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Surging Patriots Look to Stay Hot vs. the Falcons

Plus, two Eastern Conference contenders face off in the Association.

Happy Thursday! After a Wednesday night that featured a 10th straight win for the Suns in our “Must Watch” game vs. the Mavs, we’re back tonight with a lighter NBA slate. But Thursday Night Football is here to help make up for it. The Pats and Falcons will do battle tonight, plus some high-profile names in the college hoops world take the floor, and there's a heck of a matchup in the NHL out west.

Here’s what I’m watching today.

MUST WATCH

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons

mac-jones

The Patriots, now just a half-game behind the Bills in the AFC East, look like they are ahead of schedule in Mac Jones’ rookie year. And while SI’s Albert Breer wrote this week that he thinks New England is still a year or two away from its championship window truly opening again, the Patriots’ four straight wins (including a 45–7 romp of the Browns) has them right in the thick of things. The Pats are the only team in the NFL that is undefeated on the road, and they’ll put that perfect record on the line in a short week at Atlanta tonight. The Falcons have been maddeningly inconsistent, as they followed up a huge win over the Saints in Week 9 with a hapless, 43–3 loss to the Cowboys last week.

8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network, watch on fuboTV

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LINEUP

  • Men’s college basketball: Milwaukee at Florida | This isn’t just any old nonconference showdown between a major program and a mid-major. Milwaukee has Pat Baldwin Jr., a five-star recruit and likely top-10 pick in next year’s NBA draft. This will be the first big showcase game of his career against a Gator team that has started strong. 6 p.m. ET, SEC Network +
  • Men’s CBB: Ohio State at Xavier | The atmosphere in Cincinnati for this in-state rivalry game should be electric. Both teams have high expectations this season and entered the year in the top 30 of SI’s 1–358 national rankings. 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Denver Nuggets | The Sixers have been in something of a free-fall without Joel Embiid, who remains out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The road doesn’t get easier, as Philly heads into the altitude to take on a Nuggets team that has been very tough at home and last year’s MVP in Nikola Jokić. 9 p.m. ET, NBA TV, watch on fuboTV
  • Carolina Hurricanes at Anaheim Ducks | The Ducks climbed a remarkable 10 spots in a week in SI’s latest NHL Power Rankings and now are on top of the Pacific division. Let’s see if that hot streak continues against arguably the best team in the league. 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+

HIDDEN GEM

Washington Wizards at Miami Heat

This week’s episode of The Crossover with Chris Mannix and Howard Beck broke down how the Wizards have started so strongly with a completely new supporting cast around Bradley Beal. And while a loss in Charlotte last night did end a five-game winning streak, optimism is still high that this is a playoff team in Washington. They’ll be tested tonight by a Heat team that features a potential MVP candidate in Jimmy Butler.

7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Washington/Bally Sports Sun, watch on fuboTV

Think we missed something worth watching? Reply to guide@si.com and let us know what we should be looking out for and why.

Happy streaming!

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