The ninth week of play in the NFL season is about the time that teams start to really sort themselves out. If you're still in the chase at the halfway point of the season, you've got to be taken dead seriously, and that's on display for sure at MetLife Stadium in Week 9.
In the first of two games played at Snoopy Stadium, the 5-2 Bills will take on the Jets. Buffalo has gotten off to its best seven-game start in quite some time, and it has to think this game should land in the win column as well. LeSean McCoy is having a resurgent career and is going to have a legitimate shot at the rushing title this season if this keeps up. Running against a depleted New York front seven should yield another strong performance.
On Sunday, all things green at MetLife will turn blue, but the team making waves is the one in the visitors' locker room. The Rams are also 5-2 and are hoping to close out the first half of their season with six victories. Jared Goff has made tremendous strides in his second year as a pro, and now, he's doing something with the Rams that no man has done since Marc Bulger: Lead the team on the road as a favorite by more than a field goal. L.A. is giving four points at the G-Men.
It's tough to pick the "best" game of the week in Week 9, though there are plenty of really good candidates. The Falcons and Panthers meet in a de facto pick 'em game between the last two winners of the NFC South, while the Seahawks and Redskins meet in what could be a crucial battle for playoff positioning in the wide open NFC.
The Chiefs and Cowboys might make for the best pound-for-pound matchup of the week, as this game is set at a dead pick 'em. The Raiders and Dolphins are both on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, and another loss would be catastrophic to both.
One of the NFL’s oldest rivalries will close out the week when the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. But the team that needs a win more than any other right now is Detroit. The Lions are probably in bad shape when it comes to winning the NFC North, but emotionally, they need to get over the hump that is Green Bay. All too often, the Packers have ripped the hearts out of the Lions in the past, but with Aaron Rodgers down for perhaps the rest of the season, this is as good of a chance to steal a win in Green Bay as has existed in a long time.
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Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, MetLife Stadium - 8:25 p.m. ET ( NFLN, CBS, AMAZON )
Opening Line: Bills -3.5, O/U 42
Preview: The New York Jets will be out to exact a bit of revenge to kick off Week 9 festivities when they welcome the Buffalo Bills into town for a rematch of both squads’ season opener. Buffalo hits the road off tallying a second straight win since returning from its bye to keep the pressure on the AFC East leading New England Patriots. The Jets dropped a tough one at home to the Falcons to incur a third straight loss in which it’s gone 2-0-1 against the spread. Continue...
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium – 1 p.m. ET ( FOX )
Opening Line: Panthers -1.5, O/U 44
Preview: Seriously, does anyone have a clue what to expect with both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers when they take the field this season. These division rivals have been two of the most schizophrenic teams in the league through the first eight weeks of the season. One week they look like gangbusters. The next, they’re utterly embarrassing. It’s only fitting they square off in Week 9 with a shot at first place in the AFC South on the line. Continue...
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans, NRG Stadium - 1 p.m. ET ( CBS )
Opening Line: Texans -13, O/U 48
Preview: The Indianapolis Colts had the Houston Texans number for many years. That hasn’t been the case recently with Bill O’Brien’s squad taking each of the last three meetings. Even with that the case, the end results saw the Texans win all three games by an average of just 4.7 points per game. This Week 9 tilt to be held in NRG Stadium finds Houston installed the largest home chalk in the rivalry since it began way back in 2002. Continue...
Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars, EverBank Field - 1 p.m. ET ( CBS )
Opening Line: Jaguars -3.5, O/U 39.5
Preview: The Jacksonville Jaguars return to the gridiron in Week 9 looking to build off their shutout win at Indianapolis before going on bye. Doug Marrone hopes his prized rookie running back will be back in the fold after Leonard Fournette was forced to sit out of that game. If he does return to action, the Jags will find themselves in a solid matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals team thy should be able to find success against on the ground. Continue...
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome - 1 p.m. ET ( FOX )
Opening Line: Saints -7, O/U 50
Preview: It’s now five games and counting for the “Who Dat’ Nation” who’ve witnessed their New Orleans Saints cruise to pointspread victories each time with the last coming at home against the Chicago Bears. The NFL is always better when the Saints are marching, and that’s exactly what’s going down after a two-year hiatus. The same can’t be said for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that’s grossly underperformed now in the second season of the Dirk Koetter regime. Continue...
