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Milt Northrop’s Sunday playbook: Bengals and Steelers renew their feud

Welcome back Rams and L.A. Coliseum.

If you grew watching NFL football in the ’50s and ’60s, a late Sunday afternoon television often featured the Los Angeles Rams from the L.A. Coliseum, especially some history games against the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

And, the historic stadium in L.A. was the set for many football movies, including “Crazylegs,” the life story of Rams star receiver Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch. Elroy played himself and most of his Rams teammates, including Bob Waterfield, Norm Van Brocklin, Night Train Lane and Andy Robustelli, had cameo roles.

Sunday, the Rams add a sidelight to an attractive Week Two schedule when they play their first regular-season game in the Coliseum since the finale of 1979 season. They lost that one to the New Orleans Saints, of all people. The Saints scored the final 27 points to win, 29-14, and finish 8-8, the first non-losing season in franchise history.

Those Rams went on to the NFC playoffs where they defeated Dallas, 21-19, when Vince Ferragamo passed to Billy Waddy for a 50-yard touchdown play. It was Roger Staubach’s last in the NFL. L.A. went on to the Super Bowl XIV, losing to Pittsburgh.

Only 53,000-plus saw that last Rams game in the Coliseum. Sunday, nearly 90,000 will see the return of a real NFL game to Los Angeles.

Enough ancient history. Here’s a capsule look at the Week Two games:

Game of the week Bengals (1-0) at Steelers (1-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Steelers (-3½).

The scoop: Cincy lucky to squeak past Jets by a point at MetLife last week, while Steelers were impressive in hammering Redskins on the road. This has become a fierce AFC Central rivalry. Steelers dominated series in ’70s, Bengals in ’80s, Steelers again in ’90s. Since 2000, Pittsburgh is 23-9 against the Cats. Bengals won at Pittsburgh (16-10) last season but Steelers took the return game, 33-20. ... Game may revolved around two best receivers in AFC − Antonio Brown of Steelers and A.J. Green of Bengals.

Outlook: Playing Heinz Field opener, Steelers outmuscle division rivals, 20-13.

Top attractions Chiefs (1-0) at Texans (1-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Texans (-2).

The scoop: Chiefs showed gumption, coming back from 21 down at home to beat Chargers in overtime in opener. Houston passed first test of Brock Osweiler Project but that was against Bears. KC routed Houston, 30-0, in wild-card round of AFC playoffs last year and won regular season meeting in Houston, 27-20. ...Chiefs RB Spencer Ware had 199 scrimmage yards (129 rushing in only seven attempts and 70 receptions) last week. ... Osweiler completed 22 of 35 in first game. Five of his completions went to rookie receiver Will Fuller for 21.4 average and one TD. Then there’s DeAndre Hopkins.

Outlook: Chiefs avoided possible disastrous loss in home opener to weak division opponent. Now they get down to business. Kansas City, 27-21.

Dolphins (0-1) at Pats (1-0)

TV: CBS, 1 p.m.

The line: Patriots (- 6½).

The scoop: Pats winning at supposed Arizona powerhouse without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and two starting O-linemen has to be impressive. ... Dolphins took lead with 4:08 left at Seattle, but couldn’t hold on and lost, 12-10, in debut of head coach Adam Gase. Jimmy Garoppolo was almost error-free in starting debut for Pats, passing for 264 and one touchdown. ... Dolphins had only 222 total yards at Seattle.

Outlook: Dolphins have won three of last five against New England, but Miami has not won in Foxborough since 2008. Fish keep it close this time. New England, 27-24.

Packers (1-0) at Vikings (1-0)

TV: NBC, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Packers (-2½).

The scoop: Minnesota celebrates first regular season game at new stadium ... Outcome between two rivals from the Great North probably will decide NFC Central as it did a year ago when Vikes took season finale at Lambeau, 20-13. Packers won earlier in Minneapolis, 30-13. ... Look for Sam Bradford to make first Minnesota start at QB. Shaun Hill started 25-16 win at Tennessee but produced no offensive touchdowns. Vikings got two defensive scores and four Blair Walsh FGs. Adrian Peterson was held to 31 yards and 1.6 average. ... Packers did not impress in 27-23 win at Jacksonville.

Outlook: This game belongs on frozen tundra somewhere. Vikings won’t be able to match points with Aaron Rodgers et al. Packers, 23-14.

Bucs (1-0) at Cardinals (0-1)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Cardinals (-6½).

The scoop: After loss in home opener to Patriots, the pressure is on Cards not to go 0-2 at home to start season and falling two games behind Seahawks in division ... Bucs’ second-year QB Jameis Winston very impressive in opener, throwing for four TDS and 122.6 rating. He has big talented receiving corps and workhorse RB Doug Martin. ... Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald almost singlehandedly beat Patriots in second-half rally last week. Fitzgerald must be licking his chops of prospect of facing Bills’ secondary next week.

Outlook: Winston for real. Bucs make Cards sweat, but lose, 28-27.

Colts (0-1) at Broncos (1-0)

TV: CBS, 4:25 p.m.

