Week 16 is already in the books for the New England Patriots, ending in disappointment: the team lost 22-18 to the Cincinnati Bengals, dropping to 7-8 on the year and seeing its playoff hopes left hanging by a thread. According to FiveThirtyEight, New England currently has just a 12 percent chance of making the tournament.
So, with that in mind, let’s find out who Patriots fans should be cheering for in the three contests played today. Welcome to the latest edition of our Patriots Rooting Guide.
1 p.m. ET
Green Bay Packers (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (8-6): Go Packers! If the Patriots want any shot at making the playoffs, a Miami home loss versus the Packers would be crucial: New England’s playoff odds would improve to 21 in case of a Green Bay victory, and drop to 7 if Aaron Rodgers and company come up short. | FOX, fuboTV
4:30 p.m. ET
Denver Broncos (4-10) at Los Angeles Rams (4-10): Go Broncos! This game has no real impact on the Patriots’ playoff outlook, but it could positively influence their draft next year. New England, after all, owns the Rams’ fourth-round pick in 2023 as a result of the Sony Michel trade. Every additional L.A. loss is therefore a welcome one. | CBS, Paramount+, fuboTV
8:20 p.m. ET
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) at Arizona Cardinals (4-10): Go Cardinals! According to the calculations, the game has no impact on New England’s playoff chances. However, an Arizona victory would improve the Patriots’ strength of victory tiebreaker. Will it become relevant? Probably not, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. | NBC, Peacock, fuboTV
Make sure to head down to the comment section to discuss today’s games, and to take a look at this story stream for all of our Patriots-Bengals coverage.