AT A GLANCE | AFC team previews

Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
Last year: Coming off Super Bowl win, made it to second round of playoffs before losing to Pittsburgh.Newcomers: Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, specials team coordinator Gary Zauner, DB Ed Reed, DT Anthony Weaver.Players to watch: LB Ray Lewis, the key to a new 3-4 defense. QB Chris Redman, a starter after two seasons as a backup. RB Jamal Lewis, who missed last season with knee injury. CB Gary Baxter, who takes over for departed Duane Starks.They miss: TE Shannon Sharpe, DT Sam Adams, WR Qadry Ismail, LB Jamie Sharper, S Rod Woodson, KR Jermaine Lewis, all salary cap casualties.
Schedule:Sep. 8 at Carolina, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 Open DateSep. 30 Denver, 9 p.m.Oct. 6 at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m.Oct. 13 at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 at Miami, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 Tennessee, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 New Orleans, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 at Houston, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 Cleveland, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 29 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
Last year: Won first two games for first time since 1995, then lost 10 of next 12 to set up 11th straight year without winning record.Newcomers: QB Gus Frerotte, WR Michael Westbrook, rookie LT Levi Jones, CB Jeff Burris, rookie S Lamont Thompson, rookie TE Matt Schobel.Players to watch: Frerotte will get a chance at some point. Westbrook replaces Darnay Scott as a primary receiver. DE Justin Smith tries to build on rookie record 8 1/2 sacks last season. RB Corey Dillon needs to stay healthy.They miss: Boomer Esiason, their last dependable quarterback -- in 1997. The Bengals kept all their important players in the offseason, but weren't able to significantly upgrade at QB.
Schedule:Sep. 8 San Diego, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 at Atlanta, 8:30 p.m.Sep. 29 Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 6 at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 Open DateOct. 27 Tennessee, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 at Houston, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 Cleveland, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 Baltimore, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 at Carolina, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 New Orleans, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Cleveland Browns (7-9)
Last year: Showed major improvement in first year under coach Butch Davis.Newcomers: RB William Green, WR Andre Davis, MLB Earl Holmes, SS Robert Griffith, RT Ryan Rucker, LG Barry Stokes, LBs Darren Hambrick and Kevin Bentley.Players to watch: QB Tim Couch: Now in his fourth year, it's time he fulfilled his promise. Same for DE Courtney Brown, who missed 11 games in 2001 with injuries. RB Jamel White could be top playmaker.They miss: Pro Bowl LB Jamir Miller, lost for season with Achilles' tendon injury. Miller led team with 13 sacks last season.
Sep. 8 Kansas City, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 Baltimore, 8:30 p.m.Oct. 13 at Tampa Bay, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 20 Houston, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 27 at New York Jets, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 Open DateNov. 17 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 Carolina, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 at Baltimore, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 29 Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Last year: Best regular season in 22 years led to AFC championship game upset loss to New England -- the third time in eight years the Steelers lost AFC title at home.Newcomers: WR-KR Antwaan Randle El has made instant impact in camp as multiple threat -- another Slash? He will be third WR behind Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress. G Kendall Simmons has made easy transition to NFL. LB James Farrior is only new starter on NFL's top defense. K Todd Peterson replaces Heinz Field-jinxed Kris Brown.Players to watch: S Lee Flowers, LT Wayne Gandy are in last year of contracts and are only top starters unsigned past this season. QB Kordell Stewart has tantalized Steelers before, but has yet to put consecutive good years together. RG Oliver Ross is in first season as full-time starter. RB Jerome Bettis, 30, must be over groin injury that took months to heal.They miss: Not much. Only starters gone are LB Earl Holmes and RG Rich Tylski, and coaches were ready to replace Tylski anyway. Brown is gone after missing 14 FG attempts, most by any NFL kicker in 10 years.
Schedule:Sep. 9 at New England, 9 p.m.Sep. 15 Oakland, 8:30 p.m.Sep. 22 Open DateSep. 29 Cleveland, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Oct. 21 Indianapolis, 9 p.m.Oct. 27 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 Atlanta, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 Houston, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 Carolina, 1 p.m.Dec. 23 at Tampa Bay, 9 p.m.Dec. 29 Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Buffalo Bills (3-13)
Last year: Injuries, salary cap constraints, raw new coaching staff headed by Gregg Williams, contributed to worst finish since 1985.Newcomers: QB Drew Bledsoe, OT Mike Williams, LBs London Fletcher and Eddie Robinson, DE Chidi Ahanotu, C/OT Trey Teague, S Billy Jenkins, K Mike Hollis, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.Players to watch: Bledsoe looks to prove himself after losing New England job. WR Eric Moulds seeking to regain marquee status. Williams, No. 4 overall pick, expected to anchor right side of OL. WR Josh Reed, second-round pick, gutsy underneath route runner.They miss: 2001 free-agent departures DE Marcellus Wiley and DT Ted Washington.
