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2013 NFL Week 9 Preview — 5 Intriguing Storylines to Watch

Drew Brees
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The NFL heads into the second half of the 2013 season this week. Here are five storylines we’ll be watching:

The Cowboys After Dez-Gate

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tex. — Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. (ET)

Dez Bryant
Getty Images

Dallas (4-4) suffered a tough loss to Detroit last week, but the bulk of the postgame attention went to the sideline tirade thrown by Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in the presence of teammates Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware and others. Does Dallas have a team chemistry problem? It may not matter against the lowly Vikings (1-6), who can’t seem to get any part of their game on track in 2013.

The Chiefs Go Buffalo Hunting

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y. — Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. (ET)

Alex Smith
Getty Images

Kansas City (8-0) is the NFL’s lone remaining undefeated team. Quarterback Alex Smith has been excellent in leading the Chiefs’ offense, albeit against some subpar competition. This week, Smith will work against a Buffalo defense that is in the bottom third of NFL teams in points and passing yards allowed per game. The Bills (2-5) do not have a problem getting pressure on the quarterback, though. Their 27 sacks rank second in the league (behind Kansas City’s 36).

Drew Brees Vs. The Jets Defense

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. — Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. (ET)

Drew Brees
Getty Images

After Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes on the Jets (4-4) in last Sunday’s rout, New York head coach Rex Ryan can’t be thrilled to face New Orleans (6-1) and quarterback Drew Brees this Sunday. The Saints QB has thrown 19 touchdowns to five interceptions this season. It’s hard not to imagine him improving his ratio even more this Sunday in the Meadowlands.

The Texans Make a QB Switch

Reliant Stadium, Houston — Sunday, Nov. 3 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)

Case Keenum
Getty Images

Houston (2-5) is one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams in 2013. Much of the blame for the Texans’ lackluster play has been pinned on quarterback Matt Schaub, but that won’t be the case this week. Case Keenum will make his second straight start, but this time Schaub is not injured (except, perhaps, his pride). The QB change may not matter if quarterback Andrew Luck can continue running a very productive offense for Indianapolis (5-2).

Bears & Packers Battle in Prime Time

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc. — Monday, Nov. 4 at 8:40 p.m. (ET)

Aaron Rodgers
Getty Images

Despite a few early season stumbles, Green Bay (5-2) is back on top of the NFC North. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in MVP form, regardless of the corps of anonymous receivers he’s had for much of the season. Chicago (4-3) will need to stop the pass better than it did against the Saints, Lions and Redskins, otherwise it could be a long night at Lambeau.

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