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Patriots playoff rooting guide: Who New England fans should root for between the Bengals and Raiders

Related: Patriots vs. Bills: How to watch, game time, TV schedule, channels, radio, streaming, odds, and more

Las Vegas Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals Set Number: X163870 TK1

The NFL playoffs are upon us. While the New England Patriots will not enter the action until later today — they will visit the Buffalo Bills for a 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff — the first game of wild card weekend is set to be kicked off soon: the AFC’s fifth seed, the Las Vegas Raiders, will take on the fourth-seeded Cincinnati Bengals.

While the Patriots will not keep an eye on this one for obvious reasons, their fans very much will. So, who should they root for? Glad you asked. Welcome to our Patriots Playoff Rooting Guide.

4:30 p.m. ET

(5) Las Vegas Raiders at (4) Cincinnati Bengals: Go Raiders! Despite ending the regular season as only the fourth seed in the conference and with the same 10-7 record as New England, the Bengals should not be underestimated: they are one of the best teams in the NFL, as evidenced by their +84 point differential and impressive Week 17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. From a Patriots perspective they would be a much more challenging opponent to play than the Raiders.

Las Vegas has a quality team and has rallied this year despite experiencing maybe the whackiest season in recent history, but from a pure quality perspective they are a more favorable matchup for New England should the winner of this one ever cross paths with the team. | NBC/Paramount+