Previewing NFL Week 9

When the NFL schedule came out this spring, the Green Bay at Kansas City game seemed like one of the highlights of the season.

The idea of Patrick Mahomes dueling Aaron Rodgers figured to be ratings gold and Fox wanted the game to be a late afternoon doubleheader.

Now it turned out Rodgers won’t play because he tested positive for Covid, but that hasn’t deflated the matchup. Jordan Love will now make his first start for the Packers, and now it is even a better story.

To start with, Rodgers did not admit he was not vaxxed before he tested positive and didn’t follow the protocols for players who aren’t vaxxed and then tried to act as if he is the victim.

Anyway, how Love plays is critical to the Packers’ future. Rodgers wants out and if Love, drafted in the first round a year ago, is the long-term answer, they don’t have to find a new quarterback once Rodgers leaves.

There’s also the question of how long Rodgers will be sidelined and if the NFL will issue fines for him and the Packers for not following protocols for players who aren’t vaxxed.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have a lot of issues on their own. They haven’t played like the team that made the Super Bowl the last two years and desperately need a win to stay in the race. There is a lot at stake in this game.

This game overshadows the two prime time games. The Titans-Rams Sunday night game lost a lot of its luster when Derrick Henry was sidelined with a foot injury. It would have been must-see TV if he were running against Aaron Donald.

The Monday night pits Chicago vs. Pittsburgh. Fox has the doubleheader and Arizona and San Francisco is the other second game but it will get limited exposure compared to the Green Bay-Chiefs game.

Fox has three 1 p.m. games featuring Dallas-Denver, Baltimore-Minnesota, New Orleans-Atlanta and Houston-Miami.CBS has a single game in each market including four 1 p.m. games. Cleveland-Cincinnati is the feature attraction. The other three 1 p.m. games are Las Vegas-Giants, New England-Carolina and Buffalo-Jacksonville. Their late game is Chargers-Eagles.

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