Schedule:Sep. 8 New York Jets, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 at Minnesota, 4:15 p.m.Sep. 22 at Denver, 4:05 p.m.Sep. 29 Chicago, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 Oakland, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 at Houston, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 at Miami, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 Detroit, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 New England, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 Open DateNov. 17 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 at New York Jets, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 Miami, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 at New England, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 San Diego, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 at Green Bay, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Miami Dolphins (11-5)
Last year: Made playoffs for fifth straight year, only team to do so. But haven't reached conference finals in any of those seasons.Newcomers: RB Ricky Williams, DT Larry Chester, FB Obafemi Ayanbadejo, rookie TE Randy McMichael, offensive coordinator Norv Turner.Players to watch: Williams should upgrade a ground game that has been a problem for two decades, taking some pressure off inconsistent QB Jay Fiedler. Chester needs to stay healthy, or run defense could be Miami's downfall. McMichael may be their best TE since Keith Jackson in 1994.They miss: Run-stopping DT Darryl Gardener, whose spotty workout attendance and indifferent attitude forced Dolphins to release him.
Schedule:Sep. 8 Detroit, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 New York Jets, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 New England, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 at Denver, 8:30 p.m.Oct. 20 Buffalo, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 Open DateNov. 4 at Green Bay, 9 p.m.Nov. 10 at New York Jets, 8:30 p.m.Nov. 17 Baltimore, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 San Diego, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.Dec. 9 Chicago, 9 p.m.Dec. 15 Oakland, 1 p.m.Dec. 21 at Minnesota, 1:30 p.m.Dec. 29 at New England, 1 p.m.
New England Patriots (11-5)
Last year: Started 0-2, lost QB Drew Bledsoe, then miraculously won division, conference and Super Bowl behind QB Tom Brady, the 199th draft pick in 2000.Newcomers: TEs Christian Fauria, Cam Cleeland and Daniel Graham; DT Steve Martin, WRs Deion Branch and Donald Hayes, DBs Jimmy Hitchcock and Victor Green.Players to watch: Brady must show the talent and leadership to build on last season. First-round pick Graham was sidelined part of camp; can he be all-purpose TE? Branch had outstanding camp after being drafted in second round.They miss: Bledsoe (traded to Buffalo) if Brady struggles. LB Bryan Cox, who provided veteran leadership.
Schedule:Sep. 9 Pittsburgh, 9 p.m.Sep. 15 at New York Jets, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 Kansas City, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 6 at Miami, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 Green Bay, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 Open DateOct. 27 Denver, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 3 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 at Chicago, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 17 at Oakland, 8:30 p.m.Nov. 24 Minnesota, 1 p.m.Nov. 28 at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.Dec. 8 Buffalo, 1 p.m.Dec. 16 at Tennessee, 8 p.m.Dec. 22 New York Jets, 8:30 p.m.Dec. 29 Miami, 1 p.m.
New York Jets (10-6)
Last year: Made playoffs with final game win at Oakland, then lost to Raiders in playoffs.Newcomers: Six new starters on defense, including LB Sam Cowart, SS Sam Garnes and CBs Donnie Abraham and Aaron Beasley; top draft pick DE Bryan Thomas; P Matt Turk.Players to watch: QB Vinny Testaverde, RB Curtis Martin, WRs Wayne Chrebet, Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss are getting hang of West Coast offense. G J.P. Machado and T Kareem McKenzie are new starters. Cowart comes off torn Achilles' tendon. All-Pro DE John Abraham is sack threat.They miss: CB Aaron Glenn, a better cover man than anyone on hand; T Ryan Young and G Kerry Jenkins, solid blockers.
Schedule:Sep. 8 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 New England, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 at Miami, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 Kansas City, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 13 Open DateOct. 20 Minnesota, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 Cleveland, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 at San Diego, 1:05 p.m.Nov. 10 Miami, 8:30 p.m.Nov. 17 at Detroit, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 24 Buffalo, 1 p.m.Dec. 2 at Oakland, 9 p.m.Dec. 8 Denver, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 15 at Chicago, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 at New England, 8:30 p.m.Dec. 29 Green Bay, 4:15 p.m.
