexander will again be playing with a protective cast on his left wrist, but there is no word yet on whether or not he'll take his tampon out and run like a power back. Seattle is 9-4-1 ATS at home and 1-6-1 ATS as a favorite.

16) New Orleans Saints (0-2) - The Saints are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games and haven't covered since their Sunday Night blowout win over Dallas. And if you're expecting a boost from the home crowd, know that New Orleans is just 8-20-1 ATS as a home favorite. Maybe last year really was a fluke.

17) San Francisco 49ers (2-0) - Mike Nolan has been getting criticized this week for being too conservative with the offense, so look for him to open it up a bit this week. San Francisco has been so poor because they are just 6-for-25 on third down. The Niners have been outscored 95-23 in the first half of their last five games in the Eastern Time Zone. Also, SF lost Manny Lawson for the year with a torn ACL.

18) Carolina Panthers (1-1) - What a shaky, sketchy team this is. Carolina is just 5-12-4 ATS against Atlanta in the organization's history, but they are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings. Carolina is 21-9-2 ATS on the road and a stellar 11-3 ATS in domes.

19) Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) - There is a very distinct ceiling on how good this team can be because it simply does not have NFL-caliber linebackers on the roster. Now they've signed retread Dhani Jones to bolster the cause. Cincinnati is 15-5-1 ATS in its last 21 road games.

20) New York Jets (0-2) - You have to be impressed with how New York battled back against the Ravens last week. Now they face Miami, a team the Jets have covered seven consecutive times against. New York is also 7-1-1 against Miami in the Meadowlands.

21) St. Louis Rams
(0-2) - The Rams are 3-12 on the road against non-divisional NFC opponents. The Rams are 4-12 ATS as a dog between 3.5 and 10.0. They are also 9-42-2 ATS after failing to rush for 90 yards in their previous game.

22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(1-1) - The Bucs are 2-7-1 ATS against the NFC and 3-8-1 ATS overall. The Bucs are 0-8 ATS after a blowout win of 14 or more. The Bucs are 4-0-1 ATS vs. the Rams. The underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in this series.

23) Detroit Lions (2-0) - Before we get too excited about the Detroit defense let's remember that they've faced Josh McCown and Tav Jackson to this point. It will be interesting to see how the Lions o-line handles Philly's blitz-heavy defensive scheme. Jon Kitna was getting crushed last weekend whenever the Vikings blitzed. Detroit is 3-8-1 ATS against the NFC.

24) Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) - Right now the Chiefs have nearly as many punts (12) as they do total points (13). Not good. What is good is getting back All Pro end Jared Allen. What else is good is Kansas City's 11-3 ATS mark at Arrowhead.

25) Oakland Raiders (0-2) - The Raiders are 21-45-1 ATS since he middle of 2002. So, if you had bet $1,000 against the Raiders and on the Patriots every week since 2002 you would be up over $50K. Oakland is 0-6 SU and ATS as a favorite dating back to 2005.

26) Miami Dolphins (0-2) - Zach Thomas has been out of practice this week with migraines and concussion-like symptoms. Also, the Miami secondary is in shambles. At the moment it looks like Mike Lehan will get more work at corner and Travis Daniels will get his first start at safety.

27) New York Giants
(0-2) - The good news is that most Yankees fans I know are also Giants fans, so when I get sick of listening to them bust my balls about the Mets' collapse and their late run I just switch the topic to football and bring up their G-Men. You can literally see the blood rush out of their face. It's beautiful.

28) Cleveland Browns (1-1) - Antwan Peek was a steal for this team in the offseason. Houston had given up on him, but now that Willie McGinest is out he's paying big dividends. Cleveland is 3-0 ATS in its last three trips to Oakland, but Charlie Frye was QB for two of them. Don't be surprised to see Oakland squibbing the ball away from suddenly dangerous return man Josh Cribbs.

