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NFL Week Nine: Who You Should Root For

With a Chargers win already in the books, a Denver loss would put them back into a tie for first place at the halfway point of the season.

Ronald Martinez

This week rather than describing the importance of each game, we're just going to list them in order from most important to least.

Denver Broncos (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)
This is by far the biggest game of the weekend for Chargers fans as a Bengals win put the Chargers back into a tie for first in the AFC West. Go Bengals!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC) @ Oakland Raiders (3-4)
It's somewhat surprising that this is as important as it now is. Oakland is only half a game behind the Chargers in the playoff chase and Raider loss would be helpful. Go Bucs!

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) at New York Giants (NFC)
The Steelers are half a game up on the Charger in the Wild Card race and the Giants' record is irrelevant. Go Giants!

Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-6)
Even with their win over the Chargers last week, the Browns are in no way, shape or form contenders. Baltimore could end up needing to compete for the Wild Card with the Chargers. Go Browns!

Buffalo Bills (3-4) at Houston Texans (6-1)
At this point, dreaming of Home Field Advantage is a lot less important than getting separation from other Wild Card contenders. Go Texans!

Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Indianapolis (4-3)
Either way the winner of this game will be a game up on the Chargers in the Wild Card and the loser will be tied (though the Chargers will hold the tiebreaker). The Dolphins appear to be the better team. Go Colts!

Chicago Bears (NFC) at Tennessee Titans (3-5)
The Titans aren't a very good team, but they're a win over the Bears away from being within half a game of the Chargers. Go Bears!

Carolina Panthers (NFC) at Washington Redskins (NFC)
Only one of these teams is on the Chargers schedule and you never know when a Strength of Victory tiebreaker will be needed. Go Panthers!

Detroit Lions (NFC) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
It's a lot more likely Charges fans will be hoping their team gets a higher draft pick than the Lions than it is they'll be needing the Jaguars to lose games to have a chance at the playoffs. Go Lions!

Arizona Cardinals (NFC) at Green Bay Packers (NFC)
This is purely a draft position pick. Go Cardinals!

Minnesota Vikings (NFC) at Seattle Seahawks (NFC)
This, too, is purely a draft position pick. Go Seahawks!

Dallas Cowboys (NFC) at Atlanta Falcons (NFC)
Draft position? Yep, draft position. Go Cowboys!

Philadelphia Eagles (NFC) at New Orleans (NFC)
Draft position. Also, that whole dog killing thing. Go Saints!

Best case scenario has the Chargers tied at the top of the AFC West (though losing out on breakers) and tied for the second Wild Card spot (and winning it on breakers).