The New England Patriots won’t enter the action in Week 9 until Monday night, but they will still keep a close eye on what is going on throughout Sunday: a total of 12 games are scheduled to be played today, with rivals and upcoming opponents both about to take the field today. With that said, let’s take a look at who to root for.
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1:00 pm ET
Go Falcons! With the Patriots currently fighting for a wild card playoff berth at best, rooting against teams ahead of them in the AFC standings like the Broncos is the way to go.
Go Seahawks! New England lost against both teams, both a Seattle victory would help keep the Bills from pulling even farther away in the race for the AFC East title.
Go Ravens! Both teams are in the race for the three wild card playoff spots in the AFC, but Patriots fans should still root for Baltimore: a win by the team would improve the Patriots’ strength of schedule and possibly strength of victory tiebreakers.
Go Texans! While the game itself will likely not have too big an impact on the Patriots, the aforementioned tiebreakers mandate that their fans root for Houston. New England will take on the team in Week 11.
Go Panthers! The Chiefs are on their way to securing the number one seed in the AFC, but a Carolina victory could make things a bit more interesting.
Go good game! The NFC North showdown has little actual impact on the Patriots and their standing in the AFC playoff race. Accordingly, a good game is what to root for here.
Go Bears! Just like other games scheduled for Sunday, the Patriots should root for the NFC team over the AFC squad. The Titans may be ahead in the AFC South, but a loss could still allow New England to get a bit closer in case Tennessee ends up fighting for a wild card spot as well.
Go Football Team! While the game itself has no direct impact on the Patriots, rooting for Washington is the way to go because a Giants loss would help them in the race for the number one overall draft pick next year — one that could otherwise very well end up with the New York Jets.
4:05 pm ET
Go Chargers! While a Raiders win would improve the Patriots’ strength of victory tiebreaker, the Chargers are the team to root for because of the wild card considerations previously mentioned. Also: the Patriots are still playing L.A. and could therefore improve their strength of victory tiebreaker themselves in Week 13.
4:25 pm ET
Go Cardinals! Rooting against the AFC East team is an easy call in this game. The Patriots will play both teams, so strength of schedule and victory tiebreakers are of no importance yet.
Go Steelers! While rooting against Pittsburgh is a natural impulse in New England, a Steelers win would help the Patriots in 2021: they own the Cowboys’ sixth-round draft pick, which could very well end up rather early in the round the more games Dallas loses.
8:20 pm ET
Go Buccaneers! Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski make Tampa Bay an easy team to root for every week. This one is no exception.