29) Arizona Cardinals (1-1) - Another thing to consider about this weeks' game in Baltimore is that Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are used to game planning against the Ravens defense. However, where Seattle couldn't control the line of scrimmage against the Cards, that's something I don't think Baltimore will have trouble with.

30) Minnesota Vikings (1-1) - Is anyone else bothered that the Vikings don't know who their quarterback is this week? Apparently it hasn't fazed bettors, who have pounded the Vikings all week. But I've seen this out of Minnesota before: the Vikings are 7-15 ATS on grass.

31) Buffalo Bills (0-2) - Friction is developing between J.P. Losman and OC Chad Fairchild. Losman wants the playbook opened up and Fairchild wants the plays that are being called to actually be executed. Maybe next week. Losman has one TD and five INT's to go along with his 54.1 rating in three starts against New England.

32) Atlanta Falcons (0-2) - I don't think that what a team that's given up 13 sacks in two games needs is a statue at QB, and that's just what they're getting in Leftwich. Also, the Falcons may be without LT Wayne Gandy (hamstring) meaning they'll be going with an undrafted rookie free agent going against Julius Peppers. Atlanta is -10-1 ATS in their last 12 games as a home dog between 3.5 to 10.0.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Steelers' Spaeth to miss 49ers game with quadriceps injury
September 22, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Steelers rookie tight end Matt Spaeth will miss Sunday's game against San Francisco after not practicing all week because of a bruised quadriceps.

Spaeth, a third-round draft pick, had a touchdown catch in each of the first two games among his three receptions for 15 yards. He has been playing as the No. 2 tight end behind former first-round draft pick Heath Miller.

Jerame Tuman will replace Spaeth as Miller's primary backup.

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Bears' Walker questionable with quad injury
September 22nd, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Chicago Bears defensive tackle Darwin Walker has been added to the injury report with a quadriceps problem and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Walker is in his first year with the Bears, who dealt an undisclosed 2008 draft pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the veteran. The Bills had picked up Walker in a March trade with Philadelphia, but were unable to sign him to a long-term deal.

The Bears then signed Walker to a five-year contract.

In the first two games this season, Walker has six tackles, three solo.

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Re: NFL News and Notes Week 3

Where the action is: NFL line moves
Covers.com

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans: +5 to +6 ½

Houston is off to an impressive 2-0 start, but it faces a tough task against the defending Super Bowl champion Colts. The Texans will not have two-time Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson on the field today.

“I told everybody to stay up high on this one,” Pete Korner, founder of the Sports Club in Las Vegas, says. “Come Sunday, books don’t want to be rooting for the Texans.”

Korner’s group sent out +6 ½ before learning of Johnson’s injury.

“That just reinforces it. (Johnson) has influence on the line. I mean he’s a big player.”

San Diego Chargers at Green Bay Packers: +4 ½ to +6

Though the Packers are undefeated, and are home this weekend, sports books still have them as underdogs. Korner says Green Bay would be getting even more points if the Chargers hadn’t looked so bad Sunday night against the New England Patriots.

“We originally had +6, but we adjusted to +4 ½ after the Chargers’ performance,” Korner says. “We probably overreacted. I’ve been telling my customers to get to 5. If you’re not there, get there. I don’t like books moving on air, but the number is too low.”

If San Diego is going to cover the spread it will need more from running back LaDainian Tomlinson. The defending league MVP has just 68 rushing yards in two games.

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers: -8 ½ to –10

Pittsburgh has looked great so far under new coach Mike Tomlin, but the club hasn’t played a quality team. The action suggests the public still likes the Steelers to win easily.

“We sent out –8 ½ and our thinking was the number had to be smaller than last week against Buffalo,” Korner says. “Obviously the bettors like Pittsburgh. It’s not so much an anti-San Francisco sentiment than being more pro-Pittsburgh.”

Pittsburgh has outscored its opponents in the first two weeks of the season, 60-10.

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