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49ers Week 5 rooting guide: Time to consider draft implications?

The 49ers can build some draft pick leverage this week.

The San Francisco 49ers kicked off Week 5 with a 33-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, which dropped them to 1-4 on the season. They have lost four straight, have a defense that has lost key playmakers, and have an offense that may have a new starting quarterback in the coming weeks. Things are not good right now.

The NFL returns for Sunday action today, with 14 games on the schedule. We are a quarter of the way through the 2016 season, which means plenty can still change for a lot of teams. We will be continuing our weekly rooting guide, but have we reached the point where we should focus on draft order implications over playoff implications? I am inclined to lean that way. People can choose to be optimistic, but I’d like to think this is probably a slightly more realistic look at things right now.

The 49ers entered the week tied with 11 other teams at 1-3. San Francisco is now 1-4, and wait to see what this weekend brings at the top of the draft order. The 49ers have a pair of winnable games coming up at Buffalo and at home against Tampa Bay. I think we see a split of the two games, but with a potential quarterback change who knows what to make of things.

Patriots (3-1) vs. Browns (0-4)

Rooting interest: Browns - It’s the return of Tom Brady. The Browns are a 10.5-point underdog. I do think the Browns could keep this close, but I don’t expect a win.

Eagles (3-0) vs. Lions (1-3)

Rooting interest: Lions - The Eagles have been a surprise to start the season. Carson Wentz could keep playing well and they keep rolling, but a road loss would not surprise me.

Bears (1-3) vs. Colts (1-3)

Rooting interest: Bears - This one comes down to, which team is more likely to improve in the coming weeks. I’ll lean Colts in that regard, and thus root for the Bears, but you can lean either way.

Titans (1-3) vs. Dolphins (1-3)

Rooting interest: Titans - In similar fashion, which team is more likely to improve in coming weeks. I’ll lean Dolphins, but could see it going either way.

Washington (2-2) vs. Ravens (3-1)

Rooting interest: Ravens - I think both teams are all but certain to finish ahead of the 49ers at the end of the season. However, the 49ers hold Washington’s fifth round pick from the Derek Carrier trade (still not sure of the conditions for playing time).

Texans (3-1) vs. Vikings (4-0)

Rooting interest: Vikings - Again, both teams probably finish ahead of the 49ers, so I am going to root for the Vikings to keep on playing well.

Jets (1-3) vs. Steelers (3-1)

Rooting interest: J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!

Falcons (3-1) vs. Broncos (4-0)

Rooting interest: Falcons - The 49ers hold the Broncos sixth round pick from the Vernon Davis trade. Go Falcons.

Bengals (2-2) vs. Cowboys (3-1)

Rooting interest: Bengals - Both teams will finish with better records than the 49ers. With the Cowboys, I’m mostly curious if we see Tony Romo replace Dak Prescott in the near future.

Bills (2-2) vs. Rams (3-1)

Rooting interest: Bills - I’m tempted to root for the Rams because it really would be funny to see them win the division. But we know at worst they finish 7-9 again. On the other hand, the Bills are enough of a question mark this season that I’ll take whatever wins they can get.

Chargers (1-3) vs. Raiders (3-1)

Rooting interest: Chargers - I would normally root for the 49ers Bay Area rival because I actually don’t hate them like some 49ers fan. But the Raiders are gonna win plenty of games this season. Need a Chargers W here.

Giants (2-2) vs. Packers (2-1)

Rooting interest: Giants - Another one where both teams will finish with a better record than the 49ers.

Buccaneers (1-3) vs. Panthers (1-3)

Rooting interest: Buccaneers - I think the Panthers are more likely to turn things around to some extent.