UNC Tar Heels in the NFL: Week 9 Preview


Arizona Cardinals(4-4) @ Green Bay Packers(5-3) 1:00 ET FOX

Arizona will travel to Lambeau Field looking to snap their four game losing streak after starting the season on a four game winning streak. Vonnie Holliday and the Cardinals defense rank sixth in the NFL when it comes to total yards-per-game allowed to opponents with just over 312. For the Packers, center Jeff Saturday and tight-end Ryan Taylor will be the only other former Tar Heels who suit up in this match-up of potential NFC Playoff teams.

Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Cleveland won 34-24. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago Bears(6-1) @ Tennessee Titans(3-5) 1:00 ET FOX

This match-up will feature two former defensive standouts from UNC, one a veteran with a big name and the other is a rookie trying to make a name. Julius Peppers is the veteran contributing to a Chicago defense allowing just 14.3 points-per-game to opponents. The other former Tar Heel in this game will be Titans rookie linebacker Zach Brown. Brown has 41 total tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble on the season entering week nine.

Denver Broncos(4-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals(3-4) 1:00 ET CBS

Only one former Tar Heel will take the field at Paul Brown Stadium in this AFC match-up Sunday. Bengals wide-receiver Brandon Tate has an average of 14.7 yards-per-reception on 8 catches with one touchdown so far in the season. Tate also has 11 punt returns averaging 11.5 yards-per-return and has 15 kick returns for 385 return yards.

Baltimore Ravens(5-2) @ Cleveland Browns (2-6) 1:00 ET CBS

This will be another match-up with just one former Tar Heel suiting up for either team. Wide receiver Greg Little and the Browns are hoping to continue their momentum from a week ago when they upset the San Diego Chargers 7-6. So far on the season Little is second on the team in every receiving category with 22 receptions for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Buffalo Bills(3-4) @ Houston Texans(6-1) 1:00 ET CBS

Strong safety Da’Norris Searcy is a productive player on special teams for the Bills and has also played in different defensive packages on occasion for a struggling defense. Buffalo is giving up over 32 points-per-game to opponents, which is the most allowed in the NFL this season. Searcy has 14 total tackles and one forced fumble in seven games. Houston has a former Tar Heel as well in backup quarterback T.J. Yates. If the game gets out of hand we could potentially see Yates in mop-up time to end the game. If that does happen, expect the former Tar Heel QB to redeem himself after going 2 of 5 for 23 yards and an interception in Houston’s week six loss against the Packers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers(3-4) @ Oakland Raiders(3-4) 4:05 ET FOX

Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth will be the only former Tar Heel in this match-up Sunday. Barth is off to a productive and consistent season for Tampa Bay hitting 13 of his 15 field goal attempts and all 19 extra points through seven games.

Pittsburgh Steelers(4-3) @ New York Giants(6-2) 4:25 ET CBS

This match-up is perhaps the biggest game of the weekend taking place in MetLife Stadium. Both teams have at least one former Tar Heel suiting up in this game including two for the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Wide-receiver Hakeem Nicks has practiced all-week and is nowhere to be found on the Giants injury report heading into week nine. Defensive tackle Marvin Austin is the other former Heel on the New York roster who will play in this game. Austin has 4 total tackles on the season. Pittsburgh’s veteran long-snapper Greg Warren will be the only other Tar Heel representative in this match-up.

Dallas Cowboys(3-4) @ Atlanta Falcons(7-0) 8:20 ET NBC

Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter continues to do his best in making the loss of playmaker Sean Lee not look so bad. Carter has 36 total tackles on the season. Free safety Gerald Sensabaugh is another key part to the Cowboys defense moving forward if they expect to maintain their solid play moving forward. Sensabaugh has just 18 total tackles on the season after a calf injury kept him sidelined for a couple of weeks. For the Falcons, offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds is the only former Tar Heel and he will be out. Reynolds will miss this game due to a back injury.