Sunday, November 10, 2002

Are you ready for some Monday Night Football history?



By Mark Curnutte
Cincinnati Enquirer

The Oakland Raiders-Denver Broncos game that wraps up Week 10 will be the 500th Monday Night Football game. The longest-running prime-time entertainment series in television history, MNF started in 1970.

During the game, ABC will announce results of a season-long fan vote to select the greatest game in Monday Night history.

The five finalists:

Nov. 20, 1978: Oilers 35, Dolphins 30, at Houston. Earl Campbell rushes for 199 yards and four touchdowns.

Sept. 5, 1983: Cowboys 31, Redskins 30, at Washington. Danny White passes for three second-half TDs, and Dallas rallies from 23-3 halftime deficit.

Dec. 2, 1985: Dolphins 38, Bears 24, at Miami. Dolphins protect the undefeated '72 Miami team by handing Chicago its first and only loss of the season.

Oct. 17, 1994: Chiefs 31, Broncos 28, at Denver. Joe Montana outguns John Elway.

Oct. 23, 2000: Jets 40, Dolphins 37, OT, at the Meadowlands. Jets overcome 30-7 fourth-quarter deficit and win on John Hall's 40-yard field goal.

RAIDERS (4-4) at BRONCOS (6-2): Oakland has the NFL's top offense at 407 yards a game, and Denver is No.1 in the AFC in defense at 271 yards. Denver is 5-2-1 at home against the Raiders on Monday night. Make that 6-2-1 after this week. BRONCOS 23-20.

SAINTS (6-2) at PANTHERS (3-5): Even the 29th-ranked New Orleans defense should be able to contain a Carolina offense that hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in 11 quarters. N.O. will struggle against tough Panthers defense. SAINTS 17-10.

LIONS (3-5) at PACKERS (7-1): Detroit has been effective against the run in past three (78 yards per game), so gimpy Brett Favre might have to win this one with his arm. This week's unbelievable Favre stat is this: He has a 70-12 record at home as a starting quarterback, the best league mark since 1950. PACKERS 26-17.

GIANTS (4-4) at VIKINGS (2-6): Rematch of the 2000 NFC Championship Game. The difference will be the N.Y. pass game against the Vikings' 30th-ranked pass defense. GIANTS 24-21.

COLTS (4-4) at EAGLES (6-2): Look for Philadelphia to continue its three-game shift to the running game against the Colts' 30th-ranked run defense. EAGLES 24-13.

FALCONS (5-3) at STEELERS (5-3): This game will show just how fast the Pittsburgh defense is. Falcons QB Michael Vick can't be as fast on the Heinz Field quicksand as he is on artificial turf. Without Jerome Bettis in the backfield, Steelers QB Tommy Maddox will have to be sharp against a good Atlanta pass defense. Coach Bill Cowher has three of Pittsburgh's nine consecutive victories over Atlanta. STEELERS 28-21.

CHARGERS (6-2) at RAMS (3-5): San Diego is proving its pass offense can't move the ball unless the rush game is working with LaDainian Tomlinson. St. Louis is No.5 against the run. San Diego defense faces offense that has scored at least 27 points in each of its three-game win streak. RAMS 27-23.

TEXANS (2-6) at TITANS (4-4): The present and past Houston franchises meet for the first time in Nashville. Guarantee that Steve McNair, Derrick Mason and Eddie George were taking notes of how the Bengals shredded the Houston defense last week. TITANS 30-13.

SEAHAWKS (2-6) at CARDINALS (4-4): NFC West game in which Arizona will pound Seattle's 32nd-ranked rush defense with Thomas Jones and Marcel Shipp. CARDINALS 20-12.

REDSKINS (4-4) at JAGUARS (3-5): Washington QB Shane Matthews is after his fourth win in six starts this season and should get it. Jacksonville's offense has gone sour after a hot start. REDSKINS 21-20.

PATRIOTS (4-4) at BEARS (2-6): New England QB Tom Brady got his confidence back last week in his shootout with former mentor Drew Bledsoe. Patriots' inner battle this week is not to let down against a Chicago team that's getting worse. The Bears' only chance is to get sophomore-jinx running back Anthony Thomas going against New England's weak run defense. No such luck. PATRIOTS 23-17.

