The Patriots have a pivotal matchup Monday against the AFC East rival Buffalo Bills.
While New England, obviously, will have its playoff standings impacted by that individual game more than anything else, there are a few other Week 13 contests that could affect the Patriots down the road.
Here are who Patriots fans should be rooting for in Week 13:
Pittsburgh Steelers over (-4.5) Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are the top seed in the AFC. If the 5-5-1 Steelers beat the 8-3 Ravens and the Patriots beat the Bills, New England will take over the top seed in the conference. New England doesn’t have much to worry about with Pittsburgh as the Steelers currently are in last place of the AFC North.
Denver Broncos over (-8.5) Kansas City Chiefs
The 7-4 Chiefs currently are in fourth in the conference behind the Ravens, Patriots and Tennessee Titans (who are on a bye week). But it certainly feels like the AFC West-leading Chiefs have found their brand of football with an improving defense, and continue to push for the top spot. Kansas City has won four straight entering Sunday against the 6-5 Broncos. Denver, the eighth seed, currently is the first team out in the AFC.
Houston Texans over (-10) Indianapolis Colts
The Patriots have a two-game lead over the 6-6 Colts, but with New England set to face Indianapolis in Week 15 after the bye week, it would benefit from a Week 13 stunner. How practical is that? Well, that’s a different conversation given the fact Jonathan Taylor is leading the Colts into Houston to face the 2-9 Texans, the second to last team in the conference. Still, we’ve seen numerous times this season how any team can lose any given week.
Los Angeles Chargers over (-3) Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are just one game back of the Ravens in the AFC North and only one win back of the Patriots themselves. Cincinnati currently holds the first of three wild-card spots and if New England falls in Buffalo, the two teams could be jockeying for that position. The 6-5 Chargers currently are the last team in the playoff picture.
Washington Football Team over (-1.5) Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas currently is in the ninth spot with seven teams set to make the postseason. Still, the Patriots would benefit from an NFC East team earning a win over their AFC competition.
New York Giants over (-6) Miami Dolphins
The Patriots have a three-game lead over the Dolphins in the AFC East so it’s certainly not one of the top teams they have to worry about. With that said, it’s a similar situation to that of Washington-Las Vegas. In a jam-packed AFC, any interconference loss could benefit.