15 NFL Players Who Need To Have Big Games in Week 9
15 NFL Players Who Need To Step Up in Week 9
NFL week 9 is upon us. We will have officially reached the halfway point for all teams once this week is in the books. Week 9 features several key divisional battles and other matchups that will directly impact conference seeding in the playoffs.
The action will start on Thursday Night Football with a solid AFC battle between the Dolphins and Bengals. Cincinnati is riding high after winning four straight games, while the Dolphins are just the opposite, having dropped four straight. The Dolphins will have home field advantage and they'll need it, as their season is hanging in the balance.
The Chiefs will open up the slate of games on Sunday as they try to run their unbeaten record to 9-0 against the Bills. The Panthers have a key divisional matchup against the Falcons and the Cowboys have a must-win game against Vikings. If Dallas can't put away the lowly Vikings with ease, they certainly have no chance of doing anything worth mentioning in 2013.
But the game of the week will no doubt take place on MNF as the Bears take on the Packers. It will be a classic NFC North battle that will go along way towards determining the fate of the division.
So of course, there will be players in every game this week that need to step it up for their teams. Let's take a look a 15 players who need to have big games in week 9:
Bowe has been a non-factor for most of the season in KC. The Chiefs have been riding their defense so far in 2013, so it's time they get some serious production from their offense. That starts with their best wide receiver.
Lewis has played well since taking over the Bills' QB position a few weeks back. But if Buffalo is going to have any shot of knocking off the unbeaten Chiefs, he'll no doubt need to have the game of his career.
Mike Wallace hasn't been playing like a $60 million dollar man so far in 2013. The Dolphins are struggling mightily right now and they need Wallace to be a difference-maker on TNF to knock off the high-flying Bengals.
Witten has played well in 2013, but he hasn't racked up more than 50 yards in a game in three weeks. The Cowboys have a must-win game against the Vikings on Sunday, so they'll need their Pro Bowl TE to have a big game to ensure a victory.
Chris Ivory/Bilal Powell
The Jets have been up-and-down all season long. Their running game wasn't great in week 8, so one of these backs needs to step up in a big way if the Jets are going to have any shot at pulling the upset over the Saints.
Clemens looked much better than anyone projected he would against the Seahawks on MNF. But at the same time, he threw a couple bad interceptions and failed to get the Rams in the end zone. The Rams have a winnable game against the Titans in week 9, but Clemens must step up and play better.
It's been an awful year for Ray Rice in 2013. He's been injured and simply unable to really get it going. After the Ravens' bye in week 8, fans are hoping that he's rested and ready to go against the Browns in a must-win game.
It looks like Foles will get the nod at QB in week 9 for the Eagles. This team is on the ropes and in need of a big day from the QB position. They have a winnable game against the Raiders, but if they can't get the job done, it might spell the end of their 2013 season.
Johnson has basically been a non-factor all season long in 2013. The Titans once promising season now looks like it's headed down the tubes. They have a very winnable game on the road against the Rams, so Johnson needs to get it going in a big way.
Hall is definitely not the same cornerback he once was, but he showed last week against the Broncos that he can still make plays. The pass-heavy Chargers are coming to town in week 9, so a big day from Hall is just what the doctor ordered.
Let's be honest, nothing has gone to plan for the Texans in 2013. They brought in Ed Reed over the offseason to help put them over the top, but so far he hasn't been the safety of old. Houston needs a spark in the worst way and Reed is an ideal candidate to give them one against the Colts on SNF.
Seahawks' Offensive Line
Russell Wilson was sacked seven times on MNF. On top of that, Marshawn Lynch had by far his worst game of the season. Seattle has a chance to get things together on offense in week 9 against the Bucs, but their offensive line has to play better.
Peppers only has one sack in 2013. The Bears have a crucial road game on MNF football in week against the Packers. Getting pressure on Aaron Rodgers is a must if Chicago wants to walk out of Lambeau with a victory.
Keisel has played well in 2013, but that can't be said for the entire Steelers team. Pittsburgh's season is hanging in the balance and they have a date with the Patriots in week 9. If Keisel can make Tom Brady's life a living you know what, the Steelers will have a much better chance at pulling off the upset.
Ryan had his worst game of the year in week 8. The QB tossed four picks and the Falcons' playoff hopes took a huge hit. They aren't dead yet, but Ryan is going to have to carry this team the rest of the way.