NFL: 7 huge questions we want answered in Week 9

Nick Bosa pounded the Carolina Panthers' offensive line to pieces last week - this week he gets to show the Cardinals what they're missing

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The New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers are the NFL’s only unbeaten teams at the midpoint of the NFL season. We could potentially put this down to their brilliance, but to me, it’s fairly obvious.

The two teams yet to taste defeat are the team that Tom Brady plays for, and the team Tom Brady supported as a boy. I mean – how else are you going to explain their sudden change of fortunes? It’s certainly not through the route-running brilliance of Deebo Samuel.

This, and seven more questions all in the one place. What more could you want?

And no, that’s not one of them.

Arizona Cardinals

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Will the Cardinals regret passing on Nick Bosa?

The Niners are travelling to the desert to tackle the Cards, but the team has been going to the well time and time again when it comes to Nick Bosa sacks.

With the first overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cards picked Kyler Murray. That experiment might work in time, but right now, it’s looking like Bosa was the best player in the entire draft.

He says he’s got a chip on his shoulder because he was passed over. Will he show it on Thursday night?

Whose season will be over – Chicago or Philly?

These sides are both at a crucial juncture in their season. Philly were a lot of people’s Super Bowl pick pre-season, while the Bears are coming off a 12-4 season.

But neither of these two looks even playoff-ready now, and whoever loses this one is all but out of contention.

The early money says Philly will escape with the win, but it’s hard to be super confident in either of these two units at the moment.

Is Patrick Mahomes being rushed back too early?

His kneecap wobbled. He was then practically carried off the hallowed turf. I do not understand, with surgery evidently required, why Mahomes is coming back this early. He’ll have missed two games, while some of the early opinions suggested a six-week minimum.

If he takes a big hit to the knee in this one, the Chiefs have only themselves to blame for rolling the dice with both their season and his career.

Can Seattle run the ball on Tampa Bay?

This Bucs defence is stingy.

While Tampa Bay themselves may not be any great shakes, their front seven is nasty against opposing running backs and leads the league in terms of rushing yards per game against.

This is no fluke, and Arians always puts an emphasis on it. It’s just that the transition has happened exceptionally quickly.

Seattle are a run-first unit who utilise play-action off their success on the ground – but will they even get started?

Tom Brady Bill Belichick

Is New England v Baltimore a dress rehearsal for the AFC title game?

Could be. Lamar Jackson looks a new player and New England are New England. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that Bill hides some of their better plays in this one just in case.

That might seem far-fetched, but you have no idea of the lengths that man will go to in order to get any form of competitive edge over the opposition.

It’s admirable in its way – and so very Patriot-y.

Can Matt Stafford throw for 600 yards?

Oakland are giving up a third-worst 285 yards per game through the air and Matt Stafford now has no running back following Kerryon Johnson’s addition to IR.

They’ve not only leant on him to this point, they’ve actively won games because he’s thrown in near isolation.

This is the matchup that will have him licking his chops. In fact, the only NFC team with more passing yards allowed per game than the Raiders is… eh – the Lions.

What will the viewing figures be for Miami and the Jets?

Oh boy.

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