A week without New England Patriots football can feel like an eternity. But to be fair, the players and coaches need rest after nine straight weeks of regular season football.
And to be honest, your vocal chords could probably use a break as well from yelling at the television screen.
The good news is there’s plenty of football to be excited about in Week 10, and I’m about to give you four games right now with a Patriots twist.
So kick back, grab a cold beverage out of the refrigerator and enjoy a stress-free week knowing the Patriots are 5-4 with a legitimate shot at winning the division and making the playoffs. Here are the four games you should be watching this weekend.
Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills (1:00 p.m. ET)
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
One of the biggest storylines this week has been the health of Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who is questionable to play in Sunday’s game with an elbow injury.
The Bills have a tough matchup with the Vikings (7-1) coming to town for a visit. Minnesota is on the verge of juggernaut status with one of the best offensive skilled groups in the league. It’s the same group the Patriots will be facing on Thanksgiving night.
But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
The Bills dropped their Week 9 road game to the New York Jets, and they’ll be in danger of dropping another loss to the Vikings. It’ll be a major uphill climb if Allen isn’t under center for this matchup. However, another loss for Buffalo would benefit the Patriots greatly in their bid to win the AFC East.
Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9:30 a.m. ET)
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
You can stop pretending like you don’t care what Tom Brady is doing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Okay, maybe a few have completely moved on, but most of you are still keeping tabs on the legendary quarterback.
Brady himself admitted he’s doing the same when it comes to Patriots football. During his weekly “Let’s Go!” podcast show, he claimed he still watches the Patriots games every week.
The Bucs have struggled on both sides of the ball this season, but even at 45 years old, Brady has been magical when the team has really needed it.
— NFL (@NFL) November 7, 2022
It might take more football magic from the greatest of all time to knock off Geno Smith and a red-hot Seahawks team on an international road trip in Germany.
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
What a weekend it would be for the Patriots if both the Bills and Dolphins lost.
But keep the champagne on ice for this matchup. The Browns have lost four of their last five games. One of those losses came to the Patriots when rookie backup quarterback Bailey Zappe went into Cleveland and threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-15 victory.
The Dolphins haven’t just built a playoff team, but they’ve reached a point where they should be considered serious Super Bowl contenders. So any team capable of handing them a loss would be doing a huge favor for the Patriots.
Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
The Josh McDaniels era in Las Vegas has been an absolute disaster so far, but things could get really ugly if they get beat by the same Colts team that lost to the Patriots so badly last week that they fired their head coach.
Now, they’ve randomly inserted Jeff Saturday as the interim coach with second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger making his third start on Sunday. The Raiders better be able to handle business in this game.
Selfishly, Patriots fans would love to see McDaniels come back to New England and help fix the Patriots’ broken offense. They were running much smoother last season with him overseeing things. Mac Jones even made the Pro Bowl.
If the struggles continue in Las Vegas, that reunion could be sooner than expected.