Early NFL Games Open Thread

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at 4:05 p.m., so we can watch some of the Bucs' competitors play in the early game. Here's the list of 1:00 p.m. games, and who you should root for to maximize the Bucs' playoff chances.

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears

Root for the Bears, who at 8-3 have basically locked up their playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are the Bucs' biggest competition for a wildcard spot.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

This game could go either way for the Bucs, really. The Vikings(6-5) are major competitors for a wildcard spot, but they have a ridiculously tough schedule (Bears, Rams, Texans, Packers) and aren't playing well. Meanwhile, the Packers (7-4) are in position to pick up one wildcard spot, but they're only one game ahead of the Bucs.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams

The 49ers nearly have their division locked up, but the St. Louis Rams are out of the playoff race, too. There's a tiny chance the 49ers tank over the next four games, so go Rams?

Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets

The Cardinals are out of it, but another loss to an NFC team can never hurt.

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions

Well, the Lions are essentially out of the playoff race. But eliminating a theoretical chance can't hurt, so go Colts.

Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs

This has no playoff implications, but I'm still shocked this game is going ahead.

And then there are the AFC games, where the Bucs don't really care who wins:

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills

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