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NFL Week 14: Rooting Guide & Open Thread

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sport

Baltimore Ravens fans will have to wait until Monday night to see their team in action against the Patriots in Week 14. However, there are still a few games on tap that are worth keeping an eye on. Sunday is a good day to tune the television to the NFL Redzone channel, cheer for the players on your fantasy football team and root against the Ravens competition...

  • Denver Broncos (8-4) at Tennessee Titans (6-6) 1:00 ET

The defending champion Broncos currently have one more win that the Ravens, so it would be helpful to Baltimore’s cause if the Titans can earn a home win. Handing the Broncos their fifth loss, with games against the Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders still on the horizon, would prop the door wide open for another team to overtake Denver in the wild card chase.

Even if the Ravens win the division, it would still be nice to avoid the possibility of a playoff game against Denver and their fearsome pass rush. Tennessee’s muscular rushing attack matches up well against the Broncos defensive weakness, especially with their best inside linebacker, Brandon Marshall, out with injury.

  • Houston Texans (6-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-6) 1:00 ET

The winner of this game will assume command of the AFC South, and be in position for the AFC’s #4 playoff slot. Indy is playing better football right now, the Texans have lost three straight. Houston is nearly a touchdown underdog.

Deciding which team to root for comes down to preference, in the event of a unlikely playoff matchup. Houston looks like an easier out, since Andrew Luck is a far superior quarterback compared to Brock Osweiler.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-6) 1:00 ET

This is the most important game on Sunday in the AFC North because the Ravens are in a virtual tie with Pittsburgh for the #3 playoff seed. The Steelers are favored by a field goal on the road, a spot that has been tricky for them in recent seasons. A Bills win would give the Ravens additional breathing room in the division race.

Hopefully Rex Ryan, Tyrod Taylor and Corey Graham can do their former employers a favor by pulling off the upset. Let’s-Go-Buf-falo.

Conversation Starters:

  1. Who is the best team in the NFC?
  2. Who are your favorite non-Raven players to watch?
  3. If the Ravens make the playoffs, which contender would present the greatest first round challenge?