Welcome to Week 13! The San Francisco 49ers are back in action Sunday morning, as they travel to face the Chicago Bears. The 49ers are 3-8, coming off a close home loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears are 5-6, coming off three road wins in their last four games, including a big Thanksgiving win over the Green Bay Packers last week.
The 49ers currently hold the No. 5 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, but with five weeks of football remaining, plenty will change. The Detroit Lions lost on Thursday Night Football, so they drop a spot behind the 49ers for now, with a record of 4-8. 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. Tennessee Titans: 2-9 (.511)
2. Cleveland Browns: 2-9 (.517)
3. Dallas Cowboys: 3-8 (.525)
4. San Diego Chargers: 3-8 (.528)
5. San Francisco 49ers: 3-8 (.534)
6. Detroit Lions: 4-8 (.534)
7. Miami Dolphins: 4-7 (.477)
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-7 (.489)
9. Baltimore Ravens: 4-7 (.494)
10. Philadelphia Eagles: 4-7 (.508)
11. St. Louis Rams: 4-7 (.517)
12. New Orleans Saints: 4-7 (.520)
The biggest game on the schedule, for draft purposes, features the 4-7 Jaguars traveling to face the 2-9 Titans. The Titans do not have many winnable games left on their schedule, but this is one of them. They likely would hold on to the strength of schedule tiebreaker anyway, but a win still drops them a little further into the mix.
The Ravens and Dolphins square off in the lone matchup of two 4-7 teams. I'd suggest rooting for the Dolphins because a Ravens loss helps lower the 49ers strength of schedule. Other games that could help the 49ers in that regard would include the 5-6 Giants losing to the 6-5 Jets, the 6-5 Falcons losing to the 5-6 Bucs, and the 6-5 Steelers losing to the 6-5 Colts. All those games feature one team the 49ers played, and one team the 49ers did not play.
Here is the schedule of games featuring teams ahead, or one game back of the 49ers. I've bolded teams we are rooting for in Week 13.
Cardinals (9-2) @ Rams (4-7)
Ravens (4-7) @ Dolphins (4-7)
Bengals (9-2) @ Browns (2-9)
Jaguars (4-7) @ Titans (2-9)
Broncos (9-2) 2 Chargers (3-8)
Panthers (11-0) @ Saints (4-7)
Eagles (4-7) @ Patriots (10-1)
Cowboys (3-8) @ Washington (5-6)