Previewing NFL Week 9

Not a great weekend for national TV attractions.

The Thursday night game was a rout with the Packers clobbering an injury-riddled San Francisco team, 34-17.

The Monday night game is the winless Jets against the struggling Patriots.

And the Sunday doubleheader game is rich in tradition – Pittsburgh vs. Dallas – because they’ve played each other three times in the Super Bowl. But with the Steelers unbeaten and the Cowboys struggling, it doesn’t look like a good matchup.

Fortunately, the Sunday night game –New Orleans at Tampa Bay – should be a good one featuring two aging quarterbacks – Tom Brady and Drew Brees – although Brees probably won’t be 100 percent.

—One of the better games — 6-1 Seattle at 6-2 Buffalo — will be a 1 p.m. Sunday game. The Seahawks probably have the edge with Russell Wilson having an MVP season. The Seahawks are the only NFC team with fewer than two losses so they have the inside track on the top seed.

Another good 1 p.m. game features the 5-3 Bears at the 5-2 Titans. The key to this game is which Nick Foles will show up. He’s been very inconsistent since getting the Bears starting job. He shows flashes of being the Super Bowl Foles at times but also reverts to his journeyman status at times.

The third good 1 p.m. games features two 5-2 teams – Ravens and Colts. The Ravens are already two games behind the Steelers in the loss column in their division and can’t afford another loss while the Colts are tied with the Titans for first place in the AFC South. There’s a lot at stake in this game.

—The 7-1 Chiefs, still trying to beat out unbeaten Pittsburgh for the top seed in the AFC, figures to beat an NFC foe – the 3-5 Panthers.

—The 5-2 Cardinals are a game behind Seattle in the NFC West and can’t afford to stumble against 4-3 Miami. Tua Tagovailoa made his first start last week for Miami against the Rams and looked shaky but the Dolphins pulled it out with big plays on defense and special teams. Tagovailoa has to play better if the Dolphins have a chance to upset the Cardinals.

—And then there’s the 3-4 Broncos vs. the 2-6 Falcons, the 3-4 Lions at the 2-5 Vikings, the 1-6 Texans vs. the 1-6 Jaguars, the 1-7 Giants vs. the 2-5 Redskins, and the 2-5 Patriots at the 0-8 Jets. Enough said about those games. A lot of bad games this weekend.

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