CHIEFS (4-4) at 49ERS (6-2): Last team with possession of the ball will win. Well, maybe not, but this will be an entertaining, high-scoring game. K.C. won't be able to contain wide receiver Terrell Owens, and S.F. will have its hand full with Chiefs running back Priest Holmes. 49ERS 35-30.

DOLPHINS (5-3) at JETS (3-5): All of a sudden, this game doesn't look like the Miami lock it did. With Ray Lucas or Sage Rosenfels at quarterback for Dolphins, New York has a chance. Jets have to balance offense with run game to take pressure off QB Chad Pennington. DOLPHINS 21-18.

LAST WEEK: 9-5. SEASON 81-49.



BENGALS / NFL
Ravens 38, Bengals 27
Blake empathizes with former mates
Bengals' defense will need to step up once again
The Edge
Isolation booth: Johnson vs. Demps
Levi: Life as a Rookie
Bengals, Ravens stats
Bengals-Ravens by the numbers
NFL notebook, standings
Are you ready for some Monday Night Football history?
Curnutte's NFL power rankings


UC BEARCATS
Sloppy UC still slams NKU
Daugherty: Wrath - not grapes - seems more Huggins' style
Center position still work in progress
UC women win C-USA soccer crown

XAVIER HOOPS
Cole ponders redshirt season
XU women win exhibition

REDS / BASEBALL
Bowden mum regarding free agent wish list
Reds Q & A
Phils set to spend on Thome

OHIO FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Elder, Colerain at Nippert Saturday
Where to buy football tickets
Elder 31, Wayne 3
Colerain 28, Lebanon 7
Ohio scores | Ohio pairings
Fans enjoy atmosphere at Paul Brown Stadium
Kings 36, Edgewood 19
Reading 41, Coldwater 38

KENTUCKY FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Kentucky scores | Kentucky pairings
CovCath 54, Harrison Co. 6
Beechwood 55, Fairview 7
Boone Co. 34, Oldham Co. 28
Dixie Heights 43, Lou. Ballard 41
Eastern 22, Conner 7
Highlands 56, Anderson Co. 0
Holy Cross 35, Nicholas Co. 14
Lex. Catholic 52, Holmes 20
Lloyd 51, East Carter 20
Louisville Trinity 48, Ryle 9
NewCath 57, Paris 14
Russell 31, Newport 14
Scott 53, Bourbon Co. 22

INDIANA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
East Central 38, Whiteland 30


OHIO VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ursuline unseats St. Ursula as Div. I champs
GGCL players rule all-state team

OHIO SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Ursula loses soccer final
Wyoming girls denied soccer title
Madeira boys win state title

KENTUCKY CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Henry boys take cross country title
Highlands girls run to state title

PREP INSIDER COLUMN
Prep Insider: Late coach was ahead of his time


COLLEGE FOOTBALL
With backs to wall, Buckeyes battle to 11-0
Hail Mary heave halts fun for UK
Bowen corners market at Miami
Huskies stun BGSU, take first in division
Mount St. Joseph thumped by undefeated Hanover 49-14
Miami crushes Vols
Texas shows Baylor some attitude
Texas A&M ruins party for Sooners
Irish escape Navy
Syracuse topples No. 8 Virginia Tech in 3OT
Big Ten roundup
Top 25 roundup
How the Top 25 fared
College Football Today

COLLEGE HOOPS
Hoops: Big matchups come early, often
Dayton player's parents don't believe son lied

REGIONAL INTERESTS
MSJ football finally growling
Five questions with Brandon Miree
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

NATIONAL HEADLINES
Dredge leads Volvo Masters
Mighty Ducks blank Barons
Kolzig slams door on Flyers
Second-half scoring surge lifts Pacers over Raptors
Women's soccer: U.S. 2, Canada 1
Serena Williams, Capriati advance to WTA semis
Will Fittipaldi be first of new wave of drivers?
Stewart on cusp of Cup title

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