We’re back for Week 15 Sunday football, and that means the San Francisco 49ers are back to try figure out this whole football thing. The 49ers are on the road for their penultimate road game facing off against the Atlanta Falcons at 1:05 p.m. PT on FOX. The 49ers are 1-12 and the Falcons are 8-5, which means these are two teams going in very opposite directions. San Francisco is a 13-point underdog in this game, and I don’t think I found a single soul thinking they’ll actually win this one.
There are plenty of other interesting matchups in Week 15 that will impact the 2017 NFL Draft order. Those impacting the 49ers are decreasing with each 49ers loss, but there is still plenty to watch and hope for throughout the day. The Cleveland Browns sit at 0-13 and are on the road against the Buffalo Bills. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-11, just behind the 49ers, and travel to face the 7-6 Houston Texans. The rest of the games 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 (0-13, .550)
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-12, .505)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11, .538)
4. Chicago Bears (3-10, .526)
5. Los Angeles Rams (4-10, .500)
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.
Cleveland Browns (0-13) at Buffalo Bills (6-7)
Rooting interest: Browns - This remains the obvious call.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) at Houston Texans (7-6)
Rooting interest: Jaguars - Another obvious one as a 49ers loss and Jaguars win puts the 49ers in prime position to lock up the No. 2 pick.
Cleveland Browns (0-13) at Buffalo Bills (6-7) Rooting interest : Browns - This remains the obvious call.
Green Bay Packers (7-6) at Chicago Bears (3-10)
Rooting interest: Packers - The 49ers hold a two-game lead on Chicago, so if the 49ers lose to Atlanta, it would take the 49ers win both their remaining games for this to potentially matter. I’ll take some assistance on strength of schedule instead.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
Rooting interest: Ravens - The Browns played Baltimore twice and Philly once, while the Jaguars played the Ravens. A Baltimore win boosts both their SOS.
Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
Rooting interest: Titans - The Jaguars played Tennessee twice and Kansas City once, while the Browns played the Titans. A Tennessee win boosts both their SOS.
Detroit Lions (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4)
Rooting interest: Lions - The Browns played the Giants, the Jaguars played the Lions. We’ll go with the Lions since Chicago is still technically in the mix and played them twice.
Indianapolis Colts (6-7) at Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
Rooting interest: Colts - The Jaguars played them twice and Minnesota only once. Boosts SOS.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)
Rooting interest: Toss up - The Browns played both twice.
New Orleans Saints (5-8) at Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1)
Rooting interest: Saints - The 49ers played Arizona twice and New Orleans once. A Saints win nets out to weaken the 49ers SOS.
New England Patriots (11-2) at Denver Broncos (8-5)
Rooting interest: Broncos - The 49ers played the Patriots once, so a Patriots loss helps weaken their SOS
Oakland Raiders (10-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-8)
Rooting interest: Chargers - The Browns and Jaguars both played San Diego, while Jacksonville also played Oakland. A Chargers win strengthens the Browns SOS.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) at Dallas Cowboys (11-2)
Rooting interest: Cowboys - The 49ers played both teams, while Cleveland played Dallas.