We’re back for Week 13 Sunday football! The San Francisco 49ers are on the road facing off against the Chicago Bears at 10:00 a.m. PT on FOX. The 49ers are 1-10 and the Bears are 2-9, which means this game has significant implications for first round order in the 2017 NFL Draft. The 49ers are a rare favorite in this game, and it could be a close one.
Whether or not the 49ers lose, there are plenty of interesting matchups in Week 13 that will impact the 2017 NFL Draft order. The Cleveland Browns sit at 0-12 and are on bye this week, but the other teams around the 49ers have 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, .545)
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-10, .517)
3. Chicago Bears (2-9, .517)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9, .534)
5. New York Jets (3-8, .506)
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, Bears, or Jaguars SOS. If two or more teams are tied for a draft position, the weakest SOS gets the best pick.
Denver Broncos (7-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9)
Rooting interest: Jaguars - This is an obvious one, and it has grown more intriguing with Trevor Siemian’s injury. Rookie Paxton Lynch will start in his place. It doesn’t help Blake Bortles against the Broncos defense, but it makes it more interesting.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (7-4)
Rooting interest: Chiefs - The 49ers faced the Falcons, and a Falcons loss weakens the 49ers strength of schedule.
Detroit Lions (7-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-6)
Rooting interest: Lions - The 49ers faced the Saints, and a Saints loss weakens the 49ers strength of schedule.
Los Angeles Rams (4-7) at New England Patriots (9-2)
Rooting interest: Patriots - The 49ers faced both teams, but two games against the Rams means a Los Angeles loss does more to weaken the 49ers SOS. And the Jets faced the Patriots twice, so that boosts their SOS.
Houston Texans (6-5) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-6)
Rooting interest: Packers - The Bears and Jaguars are currently tied at 2-9. Chicago played GB twice, while Jacksonville played HOU twice. The Jaguars also played the Packers, so for now we’ll root for the Packers given that win has more impact on SOS.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1)
Rooting interest: Eagles - A Bengals win would boost the Browns SOS, while an Eagles win boosts the Bears SOS. The Browns probably won’t win a game, so SOS doesn’t matter. And even if they do, their SOS is far enough ahead of the 49ers for now that it looks like it is worth sacrificing the Bengals win.
Miami Dolphins (7-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
Rooting interest: Ravens - The 49ers faced the Dolphins, and a Dolphins loss weakens the 49ers strength of schedule. A Browns win also strengthens the Browns and Jaguars SOS.
Buffalo Bills (6-5) vs. Oakland Raiders (9-2)
Rooting interest: Raiders - The 49ers faced the Bills, and a Bills loss weakens the 49ers strength of schedule.
Washington (6-4-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1)
Rooting interest: Washington - The 49ers faced the Cardinals twice, and a Cardinals loss weakens the 49ers strength of schedule.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) vs. San Diego Chargers (5-6)
Rooting interest: Chargers - The 49ers faced the Bucs, and a Bucs loss weakens the 49ers strength of schedule. A Chargers win also strengthens the Browns and Jaguars SOS.
Carolina Panthers (4-7) at Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1)
Rooting interest: Panthers - The 49ers faced the Seahawks twice and the Panthers once, so a Seahawks loss does a better job weakening the 49ers strength of schedule.
Indianapolis Colts (5-6) vs. New York Jets (3-8)
Rooting interest: Jets - This is the Monday Night Football game, so consider it a bonus. This is one of the Jets last best chances at a win. They travel to San Francisco next week, in a game once again with huge draft implications. I’d prefer to root for Frank Gore and the Colts, but gotta pull for the Jets.