Thanksgiving is behind us, but Week 12 is only getting started. After three holiday games on Thursday, the league’s 12th weekend continues on Sunday — featuring, among other games, the New England Patriots’ high-stakes matchup versus the visiting Tennessee Titans.
That game is just one of 11 taking place on Sunday. So, who should Patriots fans root for in the other 10? Glad you asked.
1:00 pm ET
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-4): Go Steelers! With playoff positioning very much on the line, the rooting interest in this one is pretty simple: root for the team with the worse record at the moment. That means rooting for the current No. 8 seed over the current No. 6. | CBS
New York Jets (2-8) at Houston Texans (2-8): Go Jets! Going with the Jets may seem weird but there is method to this madness. New York winning its third game, after all, would further hurt the team’s chances of “earning” the number one overall pick in next year’s draft. | CBS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at Indianapolis Colts (6-5): Go Buccaneers! The time-honored tradition of Tom Brady beating the Colts best continues on Sunday. A Tampa Bay win would help New England by pushing an AFC competitor back to .500 for the time being. | FOX
Atlanta Falcons (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8): Go Falcons! The reason behind the Atlanta pick also has to do with the Jets’ draft outlook. The more non-AFC East teams are worse, the better. Sorry, Jaguars. | FOX
Carolina Panthers (5-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-7): Go Panthers! Rooting for an NFC team over an AFC team is usually the way to go, especially if said AFC team is a division rival on a three-game winning streak. | FOX
4:05 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Chargers (6-4) at Denver Broncos (5-5): Go Broncos! This follows the same logic as the Steelers vs. Bengals matchup mentioned above. Rooting for the team with the worse record is the way to go. | CBS
4:25 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Rams (7-3) at Green Bay Packers (8-3): Go Packers! The Rams will likely make the playoffs, so it might not matter all too much. However, them losing could, in theory, improve their draft position. This would obviously be good news for New England, given that the Patriots own Los Angeles’ sixth-round pick next year as part of the Sony Michel trade. | FOX
8:20 p.m. ET
Cleveland Browns (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3): Go Browns! Another matchup between two AFC division rivals very much involved in the playoff race. Rooting for Cleveland makes plenty of sense for multiple reasons: the Browns currently have a worse record than the Ravens and have already lost against New England (thus impacting the potentially important strength of victory tiebreaker), while a Baltimore loss paired with a New England win would make the Patriots the new top seed in the conference. This is an easy one. | NBC