For the New England Patriots, the seventh week of NFL action will only begin until Monday night: the reigning world champions will visit the New York Jets to try to improve to 7-0 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.
1:00 pm ET
Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5): FOX
Go Rams! New England owns the Falcons’ seventh-round draft pick next year thanks to the Jordan Richards trade last year. A Rams win would further worsen the Falcons’ standing and in turn improve the pick.
Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Buffalo Bills (4-1): CBS
Go Dolphins! The Patriots have already beaten both teams once this season, so the rooting interest is tied to two things: 1.) the Bills losing ground in the AFC East against New England; 2.) the Dolphins winning would hurt their chances for the first overall draft pick next year.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-6): CBS
Go Jaguars! Cincinnati is alsoin the race for the number one overall pick next year, and another loss would position the team well in its fight against the Miami Dolphins.
Minnesota Vikings (4-2) at Detroit Lions (2-2-1): FOX
Go injury-free game! Neither the Lions nor the Vikings are on the Patriots’ schedule or have much of an impact on the AFC’s playoff picture. Rooting for a good and injury-free game is the way to go here.
Oakland Raiders (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (5-1): CBS
Go Packers! The Raiders are a dark-horse candidate to sneak into the playoffs this year, and are still in a position to possibly challenge the Patriots for a top seed in the AFC. A Packers win is therefore the better scenario.
Houston Texans (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2): CBS
Go Colts! Entering Week 7, the Texans were the number two playoff seed in the AFC and the team closest to the Patriots. A defeat today, however, would create additional wiggle room between the two teams if New England wins against the Jets.
Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1) at New York Giants (2-4): FOX
Go Giants! The Patriots beat the Giants 35-14 last Thursday, so a New York victory would improve the club’s strength of schedule and strength of victory — two tiebreakers that might become important in the race for playoff seeding.
San Francisco 49ers (5-0) at Washington Redskins (1-5): FOX
Go Redskins! While the 49ers start ex-Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, Washington is the team to root for today: the Patriots have already played them and a win would improve New England’s strength of schedule and strength of victory.
4:05 pm ET
Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-4): CBS
Go Titans! From New England’s perspective, the game has little actual impact but rooting for ex-Patriot Mike Vrabel — Tennessee’s head coach — is always a good move.
4:25 pm ET
New Orleans Saints (5-1) at Chicago Bears (3-2): FOX
Go Saints! The Patriots own Chicago’s fourth-round pick in 2020 because of an in-draft trade this year. The conclusion: the more losses the Bears have on their résumé, the better the position of the pick in case they miss the playoffs.
Baltimore Ravens (4-2) at Seattle Seahawks (5-1): FOX
Go Seahawks! The Ravens are one of New England’s main rivals for the AFC’s top playoff seed, which is why rooting for the Seahawks is the way to go.
8:20 pm ET
Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3): NBC
Go Cowboys! The game itself has no impact on the Patriots’ playoff prospects — they play both clubs later this season — but with the team holding the Eagles’ seventh-round pick in next year’s draft a Cowboys victory is the preferred outcome.