We've passed the halfway point in the NFL season and it's time to start paying serious attention to the playoff picture. Week 9 featured a slate full of big games, and several teams boosted their postseason odds with crucial victories.
Perhaps the most important game of the 1 p.m. schedule featured an AFC North matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers' struggles continued, despite the fact that star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was back in the lineup. The Ravens took advantage of those struggles and in the process ended a their four-game losing skid as they picked up the 21-14 win.
Another key divisional game pitted the suddenly vulnerable Minnesota Vikings against the Detroit Lions. The Vikings capitalized on a late drive that ended with a touchdown and the 16-13 lead with just 23 seconds remaining in the game. Minnesota's defense then inexplicably allowed the Lions to move the ball down the field and into field goal range, where Detroit tied the game and forced overtime. The Vikings then fell apart, allowing an 11-play drive that culminated in a touchdown and the 22-16 win for the Lions.
The Vikings still hold a half-game lead in the NFC North. Later in the day, the Packers fell to the Colts and out of the playoff picture -- for now.
The Cowboys won their seventh straight game after big performances, once again, from Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. The Browns are still winless at 0-9.
In the AFC East, the Dolphins have now won three in a row, beating the Jets, 27-23, on Sunday. Jay Ajayi didn't reach 200 yards, but he did get more than 100 rushing yards against the league's top rush defense.
The biggest game of Week 9 in a walk was the Sunday Night Football showdown between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. Latavis Murray rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and the Raiders held serve at home, beating the Broncos to sit all alone in first place in the AFC West at 7-2.
And to wrap up the week, Seattle got a big (if controversial) 31-25 win over Buffalo on Monday Night Football. The Bills had a chance to win in the final minute, but the Seahawks' defense held strong in the red zone to force a turnover on downs to clinch the victory.
Follow along below with all the scores, highlights, injury news, and much more.
Complete scores and schedule
Atlanta Falcons 43, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28
Baltimore Ravens 21, Pittsburgh Steelers 14
Dallas Cowboys 35, Cleveland Browns 10
Kansas City Chiefs 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
Miami Dolphins 27, New York Jets 23
Detroit Lions 22, Minnesota Vikings 16
New York Giants 28, Philadelphia Eagles 23
Carolina Panthers 13, Los Angeles Rams 10
New Orleans Saints 41, San Francisco 49ers 23
Indianapolis Colts 31, Green Bay Packers 26
San Diego Chargers 43, Tennessee Titans 35
Oakland Raiders 30, Denver Broncos 20
Seattle Seahawks 31, Buffalo Bills 25
Jamie Collins sported Pokemon hair in his Browns debut.
The Browns-Cowboys game started off with a helmet-throwing fight that got two players ejected.
The Jaguars defended themselves against an interception.
The Vikings have a new OC and now Sam Bradford is catching his own passes.
Calvin Pryor was flagged for taunting for brushing his jersey. COME ON, NFL.
Eli Manning's new audible is "Brown PS" but it sounds NSFW.
Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambled for a first down, then busted out a rugby-like lateral. And it worked!
Odell Beckham Jr. is scoring touchdowns faster than anyone in 50 years.
No, Cole Beasley wasn't mocking LeBron with his TD celebration.
An Eagles field goal attempt didn't stand a chance against Jason Pierre-Paul.
Even with Ben Roethlisberger back, the Steelers looked like poop on offense in the first half against the Ravens.
Joe Flacco's slide was so bad he broke his knee brace.
300-pound DL Jordan Phillips picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick, and then majestically hurdled a dude.
Ezekiel Elliott capped off his gazillionth touchdown of the season with a "Chicken Noodle Soup" dance.
Travis Kelce was ejected for throwing a towel at a ref.
Golden Tate went butt-first to beat the Vikings in OT.
Whoops, the Steelers forgot about a Ravens player and got their punt blocked and returned for a TD.
Double whoops, the Steelers attempted the worst onside kick you've ever seen. Even worse than the one the Rams tried where they forgot the, y'know, onside kick part.
Damn Johnny Hekker, that was a nice punt.
Steve Smith was back after missing a few games, and he's ready to fight people again.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix emerged as Andrew Luck's favorite target. Reminder: Clinton-Dix plays cornerback for the Packers.
Robert Turbin celebrated a tackle he made after a Luck interception. You know what? Good for him.
Aaron Rodgers zipped a touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson that appeared to go through a Colts defender. AND it was a free play.
Rams fans were chanting for Jared Goff. And Tim Tebow. Basically, anyone who isn't Case Keenum.
Chip Kelly had his defenders hold on purpose for a play before the half. It was actually a smart move.
This brutal hit on Cam Newton was totally legal.
Squirrel on the field at Packers-Colts! We repeat: squirrel on the field!
The 49ers tried to Michael Thomas. He still grabbed a touchdown from Drew Brees that bounced off a defender.
Dropping a perfect (!) throw from Case Keenum is more 7-9 BS from the Rams.
Sorry quarterbacks: Von Miller found a way to be even more terrifying.
The Cowboys celebrated win No. 7 by doing the Mannequin Challenge -- on a plane!
Raiders punter Marquette King pinned the Broncos and then rode an imaginary pony off the field. He's the best.
Kapri Bibbs zigged and zagged for a 69-yard touchdown against the Raiders. Gronk would be proud.
Richard Sherman talked some smack with Rex Ryan after picking off Tyrod Taylor.
Things got weird when the Bills tried a field goal before halftime. The referees' mistakes ended up costing Buffalo.
Tyvis Powell threw a monster block that knocked out two Bills at once.
Jimmy Graham made a vintage play to grab a one-handed touchdown while wrapped up with a defender, then DID IT AGAIN later in the first half.
Jeremy Maclin, who has been dealing with a groin injury, left early against the Jaguars. He was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Jets cornerback Marcus Williams did not return after leaving with an ankle injury.
The Steelers lost another WR when Darrius Heyward-Bey went down in obvious pain with a right foot injury. He was carted off the field.
Victor Cruz was ruled out after leaving to get X-rays on his ankle. Giants OL Justin Pugh also did not return after exiting with a knee injury.
Browns DL Carl Nassib did not return against the Cowboys due to an eye injury.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey left with a thumb injury, returned, and then left again.
Ryan Fitzpatrick left in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins with a knee injury. Bryce Petty replaced him, taking the first snaps of his NFL career, but Fitzpatrick later returned to the game. He'll get an MRI on Monday.
Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was carted off with an elbow injury. He was later declared out for the remainder of the game.
Bills center Eric Wood is likely out for the season with a broken leg.