The NFL – on Saturday!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 21, 2002

Miami 21, Minnesota 13. Cris Carter makes his return to the team that dropped him after 12 years of dedicated service. He, Jay Fiedler and Ricky Williams should have their way with a Minnesota defense that is a shell of the team that went to the AFC title game. Dante Culpepper burned New Orleans for 385 yards and 26 points last week, but that just gives an extra incentive for Miami defensive end Jason Taylor (who brings 17 sacks for 155 yards in losses, six forced fumbles, eight passes deflected and 63 tackles to the table to day) to cement his status as the league’s top defensive player.

San Francisco 28, Arizona 10. The 49ers need a win to get some playoff momentum, and they should feel lucky to be playing Arizona, who they whomped 38-28 in October and have lost seven of their last eight. Terrell Owens will be limited with a groin injury, but Jeff Garcia is one of the league’s most reliable quarterbacks, and the Cardinal defense won’t get him scared.

Philadelphia 21, Dallas 17. Normally, an 11-3 team like the Eagles wouldn’t be worried so late in the season. But they need to win tonight and against the New York Giants next week to gain homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. On the other hand, Emmitt Smith might be playing his last game at Texas Stadium today (he’ll count heavily against Dallas’ salary cap if they keep him around) and he needs 68 yards to reach his 12th consecutive 1,000 yard season. Philly should win, but this one might be interesting.

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