The New England Patriots suffered another disappointing defeat in Week 11 when they were beaten 27-20 by the Houston Texans on Sunday. Their playoff hopes have taken another major hit as a result but the team is not dead just yet: at least in theory it can still reach the tournament as one of this year’s three wild card teams in the AFC. For that to happen, however, a lot of things will have to go right — including some tiebreakers working out in the Patriots’ favor.
Los Angeles Rams (6-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
When: 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa FL
Patriots rooting guide: Go Rams! Rooting against Tom Brady? In this economy? Yes, that’s what Patriots fans will have to do tonight for one simple reason: playoff tiebreakers. A Rams victory would boost New England’s strength of schedule and possibly strength of victory as well (the two teams will play in Week 14). With New England likely needing every tiebreaker to work out in its favor, it’s the simple things — like tonight’s game — that might ultimately end up making a difference.