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Patriots rooting guide: Who New England fans should root for in Week 5

Related: Patriots vs. Texans: How to watch, game time, TV schedule, channels, radio, streaming, betting odds

AFC Championship - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Welcome to the fifth Sunday of the NFL’s 2021 regular season! The New England Patriots will take on the Houston Texans at 1:00 pm — find out here how to watch that game — but there is plenty of additional football on the schedule as well. To find out which games are being played, and who you should root for, please check out our Patriots Rooting Guide.

9:30 pm ET

New York Jets (1-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-3): Go Falcons! While the Patriots have already beaten the Jets, a Falcons victory might not necessarily mess with their strength of victory and schedule. New England, after all, will play Atlanta in Week 11.

1:00 pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-1): Go Panthers! An all-NFC matchup usually has only a limited impact on the Patriots, and this one is no different. We are rooting for Carolina, though, based on the fact that it would hurt the New York Jets’ strength of schedule and, possibly, victory.

Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1): Go Packers! This is simple: rooting for the NFC team over the AFC team with the playoff picture in mind.

Tennessee Titans (2-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4): Go Jaguars! The Patriots and Titans might fight for a playoff spot further down the line; Jacksonville handing Tennessee a “L” would therefore be good from New England’s point of view.

Detroit Lions (0-4) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3): Go good game! There is literally no reason to root for or against any of these teams from a New England perspective. Maybe the Lions, just because they field more ex-Patriots.

Denver Broncos (3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3): Go Steelers! It might feel wrong to root for Pittsburgh, but given the current state of the AFC and the Patriots bringing teams like the Broncos back to the mean might be best for New England with playoff considerations in mind.

Miami Dolphins (1-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1): Go Buccaneers! Tom Brady versus a Patriots division rival. It’s not hard to see why we are rooting for Tampa Bay in this one.

New Orleans Saints (2-2) at Washington Football Team (2-2): Go Saints! New England lost to the Saints in Week 3, but we are still rooting for them. Why? Because a Washington win would help improve the Buffalo Bills’ strength of schedule and victory.

4:05 pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1): Go good game! Both teams are in the AFC and fighting for playoff seeding, so it does not matter who will emerge victoriously from New England’s perspective.

Chicago Bears (2-2) at Las Vegas Raiders (3-1): Go Bears! Another classic case of rooting for the NFC team over the AFC squad with the playoff picture in mind.

4:25 pm ET

San Francisco 49ers (2-2) at Arizona Cardinals (4-0): Go good game! This NFC-versus-NFC battle has a minimal impact on the Patriots, so let’s call it a wash.

New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1): Go Cowboys! New England has Dallas on its schedule, meaning that a Cowboys win would improve the Patriots’ strength of schedule — and possibly their strength of victory as well. Both tiebreakers might become relevant at one point.

8:20 pm ET

Buffalo Bills (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-2): Go Chiefs! Rooting for the Chiefs might feel wrong, but it does make sense here: the Bills and Patriots share the same division, and if New England wants to get back the AFC East crown this season Buffalo will have to lose some games outside of their two matchups with the Patriots. This one is a prime candidate.