The New England Patriots’ loss against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14 all but ended their hopes of eventually making the playoffs after all. Despite being 6-7, though, there is still a theoretical path to the tournament after the regular season: according to FiveThirtyEight, New England currently has a 2 percent chance of making the tournament — one that would improve to 4 percent with a win over the Miami Dolphins.
Today’s rooting guide therefore still has an eye on the postseason.
If you want to stream today’s games, make sure to give fuboTV a try.
1:00 pm ET
Go Buccaneers! While the game itself has no direct impact on the Patriots’ standing in the AFC playoff race, rooting for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski is never the wrong thing to do.
Go Jaguars! If the Patriots want to make the postseason, they need to find a way to at least tie the Ravens’ record and sneak in via the head-to-head tiebreaker. A loss versus Jacksonville, as unlikely as it seems, would be a long way towards that happening.
Go 49ers! The game does not impact the Patriots’ playoff odds, but it could help their 2021 sixth-round draft pick that the Cowboys sent to New England in exchange for defensive lineman Michael Bennett.
Go Texans! Rooting against the Colts is always a sound plan, especially when their loss could help the Patriots’ playoff hopes. The more AFC wild card contenders lose, the better.
Go good game! There is really no need to waste any time on this game from New England’s perspective.
Go Lions! As is the case with the Colts’ game against Houston, a Titans loss would also help New England’s odds heading into the final two weeks of the season. It seems unlikely, but that does not mean you cannot root for it anyway.
Go good game! A Seahawks win would improve New England’s strength of schedule, but not their playoff chances.
4:05 pm ET
Go good game! This is essentially the same scenario as the Seattle-Washington game mentioned above. No need to root for either team, although you could root against the Eagles given their Super Bowl win over the Patriots in February 2018.
New York Jets (0-13) at Los Angeles Rams (9-4): FOX
Go Jets! The Jets starting to win this late in their season could spoil their chances at getting the number one overall draft pick next year. This would be good.
4:25 pm ET
Go Saints! The game itself has no impact on the Patriots, but rooting for the NFC team over the AFC squad is a sound plan.
8:20 pm ET
Go Giants! The Browns may be 9-4 but they are still not in the playoffs just yet. A loss against New York would therefore help the Patriots, and increase their slim chances of eventually making the cut as one of the AFC’s three wild card teams.