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Six unbeaten teams take their acts on the road

Six of the National Football League's seven unbeaten teams get road-tested in a full schedule of games for Week Three. The only unbeaten playing at home will be the Buffalo Bills, who face the unbeaten New England Patriots today at Ralph Wilson Stadium in what should be the most interesting game of the day.

As for the other unbeatens, we'll find out a lot more about the worthiness of the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.

None has an easy task, facing either proven opponents, in the case of Houston at New Orleans, or facing familiar divisional rivals, as in the case of the Redskins at Dallas and the Packers at the Chicago Bears. The Jets take on an Oakland team still smarting from last week's last-minute loss to the Bills. Here's a capsule look at the Week Three games:

>Game of the day

Patriots (2-0) at Bills (2-0)

TV: Ch. 4, 1 p.m.

The line: Patriots (-7)

The scoop: Buffalo hasn't beaten the Pats since the opener of the 2003 season (31-0), a 15-game drought that has dropped the Bills' overall record against Bill Belichick-coached teams to 3-20. Surprisingly, the Bills and Fred Jackson lead the NFL in rushing, as a team and individually, and have scored the most points. Tom Brady and the Patriots lead the league in passing yards and total offense.

Outlook: It will come down to which side can stop the other's passing game. Ryan Fitzpatrick has directed an uncanny short passing game for the Bills. Expect the Pats to crowd the short zones with LBs and DBs and try to inflict punishment on the receivers, though the Pats have some injury concerns in secondary. Patriots, 31-20.


>Top attractions

Texans (2-0) at Saints (1-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Saints (-4)

The scoop: Facing the Saints in the Superdome may expose Houston, which had its way with the winless Colts and Dolphins so far. RB Arian Foster of the Texans will probably miss this one, meaning capable Ben Tate will carry the rushing load. Saints haven't shown much of a running game, but most teams like to attack the Texans through the air, anyway.

Outlook: Drew Brees and Co. have a field day, 42-24.


Jets (2-0) at Raiders (1-1)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Jets (-3)

The scoop: Raiders QB Jason Campbell will face more pressure in the pocket than last week against the Bills. Raiders are giving up 131 yards a game on the ground, but Jets are averaging only 73 and will be without C Nick Mangold. Last time Jets visited Oakland they embarrassed Silver and Black, 38-0, in 2009.

Outlook: Raiders have balance, speed and toughness to upset Jets in home opener. Oakland, 27-26.


Packers (2-0) at Bears (1-1)

TV: Ch. 29, 4 p.m.

The line: Packers (-4)

The scoop: Bears swept arch-rivals in winning NFC North last season, then fell to Green Bay (21-14) in NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field. Chicago offense struggled at New Orleans last week (three-and-out six times). Packers had to rally for win at lowly Carolina.

Outlook: Can't see Bears keeping up with attack of Aaron Rodgers and Packers. Green Bay, 27-14.


Redskins (2-0) at Cowboys (1-1)

TV: ESPN, Monday, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Cowboys (-5 1/2 )

The scoop: Big question is whether Dallas QB Tony Romo (rib) can play and play effectively. Washington averaging 123 yards on the ground, typical for a Mike Shanahan team. Dallas allowing only 59.5 rushing yards and leads NFC in overall defense (283).

Outlook: Redskins may be NFC's most improved. Washington, 24-23.


Giants (1-1) at Eagles (1-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Eagles (-8)

The scoop: Giants' fake-injury tactics against Rams' no-huddle last Monday tainted the memory of former team President Wellington Mara, one of the most honorable men in NFL history. Shame on you, Coughlin. New York blew two games to Eagles last season, including a 38-31 game in December that ended with 65-yard DeSean Jackson punt return for TD. New York has lost last five to rivals from other end of New Jersey Turnpike. Michael Vick (head) is expected to get clearance to play for Eagles, otherwise No. 3 QB Mike Kafka could get the start.

Outlook: Giants will run ball with Bradshaw and Jacobs against Eagles' D, which is giving up 146 on the ground. New York, 19-17.


>Best of the rest

Jaguars (1-1) at Panthers (0-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Panthers (-3)

The scoop: Cam Newton makes third start for Carolina and another rookie, Blaine Gabbert of the Jags, will make his debut as starter after Luke McCown disaster last week (four INTs). Newton, who has passed for average of 427 yards in two losses, goes against a Jacksonville defense that has been stout so far.

Outlook: NFL reception leader Steve Smith (14 catches, 334 yards) will have another big day. Panthers, 28-17.


