After 13 straight weeks of football the Patriots finally get a week to rest. The bye week is the latest in the NFL's history, but just because New England isn't playing it doesn't mean there won't be anything worth watching over the weekend.
There are several games that could potentially impact the Patriots playoff seeding in the coming weeks, and we offer a primer on which ones are worth keeping tabs on:
Buffalo (7-5) at Tampa Bay (9-3)
This one is the most obvious because it features the Bills, who despite Monday's loss to the Patriots remain very much alive in the AFC East race. Like the Patriots, Buffalo still controls its destiny and posting a road win over the Bucs will likely create a scenario in which the rematch in Foxborough on December 26 will be for first place. Because Buffalo would own the tiebreaker if the teams split their two meetings, having Tom Brady take care of business on Sunday will create some margin for error for the Patriots.
Las Vegas (6-6) at Kansas City (8-4)
The Chiefs are right on the Patriots heels having won five straight and they can pull even with the Patriots with a division win over the Raiders. New England's stellar 7-1 conference record allows the Patriots to hold the tiebreaker edge but a Chiefs loss again would create some breathing room.
Baltimore (8-4) at Cleveland (6-6)
The Ravens are reeling with injuries and face a daunting schedule down the stretch, but as of this moment they still only have four losses and can also pull even with the Patriots. The Browns sit at 6-6 and would need the Patriots to collapse down the stretch in order to move ahead. So, another Ravens loss would help.
Jacksonville (2-10) at Tennessee (8-4)
The Titans are coming off the bye week and are looking to get some injured players back in the fold. Tennessee has already lost to the Jets and Texans, so asking for a loss to the lowly Jags may be looking for too much but it would certainly help.
NY Giants (4-8) at L.A. Chargers (7-5)
The Giants are banged up and playing out the string but the Chargers have been one of the league's most erratic teams all season. A win would keep L.A. just a game back of the division leaders and in contention to move ahead. A Giants upset would certainly aid the cause.
San Francisco (6-6) at Cincinnati (7-5)
The Bengals are just a game back in the loss column and could make a run at the top spot in the AFC North. If Cincy gets hot it could maneuver itself ahead of the Patriots as well. The Bengals also have a tough schedule remaining and the Niners are fighting for their playoff lives in the NFC, so the Patriots could get some help here.