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NFL TV schedule, Week 16: Considering draft implications

The 49ers are on the road in Week 16, facing the Los Angeles Rams. There are several pertinent games that affect draft implications. We break them all down.

Week 16’s main course of football gets going a day earlier than normal. Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, so the NFL bumped most of the Sunday games back to Saturday. The San Francisco 49ers will be on the road facing the Los Angeles Rams at 1:25 p.m. PT on FOX. The 49ers are 1-13 and the Rams are 4-10, with both teams looking to snap losing streaks for themselves, or improve draft position for the organization and fans. San Francisco is a 3.5-point underdog in this game, but any result is on the table!

There are plenty of interesting matchups around the league that will impact the 2017 NFL Draft order. However, the two most notable outside of the 49ers are Chargers-Browns and Titans-Jaguars. If the Browns win, the 49ers could move into a tie atop the draft order. If the Jaguars win, the 49ers can clinch no worse than the No. 2 pick with a loss to the Rams.

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 (0-14, .556)
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-13, .509)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12, .545)
4. Chicago Bears (3-11, .520)
5. Los Angeles Rams (4-10, .500)

Here is who to root for on Saturday 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.

San Diego Chargers (5-9) at Cleveland Browns (0-14)

Rooting interest: Browns - This might be the last best chance.

Tennessee Titans (8-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)

Rooting interest: Jaguars - A Jacksonville loss and 49ers win clinches at least the No. 2 pick.

Miami Dolphins (9-5) at Buffalo Bills (7-7)

Rooting interest: Bills - The 49ers and Browns played each team, while Jacksonville played just Buffalo. A Bills win bumps their SOS.

New York Jets (4-10) at New England Patriots (12-2)

Rooting interest: Either - The 49ers and Browns each played them once apiece.

Minnesota Vikings (7-7) at Green Bay Packers (8-6)

Rooting interest: Either - The Jaguars played each of them once.

Washington (7-6-1) at Chicago Bears (3-11)

Rooting interest: Washington - The 49ers played the Bears, so a Chicago loss helps their SOS.

Atlanta Falcons (9-5) at Carolina Panthers (6-8)

Rooting interest: Either - The 49ers played both, while Cleveland and Jacksonville played neither.

Indianapolis Colts (7-7) at Oakland Raiders (11-3)

Rooting interest: Colts - The Jaguars played the Colts twice and the Raiders once, so an Indianapolis win helps increase their SOS.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6) at New Orleans Saints (6-8)

Rooting interest: Either - The 49ers played both, while Cleveland and Jacksonville played neither.

Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1) at Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1)

Rooting interest: Cardinals - Always rooting against Seattle, and it would keep Seattle needing to play their starters next week vs. the 49ers.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1) at Houston Texans (8-6)

Rooting interest: Either - The Browns placed Cincinnati twice and Jacksonville played Houston twice. The 49ers have an edge on both in SOS at this point.