Houston Texans (0-0)
Last year: The Texans spent a lot of study time getting ready for expansion draft in February and college draft in April.Newcomers: Coach Dom Capers assembled veteran staff, including offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Palmer and Capers have experience with expansion teams, Palmer at Cleveland and Capers at Carolina.Players to watch: QB David Carr was No. 1 pick in draft and has done nothing in preseason to show he didn't deserve it. He's been cool under pressure. LT Tony Boselli, the five-time Pro Bowl tackle who was supposed to protect Carr's blind side, is recovering from shoulder surgery.They miss: RT Ryan Young (groin surgery) and perhaps Boselli, severely damaging line.
Schedule:Sep. 8 Dallas, 8:30 p.m.Sep. 15 at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.Sep. 22 Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 Open DateOct. 13 Buffalo, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 at Cleveland, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 27 at Jacksonville, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 3 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 Jacksonville, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 24 New York Giants, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 1 at Indianapolis, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 8 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 Baltimore, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 at Washington, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis Colts (6-10)
Last year: Beset by injuries, turnovers and poor defense, Colts failed to meet expectations of Super Bowl contention.Newcomers: Coach Tony Dungy, CB Walt Harris, DE Dwight Freeney, DT Larry Tripplett, WR Qadry Ismail.Players to watch: Freeney and Tripplett, top two draft picks, are expected to anchor rebuilt defensive line. LB Mike Peterson back from injury should help MLB Rob Morris improve. TE Marcus Pollard will be starter and his numbers should show it.They miss: G Steve McKinney. Indianapolis must rely on second-year players Rick DeMulling and Ryan Diem at guard.
Sep. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 Miami, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 at Houston, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 Open DateOct. 6 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 Baltimore, 1 p.m.Oct. 21 at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m.Oct. 27 at Washington, 8:30 p.m.Nov. 3 Tennessee, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 Dallas, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 at Denver, 8:30 p.m.Dec. 1 Houston, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 8 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 New York Giants, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 Jacksonville, 4:05 p.m.
Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
Last year: Second straight losing season.Newcomers: WRs Bobby Shaw and Patrick Johnson, TE Pete Mitchell, OL Chris Naeole, DE Marco Coleman, DT John Henderson.Players to watch: RB Fred Taylor has looked great in preseason, but health always a concern. DT Marcus Stroud is developing into presence in middle. CB Jason Craft trying to show he's a legit starter.They miss: WR Jimmy Smith, if he doesn't come back from holdout, and his former partner, Keenan McCardell, now with Tampa.
Sep. 8 Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 Open DateSep. 29 New York Jets, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 Philadelphia, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 13 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 Houston, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 3 at New York Giants, 8:30 p.m.Nov. 10 Washington, 4:05 p.m.Nov. 17 at Houston, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 24 at Dallas, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 Cleveland, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 Tennessee, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 at Indianapolis, 4:05 p.m.
Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Last year: Fell from 13-3 as injuries gutted secondary and limited Eddie George to his first season under 1,000 yards rushing.Newcomers: Rookies DT Albert Haynesworth, FS Tank Williams and RB John Simon. FB Greg Comella and RB Robert Holcombe, both free agents.Players to watch: RB Eddie George is over toe injury that slowed him in 2001. DE Kevin Carter, stung by criticism and injuries, wants to erase memory of two-sack season.
They miss: OL Bruce Matthews finally retired after 19 years, and DTs Jason Fisk and Josh Evans, who left as free agents.
Sep. 8 Philadelphia, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 at Dallas, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 Cleveland, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 at Oakland, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 6 Washington, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Oct. 20 Open DateOct. 27 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Nov. 10 Houston, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 at New York Giants, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 Indianapolis, 1 p.m.Dec. 16 New England, 9 p.mDec. 22 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 at Houston, 1 p.m.
Denver Broncos (8-8)
Last year: Started 3-1, but struggled with injuries to finish third in division.Newcomers: RB Clinton Portis, TE Shannon Sharpe, WR Ashley Lelie, LT Ephraim Salaam, DT Lional Dalton, FS Izell Reese, DE Michael Sinclair.Players to watch: Portis, the Broncos' second-round draft choice, impressed with his speed. DE Trevor Pryce, switched from DT, and FB Mike Anderson switched from tailback. WR Ed McCaffrey is back from broken leg.They miss: LB Bill Romanowski, RB Terrell Davis, S Eric Brown, LT Trey Teague.
