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Top 5 NFL Games to Watch in Week 9

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NFL's Top 5 Games to Watch in Week 9

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Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

As Week 9 of the 2013 NFL season draws near, we'll be honest: there aren't a ton of must-watch games this weekend, at least as it pertains to teams with winning records. However, there are still a handful of contests that should provide entertaining endings.

Modern-day American football fans like offense, especially lots of passing. While that makes me sick as an old-school, defensive-minded, run-oriented football soul, that's the way it is. So you're much more likely to see a shootout between two bad teams that will entertain a modern-day football fan than you are to see a defensive battle between two weak teams. So tally a point for the kids who don't know how to play defense.

But seriously, there are a few games in Week 9 that are worth watching, regardless of the records of the teams that are playing. Here are the top five games to watch on Sunday:

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Falcons at Panthers

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons at the Panthers wouldn't normally jump off the page, but Carolina is above .500 for the first time since 2008 while Atlanta is trying not to fall apart completely. This is a must-win game for both teams in terms of playoff positioning, so expect to see lots of points scored.

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Chargers at Redskins

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers at the Redskins is surprisingly important because San Diego is in the thick of the AFC playoff race while Washington is only a game and a half behind Dallas in the NFC East despite a 2-5 record. Again, there will be lots of points scored in this one and you can expect a wild finish.

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Steelers at Patriots

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers at the Patriots doesn't have a lot of playoff implications for the away team, but New England can't afford to give up any ground and the fact the Brady Bunch is struggling should make this a close game with two multi-Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in the spotlight.

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Colts at Texans

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts at the Texans wouldn't be anything special if Matt Schaub was still under center in Houston, but with Case Keenum at the helm, the Texans gave the undefeated Chiefs all they wanted in Week 7. Expect Andrew Luck and company to experience the same thing in a shootout.

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Packers at Bears

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Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers at the Bears is our game of the week and it would be a season-defining contest if Jay Cutler was playing, but with all the weapons at Josh McCown's disposal, this won't be another primetime blowout. One of the NFL's oldest rivalries should provide us with a reason to watch Monday Night Football for the first time in a while.