Another week and another loss for the San Francisco 49ers. It also meant a win for the Cincinnati Bengals, one of five remaining winless teams going into Sunday. They bested the Cleveland Browns who, like the 49ers, remain winless.
The Browns also happen to hold the top spot for the 2018 NFL Draft, with an 0-4 record and a strength of schedule of .438. The 49ers, though, are right behind them, also at 0-4, with a strength of schedule of .625.
Then there’s the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers, the other two winless teams. New York has a strength of schedule of .667, thus the third overall pick and the Chargers have a strength of schedule of .714, thus the fourth overall pick.
Of those teams, the 49ers will play the Giants on Nov. 12. They will not play the Chargers or Browns. But more immediately, the Giants will play the Chargers in Week 5, so one of those teams is going to end up with a win, or they’ll both end up with a tie.
The Giants, Chargers and Browns also have tough schedules for the back half of the season, so if I were a betting man, going with the 49ers as the team to snare the top draft pick isn’t very smart. The Giants are a better team than the 49ers, and the Chargers at least have Philip Rivers.
Cleveland, though, is a much different story. They’re fairly terrible. They have some good players, but looking at their schedule, I struggle to see where a win comes in. They will play some bad teams — the Bengals and Chargers — but I just don’t see how they can manage a win this year.