What They have to Do to Win on Sunday

<b> St. Louis at Buffalo </b><br><b>What the Rams have to do to win:</b> <br> Offensively, The Bills usually do a pretty solid job against the run but the Rams will have to make some sort of attempt to get some good runs in.

If successful, that will help open up their passing game.

Also, they should pick on CB Terrence McGee who will start again for veteran CB Troy Vincent. McGee's play and has been up and down this season.

Additionally, they must do a good job in pass protection because the Bills have good ends.

Defensively, like so many teams have done successfully, put heat on veteran QB Drew Bledsoe. He can barely get out of his own way these days.

They'll also have to slow down RB Willis McGahee who matches up well against their smallish linebackers and front four.

What the Bills have to do to win:

Offensively, get McGahee involved early and often in order to keep the high-powered Rams' offense off of the field. If successful, that will help open up the passing game because the Rams would then have to keep an extra defender in to help.

They also must protect Bledsoe well because the Rams have can bring heat off the edge with veteran end Leonard Little.

Defensively, go with some overload blitzes on RT Grant Williams' side. He's the weak link on the Rams' offensive line. They have to get pressure on QB Marc Bulger or he will carve them up.



Arizona at Carolina

What the Cardinals have to do to win:

Offensively, the Panthers have been struggling stopping the run so the Cardinals should look to run the ball as much as possible. That's the best way for them to win the game since they don't have a good passing game.

Defensively, the Panthers won't scare anyone with their running game so the Cardinals must shut down their passing game which has been solid for a while. DE Bert Berry will need to continue his fine play of late and get pressure on whoever starts at quarterback for the Panthers.

What the Panthers have to do to win:

Offensively, muster some sort of a running game. It won't be easy because they're down to mainly backups.

The way that the Panthers have been moving the ball is in the air so they should continue to get veteran WR Mushin Muhammad the ball. He has a good size advantage on the Cardinals cornerbacks.

Defensively, the Cardinals have become a run-orientated offense so the Panthers will have to stop the run. It won't be easy with MLB Dan Morgan out with a concussion. If they can stop the run or control it, that will give them a very good chance to win.



Detroit at Minnesota

What the Lions have to do to win:

Offensively, they have to make a big commitment to the running game like they did last week with rookie Kevin Jones. If successful, that will help them control the clock and keep the Vikings' offense off of the field.

Also, QB Joey Harrington must do a good job of managing the game and not turning the ball over.

Defensively, minimize the big play capability of QB Daunte Culpepper. That's when he's at his best. With WR Randy Moss out, do more blitzing.

What the Vikings have to do to win:

Offensively, the Lions have a solid run defense so it won't be easy to move the ball on the ground. However, the Vikings have two versatile backs in Onterrio Smith and Michael Bennett so they'll need to take advantage of strengths.

Although Moss is out, they'll need another receiver to step up and have a big game like second-year WR Nate Burleson did last week against Green Bay.

Defensively, get after QB Joey Harrington who has been struggling of late. He's one or two bad plays away from being pulled.

They also have to do a better job against the run than they have been doing lately.



Denver at New Orleans

What the Broncos have to do to win:

Offensively, the Saints can't stop the run so commit to running the ball early and often with Reuben Droughns. He should have a huge game. If he does, that will help open up the deep passing game. The Saints secondary has been shaky all season so we would expect the Broncos to take their shots down field with third-year WR Ashley Lelie.

Defensively, control their running game. If they can, that will limit their ability to throw the football.

What the Saints have to do to win:

Offensively, they have to establish their running game against what is generally believed to be a good run defense. If they can, that will force Denver to keep an extra defender in the box.

Defensively, they must find a way to stop the run or it will be a long game. If they can, they'll be able to stay in the base defense.



Indianapolis at Chicago

What the Colts have to do to win:

Offensively, keep doing that they have been doing all season. Run the ball early in order to open up the passing game. The bears are without MLB Brian Urlacher so they should run it inside to test his replacement Hunter Hillenmeyer.

