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Week 12 Thanksgiving NFL Games: Patriots rooting guide, game details, and open thread

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New England Patriots v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The New England Patriots don’t play until Sunday, but it’s time to enjoy our classic Thanksgiving pastime: Football!

Week 12 Pregame Show

12:30 PM ET on CBS: Bears at Lions

The Patriots might want the Bears to win for the sake of “Strength of Victory”, but possibly more importantly, there are draft pick implications. New England holds the Bears second round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, as well as the Lions third round pick. It looks like both picks will come in the 60-70 range.

Do the Patriots want to improve their strength of victory metric? I don’t think so anymore. The Patriots have head-to-head games against all three other division leaders- Chiefs, Steelers, and Texans- with only the Steelers game left on the schedule. A victory over the Steelers would put the Patriots in the driver’s seat for a first round bye, while a loss would almost assuredly end the team’s streak of first round byes.

The only way for the “strength of victory” tiebreaker to come into effect for New England would require three other ties- no head-to-head tiebreaker, identical conference records, and identical common opponent records. This means that the Los Angeles Chargers are the only team that could reasonably require the “strength of victory” tiebreaker because I highly doubt any of the 5-5 teams will throw a wrench in this projection.

And the only way the Chargers will require the tiebreaker is if they overcome the Chiefs in the AFC West- and the Patriots current “strength of victory” leads the lead at 0.579, while the Chargers currently ranks 28th at 0.321. The Patriots are in a good place here with games against the Vikings and Steelers on the schedule.

So root for the Lions to beat the Bears for the sake of the Patriots’ 2019 draft picks!

4:30 PM ET on FOX: Washington at Cowboys

This game doesn’t matter for the Patriots and they’re two of the more over-exposed teams in the entire league. Hopefully your turkey-nap kicks in here so you can wake up in time for...

8:20 PM ET on NBC: Falcons at Saints

...this amazing game. The last time these two teams played in week three, the Saints pulled off a 43-37 overtime victory. Drew Brees is the MVP front runner. Matt Ryan leads the league in passing yards. This should be an offensive showdown that everyone can enjoy.

The Patriots don’t care who wins this one, so just enjoy a great game!

Use this as the open thread for discussion.