NFL news of October 4, 2002

The NFL did the Tennessee Titans no favors with the schedule. For the second consecutive week, the Titans are playing a team coming off a bye. The Raiders had a week off before roasting the Titans, 52-25, last weekend, now the Washington Redskins roll into Nashville on Sunday coming off a bye. The Titans also play Cincinnati coming off a bye in Week 11. The Titans and Bengals play three teams apiece coming off byes this season, a league high.

When he’s healthy, Jacksonville’s Fred Taylor is one of the top three runners in the game. He has rushed for 339 yards and scored touchdowns in all three of Jacksonville’s games this season. But he’s so rarely healthy. In the last three seasons the Jaguars have played 36 games. Taylor has suited up for just half of them.

Pittsburgh begins a three-week stretch against teams coached by former Steeler defensive coordinators. This week it’s Jim Haslett and the New Orleans Saints, next week it’s Dick LeBeau and the Cincinnati Bengals and finally Tony Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts.

Speaking of the Steelers, tough break for Pro Bowl quarterback Kordell Stewart getting benched this week. Stewart is from New Orleans and has never played a game in his hometown. He won’t play there this week now that Steelers coach Bill Cowher has given the starting nod to Tommy Maddox against the Saints at the Superdome.

— Rick Gosselin, The Dallas Morning News “On the observation deck.”

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