The New England Patriots are on a bye week, but there’s still plenty of football left to play and plenty of teams to root for. Here is your week 9 NFL rooting guide for the early games.
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Ravens at Titans (-3.5): The Titans are fighting for the AFC South crown, while the Ravens are a team New England doesn’t want to see in the postseason. Go Titans.
Colts at Texans (-7): Both teams just placed their franchise quarterback on the injured reserve on the same day. Their seasons are effectively over, but the Patriots will still root for the Texans because it will help boost New England’s strength of schedule.
Bengals at Jaguars (-6): Funny how the Jaguars are now good. This game doesn’t really impact the Patriots, so might as well root for the Bengals because the Jaguars are a sneaky spooky team with their stout defense and strong running game.
Broncos at Eagles (-8): Denver hosts New England next week, so the Patriots would like to see the Eagles expose flaws on both sides of the ball. Denver isn’t in position to win the AFC West, having lost 4 of 5, so they might as well tank to hurt the Chiefs’ schedule.
Buccaneers at Saints (-7): The Patriots beat both teams so they don’t care which one wins this divisional match-up.
Falcons (-2) at Panthers: The Patriots beat the Falcons, but lost to the Panthers. They want Atlanta to win for strength of victory since strength of schedule is neutral in this game.
Rams (-4) at Giants: This game doesn’t matter to the Patriots.