The second half of the 2018 season kicks off this week, and the race to the playoffs is on.
The “contenders” are about to set themselves apart from the “pretenders.”
Here’s who Ravens fans should be rooting for in Week 9:
New York Jets (3-5) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Both teams have lost back-to-back games and are looking to stay afloat in the AFC wild-card race with the New England Patriots seemingly on their way to yet another division title. Being that the Dolphins are one game up, they obviously have the advantage for now.
Root for: Jets
Houston Texans (5-3) at Denver Broncos (3-5)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
The Texans have won five straight and are the front-runners in the AFC South with the Titans and Jaguars both spiraling. But who knows if one of those teams or even the suddenly-hot Colts (3-5) could turn it on and win that division? It’s hard to see the Broncos getting into the playoffs with the Chiefs (7-1) and Chargers (5-2) in their division. Plus, the Ravens have a head-to-head tiebreaker over Denver. So let’s cool the Texans off a little.
Root for: Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers (5-2) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
If the Ravens don’t win the AFC North, the Chargers are going to be one of their top challengers for a wild-card spot. The Seahawks are suddenly playing good ball, having won four of their last five games. They’ll give the Chargers – winners of four straight – a stiff challenge, especially at their raucous home.
Root for: Seahawks
Green Bay Packers (3-3-1) at New England Patriots (6-2)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
It’s the Patriots vs. an NFC team. Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers. Even though the Patriots are almost certainly going to the playoffs, this one should at least be entertaining.
Root for: Packers
Tennessee Titans (3-4) at Dallas Cowboys (3-4)
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
The Titans had lost three in a row before a much-needed bye. Quarterback Marcus Mariota reportedly has feeling back in his throwing hand. Tennessee needs to get hot fast to stay in the race. The Cowboys are still in the mix in the NFC East.
Root for: Cowboys