Questions abound in Week 9 of the NFL season. Can the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated? Will the Chicago Bears miss a beat without injured quarterback Jay Cutler? Will disappointing teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans come up with big wins?
It should be an eventful weekend of football. Here’s a look at the schedule and coverage details for every game.
|Thursday, Oct. 31||Time (ET)||TV||Location|
|Cincinnati at Miami||8:25 PM||NFL||Sun Life Stadium|
|Sunday, Nov. 3||Time (ET)||TV||Location|
|Kansas City at Buffalo||1 PM||CBS||Ralph Wilson Stadium|
|Minnesota at Dallas||1 PM||FOX||AT&T Stadium|
|Tennessee at St. Louis||1 PM||CBS||Edward Jones Dome|
|New Orleans at NY Jets||1 PM||FOX||MetLife Stadium|
|San Diego at Washington||1 PM||CBS||FedEx Field|
|Atlanta at Carolina||1 PM||FOX||Bank of America Stadium|
|Philadelphia at Oakland||4:05 PM||FOX||O.co Coliseum|
|Tampa Bay at Seattle||4:05 PM||FOX||CenturyLink Field|
|Baltimore at Cleveland||4:25 PM||CBS||FirstEnergy Stadium|
|Pittsburgh at New England||4:25 PM||CBS||Gillette Stadium|
|Indianapolis at Houston||8:30 PM||NBC||Reliant Stadium|
|Monday, Nov. 4||Time (ET)||TV||Location|
|Chicago at Green Bay||8:30 PM||ESPN and Watch ESPN||Lambeau Field|
Looking to Extend Perfection
The Chiefs will take their 8-0 record into Orchard Park, N.Y. to take on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo has lost three of its last four games, and it’s coming off a 35-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
A Kansas City defense that ranks fourth against the pass and 11th against the run will be a big test for current Buffalo QB Thad Lewis.
Avoiding turnovers will be key for Lewis and the Bills. The Chiefs have feasted on their opponents' mistakes this season. Per Sporting Charts, the Chiefs have scored 63 points off opponents' turnovers this season.
If the Bills are going to win at home, they will have to take care of the ball.
Renewing a Rivalry Without a Key Player
Without a doubt, the Monday night matchup from Lambeau Field between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers is the marquee game of the week. The league’s fiercest rivalry sees its first of two regular-season meetings commence without the road team’s starting signal-caller.
Which team has a better chance to win on the road?
When Cutler went down with a torn groin against the Washington Redskins in Week 7, the Bears offense didn’t suffer. Josh McCown threw for 201 yards and a touchdown. Despite losing the game, the Bears still scored 41 points.
Reproducing this effort could be more difficult against the Green Bay Packers, though. The Bears set up their offensive success with a formidable rushing attack led by their improved offensive line and running back Matt Forte. The six-year pro ran for 91 yards with touchdown runs of 51 and and six yards in the second half after Cutler went down.
Green Bay is fourth in the league against the run this season, so having success on the ground could be tougher.
Most of all, the Bears’ underachieving and banged up defensive will need to step up against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Starting linebackers Lance Briggs is out at least six weeks, per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com.
D.J. Williams is also out for the season with a torn pectoral, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. Julius Peppers isn't injured, but he has just one sack this season. Needless to say, the Bears will need their second-tier linebackers—Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene—and Peppers to step up to contain Rodgers and the Packers.
Can the Texans and Ravens Stay in the Playoff Hunt?
With the way the Denver Broncos and Chiefs are playing this season, there figures to be only one wild-card spot available outside of the AFC West. If the playoffs began today, that spot would go to another AFC West team—the San Diego Chargers, who sit at 4-3.
The best course of action for the defending champion Ravens and preseason contending Texans is to make a run at their division crowns.
In order to have a realistic shot at catching the leaders in their division, both the Ravens and Texans need to win on Sunday.
Baltimore will be in Cleveland to take on the Browns in a tough division battle. The Texans will host the very team they’re trying to catch, the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts.
Winning at home against Indy would bring the Texans within two games of the division lead and restore some confidence to the team.
After starting the season 2-0, the team has lost five-straight games. Coming off a bye week, this is a crucial game. If the Texans lose, fans may as well start looking to the NFL draft and next season.
The defending champions are in a little better spot, but not by much. The Ravens are 2.5 games behind the Cincinnati Bengals, but a win would bring them to .500 at 4-4.
The Ravens still have two head-to-head games with the Bengals with the first scheduled for Week 10 at home. A win over the Browns could establish some much needed momentum.
Stat references from ProFootball-Reference.com
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