NFL Week 9 Preview: Bills and Bengals Try to Figure Out Contender Status

The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals have had uneven starts this season. While the Bengals are putting things together, the Bills still struggle to be consistent. Buffalo has seen its four games all decided by five points or fewer. Two of those games resulted in uninspiring losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati is now one of the hottest teams in the AFC. After losing two games to open the season, fans started to panic as an offseason injury still impacted quarterback Joe Burrow. But top sports news updates show that Burrow only took time to get healthy. Burrow tossed three touchdown passes to help Cincinnati beat the 49ers.

With the NFL about to hit its midway point, all teams will seek to see how to position themselves on the best way to win games. The trade deadline has passed. The playoff chase is about to begin. Here’s a look at some important events set for Week 9.

 

Can the Dolphins Beat a Good Team?

 

 

Miami is deservedly in first place in the AFC East Division with a 6-2 record. But the Dolphins have mostly feasted on teams intimidated by their offensive abilities. Miami’s two losses came to teams that could match their talent on offense and play good defense in Buffalo and Philadelphia. Taking on the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday in Germany may be a good spot for the Dolphins.

The Chiefs’ offense hasn’t looked quite as sharp this season. Kansas City is still seeking a wide receiver to fill the large shoes that Tyreek Hill left behind when he left the team two seasons ago. The Chiefs only scored nine points and saw a 16-game winning streak against Denver stopped last week. 

Miami scored 70 points on offense earlier this season. While Black sports news shows that Patrick Mahomes is still one the top quarterbacks in the league, the Chiefs have a lot of work to do on offense to catch up to Miami’s.

 

Jets Hanging Around Without Rodgers

 

 

It’s hard to imagine how good the 4-3 New York Jets would be with quarterback Aaron Rodgers after center. However, Rodgers was lost for the season in Week 1. Former first-round pick Zach Wilson has filled in with inconsistent results. The Jets need him to snap out of it against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.

During an ugly 13-10 overtime win last week, Wilson only completed 47.2 percent of his passes. Even though Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert had his hand taped up last week, he could complete 77.5 percent of his passes against the Chicago Bears.

Herbert, overall, finished with 298 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Jets have the fifth-best passing defense in the league, only allowing their opponents to gain 184.4 yards per game. Even with a stout defense, the Jets will need more help from their offense to win the game.

 

Levis Changes Titans Plans

 

Tennessee quarterback Will Levis may have changed the path of a franchise. There were many rumors the Titans would deal star running back Derrick Henry at the trade deadline. However, Levis tossed four touchdown passes against Atlanta last week to lead the Titans to a 28-23 win.

With a 3-4 record and a Thursday night game with a banged-up Pittsburgh team looming, selling didn’t seem like such a great idea. Levis was rumored to be a potential top-10 pick in last spring’s draft but ended up falling to the second round. After starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill was injured and backup Malik Willis was ineffective, the Titans gave Levis a chance last Sunday.

He delivered. Levis won’t have to worry about facing the full brunt of the Steelers’ star-studded defense. Pittsburgh safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has been ruled out, while star defensive end Cameron Heyward has missed much of the season with an injury. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett will play, but he also got banged up in their game last week.

 

Falcons Can’t Let Season Slip Away

 

The Falcons are tied for first place in the NFC South Division with the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons’ game this Sunday against Minnesota may end up being the one that decides the fate of their season. The Vikings have been on a good run of play but lost starting quarterback Kirk Cousins to a knee injury against Green Bay last Sunday.

Minnesota added Joshua Dobbs, who had been starting for Arizona, at the trade deadline, but asking him to play this weekend will be a tough turnaround. The Vikings’ backup quarterback, Jaren Hall, likely isn’t ready either. Hall was a fifth-round pick and has 23 passing yards in his career.

The Falcons pulled their second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder due to ineffectiveness early last week. Atlanta may lean on veteran quarterback Taylor Heinecke for the rest of the season. Heinecke once started a playoff game for the Washington Commanders and has seen success at the NFL level.

 

Eagles and Cowboys Ready to Renew Hostilities

 

Dallas has won two straight games and is keeping the pressure on Philadelphia for first place in the division. If the Cowboys want to establish themselves as contenders, they will build on their blowout win over the Los Angeles Rams last week with a win over the defending NFC Champions.

Dallas’ offense put up its best performance of the season. The Cowboys were led by quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished with four touchdowns and 304 passing yards. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb also had a big day, finishing with 158 yards and two touchdowns.

The Eagles have won back-to-back games but needed a furious rally to beat the Commanders last week. Philadelphia outscored Washington 28-14 in the second half of a 38-31 win.

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