NFL Week 9
Top story lines | Injury news
Fantasy football | ATS betting tips / picks
Follow along here for Sunday's NFL games. Check back after "Sunday Night Football" for a look at the biggest moments and trends to watch.
This week brings two of the most highly anticipated games of the season.
The first pits the 8-0 Los Angeles Rams against the New Orleans Saints in the national game at 4:25 p.m. ET. From there we go to Gillette Stadium, where it happened in the regular season is going to take place. It's Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady, known as the Green Bay Packers Vs. the New England Patriots, on "Sunday Night Football."
Not that anticipation is off the charts or anything.
"Those type of matchups are really kind of what we look forward to as fans," Brett Favre said on SiriusXM NFL radio, "and this is an epic matchup. Now, is that more than those two playing against each other? Absolutely, and as a coach you're stressing that. But it is fun to watch. From a fan's standpoint this is what you look forward to seeing – Bird and Magic, or a great hitter against a great pitcher. "
Finally, after a week of hyperbole that somehow involved talk about GOAT-hood and unicorns, the two quarterbacks will face off for the last time in a regular-season game. Barring a Super Bowl, the schedule would not be up until 2022 in Green Bay (Brady would be 45 and Rodgers either 39 or 40, if the game is in December).
But first: Okay, Jared Goff vs. Drew Brees does not have the same cachet, but the Rodgers-Brady undercard is pretty tasty, featuring the Rams, who got past the Packers by forcing a fumble with 2 minutes left and then smartly running out the clock, and the 6-1 Minnesota's Saints victory revealed that they need not rely on any of them in a huge NFC battle.
The Saints are 3-0 since running back Mark Ingram rejoined Alvin Kamara in the backfield after his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and 6-0 since their season-opening loss to Tampa Bay in a 48- 40 shootout. For the Rams, Todd Gurley is drawing MVP talk, but Aaron Donald is putting on tremendous defensive numbers.
Mahomes watch: Patrick Mahomes stands on the threshold of another remarkable achievement. With 300 passing yards, he can join Andrew Luck as the only quarterbacks with at least that number in eight consecutive games in a single season. Luck did it in 2014 and Mahomes is presently tied to Brees (who did it in 2011) at seven. So Mahomes has passed four touchdowns in three consecutive games (five total this season) and can become the third QB in league history with at least four TD passes in six games in a single season. (The other two – Peyton Manning with six games in 2004 and nine in 2013 and Dan Marino with six in 1984.)
A's show in Miami? The Hard Rock Stadium field in Miami was reported by ESPN to be in terrible shape for Jets-Dolphins. "The field is horrendous," Adam Schefter. "It's a complete s-show." Through the first half, it was holding up.
A pink slip for Harbaugh? The Ravens have gone 1-3 after a 3-1 start and play the Steelers with their coach, John Harbaugh, reportedly on a very hot seat. "While a midseason coaching change is not currently taking place, it has not been ruled out either," the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. "The second week of this week, with Hue Jackson ousted in Cleveland last week. Gregg Williams coaches his first game as the interim choice Sunday.
Welcome back, Chargers: The team used to play games, remember? They've been off beating the Titans on Oct. 21 and play Sunday in Seattle.
Top story lines
Bradford gone: Saturday, releasing quarterback Sam Bradford, who had completed 50 of 80 attempts for 400 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions and 62.5 passport rating.
A scary safety: The Redskins' D.J. Swearinger wants everyone to know the NFL's "scariest safety." (Read more.)
Trade deadline wrap-up: Grading the latest deals without a blockbusters. (Read more.)
Safety dance: The Redskins might have the NFL's best safety duo. Now, they have to make it work. (Read more.)
Another Giants headache: Eli Manning's possible replacement arrested for allegedly endangering a cop. (Read more.)
Who's off: The Cardinals, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Giants and Eagles have byes this week.
No Gronk? Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable against the packers with back and ankle injuries. He missed Monday's game against Buffalo, but practiced Friday. Among others on New England's lengthy list of questionables: offensive tackles Trent Brown (ankle) and Marcus Cannon (concussion), linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee), defensive end John Simon (shoulder), running back Sony Michel (knee) and wide receivers Julian Edelman (ankle), Josh Gordon (hamstring) and Cordarrelle Patterson (neck). Guard Shaq Mason (calf) has been ruled out.
Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison was diagnosed with serious injury in practice and is doubtful. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring), linebacker Nick Perry (ankle) and safety Jermaine Whitehead (back) are all questionable.
Calling Mr. Peterman: Bills quarterback Derek Anderson remains in Concussion Protocol, so it's Nathan Peterman as the starter.
No Trent Williams: Chris Thompson (rib) and wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle) – Trent Williams, who is doing week-to-week after having had thumb surgery, wants to miss the game against the Falcons. So Williams has a shoulder injury.
Saints defensive end out: Rookie Marcus Davenport, who has four sacks on the season, is about to be injured.
Torrey Smith out: Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith wants to miss the game against the Buccaneers with a knee injury.
No Tannehill: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill wants to miss his fourth straight game because of a shoulder injury, with Brock Osweiler again starting in his place. After a 3-0 start, the Dolphins have lost two in a row and are 4-4.
Mack and Robinson out: Khalil Mack is out and about Allen Robinson.
Kyle Long out: Bear's guard Kyle Long wants miss six-to-eight weeks with a foot injury.
How's Cam? Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has not been around for much of the time. Newton, who has not felt that deep in the spring of 2017, says he's fine and his shoulder feels great, putting that to rest.
Start / sit: Adrian Peterson does not want to slow down against the Falcons. (Read more.)
The waiver wire: It's all about the passing game. (Read more.)
Week 9 cheat sheet: Dig in and dominate. (Read more.)
Must players: The fantasy football players you need in your lineup. (Read more.)
ATS Betting Tips / Picks
The latest trends: The Redskins and Rams wants to win again. (Read more.)