November is upon us, and the NFL season is about to kick into another gear.
While we still have “Monday Night Football,” Week 9 is just about here, and we’re coming off one of the weirder weeks in recent memory.
Playoff races all of a sudden are wide open. In the AFC, for example, the Tennessee Titans jumped two spots to take hold of the No. 1 seed, while the Cincinnati Bengals fell all the way to No. 5 in the conference with their shocking loss to the New York Jets. In the NFC, meanwhile, the shorthanded Packers now own the top spot after a gutsy win in Arizona, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell into the three-spot. That’s because of a loss to the New Orleans Saints, who are now just a game behind the Bucs in the NFC South but might be without quarterback Jameis Winston for the rest of the season.
With the focus shifting to Week 9, there are a handful of intriguing matchups with potentially massive playoff implications, like the Cleveland Browns going to Cincinnati and trying to keep pace in the AFC North. Meanwhile, the “Sunday Night Football” matchup is a Super Bowl XXXIV rematch and perhaps a Super Bowl preview with the Titans headed to LA to take on the Rams.
Here are the opening lines for Week 9 in the NFL.
THURSDAY, NOV. 4
New York Jets at (-10.5) Indianapolis Colts, 47
SUNDAY, NOV. 7
(-3) New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers, 43
(-14) Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars, 49.5
Cleveland Browns at (-3) Cincinnati Bengals, 45.5
(-3) Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants, 48
Houston Texans at (-7) Miami Dolphins, 45.5
Atlanta Falcons at (-5) New Orleans Saints, 43.5
Denver Broncos at (-7) Dallas Cowboys, 48.5
Minnesota Vikings at (-6) Baltimore Ravens, 50.5
(-3) Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles, 51
(-3) Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers, 47.5
Green Bay Packers at (-2.5) Kansas City Chiefs, 54
Tennessee Titans at (-6.5) Los Angeles Rams, 55
MONDAY, NOV. 8
Chicago Bears at (-6.5) Pittsburgh Steelers, 40