Early-season surprises have given way to what is becoming an increasingly clear NFL picture.
Unexpected successes such as the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles stand atop the NFL mountain with three of the best records in the league. Teams with lofty expectations based on last year's output, such as the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans, have struggled to remain relevant.
The New England Patriots are beginning to look a lot like the dominant, championship-ready Patriots that fans love to hate, while the New Orleans Saints are riding a wave of momentum generated by five straight victories.
Will any of the aforementioned teams maintain their winning ways, or will Week 9 prove to be upset-heavy?
Find out who you can expect to leave each game with another quality victory, as well as the spreads and odds information for each of the Week 9 matchups from OddsShark.
Week 9 Spreads and Predictions
Thursday, November 2: Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at New York Jets; Bills 24-21
Sunday, November 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-7); Saints 30-15
Sunday, November 5: Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles (-7); Eagles 17-13
Sunday, November 5: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (-4.5); Ravens 23-13
Sunday, November 5: Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at New York Giants; Rams 23-14
Sunday, November 5: Oakland Raiders (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins; Dolphins 28-17
NFC South Showdown
At 4-3, last year's NFC champion Atlanta Falcons have underperformed in 2017. Too often, their offense has appeared out of sync, and their defense has been picked apart by everyone from Tom Brady to Jay Cutler.
The team that once appeared poised for a run at the championship that eluded them last year looks like the victim of the dreaded Super Bowl hangover.
The Carolina Panthers, on the other hand, may be inconsistent but have assembled a 5-3 record thanks to steady defensive performances and just enough offense to keep opponents playing catch-up.
It may be too early to call a match pivotal in each team's season, but Sunday's showdown between Atlanta and Carolina may well go a long way in determining who does and does not make the playoffs, not to mention to earns the NFC South crown.
The key to the matchup will be the Atlanta defense's ability to stop quarterback Cam Newton from scrambling, essentially rendering him a statue behind an offensive line that has struggled again the pass rush, giving up 22 sacks this season.
If they neutralize Newton, pass-rushers like Vic Beasley will have a field day and the Falcons will ride their defense to a major divisional win.
If not, Newton will run all over the field and the Falcons will be left to wonder whether last year's magic was a one-hit wonder.
All-In on Deshaun Watson
The most explosive and captivating rookie of the 2017 class, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is quickly making a league full of front office suits look like fools for not drafting him this past May.
The former Clemson Tiger broke Hall of Famer Kurt Warner's record Sunday for most touchdown passes by a quarterback in his first seven games, tossing four against the vaunted Seattle Seahawks secondary to bring his total to 19.
Sunday, Watson will face an Indianapolis Colts defense that is ranked 31st against the pass.
With weapons like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller at his disposal, that means a long day for Colts players and fans. Watson and Co. should move the ball up and down the field as the rookie phenom solidifies his status as the brightest young star in the league.
Early 11.5-point favorites, do not be surprised to see the Texans double that in one of their more impressive and dominant victories of the season on the arm of a player who appears destined for greatness in only his first professional season.
1st Win for San Francisco?
The 49ers fell to 0-8 for the first time in the history of the storied franchise Sunday, losing to the 7-1 Philadelphia Eagles in decisive fashion at Lincoln Financial Field. The team synonymous with Super Bowls throughout the 1980s will return home to Levi's Stadium in Week 9 to battle NFC West foes, the reeling Arizona Cardinals.
With quarterback Carson Palmer on injured reserve as a result of the broken arm he suffered in the Week 7 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams, the Cardinals will turn to Drew Stanton to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Against a team that always plays with heart and puts its best foot forward, that will not happen.
Rookie QB C.J. Beathard will guide the Niners to their first win of the season, knocking off a Cardinals team that always appears to have the talent to be a division leader but rarely puts it together in the form of a great season.
A win for San Francisco would leave the Cleveland Browns as the only team in the NFL without a victory.
Not that you should be shocked by that.