Here are the four most exciting NFL week 9 games that we think are a must watch.
49ers at Cardinals: Thursday, 10.31 8:20 pm ET.
It should be an easy divisional win for the Niners on Thursday night. Or should it?
What to watch for: Divisional road game with a theoretically inferior opponent? Check. Short week? Check. Rivalry game the following week with serious playoff implications? Check. That, right there folks, is trap game bingo. Let’s see if the Niners can stay on task. Spoiler alert: they probably will.
Vikings at Chiefs: Sunday, 10.20 1 pm ET.
The white-hot Vikings are rolling over everything in their path the past few weeks. Will they roll over the soft defensive front of the Chiefs?
What to watch for: Once again, Patrick Mahomes. Reportedly, Mahomes has been more involved at practice than last week, following his patellar dislocation. The Chiefs will need their leader to keep pace. After a tough week against the Packers, the Chiefs might have an even tougher test headed their way. The Vikings offense is rolling, and they have the best point differential (+79) in the NFC outside of San Francisco. Dalvin Cook is a legit MVP contender and the Cousins-Diggs thing is working out after all. If Mahomes goes, its likely to be a good one. If he can’t, the Vikings probably have too much firepower.
Browns at Broncos, Sunday 10.20 4:05 pm ET.
OK- so, we’re probably not likely to get objectively “good” football in this one. Instead we’re likely to see some fireworks as the Browns and Broncos both try to save their seasons.
What to watch for: Denver’s defensive front vs. Baker Mayfield. If Mayfield has time, he’ll have a chance to slice and dice the Broncos secondary with OBJ and Jarvis Landry. But if the Browns suspect offensive line can’t buy him some time and the Broncos front can create chaos, the wheels might come off the wagon and Baker’s outburst this week will seem like child’s play.
Patriots at Ravens, Sunday 10.20 8:20pm ET.
Two division leaders in prime time. Get your popcorn ready, it’s going to be a good one.
What to watch for: The Ravens boast the second most points per game in the league behind only the Patriots. But the Patriots are simultaneously one of the stingiest defenses in recent memory, allowing just over 7.5 points per contest. Something’s got to give. Will the Patriot’s tough man scheme and disguised blitz packages be susceptible to Lamar Jackson’s mobility and playmaking? Or will he be just the next second year QB to get stymied by the hoodie?
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