NFL Week 9 preview: Chiefs return to action as playoff contenders head for crucial matchups

Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season began with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans on Thursday night and culminates in a Monday night battle between the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints.

With the season almost halfway through, there are several games on Sunday that could have playoff implications, making it a great day for football.

The Kansas City Chiefs are back in action while an NFC Divisional Round Playoff rematch also takes place. The up and down teams in their respective divisions are also at a critical point in their seasons and need to earn a win.

Read below to see how Sunday plays out.

Falcons (4-4) vs. Chargers (4-3) — 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota throws as Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns defends, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Atlanta.
(AP Photo/John Amis)

The Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers Enter Week 9 in a crucial game for both teams. The Falcons lead the NFC North, which is tight. The Chargers are one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in AFC West.

Atlanta could have Cordarrelle Patterson back for the game while the Chargers will likely be without Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. The Falcons got a huge boost in an overtime win over the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles returns from a bye week.

Whoever wins this game will gain momentum at such a crucial time in the season. Playoff spots may be on the line.

Jets (5-3) vs. Bills (6-1) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers crosses the goal line to score against the New York Jets, Sunday, October 30, 2022.

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers crosses the goal line to score against the New York Jets, Sunday, October 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The AFC East may not feel like they’re close, but the standings, for now, tell a different story.

The Buffalo Tickets are the best team in the conference going into Week 9 and would be the best team in the NFL if it weren’t for the Eagles. Josh Allen is looking for a fourth straight week with two or more touchdown passes. He’s had 325 or more passing yards in two of the last three games.

Allen will get a chance to pick rookie Sauce Gardner, who was fantastic for the Jets in his first season. He has 12 passes defended in seven of the last eight games and 12 in total this season. He will have his work cut out to try to keep Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis or Dawson Knox.

A victory in New York would be a real shock. Buffalo has won the last four games.

Commanders (4-4) vs. Vikings (6-1) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin catches Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.

Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin catches Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Don’t look now, but the Washington Commanders are on a three-game winning streak as they host the Minnesota Vikings. The team narrowly escaped the Indianapolis Colts last week.

In a tight NFC East, every game now counts for the commanders and riding the wave with Taylor Heinicke, Terry McLaurin and the combination of Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. might just be what the team needed to get going. movement.

On the other side, Kirk Cousins ​​has the Vikings up front in the NFC North. But they can’t afford to take their foot off the accelerator. The Green Bay Packers could strike at any time and if the Vikings just go to sleep for a week or two, they could be up against an in-form Aaron Rodgers.

Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook will still be important in this one.

Buccaneers (3-5) vs. Rams (3-4) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald celebrates after a sack against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday October 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California.

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald celebrates after a sack against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday October 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Ten months ago, these two teams were battling it out for the playoffs and now they’ve been sitting out for eight weeks.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spat offensively. Tom Brady looks like a shell of himself and the rest of the offense can’t seem to get him going long enough to score on the board. A lengthy layoff after Thursday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens could help them. But injuries on the offensive line and to Shaq Barrett certainly aren’t helping their situation.

The Los Angeles Rams have had their ups and downs and also struggled with injuries. But to stay relevant in the NFC West, a win will be needed against the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Los Angeles is ranked 28th in points scored and 30th in yards gained. Something will have to give.

Chiefs (5-2) vs. Titans (5-2) – 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and wide receiver Mecole Hardman celebrate a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and wide receiver Mecole Hardman celebrate a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, October 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez)

Sunday night’s big game will pit the Kansas City Chiefs against Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs and Titans are both division leaders and fans will be delighted with a dynamo offense led by Patrick Mahomes and one of the game’s greatest running backs in Derrick Henry.

To say Mahomes is on fire at the start of Week 9 is an understatement. He has 33 career games with 300 or more passing yards in six seasons. He is the greatest quarterback of all time in this period. Tennessee has allowed just 19.7 points per game and the defense will need to step up.

It will be the same for Kansas City.

Henry rushed for a season-high 219 yards last game and is looking for his sixth straight game with 130 or more scrimmage yards and fifth in a row with 100 or more rushing yards.

how sunday shakes

1 p.m. ET: Bears (3-5) vs. Chargers (5-3)

1 p.m. ET: Bengals (4-4) vs. Panthers (2-6)

1 p.m. ET: Lions (1-6) vs. Packers (3-5)

1 p.m. ET: Patriots (4-4) vs. Colts (3-4-1)

1 p.m. ET: Jaguars (2-6) vs. Raiders (2-5)

4:05 p.m. ET: Cardinals (3-5) vs. Seahawks (5-3)

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