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, MetLife Stadium - 1 p.m. ET ( FOX )
Opening Line: Rams -4, O/U 43.5
Preview: The Los Angeles Rams will have had two weeks to kick the jet lag that set in after going across the pond and kicking the ever living snot out of Arizona. Sean McVay’s squad is currently one of six teams in the NFC that’s tallied at least five wins. If they’re to snag that six-pack of wins in Week 9, they’re going to have to go into the Big Apple and deal with a New York Giants squad that’s already come to the realization that it can only play spoiler the rest of the way. Continue...
Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field - 1 p.m. ET ( CBS )
Opening Line: Eagles -7.5, O/U 44
Preview: The Philadelphia Eagles enter Week 9 as the hottest team in the league having won six straight games to take a commanding lead atop the NFC East standings. On top of that, they covered the closing pointspread in five of those games! It’s a completely different story for the Denver Broncos who just dropped their third straight both straight up and against the spread against the division rival Chiefs on Monday Night Football to fall below .500 for the first time this season. Continue...
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans, LP Field - 1 p.m. ET ( CBS )
Opening Line: Titans -4, O/U 43
Preview: Last we saw the Tennessee Titans in live action, they needed overtime just to escape against the winless Browns in Cleveland. The hope is that Mike Mularkey’s squad got itself right over the course of the bye week with nagging injuries preventing the team’s stars from executing to their fullest on the gridiron. This Week 9 tilt versus the Baltimore Ravens won’t be a walk in the park however after John Harbaugh’s squad evened their record up with a resounding win over the Dolphins last Thursday night. Continue...
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium – 4:05 p.m. ET ( FOX )
Opening Line: Cardinals -1, O/U 39
Preview: The race for the top pick in the 2018-19 NFL Draft continues for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9 when they return home to oppose the division rival Arizona Cardinals in hopes of logging win No. 1 on the season. They might have a shot at finally logging that win after taking the Cardinals to overtime when these teams first met a little over a month ago. Bruce Arians’ injury riddled squad enters this tilt off a bye looking to have more success in the second half of their campaign. Continue...
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field – 4:05 p.m. ET ( FOX )
Opening Line: Seahawks -7, O/U 45
Preview: Off an exhilarating last second victory over the Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks will be out to snag a fifth straight triumph on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Washington Redskins into CenturyLink Field for a Week 9 battle. The Redskins have tallied just one win in their last four tries, and are badly in need of logging a win. Easier said than done against a Seahawks squad that’s found its swagger and just improved itself along the offensive line. Continue...
Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium – 4:25 p.m. ET ( CBS )
Opening Line: Cowboys -1, O/U 48.5
Preview: So it looks like Ezekiel Elliott will finally have to serve his suspension after all. Or will he? I have no clue anymore. If he suits up Sunday, great. If not, that’s going to truly suck for the Dallas Cowboys who haven’t taken the field without his services in quite some time. You won’t see the Kansas City Chiefs shedding any tears about it however, with the current AFC West leaders out to continue stockpiling wins in Week 9 so as to guarantee themselves some home playoff games. Continue...
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium - 8:30 p.m. ET ( NBC )
Opening Line: Raiders -2.5, O/U 43.5
Preview: The 2017-18 season hasn’t gone as planned for both the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins who find themselves in the bottom of their respective division standings. The Raiders failed to build off the momentum gained the previous week versus Kansas City in Buffalo, while the Fins put forth a less than impressive effort across the pond in getting blitzed 40-0 by the Ravens. This Week 9 tilt is huge for both sides for a number of reasons. Continue...
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field – 8:30 p.m. ET ( ESPN )
Opening Line: Lions -2, O/U 43
Preview: A crucial divisional clash is set to go down on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football when the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers lock horns in the first of two regular season meetings. Both clubs are currently looking up at the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North standings, so a win would go a long way in keeping both of these teams at the very least relevant moving forward. Green Bay has owned the rivalry of late winning and covering four of the last five skirmishes. Continue...
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