Wondering what to watch and what to root for this week with the New England Patriots having already played on Thursday? We’ve got you covered.
The New England Patriots are sitting pretty at 6-0, having already assured themselves of an undefeated record this week by virtue of their 35-14 win over the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. They now have the luxury of getting nine days of rest before a Week 7 rematch with the division rival New York Jets, a team they beat by 16 points back in Week 3, albeit without starting QB Sam Darnold playing for Gang Green.
Just because the Patriots aren’t playing this weekend though, doesn’t mean that fans of the team should take a break from watching football. Obviously if you absolutely have to take that weekend getaway trip to the countryside where you won’t have television or Internet service, this is the ideal one to do it on.
But if you’re planning on catching some of the NFL action without all the accompanying stress of wondering whether your own team will win or lose, we’ve got you covered!
Here’s our analysis and insight into the other 13 games happening Sunday through Monday, starting with the games that either have the most impact on the Patriots, or the games that we’re simply the most excited to watch as neutral fans and observers:
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 pm EST, CBS
This is by far the marquee game of Week 6. Deshaun Watson and the 3-2 Texans come into Arrowhead to face Patrick Mahomes and the 4-1 Chiefs. The Patriots will face both of these teams this season, and both are considered the favorites in their respective AFC divisions. New England fans should be cheering on Houston and hoping they pull off the upset, as that result would drop both teams to 4-2 on the season and put the Patriots two games up on each.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets, 4:25 pm EST, CBS
Sam Darnold makes his return for the winless Jets as they play host to the NFC East-leading Cowboys. These are another two teams the Patriots will face in their 10 remaining games this season. New England fans should be pulling for Dallas in this one, as a Cowboys win would drop the Jets to 0-6 on the season and put them even further behind the Pats in the race for the AFC East division crown.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 pm EST, FOX
The San Francisco 49ers are the only other team left without a loss this season alongside the Patriots. Since the Niners already had their bye, even with a win over the Rams they’d only be at 5-0 this week, compared to 6-0 for New England. Fans of ex-Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo can feel free to root for San Francisco in this one, while selfish New Englanders might want to pull for Los Angeles if they don’t want company in the undefeated club.
Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 pm EST, FOX
This could easily be one of the more entertaining games this week around the league. The Browns are 2-3 and still trying to find out who they are this season after a summer of hype and lofty expectations; the Seahawks are 4-1 and playing inspired football under Pete Carroll with Russell Wilson under center. While it certainly doesn’t look like the Browns could challenge the Pats this year in the AFC playoff seeding pecking order, it still doesn’t hurt to root for the ‘Hawks in this one.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 pm EST, CBS
As things currently stand, the Baltimore Ravens lead the AFC North with a 3-2 record. They have a win over the Steelers in their back pocket already, but they also have a loss to the Browns (at home) as well. Presumably, this division is going to come down to one of those three teams, as it probably won’t be the Bengals. The best outcome for the Pats would be a Cincy upset, as it would further damage Baltimore’s long-term hopes of jumping New England in any playoff seeding.
New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 pm EST, CBS
The battle of the back-up quarterbacks. Gardner Minshew – he of “Minshew Mania” – is leading all rookie quarterbacks in rating and touchdown passes this season. Teddy Bridgewater, subbing in for an injured Drew Brees, has yet to lose a start for the Saints. Something’s gotta give between these two early-season feel-good stories. Patriots fans might not have much rooting interest one way or the other, but it should still be a fun game to take in.
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 pm EST, FOX
A pair of 3-2 teams meet in this high-stakes NFC battle. Both squads have smothering defenses, but these offenses couldn’t be more different. Whereas Philly has been carried by Carson Wentz’s playmaking and prolific scorers like Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery, Minny has been all about smashmouth football and an incredible rushing attack led by Dalvin Cook. This might be the best morning game outside of Houston/Kansas City, even if it doesn’t mean much to the Patriots.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 8:15 pm EST, ESPN (Monday)
Monday Night Football should be a fun one this week. The Lions have traditionally been the doormat of the NFC North during the Aaron Rodgers era, but ex-Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has his Detroit team looking both frisky and talented in 2019. The end result of this game has zero bearing on New England this season, but we suppose it would be nice to watch Patricia pull off the upset as a former Bill Belichick assistant.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9:30 am EST, NFL Network
Early-risers Sunday morning will have a chance to take in this game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Both of these NFC South teams have exciting offenses led by young players: Chris Godwin for the Buccaneers and Christian McCaffrey for the Panthers. Both also have suspect defenses. British fans in attendance should be treated to a high-scoring game filled with plenty of fireworks… tune in if that’s something you’re interested in as well.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 pm EST, NBC
This game looked a lot more exciting before the season began than it does now in Week 6. Steelers/Chargers last season was a back-and-forth battle that Los Angeles won on the road after Pittsburgh jumped offsides three straight times during the game-winning field goal attempt. This year’s edition doesn’t look nearly as promising, with the Steelers just 1-4 and starting their third-string quarterback, and the Chargers not much better at 2-3 on the season.
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos, 4:25 pm EST, CBS
The 2-3 Titans travel to the Mile High City to face the 1-4 Broncos… yawn. Unless you live in Colorado or Tennessee, this is a game you can probably afford to miss. Neither squad looks likely to challenge for their division this year, which means Patriots fans probably don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other over who wins. That said, we’ll give the cheering edge to the Titans under Mike Vrabel, just since Vrabel is a former New England linebacker and fan favorite.
Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 pm EST, FOX
Six weeks into the season, these two teams have just two wins between them, but don’t be fooled – this game could actually be more watchable than it appears at first glance. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has been struggling so far as a rookie, but he’s still a former Heisman winner who was drafted No. 1 overall this past April. As for the Falcons? They’re still stocked with plenty of the same talented players from Super Bowl LI. You remember that game right? (28-3, 28-3, 28-3…)
Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 pm EST, FOX
Easily the least appealing game on the Week 6 slate, the winless Washington Redskins get to match up against the winless Miami Dolphins to determine who’s the worst team in the league. The loser of this matchup presumably gets the inside track on the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Yippee. As a Pats fan, it probably makes the most sense to root against the rival Fins. Then again, since Miami wants to lose and get the No. 1 pick, maybe it’s better to cheer for Washington.