Welcome to Week 11! The San Francisco 49ers are back in action Sunday afternoon as they face the Seattle Seahawks up at CenturyLink Field. The 49ers are 3-6, while the Seahawks are 4-5. It has been an ugly season for both teams, and yet perceptions of each team is quite different. The 49ers dealt with a ton of offseason turmoil, and so this performance is not exactly shocking. The Seahawks had some turnover, but their struggles are surprising to a lot more people. They were due to come back to earth, but they have been particularly bad for stretches this season.
The 49ers currently hold the No. 7 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, but with seven weeks of football remaining, plenty will change. They actually entered Week 11 with the No. 8 pick, but the Jaguars win over the Titans on Thursday Night Football bumped the 49ers ahead of them. Here is how the draft order currently looks, with the strength of schedule for each team listed last. Thanks to Scott Carasik for putting this together.
1. Cleveland Browns (2-8, .503)
2. Tennessee Titans (2-8, .514)
3. Baltimore Ravens (2-7, .503)
4. San Diego Chargers (2-7, .510)
5. Detroit Lions (2-7, .531)
6. Dallas Cowboys (2-7, .558)
7. San Francisco 49ers (3-6, .531)
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6, .476)
9. New Orleans Saints (4-6, .517)
10. Oakland Raiders (4-5, .476)
11. Miami Dolphins (4-5, .483)
12. Kansas City Chiefs (4-5, .493)
13. St. Louis Rams (4-5, .500)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5, .503)
15. Chicago Bears (4-5, .507)
16. Washington (4-5, .517)
17. Seattle Seahawks (4-5, .521)
18. Houston Texans (4-5, .523)
19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5, .524)
I listed all the 4-5 teams because if the 49ers do spring an upset over the Seahawks, those teams that lose could create quite the log-jam in the draft order. If the 49ers lose however, we will be rooting for some upsets ahead of the 49ers. Every team ahead of San Francisco is playing a team behind the 49ers.
Looking at the schedule below, I think the Lions and Ravens present two excellent chances for upsets. The Cowboys welcome Tony Romo back, so that is a boost against Miami, but it is also his first game back, and on the road. I think Miami wins that game, but for once, we're rooting for Dallas!
The Chargers are another intriguing team as they host the Chiefs. The Chargers finally have their offensive line mostly in place this week after dealing with an assortment of injuries to the unit over the past month. That could be huge for them, and put them in position to upset the Chiefs. We would like that.
Here is the schedule of games featuring teams ahead, or one game back of the 49ers. I've bolded teams we are rooting for, with Bucs-Eagles coming down to the Eagles having the strong strength of schedule for tie breaker purposes.
Raiders (4-5) @ Lions (2-7)
Colts (4-5) @ Falcons (6-3)
Jets (5-4) @ Texans (4-5)
Bucs (4-5) @ Eagles (4-5)
Broncos (7-2) @ Bears (4-5)
Rams (4-5) @ Ravens (2-7)
Cowboys (2-7) @ Dolphins (4-5)
Washington (4-5) @ Panthers (9-0)
Chiefs (4-5) @ Chargers (2-7)