The New England Patriots were originally scheduled to take on the Denver Broncos today, but a series of positive Coronavirus tests has first forced the league to postpone the contest to Monday before later pushing it back to next week altogether. Despite the schedule change, there will still be 12 games for fans to follow. With that said, let’s take a look at the contests and who Patriots fans should root for.
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1:00 pm ET
Go Panthers! While this game has no direct impact on the AFC’s playoff race, you should root for the Panthers for one simple reason: a Falcons loss would keep positioning them well in the race for the number one overall draft pick against the New York Jets.
Go Bengals! This is an easy one: the Bengals are not expected to play much of a role in the AFC’s playoff picture, so rooting for them over one of the conference’s best teams is the way to go.
Go Jaguars! Different game as Panthers-Falcons, same reason behind the rooting interest. The Texans staying winless could effectively hurt the Jets in the long run.
Go Raiders! The Chiefs are on the track to earning the number one playoff seed in the AFC, but a Raiders victory could help make things exciting again. It also would improve the Patriots’ strength of victory.
Arizona Cardinals (2-2) at New York Jets (0-4): FOX
Go Cardinals! While the Jets winning some games to move themselves out of contention for the first overall draft pick would be a positive, there is plenty of time left for that to happen. For now, let’s root in favor of Arizona to a) see New York lose, and b) see the Patriots’ other sixth-round pick next year — one that the Jets sent to New England via the Demaryius Thomas trade — remain as one of the earliest in that round.
Go Eagles! While Philadelphia beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years back, rooting for the club over the Steelers is the way to go. Why? Simple AFC playoff seeding dynamics.
Go Rams! While the game itself has no direct impact on the AFC’s playoff picture, the Rams are the team to root for: L.A. is on the Patriots’ schedule, and a win by the team would improve New England’s strength of schedule and possibly strength of victory tiebreakers.
4:05 pm ET
Go 49ers! The Patriots will have met both teams when the season is over (if all games end up being played, that is), which means the games has no direct impact on any postseason tiebreakers. In this case, we can easily root for San Francisco against New England’s division rivals.
4:25 pm ET
Go Browns! From the Patriots’ perspective, it doesn’t really matter who wins this game, so rooting against the Colts is the best thing to do.
Go Giants! Yes, a Giants victory would hurt them in the race for the number one draft pick, but it would also help one of the Patriots’ 2021 selections come early: New England owns Dallas’ sixth-rounder next year courtesy of the Michael Bennett trade; New York winning would help improve its standing.
8:20 pm ET
Go Seahawks! Strength of schedule tiebreakers are once again the reason for the rooting interest in this game. A Seattle win would indirectly help New England, even though the Seahawks beat the Patriots in Week 2.