We’re back for Week 14 Sunday football! The San Francisco 49ers are back home facing off against the New York Jets at 1:05 p.m. PT on CBS. The 49ers are 1-11 and the Jets are 3-9, which means there is plenty to play for as we move through the final quarter of the season. San Francisco is a favorite in this game, and with the Jets starting an inexperienced quarterback on the road, a 49ers win seems like a distinct possibility.
Whether or not the 49ers lose, there are plenty of interesting matchups in Week 14 that will impact the 2017 NFL Draft order. The Cleveland Browns sit at 0-12 and are at home facing a banged up Cincinnati Bengals team. The Jacksonville Jaguars sit at 2-10 and host the 6-6 Minnesota Vikings. The rest of the teams leave plenty of implications to consider. Here is a look at the top five in draft order, along with their current strength of schedule (SOS), via Scott Carasik:
1. Cleveland Browns (0-12, .544)
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-11, .516)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10, .542)
4. Chicago Bears (3-9, .513)
5. New York Jets (3-9, .513)
Here is who to root for this weekend to help the 49ers get some cushioning and improve their chances at a top two pick. Several games involve teams that would help weaken the 49ers SOS or boost the Browns or Jaguars SOS. If two or more teams are tied for a draft position, the weakest SOS gets the best pick.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-12)
Rooting interest: Browns - It’s an obvious one, and likely the only real chance for a Browns win to close out the season.
Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
Rooting interest: Jaguars - Get some cushion behind the 49ers
Chicago Bears (3-9) at Detroit Lions (8-4)
Rooting interest: Toss-up - The 49ers have a two-game edge on the Bears. It could turn into one game with a 49ers win today, so in that case you root for Chicago. But if the 49ers lose, we’d rather have Chicago lose to boost the 49ers SOS as needed.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-6)
Rooting interest: Steelers - Weakens 49ers SOS, strengthens Browns SOS
Denver Broncos (8-4) at Tennessee Titans (6-6)
Rooting interest: Titans - Strengthens Browns and Jaguars SOS
Washington (6-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
Rooting interest: Toss-up - Cleveland played both teams, 49ers and Jaguars played neither
Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1) at Miami Dolphins (7-5)
Rooting interest: Dolphins - Weakens 49ers SOS since they played Arizona twice and Miami only once
San Diego Chargers (5-7) at Carolina Panthers (4-8)
Rooting interest: Chargers - Weakens 49ers SOS, strengthens Jaguars SOS
Houston Texans (6-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-6)
Rooting interest: Colts - Jaguars play them both twice, so either way they get the same impact. So, we root for Frank Gore and company.
New Orleans Saints (5-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)
Rooting interest: Toss-up - 49ers played both once, Cleveland and Jacksonville played neither.
Atlanta Falcons (7-5) at Los Angeles Rams (4-8)
Rooting interest: Falcons - 49ers played Rams twice, Falcons once, so Rams loss means net weakening of SOS.
Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) at Green Bay Packers (6-6)
Rooting interest: Packers - 49ers played Seahawks twice, so it weakens SOS.
Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4)
Rooting interest: Giants - Weakens 49ers SOS
Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at New England Patriots (10-2)
Rooting interest: Ravens - MNF bonus! Weakens 49ers SOS, strengthens Cleveland and Jacksonville’s SOS.