The New England Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention, meaning that for the first time since the 2000 (!) season they will have nothing to play for over the final two weeks of the regular season. A close eye should be kept on all games going on, nevertheless, if only when it comes to draft order or potential playoff seeding for other teams. Let’s take a look.
If you want to stream today’s games, make sure to give fuboTV a try.
1:00 pm ET
Go Giants! A New York victory might not just help the team move past the Patriots when it comes to draft seeding, it also would hurt Baltimore’s chances of eventually ending up in the tournament. A win-win.
Go Texans! The Miami Dolphins own the Texans’ first-round draft pick next year, meaning that a Houston win is the best-case outcome from New England’s perspective.
Go Bears! The Jaguars are on track to earn the number one overall draft pick next spring — a preferred scenario considering who they are competing against. Rooting for Jacksonville to lose out is therefore the way to go.
Go Falcons! Rooting against the NFL’s lovable losers or the reigning world champions? The losers have the edge in this one.
Go Jets! The Patriots’ division rivals are still competing for the top draft pick next year, but a win and corresponding Jaguars loss would put some breathing room between the two.
Go Steelers! Think of this one as rooting against the Colts rather than rooting for the Steelers.
4:05 pm ET
Go good game! Both teams have a chance to end up behind the Patriots in the draft rankings so it doesn’t really matter who takes this one.
Go good game! Another late-window game with nobody to root for. You could root for Carolina, though, and thus more NFC East chaos.
4:25 pm ET
Go Eagles! The Patriots own the Cowboys’ sixth-round draft selection next year, courtesy of the Michael Bennett trade. That means another Dallas loss would help improve the standing of that selection.
Go good game! Another contest with no real impact on the Patriots.
8:20 pm ET
Go Titans! From Mike Vrabel to Malcolm Butler to Stephen Gostkowski there are a lot of Patriots connections in Tennessee. Rooting for them versus the Packers is a sound approach.