Following week 8 in the NFL, the landscape of teams has certainly changed. No longer can the Kansas City Chiefs be considered a top Super Bowl contender without starter Patrick Mahomes in the lineup. The San Francisco 49ers, however, have taken over as a top option to win the NFC after achieving a 7-0 record and shutting down the majority of their opponents.
Without the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams in action, there will be 14 total games played over the weekend. The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers will kick off the week with a Thursday night battle between NFC West foes. Will the rookie in Kyler Murray be able to shut down the undefeated 49ers in the desert?
Of course, Week 9 will feature another game in the International Series as two more teams head over to London. This time, the fans overseas will be able to watch an AFC South rivalry take center stage while the fans in America will start watching football earlier than normal.
With kickoff approaching, it's time to buckle down and find out when the games will take place.
San Francisco 49ers (7-0) at Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
8:20 p.m. EST (Thursday Night Football) at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Through the first seven games of the season, the 49ers' defense has allowed 224.4 total yards per game, according to NFL Research. This group has also allowed 100 or fewer net passing yards in four consecutive games and could be the first team since the 1973 Patriots to achieve this feat in five games. All they have to do is limit Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, the rookie that has thrown for at least 100 yards in every game this season, including three with more than 300.prevnext
Houston Texans (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)
9:30 a.m. EST at Wembley Stadium (London)
Once again, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be lining up as the home team at Wembley Stadium. This Florida-based franchise has been making the trek to the United Kingdom since 2013 and is well-versed in the process.
The Texans, however, have never played a game overseas and they will do so against rookie phenom Gardner Minshew. Will the mustache-wearing quarterback keep pace with Texans' star Deshaun Watson?prevnext
Chicago Bears (3-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
1:00 p.m. EST at Lincoln Financial Field
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a decisive victory over the Buffalo Bills and are on a mission to keep piling up wins. The Chicago Bears, however, are in a very different place now that they recently lost to the Los Angeles Chargers.
There have been questions all week about quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and whether or not he is the future, but Sunday's game might be his best opportunity to put together a complete performance against an Eagles defense that has frequently given up big plays to opposing signal-callers.prevnext
Minnesota Vikings (6-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)
1:00 p.m. EST at Arrowhead Stadium
Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs went toe-to-toe with the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rogers using a backup quarterback in Matt Moore. Without Patrick Mahomes in the lineup, this offense could have been severely hampered, but head coach Andy Reid and his staff found ways to keep the group moving up and down the field.
Next up is a battle with the Minnesota Vikings, who are riding a four-game winning streak. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been effective while throwing for 10 touchdowns and only one interception during the streak, and he has been finding both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen for big plays. This matchup on Sunday afternoon could turn into another high-scoring affair.prevnext
Indianapolis Colts (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4)
1:00 p.m. EST at Heinz Field
The Indianapolis Colts have capably replaced the retired Andrew Luck while relying on former backup Jacoby Brissett to lead the way. The NC State product has kept this offense moving and even led a late game-winning drive against the Denver Broncos in week 8.
The Steelers, on the other hand, fell into a 14-0 deficit during Monday night's game against the Miami Dolphins but were able to mount a comeback and achieve victory. However, doing so against the Colts defense will be more difficult, especially if running back James Conner doesn't play with his sprained AC joint.prevnext
New York Jets (1-6) at Miami Dolphins (0-7)
1:00 p.m. EST at Hard Rock Stadium
This battle between two AFC East teams will either result in the Jets securing their second victory of the season or the Dolphins winning their first game. Both teams have struggled mightily during the 2019 campaign for a variety of reasons and appear destined for top-five draft picks.
The Jets, in particular, are embroiled in some locker room controversy after reports surfaced that GM Joe Douglas was trying to trade both running back Le'Veon Bell and star safety Jamal Adams.prevnext
Washington Redskins (1-7) at Buffalo Bills (5-2)
1:00 p.m. EST at New Era Field
Coming off the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills are looking for a victory in order to keep pace with the division-leading New England Patriots. As it turns out, this battle against the Washington Redskins comes at a fitting time considering that the DC team has been unable to consistently compete throughout the season.
