Fooch's Update: The 49ers are up to No. 14
The San Francisco 49ers dropped an ugly one on Saturday, blowing a 21-point lead en route to a 38-35 loss to the San Diego Chargers. The one small consolation is that the team will likely improve its draft pick status this weekend. Heading into Saturday's game, the 49ers were in the No. 16 spot on the board. The loss drops them to 7-8, and all but guarantees they move up at least a little bit.
Heading into Week 16, the 49ers were tied with the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, and Houston Texans at 7-7. They were a game up on the 6-8 St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. They were two games up on the 5-9 New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears.
The Sunday schedule features some matchups that could boost their standing in the draft. The Miami Dolphins (No. 15) and Minnesota Vikings (No. 11) play. If the Dolphins win, the 49ers move up at least one spot. If the Vikings win, the 49ers would not move barring a sizable shift in the strength of schedule tiebreaker. Other matchups that could impact draft positioning include:
Cleveland (No. 14) @ Carolina (No. 10)
Baltimore @ Houston (No. 13)
NY Giants @ St. Louis (No. 12)
The Chargers win eliminated the Browns from playoff contention, so we'll see exactly what kind of emotion they bring to the table. A Browns win would drop them back of the 49ers in the draft order. If favorites win on Sunday, the 49ers would climb two spots to No. 14, pending how tiebreakers impact St. Louis in strength of schedule.
A Manimal put together a rundown of what the 49ers need to climb as high as No. 10. Based on that, the 49ers want the Panthers, Saints and Vikings to win on Sunday, and again next week.