49ers (1-1) at Bengals (1-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Bengals (-2 1/2 )

The scoop: Rookie combo of QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green makes the Bengals dangerous. Niners have struggled to get offense going despite QB Alex Smith's 70.5 completion rate. It's Cincinnati's home opener.

Outlook: Niners' defense shapes up after giving up 427 passing yards to Dallas. San Francisco, 24-16.

Dolphins (0-2) at Browns (1-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Browns (-2)

The scoop: Fish happy to be on the road after losing 11 of last 12 at home. Browns have soft early schedule. Things don't get tough until the end, when they face Ravens and Steelers twice each in last five weeks. Gulp. Miami rookie RB Daniel Thomas debuted with 107-yard game last week.

Outlook: Miami hasn't won in Cleveland since 1993. Drought ends today, 20-17.


Lions (2-0) at Vikings (0-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Lions (-3)

The scoop: Lions impressive so far with road win at Tampa Bay and home win over sorry Chiefs, which, perhaps, proved nothing. Minnesota has tortured the Lions over the years in their NFC North rivalry, winning 16 of last 18. Lions have not won in Minneapolis since their last series sweep of Vikes in 1997. Matthew Stafford of Lions is tied for NFL lead with seven TD passes. With Adrian Peterson leading the way, Vikings averaging 172.5 yards on the ground, but only 120.0 through the air.

Outlook: Minny has blown two halftime leads so far, which makes the Purple very angry. Vikings, 30-27.


Broncos (1-1) at Titans (1-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Titans (-7)

The scoop: Denver takes to road for first time. Broncos have lost seven in a row away from Mile High since 26-20 win over Titans in Nashville in Week Four of last season. Opponents have been crowding the line of scrimmage against Titans, a big reason Chris Johnson hasn't broken loose yet (77 yards in two games). Titans averaging only 58.5 on the ground. Broncos almost ran out of WRs in win over Bengals last week but got five-catch, 113-yard game out of Eric Decker.

Outlook: Matt Hasselbeck of Titans directed four long drives against Ravens last week. It should be easier against Denver. Tennessee, 24-13.


Ravens (1-1) at Rams (0-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Ravens (-4)

The scoop: Baltimore has to rebound from road loss at Tennessee last week while Rams had a mistake-filled Monday Night loss to Giants. St. Louis needs RB Steven Jackson back and ready to rumble. Rams will have hands full protecting Sam Bradford from Ravens' rush, led by Terrell Suggs, who has three sacks so far and intercepted a pass last week.

Outlook: Expecting workmanlike showing from Ravens, 20-7.


Chiefs (0-2) at Chargers (1-1)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Chargers (-14 1/2 ).

The scoop: In opener against visiting K.C. last year, San Diego's special teams problems first emerged. Chargers allowed 94-yard punt return by Dexter McCluster in 21-14 loss. Bolts pounded Chiefs, 31-0, later at Arrowhead, but by then the division was virtually lost. Four turnovers in last six possessions doomed Chargers last week at New England. Chiefs were humbled for second straight week, at Detroit, 48-3, and have been outscored 89-10 so far.

Outlook: Expect K.C. to play better but Chiefs have lost six of last seven to Chargers. San Diego, 35-20.


Falcons (1-1) at Buccaneers (1-1)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Buccaneers (-1 1/2 )

The scoop: With Vick out, Falcons came back to beat Eagles in home opener last Sunday night while Bucs woke up in second half and won at Minnesota, scoring all 24 of their points. Atlanta came back from 10-point deficit in fourth to defeat Bucs, 28-24, last year, dropping them four games behind in NFC South race.

Outlook: Early season game Falcons really need to win to stay with Saints in division race. Atlanta, 27-23.


Steelers (1-1) at Colts (0-2)

TV: Ch. 2, 8:20 p.m.

The line: Steelers (-10 1/2 )

The scoop: The expectation is that Steelers will have their way against immobile and fumble-prone Kerry Collins. Ironically, Collins has a 3-1 record and 5-1 TD-INT ratio in his career against Pitt.

Outlook: Colts look like dead ducks without Peyton Manning. Steelers, 24-12.


>Dog of the day

Cardinals (1-1) at Seahawks (0-2)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Cardinals (-3 1/2 )

The scoop: Seattle is last in league in total offense (191.5) and rushing (47.5), but Arizona is 29th in defense. Seahawks won both meetings of NFC West rivals last season when Cardinals (5-11) finished two games behind division-winning Seahawks (7-9).

Outlook: Playing home opener, Seahawks should show a little more life, 21-17.

Last week: 11-5 outright, 9-6-1 versus spread. Season: 19-12 outright, 15-13-3 versus spread.

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