Starting quarterback Case Keenum is currently expected to miss the game with a concussion, so rookie backup Dwayne Haskins will step into the starting role. The Ohio State product has thrown four interceptions in limited snaps and will be facing off with a Bills defense that has six picks on the season.prevnext
Tennessee Titans (4-4) at Carolina Panthers (4-3)
1:00 p.m. EST at Bank of America Stadium
What was once expected to be a battle between first-round quarterbacks has now turned into a matchup between backups forced into the starting lineup. Kyle Allen continues to lead the Panthers in lieu of an injured Cam Newton while former Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has been promoted in place of Marcus Mariota.
Both teams have found success with their new signal-callers given that Tannehill is 2-0 while Allen is 4-1. However, the Panthers defense may play the biggest role in determining this matchup, especially with the home-field advantage.prevnext
Detroit Lions (3-3-1) at Oakland Raiders (3-4)
4:05 p.m. EST at RingCentral Coliseum
For the first time since week one, the Oakland Raiders will be hosting an NFL game. The Silver and Black just finished an extended road trip that included stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Texas and the United Kingdom, and the fans couldn't be more excited.
The Lions are in search of a second consecutive victory after defeating the New York Giants, but suiting up in the Black Hole is never easy, especially considering that the Raiders were able to defeat unexpected teams in the Colts and the Bears. With two productive quarterbacks in Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr, this battle could turn into a shootout in the Bay Area.prevnext
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) at Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
4:05 p.m. EST at CenturyLink Field
On paper, this game between the Buccaneers and the Seahawks should not be competitive. Quarterback Russell Wilson has Seattle's offense rolling and has accounted for 17 passing touchdowns and only one interception.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have been able to make some games competitive behind big plays from receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but quarterback Jameis Winston has also been throwing interceptions at a rapid rate. If he keeps free of mistakes, the former first overall pick could lead the Buccaneers to an unexpected victory.prevnext
Green Bay Packers (7-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)
4:25 p.m. EST at Dignity Health Sports Park
Once 2-5 and reeling from a loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Los Angeles Chargers were counted down and out. However, they responded by defeating the Chicago Bears. Now the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers are coming to town fresh off two head-turning performances by quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Shutting down the Wisconsin team will not be a simple task considering that the running game and passing attack complement each other, but doing so will be the Chargers' best avenue for achieving success at home.prevnext
Cleveland Browns (2-5) at Denver Broncos (2-6)
4:25 p.m. EST at Empower Field at Mile High
This team led by Baker Mayfield has not performed up to preseason expectations and is facing even more criticism after their starting QB had a tense back-and-forth with a reporter on Wednesday. The Broncos are dealing with issues of their own after Joe Flacco called out the coaching staff for coaching scared, only to be sidelined by a neck injury. Backup Brandon Allen will now be stepping into the starting role and attempting to get the Denver-based team a third victory.prevnext
New England Patriots (8-0) at Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
8:20 p.m. EST (Sunday Night Football) at M&T Bank Stadium
Possibly the most-anticipated game of week 9, this game will feature the two teams that are expected to compete for a spot in Super Bowl LIV. Second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson has utilized both his legs and his arm while leading the Ravens to victory while the defense has benefited from the trade that brought cornerback Marcus Peters to town.
The Patriots have arguably the most effective defense in the league this season after shutting down the Bills, the Browns, the Jets, and every other team that they have faced off with. Although this group has been victimized by the run at times. Will the veteran in Brady reign supreme in primetime, or will the next generation of quarterback play lead the Ravens to victory?prevnext
Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at New York Giants (2-6)
8:15 p.m. EST (Monday Night Football) at MetLife Stadium0comments
With the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago, the Dak Prescott-led team has now taken control of the NFC East. However, the New York Giants and rookie Daniel Jones are looking to get back into the conversation. These two longtime rivals will settle their differences in primetime courtesy of ESPN, and the outcome of the game will play a large role in the division race. Taking care of business could widen the Cowboys' lead over the Eagles, but a loss would drop them back into essentially a tie.
Photo Credit: Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Imagesprev