The New England Patriots were originally scheduled to take on the Kansas City Chiefs today, but positive Coronavirus tests on both teams — Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, Chiefs quarterback Jordan Ta’amu — have forced the league to postpone the contest to Monday. 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.
1:00 pm ET
Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-2): FOX
Go Cardinals! While the game itself has little direct impact on the AFC’s playoff race, Patriots fans should still root for the visiting team for one simple reason: playoff tiebreakers. New England will play Arizona later this week, so the team winning today would have a positive impact on its strength of schedule and possibly strength of victory numbers.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1): CBS
Go good game! While both teams are in the AFC, they are not expected to play much of a role in the race for playoff positioning. Rooting for a healthy, entertaining game is the way to go.
Cleveland Browns (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2): FOX
Go Browns! When the Patriots traded Michael Bennett to Dallas last year, they received a sixth-round draft pick in return. A Cowboys loss against Cleveland might contribute to the selection coming sooner rather than later in Round Six.
New Orleans Saints (1-2) at Detroit Lions (1-2): FOX
Go good game! You could root for all the ex-Patriots in Detroit — from head coach Matt Patricia to countless players and other staff members — but the game in itself has no impact on New England.
Minnesota Vikings (0-3) at Houston Texans (0-3): FOX
Go Texans! While the Texans are in the AFC and still a theoretical thread in the playoff race despite their 0-3 start, Patriots fans should root for Bill O’Brien and his team. The reason for that is again simple: tiebreakers. New England, as opposed to other teams in its division or conference, will go up against Houston later this year.
Seattle Seahawks (3-0) at Miami Dolphins (1-2): FOX
Go Dolphins! A Dolphins win would bring them to .500 and possibly the same record as New England one quarter into the season, but it would also boost the Patriots’ strength of victory tiebreaker.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1): CBS
Go Chargers! While rooting for Tom Brady’s Buccaneers is a no-brainer most of the time, Patriots fans should root for L.A. today. Once again, strength of schedule and victory tiebreakers are the reason for that.
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Washington Football Team (1-2): CBS
Go Football Team! The Ravens have the same record as the Patriots and are also expected to be in the race for the conference’s playoff seeding until the very end. A loss in Washington would therefore help New England.
4:05 pm ET
New York Giants (0-3) at Los Angeles Rams (2-1): FOX
Go Rams! Different game, same story: strength of victory and strength of schedule decide who Patriots fans should root for today. Also, seeing the Giants fall to 0-4 would be a gratifying sight as well.
4:25 pm ET
Buffalo Bills (3-0) at Las Vegas Raiders (2-1): CBS
Go Raiders! The Bills are still undefeated and playing a second-place schedule. A Las Vegas win would therefore help New England stay close with its rivals even if the game in Kansas City should end in defeat.
Indianapolis Colts (2-1) at Chicago Bears (3-0): CBS
Go Bears! Rooting against the Colts is almost always the right thing to do. This is one of those occasions.
8:20 pm ET
Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1): NBC
Go good game! While there is an argument to root against the Eagles just for the sake of them having won a Super Bowl against the Patriots, the game itself has no direct impact on the team and its place i the AFC playoff race. Root for players to stay healthy and for the game to be a fun contest.