Denver (5-1) at Seattle (3-3), 1 p.m.
The Seahawks will try to bring Denver back to the pack in the AFC West, and history gives Chuck Knox’s squad a good chance. Seattle has won four of the last five games in the series, 21-14 and 42-14 last season, and the Broncos haven’t won at the Kingdome since 1985. Bronco quarterback John Elway continues to struggle but has Mike Shanahan, late of the Raiders, back to help him figure things out. The Seahawks are 30-11 in the Kingdome in the last five seasons but are 0-2 this season. Seattle has not lost three straight at home since 1980.
New England (2-4) at San Francisco (5-1), 1 p.m.
Joe Montana’s passing arm is better and he’s expected to be back at quarterback. Steve Young led the 49ers past Dallas last week. The Patriots are going with 36-year-old Steve Grogan at quarterback, since Doug Flutie struggled last week for the second consecutive game. San Francisco is undefeated on the road and lost its only home game to the Rams, but this game has been moved to Stanford Stadium because of earthquake damage at Candlestick Park. The 49ers have won only four of their last nine games at home, where they will play five of the next six.
Dallas (0-6) at Kansas City (2-4), 10 a.m.
Quarterback Steve Walsh, the rookie out of Miami, gave the Cowboys reason to hope last week against San Francisco, but the yards are harder to come by against the Chiefs’ outstanding secondary. However, with running back Darryl Clack replacing Herschel Walker, who was traded to Minnesota, the Dallas ground game was nonexistent. The Chiefs aren’t fancy, relying on the running of Christian Okoye and a sound defense. The Cowboys’ worst start was 0-10 in 1960, their first season, when they finished 0-11-1.
Green Bay (3-3) at Miami (3-3), 10 a.m.
Considering the way Miami played earlier this season, the Dolphins’ turnaround is probably a combination of another superb coaching job by Don Shula and the greatness of quarterback Dan Marino. Just when it seemed this might be Shula’s worst team, the Dolphins beat Cleveland and Cincinnati. Miami also has its best defender, linebacker John Offerdahl, back after a long holdout. Quarterback Don Majkowski and the Green Bay offense were slowed by Minnesota last week, but still rank No. 2 in the NFL. Miami beat the Packers last season, 24-17.
Indianapolis (3-3) at Cincinnati (4-2), 10 a.m.
The Colts, their three-game winning streak snapped by Denver, need to have Eric Dickerson completely recovered from his hamstring injury or get Albert Bentley more involved to take the pressure off quarterback Jack Trudeau. If Chip Banks, the newly acquired linebacker, is in shape, he could be a big help to the Colt defense. Cincinnati hasn’t been overpowering, barely getting past Cleveland, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Despite the running of James Brooks, the Bengals aren’t nearly as explosive as they were last season.
New York Jets (1-5) at Buffalo (4-2), 10 a.m.
The Bills are hoping that Frank Reich is for real after beating the Rams Monday night, because Jim Kelly won’t be back for a while. The Jets can’t seem to decide on a quarterback, going with Kyle Mackey and Ken O’Brien in last week’s loss to New Orleans. It hasn’t helped that receivers Al Toon and Wesley Walker are out. Buffalo swept the Jets last season, 37-14 and 9-6 in overtime, but five of the last six games between these old AFL rivals have been decided by four points or fewer.
Pittsburgh (3-3) at Houston (3-3), 10 a.m.
Houston may have finally gotten itself together when quarterback Warren Moon directed two touchdown drives in the final minutes last week at Chicago and the Oilers intercepted four passes. The Steelers have won three of four but didn’t have much offense last week with quarterback Todd Blackledge replacing injured Bubby Brister. Houston has won three of the last four games with Pittsburgh, including a split last season, but Pittsburgh is 5-2 at the Astrodome since 1982.
Tampa Bay (3-3) at Washington (3-3), 10 a.m.
The Buccaneers learned last week that they can’t win without Vinny Testaverde, who is expected to start today, and that Joe Ferguson is too old for this game. The Redskins lead the NFL in total offense on the running of Gerald Riggs and the passing of Mark Rypien, but it wasn’t enough to save their three-game winning streak last week against the Giants. Washington’s three defeats have been by a total of 11 points, including two three-pointers against the Giants.
Minnesota (4-2) at Detroit (1-5), 10 a.m.
Herschel Walker played against Green Bay two consecutive weeks, gaining 44 yards for Dallas and 148 after his trade to Minnesota. Detroit has found that a healthy Rodney Peete makes a big difference in Mouse Davis’ Silver Stretch offense. He passed for 268 yards and ran for 78 in a victory over Tampa Bay. Minnesota has won six in a row from the Lions, including a 24-17 victory two weeks ago, and five consecutive games in Michigan, but has lost four road games in a row dating to last season.
Atlanta (2-4) at Phoenix (2-4), 1 p.m.
The Cardinals were down to their third-string quarterback, Tom Tupa, when Gary Hogeboom missed last week’s loss to Philadelphia with an elbow injury. Tupa had six passes intercepted and was sacked six times. Quarterback Chris Miller carries the Falcons and has had only two passes intercepted all season. Atlanta rookie Deion Sanders leads the NFC in punt returns, had a 60-yard kickoff return last week and is making himself at home in the secondary.
Chicago (4-2) at Cleveland (3-3)
TV: Channel 7, 6 p.m.
Both teams have uncharacteristically lost two in a row, the Bears allowing 75 points and the Browns scoring only 17. Bernie Kosar had his worst game as a pro last week against Pittsburgh and, surprisingly, there were cries in Cleveland for Mike Pagel. Chicago, which has never lost three straight with Mike Ditka as coach, also has had problems at quarterback lately, but Mike Tomczak--despite four interceptions against Houston--remains the starter ahead of Jim Harbaugh. Injuries to the defense--Dan Hampton, Jim Morrissey--have been the biggest problem.
NOTE: All times PDT. Standings, Page 16.