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The Falcoholic’s official NFL rooting interests guide and picks for Week 14

There’s not much point in being particularly invested in the Falcons’ outcome against Green Bay, so let’s be petty about the teams we hate.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

We had such high hopes at the start of the season. Now everything has disintegrated into injury-fueled chaos, and the best possible outcome for the Falcons is an 8-8 season.

Many times, rooting interests this time of year revolve around which teams need to lose to give the Falcons a better shot at the postseason or better position in the standings. This year, not so much. But we’re here to break down some options for you as we look toward this week’s games and help you apply your pettiest perspectives to decide which teams to support in Week 14.

Falcons vs. Packers, Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

Your rooting interests for this one are going to depend on your hopes for the Falcons over the last four weeks of the season. Do you want to see them land at 8-8 and salvage some dignity before the end of the season? Or do you want them to tank it out the rest of the way and lock up a higher draft pick? Nobody can or should tell you how to be a fan, so either of these perspectives is totally fine. Root for the Falcons if you’d like to see the former, and for the Packers if you’re looking for the latter.

Staff picks:

Falcons: Kenny, Allen

Packers: DW, Jeanna, James, Evan, Adnan, Matt, Dave, Cory, Kevin, Carter

Panthers vs. Browns, Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

Carolina looked like a legitimate playoff threat for a while this season, but that seems to be slipping away from them. The Panthers are now 6-6, and their playoff chances can’t afford another hit. Root for the Browns! Sure, they beat the Falcons a few weeks ago, but that was mainly because the Falcons played like they were entitled to a win as opposed to actually trying to win. Cleveland has now quadrupled its win total from the previous two seasons, and adding on one more against the Panthers would be excruciating for Panthers fans, and I’m all for that.

Staff picks:

Panthers: Cory, Carter, Kenny

Browns: DW, Jeanna, James, Evan, Adnan, Matt, Dave, Kevin, Allen

Patriots vs. Dolphins, Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

Why is this one even on here? Because we should all be rooting against the Evil Empire every chance we get. Yes, I’m still bitter about the Super Bowl. I love my Patriots fan boyfriend and I want him to be happy in general, but let’s be real, that fanbase has enjoyed plenty of success. Root for the Dolphins for the fun of it.

Staff picks:

Patriots: DW, Jeanna, James, Evan, Adnan, Matt, Dave, Cory, Kevin, Carter, Kenny, Allen

Dolphins: Welp.

Saints vs. Buccaneers, Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

We could just root for a meteor, but then we’d be robbed of the joy of watching the Saints make an early playoff exit this postseason. Since the Bucs already beat the Saints once this season and are coming off of a solid win against the Panthers, let’s just root for our fellow NFC South basement dwellers to do us a solid and make Saints fans cry this week.

Staff picks:

Saints: DW, James, Evan, Adnan, Matt, Dave, Cory, Carter, Allen

Buccaneers: Jeanna, Kevin, Kenny

Rams vs. Bears, Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET

The Rams are our best shot at taking the Saints out of contention this postseason. I’m happy to pretend to be a lifelong Rams fan for a few hours this Sunday and hope they keep the momentum going as they hurtle toward a probable playoff showdown — and a win —against the Saints.

Staff picks:

Rams: DW, Jeanna, Evan, Adnan, Matt, Dave, Cory, Kevin, Carter, Kenny, Allen

Bears: James

Vikings vs. Seahawks, Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET

I really have no quarrel with either of these teams, and whatever happens won’t impact the couch-bound Falcons this postseason anyway. But I’ll always be grateful for the Minnesota Miracle that knocked the Saints out of the playoffs last season, so go Vikings.

Staff picks:

Vikings: Jeanna, James, Evan, Adnan, Cory, Kevin, Allen

Seahawks: DW, Matt, Dave, Carter, Kenny