As the NFL season reaches its midway point, Week 9 promises to deliver a thrilling slate of games with some of the league’s top teams and players chasing historic milestones. From record-breaking quarterbacks to standout rookies, here’s what to expect in Week 9 of the 2023 NFL season.
Mahomes and Kelce’s Quest for History
The Kansas City Chiefs have been a dominant force in the NFL for several years, thanks in large part to the dynamic duo of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce. Mahomes is just one touchdown pass away from tying Peyton Manning for the second-most games with at least two touchdown passes by a player in their first seven seasons in NFL history. Meanwhile, Kelce is on the cusp of becoming the fourth tight end to reach 11,000 career receiving yards. The Chiefs will take on Miami in Frankfurt, Germany, in what promises to be a historic matchup.
Tyreek Hill’s Record-Breaking Season
Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill is having a sensational season, leading the NFL in receiving yards and touchdown receptions. If he manages to rack up 91 more receiving yards against the Kansas City Chiefs, he will break his own record for the most receiving yards by a player in their first nine games of a season in the Super Bowl era. Hill is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players to watch in Week 9.
Josh Allen’s Dual-Threat Prowess
Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen has been lighting up the league, both through the air and on the ground. With both a passing and rushing touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals, he can tie Aaron Rodgers and Steve Young for the second-most games with at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in NFL history. Allen is part of an exciting matchup that promises plenty of fireworks on Sunday Night Football.
Joe Burrow’s Early Career Success
Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow is approaching his 50th career start and has a chance to make history with three touchdown passes. If he succeeds, he will join the elite company of Patrick Mahomes, Dan Marino, and Kurt Warner for the most touchdown passes by a player in their first 50 career games in NFL history.
Rookie Receivers Turning Heads
The NFL has seen a resurgence of rookie wide receivers making an immediate impact, and Puka Nacua of the Los Angeles Rams is no exception. With impressive reception numbers and yards to boot, Nacua is looking to set records in his first season. Additionally, Minnesota Vikings’ rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison is closing in on a rare feat, aiming to become the first player since 1982 to record at least eight touchdown receptions in his first nine games.
Sack Leaders Battle in AFC North
AFC North boasts two of the most fearsome defensive players in the league, Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns and T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers. These sack specialists are competing for the title of the NFL’s sack leader since 2017. Watt can surpass his brother, J.J. Watt, in sacks, while Garrett is closing in on the legendary DeMarcus Ware.
Zaire Franklin’s Tackling Prowess
Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker Zaire Franklin has been a tackling machine this season, leading the NFL with 102 tackles. If he manages 13 more tackles against the Carolina Panthers, he will surpass Zach Thomas for the most tackles by a player in their team’s first nine games of a season since 2000.
Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown’s Explosive Performances
Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts is known for his dual-threat abilities, and he’s closing in on Cam Newton’s rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks in their first four seasons. A.J. Brown, the talented wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans, is setting records of his own. He aims to tie Randy Moss, Justin Jefferson, and Julio Jones for the second-most games with at least 125 receiving yards in their first five seasons.