The NFL will start to get better as divisions become tighter and games become more important by the week. In week 9 of the 2016 NFL season, there’s four key division games that are worth watching.
Lions @ Vikings: 1 p.m.
The NFC North is shaping up to be a tight race. Vikings still lead the division at 5-2 despite losing back-to-back games, but the Packers (4-3) and Lions (4-4) are looming. It becomes a lot tighter if the Lions can pull out a win in Minnesota Sunday.
Steelers @ Ravens: 1 p.m.
AFC North are always good, and this one is important. Losers of four straight, the Ravens (3-4) look to get back on track against an always-tough opponent. The Steelers expect a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger to return, and he’ll have his hands full if the Ravens’ bye week proved critical for a banged up defense.
Falcons @ Bucs: Thursday Night Football
The Bucs (3-4) are coming off a tough overtime loss at home to the Raiders, but they have a chance to bounce back and find themselves within a games reach of the NFC South. The 5-3 Falcons have lost two of their last three games by a combined five points. Can the Bucs keep up with the #1 ranked offense in the league?
Broncos @ Raiders: Sunday Night Football
In perhaps the game of the week between two 6-2 teams leading the AFC West, we’ll find out a lot more about a Raiders team that has taken the NFL by surprise. They’re 6-2, but 1-2 at home. Derek Carr is making a case for MVP, but can he show up at home, on primetime, against the best defense in the league?