The line: Broncos (-6).

The scoop: Indy has won six of last seven against Denver, including 27-24 win at home last November before QB Andrew Luck was injured. They are 3-1 in Denver since 2006. ... Broncos RB C.J. Anderson had 92 rushing yards in opening win over Carolina. ... Indy gave up 448 yards in home loss to Lions and couldn’t hold lead for last 37 seconds after rallying from 21-3 deficit. ... Trevor Siemian had semi-impressive start at QB for Denver last week, but passed for only 178 yards.

Outlook: Luck makes Colts dangerous, but Broncos win, 20-17.

Best of the rest 49ers (1-0) at Panthers (1-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Panthers (- 13½)

The scoop: Difficult to judge Niners off 28-0 win over woeful Rams. Panthers have won last four times the teams have met in regular season, but Niners won 2013 playoff game, 23-10, in Charlotte. ... 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert completed 22 of 35 vs. Rams but for only 170 yards. ... Cam Newton (194 yards) wasn’t much better in loss at Denver.

Outlook: Carolina in no danger here but Panthers lack in explosiveness on offense. They grind out 20-10 win.

Titans (0-1) at Lions (1-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Lions (- 5½).

The scoop: Titans had chance to upset Vikings last week except for TDs off Marcus Mariota turnovers. ... Matthew Stafford passed for 340 yards and three touchdowns in win at Indy.

Outlook: Titans unimpressive, but Lions “D” blew 21-point lead last week. Detroit, 30-27.

Saints (0-1) at Giants (1-0)

TV: Fox, 1 p.m.

The line: Giants (- 4½).

The scoop: Only the Saints could roll up 507 yards and lose (Oakland, 35-34). Drew Brees of Saints passed for league-high 423 yards and four touchdowns last week, but that was at home versus Raiders. Giants squeaked by at Dallas, 20-19.

Outlook: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz should have huge games against Saints’ secondary. Giants 35-21.

Cowboys (0-1) at ’Skins (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Redskins (-3ø).

The scoop: Dallas gets another bitter NFC East rival to start the season. Cowboys’ rookie QB Zak Prescott gets his first road test. Passed for 227 yards but no TDs in loss to Giants. Rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott had so-so debut (51 yards, 2.6 average). ... Should be a lot of fireworks when Redskins CB Josh Norman goes against Dez Bryant of Cowboys. ... Dallas won in Landover last year, in Redskins’ last loss before closing regular season with four straight wins.

Outlook: Cowboys can’t do it without Romo. Washington, 30-17.

Se’hawks (1-0) at Rams (0-1)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Seahawks (-3½)

The scoop: Rams looks totally ineffective with Case Keenum at QB in getting shut out at San Francisco (28-0). ... Seattle pulled out home win over Miami when Russell Wilson guided final TD drive.

Outlook: Can’t see Rams’ offense going anywhere against Seattle defense. Think return to L.A. Coliseum won’t be extra motivation for former Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll? Seahawks, 24-3.

Falcons (0-1) at Raiders (1-0)

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.

The line: Raiders (-4½).

The scoop: Two years into his tenure, pressure already building on Atlanta coach Dan Quinn. Last week’s home loss to Buccaneers was third in a row against divisional rival. Falcons were 1-5 in division last season. ... Raiders must believe after coming from behind twice to win at New Orleans.

Outlook: Raiders gave up slew of passing yards to Saints, but Matt Ryan is no Drew Brees. Oakland, 24-16.

Jags (0-1) at Chargers (0-1)

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.

The line: Chargers (-3).

The scoop: Chargers built 24-3 lead, then fell apart after losing Keenan Allen (knee) in Kansas City. They still were in front, 27-10, in fourth quarter and lost. ... San Diego situation calling for a housecleaning from ownership on down. Jags kept Green Bay out of end zone in second half, but still lost, 27-23. They had only two FGs in second half themselves.

Outlook: Chargers have routed Jax each of last two seasons. San Diego, 31-24.

Eagles (1-0) at Bears (0-1)

TV: ESPN, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Bears (-3).

The scoop: Renewal of rivalry between old line NFL franchises that goes back to the 1930s, when Monsters of Midway never lost to Eagles. ... Rookie QB Carson Wentz passed for 278 yards, 2 TDs and no INTs in Phily debut last week. ... Bears led at half but offense could produce nothing in second half at Houston in opener.

Outlook: Wentz passed a major test on road at Soldier Field. Eagles, 28-22.

Dog of the week Ravens (1-0) at Browns (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Ravens (-7).

The scoop: All the luck in Cleveland has gone to Cavaliers and Indians. Last thing Browns needed was to lose QB Robert Griffin III for two months. Veteran Josh McCown gets start but doesn’t have much to work with. ... Ravens’ 13 points at home against Bills not so impressive now when you consider how Ryan Fitzpatrick lit up Buffalo D.

Outlook: Ravens lack some weapons, but Brown have almost none. Baltimore 20-9.

Last week’s record: 11-4 outright, 12-3 versus spread.


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