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How to watch Tar Heels in the NFL: Week 9

The NFL season is halfway over and several Heels have proven that they are worth watching.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’ll stop making Peppers the header image when he stops making plays.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Most NFL teams have played half their games this season, so at this point, trends in the league are starting to become evident. And by “trends,” I of course mean “the Tar Heels to watch.” Julius Peppers continues to add to his section of the record books. Mack Hollins keeps making his case to get more playing time than he is currently getting. Zach Brown now leads the NFL in tackles. And so it goes. Here is your guide to Tar Heels in the NFL as the back half of the season begins, starting with:

Thursday, November 2nd:

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 8:25 PM ET on NFL Network - Wide receiver Brandon Tate had a big catch last week against the Raiders, so maybe he’ll be looked at to help revive an anemic passing offense on a Bills team that seems to get better the worse they should be.

Sunday, November 5th:

1:00 PM ET:

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars, CBS - Running back Giovani Bernard is being phased out of the Bengal offense, but he’s still a potent receiving threat if/when rookie back Joe Mixon ever needs a break, and against a physical Jacksonville front, that seems likely. Russell Bodine continues to be reliable at the center position for Cincinnati.

Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, FOX - Edge rusher Robert Quinn will want to bounce back from a quiet week against a hapless New York Giants offensive line.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, FOX - Defensive end Julius Peppers, having climbed into fourth on the all-time sacks list, shows no sign of slowing down as he prepares to take on Atlanta, a team he often terrorized in his earlier days as a player.

Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles, CBS - I’ll just leave this here:

They failed to connect one one pass later in the game, but still, that’s a lot of success and not a lot of opportunities. Maybe this will change.

4:00-4:30 PM ET

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers, FOX - Outside linebacker Kareem Martin has had a quiet season, though he’s come up with some production in each of the Cardinals’ last three games. Rookie running back/returner T.J. Logan is eligible to return to Arizona’s roster from IR this week, but with stars David Johnson and Carson Palmer on IR and probably eyeing returns at some point this season (Palmer could play just the last two games if reinstated), Logan may not get the chance. His is a situation to monitor.

Washington at Seattle Seahawks, FOX - Each team fields a notable defensive player who attended UNC. Washington, of course, has linebacker Zach Brown, who after a 12-tackle performance against the Cowboys leads the NFL in tackles. The Seahawks have defensive lineman Nazair Jones, who continues to be a solid rotation player in his rookie season.

Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys, CBS - Return man Ryan Switzer hasn’t quite broken one yet, with a long punt return of 21 and a long kick return of 28 yards so far this season, but those who watched him in college know that this could change at any time. Kansas City has an excellent special teams unit, but Switzer has been known to fool just about everybody.

Monday, November 6th, 8:30 PM

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, ESPN - Tight end Eric Ebron has had a frustrating season for the Lions, but we know he has the athleticism and talent to make things work. After failing to trade him by the trade deadline, let’s see what the Lions will do with him.

This article will be updated with coverage maps when they become available.