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NFL Week 6 Sunday games: Patriots rooting guide, how to watch, open thread

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Find out who to root for today!

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

For the New England Patriots , the sixth week of NFL action is already in the books: the reigning world champions defeated the visiting New York Giants 35-14 on Thursday night to improve to 6-0 on the year. This means that Sunday will be a stressless affair for the team and its fans. All in all, there are 12 games on the menu today, so let’s quickly go through the contests to find out who will face off today, and who Patriots fans should be rooting for.

9:30 am ET

Carolina Panthers (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3): NFL Network

Go injury-free game! Neither the Panthers’ nor the Buccaneers’ performance this season has much impact on the Patriots and only minimal impact on the AFC’s playoff seeding (the two teams face the AFC South this year). The game in London is therefore a quiet way to start into the day.

1:00 pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals (0-5) at Baltimore Ravens (3-2): CBS

Go Bengals! The Patriots will play both Cincinnati and Baltimore this year, so the game has no impact on strength of schedule. However, a Bengals win will give New England more breathing room versus the Ravens in the race for the AFC’s first playoff seed.

Seattle Seahawks (4-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-3): FOX

Go Browns! The Patriots will host the Browns in Week 8, which means that a Cleveland victory today would boost their strength of schedule and — in case the game in two weeks is won by New England — strength of victory as well.

Houston Texans (3-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-1): CBS

Go Texans! The Patriots have both teams on their schedule, so the same scenario as with Bengals vs Ravens applies. That being said, the Chiefs are only one game behind New England at the moment when it comes to the number one seed — a Texans win would therefore be the favorable outcome.

New Orleans Saints (4-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3): CBS

Go Saints! This game has no direct impact on the Patriots, but it could hurt their number one rival for the top playoff seed in the conference: the Chiefs have already defeated the Jaguars, and a Jacksonville loss would therefore hurt the team’s strength of schedule and victory — a potential tiebreaker when it comes to postseason seeding.

Washington Redskins (0-5) at Miami Dolphins (0-4): FOX

Go Dolphins! Another matchup between two teams on New England’s regular season schedule — both of which have already been defeated. Why root for the Dolphins then? A victory would impact their chances at getting the top overall draft pick next year.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) at Minnesota Vikings (3-2): FOX

Go Eagles! Another simple rooting scenario: an Eagles victory positively impacts New England’s strength of schedule and potentially strength of victory — the two teams will meet in Week 11.

4:05 pm ET

Atlanta Falcons (1-4) at Arizona Cardinals (1-3-1): FOX

Go injury-free game! Neither the Falcons nor the Cardinals have any ties to the Patriots, so rooting for a good game without any major injuries is the way to go here. Of course, you can root for either team as they have suffered plenty this season and in the past.

San Francisco 49ers (4-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-2): FOX

Go injury-free game! The NFC West showdown also does not impact New England directly, so you should hope for an entertaining game that does not see any injuries. If you do want to root for somebody, the 49ers and ex-Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are a good choice.

4:25 pm ET

Tennessee Titans (2-3) at Denver Broncos (1-4): CBS

Go Titans! The Broncos sent a sixth-round draft pick to the Patriots as part of the Duke Dawson trade earlier this year. The worse the Broncos’ record after the regular season — it is highly unlikely they make the playoffs — the better New England’s pick.

Dallas Cowboys (3-2) at New York Jets (0-4): CBS

Go Jets! The Cowboys and Jets are both on the Patriots’ 2019 schedule, so the world champions’ strength of victory does not get impacted by the result of this game. However, the Jets are in the race for the number one overall draft pick and a win against Dallas would hurt their chances.

8:20 pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-3): NBC

Go Steelers! New England has already played and defeated Pittsburgh this season, so rooting for the team is an easy choice here: the better the Steelers’ record, the better the Patriots’ strength of victory tiebreaker.