NFL Schedule Week 9: When and Where to Catch Every Game

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is chased by Julius Peppers #90 and Israel Idonije #71 of the Chicago Bears rushes at Soldier Field on December 16, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-13.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Week 9 in the NFL marks the halfway point of the long season, and the schedule is about as exciting as you might expect from a normal hump-day scenario. 

Of the 13 games scheduled to be contested, only one features two winning teams, as noted by Bill Bender of the Sporting News. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers finish the week off at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football:

This underwhelming slate of games is partly due to the fact that the Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers are all on a bye.

Heading into the second half of the season, only the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated, with a record of 8-0. On the opposite end of the spectrum, two teams remain winless, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear destined for top-three picks in the 2014 NFL draft.

Here's a look at when and where you can catch every game on the schedule in Week 9, followed by a closer look at a few things worthy of keeping your eye on this weekend. 

Thursday, Oct. 31Time (ET)TVLocation
Cincinnati at Miami8:25 PMNFLSun Life Stadium
Sunday, Nov. 3Time (ET)TVLocation
Kansas City at Buffalo1 PMCBSRalph Wilson Stadium
Minnesota at Dallas1 PMFOXAT&T Stadium
Tennessee at St. Louis1 PMCBSEdward Jones Dome
New Orleans at NY Jets1 PMFOXMetLife Stadium
San Diego at Washington1 PMCBSFedEx Field
Atlanta at Carolina1 PMFOXBank of America Stadium
Philadelphia at Oakland4:05 PMFOXO.co Coliseum
Tampa Bay at Seattle4:05 PMFOXCenturyLink Field
Baltimore at Cleveland4:25 PMCBSFirstEnergy Stadium
Pittsburgh at New England4:25 PMCBSGillette Stadium
Indianapolis at Houston8:30 PMNBCReliant Stadium
Monday, Nov. 4Time (ET)TVLocation
Chicago at Green Bay8:30 PMESPN and Watch ESPNLambeau Field
ESPN.com

 

Will Carolina Take Another Step Toward the Playoffs?

The Carolina Panthers are on the verge of breaking through with a playoff berth in 2013. With a record of 4-3, Carolina is currently in seventh place in the NFC. 

But the Panthers have yet to face the two teams that have dominated the NFC South the past few years.

Winning against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints will truly signal this team's readiness for the postseason, and the Panthers get their first chance to make a big statement within the division this weekend at home against the Falcons. 

This is a game Carolina should win. 

Atlanta was just creamed by the Arizona Cardinals, and it has lost four of its last five games. 

Without Julio Jones and Roddy White, Matt Ryan hasn't been the same, and the Falcons haven't been able to run the ball this season, compounding the issue.

The Panthers' stifling defense will take care of business at home this weekend.

The key is Newton. He's played the best football of his career the past three games, throwing six touchdowns and zero interceptions while adding another two scores on the ground. If he continues to take on the mantle of "game manager," then the Panthers will easily move to 5-3 on the season.

 

Will Indianapolis Sink or Swim without Reggie Wayne?

Reggie Wayne is done for the year with a torn ACL, and while it's a tough blow for the Indianapolis Colts to absorb, it'll be fascinating to see how Andrew Luck responds without his trusted target. 

There's hope for Colts fans.

As shown by ESPN Stats & Info, while Wayne was certainly Luck's favorite target, he wasn't his most profitable:

Losing Wayne puts the spotlight on T.Y. Hilton and free-agent acquisition Darrius Heyward-Bey. The two of them, along with tight end Coby Fleener, must rise to the occasion this Sunday night when the Colts travel to Houston to take on divisional rival Houston.

This Colts team has impressively knocked off three of the top teams in the league this year, but a loss to the Texans could signal a rough road ahead.

 

How Will Chicago Play Minus Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs?

The Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, but the Bears will be without their leader on both sides of the ball.

Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs both suffered injuries in Week 8 and will not play in this contest, though they both hope to return to action sooner than the estimates first given, as noted by Bleacher Report's Zach Kruse:

In Cutler's place will be veteran backup Josh McCown, who played well last weekend, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown against Washington.

If McCown can play with similar effectiveness this week against the Packers, then the Bears will have a chance to steal a road win in Lambeau.

However, Chicago's defense will surely miss Briggs, who is the leader in the huddle and who was having one of his best seasons to date before getting injured. Rookie Jon Bostic was already pressed into service after D.J. Williams' injury earlier this year, and now Khaseem Greene, who is also a rookie, will have to fill in for Briggs.

You have to believe Aaron Rodgers and his offensive teammates are licking their chops for a chance to exploit these rookies.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78