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NFL Week Three: Who You Should Root For


With two weeks in the books, it's tempting to start writing teams off based on slow starts or raising expectations based on fast starts, but I'm still inclined to place a lot of importance on preseason expectations when deciding which teams to treat as threats to the Chargers in the playoff race. Your mileage may vary.

With the Chargers yet to give us any reason to give up on the season, we'll first focus on which results give them the best shot at winning the division, then home field advantage then the wild card. All games are after the jump.

St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears

The home team will not play either of these clubs this year and this game will have no bearing on the playoff chase in the AFC. Root against Jeff Fisher or against Jay Cutler. Go Bears! (Importance: None)

Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns

The Bills are the better team here and thus they represent an actual threat to the Chargers' playoff hopes. In addition, the Browns are on the schedule meaning they could factor into a Strength of Victory tiebreaker. Go Browns! (Importance: Moderate)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

Neither of these teams are likely to be a big factor for the Chargers, but the Bucs at least have a chance to be involved in a tiebreaker. Go Bucs! (Importance: Low)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts

Both of these teams suck and the Chargers won't play either of them. The Colts are the better team, though, so we'll be pulling for the lowly Jaguars. Go Jags! (Importance: Low)

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins aren't a good team even after taking the Raiders apart. The Jets are dangerous and could challenge for a Wild Card spot. Go Dolphins! (Importance: Moderate)

San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings

This game doesn't matter to us at all. Harbaugh's a douche, though. Go Vikings! (Importance: None)

Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints

A division rival playing a non-conference opponent? Tough one. Go Saints! (Importance: High)

Detroit Lions @ Tennessee Titans

The Lions are in the wrong conference to matter and the Titans are looking like they'll be terrible. Ties coming down to SOV are still less likely than Tennessee making a run at a WC spot, though. Go Lions! (Importance: Low)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Redskins

Cincy isn't a great team, but they're probably contenders and they're taking on an irrelevant Washington squad. Go Redskins! (Importance: Moderate)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals

Neither of these teams matter a lick, but John Skelton isn't a dog killer. Go Cardinals! (Importance: None)

Atlanta Falcons @ San Diego Chargers

If you don't know who to root for in this one, you might be an idiot. Go Bolts! (Importance: Highest)

Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos

A division rival taking on a potential HFA rival? We'll worry about the division first. Go Texans! (Importance: High)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders

I really wish it wasn't so early in the season because I'd like to be able to root against the Steelers here. Unfortunately the Raiders are still alive. Go [team playing the Raiders]! (Importance: High)

New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens

New England is probably the better team of the two and the Chargers will get the chance to beat the Ravens head-to-head later in the year. Go Ravens! (Importance: Moderate)

Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks

And we close with a meaningless contest between two NFC teams (neither of whom is particularly likable). The Packers once won me the opportunity to slap several of my good friends in the face, though. Go Pack! (Importance: None)