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NFL Week 13 Thanksgiving games: Patriots rooting guide, how to watch, open thread

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Find out who to root for today!

NFL: NOV 22 Bears at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! While the New England Patriots will not play today — they will visit the Houston Texans on Sunday night — there is still plenty of football to be watched today: a total of three games are on the menu, so let’s quickly go through the games to find out who will face off today, and who Patriots fans should be rooting for.

12:30 pm ET

Chicago Bears (5-6) at Detroit Lions (3-7-1): FOX

Go Lions! Detroit’s traditional Thanksgiving contest has no direct impact on the Patriots and the AFC’s playoff race, but New England’s followers should still root for the home team — not just because of the multiple ex-Patriots employed by the Lions: New England owns the Bears’ fourth-round selection in next year’s draft, and a loss by Chicago today increases the chance of this pick coming early in the round.

4:30 pm ET

Buffalo Bills (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (6-5): CBS

Go Cowboys! The Bills are clearly behind New England in the race for the AFC East title and have a difficult schedule coming up. A loss today, however, would decrease their chances to capture the division even more and also hurt Buffalo’s chances at earning one of the two wild card playoff spots in the conference. Needless to say that Patriots fans will root for the Cowboys over the team’s long-time rivals.

8:20 pm ET

New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-8): NBC

Go Saints! The scenario here is the same as with the first game of the day. The Patriots do not really have a horse in the race but should root for the visitors for a draft pick’s sake: New England owns Atlanta’s seventh-round selection next year, and a New Orleans victory would help the pick come comparatively early. Other than that, the game has virtually no impact on the Patriots or the AFC’s playoff race.