Defensively, they have to control the Bears' running game because that's their "bread and butter". If they can, it will be a long day for their offense because their passing game has been mostly non-existent.

What the Bears have to do to win:

Offensively, use both backs to get their running game going and that way it will keep the Colts' high-powered offense off of the field. The Colts generally don't do a good job against the run despite their overall ranking.

Defensively, they must stop the Colts from running the ball and make them more predictable if possible.

They'll also have to find a way to slow down their passing game. If it takes going with an extra defensive back, then so be it.



Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

What the Steelers have to do to win:

Offensively, continue to run the ball and control the clock. That will take the pressure off of rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger to have to win the game on his own.

Defensively, get after QB Carson Palmer with their usual zone blitzes. That will help get sacks and force turnovers.

They'll also have to do a better job against RB Rudi Johnson than they did in the first matchup earlier this season.

What the Bengals have to do to win:

Offensively, pound the ball inside where the Steelers are missing tackle Casey Hampton. If they're not successful, it could be a long game. If they can have some success, that should help open up the passing game with no.1 WR Chad Johnson.

Defensively, they have to stop the run, period. That's how the Steelers set everything up and they have been great at controlling the clock. Make Roethlisberger have to play from behind-something that he hasn't been asked to do.



New York Jets at Cleveland

What the Jets have to do to win:

Offensively, continue to run the ball effectively from the outset of the game in order to take the pressure off of QB Quincy Carter.

Defensively, their front four should have their way all day against the Browns' offensive line. If they are successful, that will shut down their offense.

What the Browns have to do to win:

Defensively, shut down RB Curtis Martin and make Carter beat them. It's that simple. If they want to win, it's all about stopping Martin.



Dallas at Baltimore

What the Cowboys have to do to win:

Offensively, continue to spread the field and run out of one-back sets. That's the only way we see them having any success on the ground.

Also, go maximum protection in order to give QB Vinny Testaverde time to throw. The Ravens' cornerbacks are banged up so they should go after their replacements.

Defensively, control RB Jamal Lewis who could be in for a big day with the return of LT Jonathan Ogden.

What the Ravens have to do to win:

Offensively, make a commitment to run Lewis at least 25 times. Dallas had a hard time even stopping ancient RB Dorsey Levens last week.

Defensively, get after Testaverde who can't move at all. Don't get him be a pocket passer on Sunday.



San Francisco at Tampa Bay

What the 49ers have to do to win:

Offensively, run right inside the middle of the Buccaneers' defense that will be without star DT Anthony McFarland. Their secondary is also banged up so they should get TE Eric Johnson heavily involved.

Defensively, blitz QB Brian Griese early and often so he can't continue his solid play.

What the Buccaneers have to do to win:

Offensively, go after their inexperienced cornerbacks who have been giving up big plays. Rookie WR Michael Clayton should be heavily involved. The 49ers also don't cover the tight ends well so they should get Ken Dilger involved like they have been doing of late.

Defensively, they'll have to get after QB Tim Rattay who has become a very efficient passer.



Tennessee at Jacksonville

What the Titans have to do to win:

Offensively, it won't be easy to run the ball against the Jaguars but they have to attempt to get something done in order to open up the passing game.

When called upon, they may need no.2 WR Drew Bennett to come up big again like he did last week because this should be a low scoring game.

Defensively, they have a lot of injuries up front and in the secondary but the replacements must step up their level of play.

They must control the Jaguars' running game because Jacksonville would love to run the ball 25-30 times in order to take the pressure off of QB David Garrard.

What the Jaguars have to do to win:

Offensively, do what they did last week. Feed RB Fred Taylor plenty as mentioned above, that will take the pressure off of Garrard.

Defensively, continue to stop the run and make whoever plays at quarterback for Tennessee beat them.


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