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NFL Week 2 early games: Patriots rooting guide, how to watch, open thread

Related: Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry expected to be ready against the Seahawks

Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Week 2 of the NFL’s 2020 regular season is upon us. While the New England Patriots will not enter the action until Sunday night — they will take on the Seattle Seahawks in a highly anticipated primetime matchup — there is still plenty of football taking place until then. With that said, let’s preview today’s early games and who Patriots fans should root for.

1:00 pm ET

New York Giants (0-1) at Chicago Bears (1-0): CBS

Go Bears! While the game itself has no direct implication on the Patriots, a Chicago victory would hurt the Baltimore Ravens’ and Pittburgh Steelers’ strength of schedule — two of the top teams in the AFC and direct competitors when it comes to potential playoff seeding.

Atlanta Falcons (0-1) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1): FOX

Go Falcons! Thanks to the Michael Bennett trade last year, the Patriots own the Cowboys’ sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft. The team losing another game to drop to 0-2 would help improve the position of this pick.

Detroit Lions (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0): FOX

Go good game! Neither the Lions nor the Packers have much of an impact on the Patriots’ standing in the AFC. Rooting for a good contest is therefore the way to go.

Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1): FOX

Go Vikings! Rooting against the Colts is easy: they are the Colts, after all, and a loss would hurt both their own chances at a successful season and the Ravens’ strength of schedule.

Buffalo Bills (1-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-1): CBS

Go Dolphins! The Patriots and Bills are the main competitors for the AFC East title at this point in time, which means that a Miami victory one week after losing in New England would be the preferred outcome.

San Francisco 49ers (0-1) at New York Jets (0-1): FOX

Go 49ers! Seeing the Jets lose is always a welcome sight.

Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1): FOX

Go Rams! This game is also all about strength of schedule and possibly victory. An L.A. win would improve the Patriots’ while simultaneously hurting the AFC North’s.

Denver Broncos (0-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0): CBS

Go Broncos! The injury-riddled Broncos may not be a competitor in the AFC at this point in the season, but they could help the Patriots by winning against one of the other top teams in the conference.

Carolina Panthers (0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1): FOX

Go Buccaneers! The game itself has no direct impact on New England, but rooting for Tampa Bay is still the way to go because of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) at Tennessee Titans (1-0): CBS

Go Jaguars! Despite a close win in Week 1, the Titans are still projected to be one of the better teams in the AFC this season. The Jaguars beating them today would therefore be New England’s preferred outcome.

4:05 pm ET

Washington Football Team (1-0) at Arizona Cardinals (1-0): FOX

Go Cardinals! Another NFC East versus NFC West battle, another opportunity for the Patriots’ strength of schedule and possibly victory to improve compared to the Ravens’ and Steelers’.

4:25 pm ET

Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Houston Texans (0-1): CBS

Go Texans! After losing in Kansas City last Thursday, Bill O’Brien’s team will get another crack at one of the AFC’s best today. A win would be the best case from New England’s perspective.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-0): CBS

Go Chargers! The Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl winners and again look like serious competitors in the AFC. Rooting for their opponents is always the way to go.