The New England Patriots will try to get back into the win column and to keep their postseason hopes alive against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but they will also keep an indirect eye on the other games taking place. With the playoff picture shaping up, New England’s rooting interests become more important every week. With that being said...
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1:00 pm ET
Go Falcons! The Raiders have a better record than the Patriots, but they are among the teams directly competing with New England for one of the three wild card spots in the AFC. A loss today would therefore be beneficial for the Patriots, especially considering that they are holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over Las Vegas.
Go Chargers! The Bills will remain on the path to the AFC East title even with a loss, but it would still help keep things interesting heading into the home stretch of the season.
Go Giants! While there is only an indirect reason to root for New York, the fact that fewer teams directly competing against the Patriots have played them this year means that they are the way to go: a Giants victory would have a smaller impact on strength of schedule and strength of victory tiebreakers across the AFC.
Go Titans! One team will eventually have to win the AFC South, thus locking up a playoff spot. That team should be the Titans for one simple reason: they are not the Colts.
Go Jaguars! The Browns are also among the teams competing for a wild card playoff spot in the AFC, so the Patriots should naturally be rooting against them. Problem is that the 1-9 Jaguars are a dumpster fire, and a win would be a hug upset.
Go good game! The game has no real impact on the AFC’s playoff race, which means that Patriots fans don’t have anyone to root for in this one.
Go Jets! While the Dolphins will be missing starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, they should still be able to beat the hapless Jets even on the road. One can dream of a New York win, though, because it would certainly help the Patriots.
4:05 pm ET
Go Saints! The Broncos’ entire quarterback room is out, which makes it a near-certainty that New Orleans will come away victorious in this one. Such a result would be good for the Patriots who would have a chance to leap-frog another wild card contestant.
Go Rams! When all is said and done, the Patriots will have played both teams. However, they should still root for the Rams today because of one simple reason: strength of victory. While New England has not yet played the team, it does so next week and a win would improve that possibly crucial tiebreaker.
4:25 pm ET
Go Buccaneers! Rooting for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski over Patrick Mahomes and company is a no-brainer, even if it does not impact the Patriots’ standing in the AFC.
8:20 pm ET
Go good game! Sunday night should be a chill affair for Patriots fans this week, as neither team has too big an impact on the AFC playoff race.