Schedule:Sep. 8 St. Louis, 4:15 p.m.Sep. 15 at San Francisco, 4:15 p.m.Sep. 22 Buffalo, 4:05 p.m.Sep. 30 at Baltimore, 9 p.m.Oct. 6 San Diego, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 13 Miami, 8:30 p.m.Oct. 20 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 at New England, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 3 Open DateNov. 11 Oakland, 7 p.m.Nov. 17 at Seattle, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 24 Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m.Dec. 1 at San Diego, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 8 at New York Jets, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 15 Kansas City, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 22 at Oakland, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 29 Arizona, 4:15 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-10)
Last year: Worst record since 1988, after GM Carl Peterson talked old buddy Dick Vermeil out of retirement.Newcomers: WR Johnnie Morton, PK Morten Andersen, LB Scott Fujita, LT Willie Roaf, and DLs Eddie Freeman and Ryan Sims, if he ever gets past contract holdout.Players to watch: Roaf was dominant in New Orleans until left knee surgery -- it's still tender. QB Trent Green needs to rebound from team-record 24 INTs. RB Priest Holmes, determined to prove last year's NFL rushing title was no fluke. When TE Tony Gonzalez and Sims end holdouts. How will long absence affect team chemistry?They miss: LB Donnie Edwards, allowed to become free agent after leading team in tackles four straight seasons.
Sep. 8 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 Jacksonville, 1 p.m.Sep. 22 at New England, 1 p.m.Sep. 29 Miami, 1 p.m.Oct. 6 at New York Jets, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 13 at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 20 Denver, 1 p.m.Oct. 27 Oakland, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 Open DateNov. 10 at San Francisco, 4:15 p.m.Nov. 17 Buffalo, 1 p.m.Nov. 24 at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 1 Arizona, 1 p.m.Dec. 8 St. Louis, 1 p.m.Dec. 15 at Denver, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 22 San Diego, 1 p.m.Dec. 28 at Oakland, 4 p.m.
Oakland Raiders (10-6)
Last year: Won second straight AFC West title, but late-season swoon and Tom Brady's non-fumble in snowy New England playoff game doomed coach Jon Gruden's last season.Newcomers: LBs Bill Romanowski and Napoleon Harris, DTs Sam Adams and DT John Parrella, S Rod Woodson, LB Mike Jones, CB Phillip Buchanon.Players to watch: Adams and Parrella form massive new combo that must shore up patchy defensive line that has four new starters. Veteran QB Rich Gannon groused about contract. RBs Charlie Garner and Tyrone Wheatley must improve subpar 2001 numbers.They miss: Gruden was Raiders' public face and private engine, but he left for Tampa in a messy divorce. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan took over. Will Raiders still have Gruden's fire?
Sep. 8 Seattle, 4:15 p.m.Sep. 15 at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.Sep. 22 Open DateSep. 29 Tennessee, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 6 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.Oct. 13 at St. Louis, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 20 San Diego, 1:05 p.m.Oct. 27 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.Nov. 3 San Francisco, 1:15 p.m.Nov. 11 at Denver, 9 p.m.Nov. 17 New England, 8:30 p.m.Nov. 24 at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 2 New York Jets, 9 p.m.Dec. 8 at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 15 at Miami, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 Denver, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 28 Kansas City, 4 p.m.
San Diego Chargers (5-11)
Last year: Started 5-2, then lost last nine games, costing coach Mike Riley his job and opening the way for Marty Schottenheimer.Newcomers: Schottenheimer, LB Donnie Edwards, TE Stephen Alexander.Players to watch: QB Drew Brees, who beat out incumbent Doug Flutie. Flutie, who feuded with Rob Johnson while with Buffalo, says he supports Brees. RB LaDainian Tomlinson, coming off Chargers' rookie-record 1,236 yards.They miss: DT John Parrella, hard-working run-stuffer they let go to rival Raiders.
Sep. 8 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.Sep. 15 Houston, 4:15 p.m.Sep. 22 at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.Sep. 29 New England, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 6 at Denver, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 13 Kansas City, 4:15 p.m.Oct. 20 at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.Oct. 27 Open DateNov. 3 New York Jets, 4:05 p.m.Nov. 10 at St. Louis, 1 p.m.Nov. 17 San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.Nov. 24 at Miami, 1 p.m.Dec. 1 Denver, 4:05 p.m.Dec. 8 Oakland, 4:15 p.m.Dec. 15 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.Dec. 22 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.Dec. 29 Seattle, 4:15 p.m.

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