The Cleveland Browns currently have the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, while our San Francisco 49ers are in line for the second. That will change if the New York Giants keep up their trend of losing on Sunday, as they will then have the same record but a weaker strength of schedule than the 49ers.
The Browns and Giants, unfortunately, both face tough competition on Sunday. The Jacksonville Jaguars, despite still being kind of a mess, are much better than the Browns in just about every category. Ditto the Kansas City Chiefs for the Giants.
Both the Indianapolis Colts (3-7) and New York Jets (4-6) are teams within range of the top couple picks and have bye weeks this week along with the 49ers. The Colts are the only 3-7 team in the league, though there are a further six teams sitting at 3-6 on the season.
The Denver Broncos are among the 3-6 teams, and have lost five straight. The Houston Texans have lost three straight, so those teams are charging towards the front of the first round. Of the three-win teams, I believe the Cincinnati Bengals have the lowest strength of schedule, and therefore would take over the fourth overall pick from the Colts if they lose to the Broncos.
Below are the games you should care about.
Jaguars (6-3) @ Browns (0-9): Cleveland — This one is easy. The Browns are completely terrible and if they win a game this season, I’ll be shocked. But I’m rooting for them every week, of course.
Chiefs (6-3) @ Giants (1-8): New York — The Giants are the only team bad enough to make the 49ers look halfway decent. They have a lower strength of schedule compared to the 49ers, and they need to win if the 49ers want to keep the second pick
Bengals (3-6) @ Broncos (3-6): Cincinnati — These teams have the same record, but the Bengals have a lower strength of schedule, not to mention that they are objectively the worse team of the two. The Broncos could recover and start winning games again before the year is up. The Bengals have no chance.
Bills (5-4) @ Chargers (3-6): Los Angeles — I feel like the Chargers are just sort of ... there. I constantly forget everything I read about them. I think they’re in Los Angeles now? Anyway: they’re bad and need to win.
Cardinals (4-5) @ Texans (3-6): Houston — The Texans gave up their first-round pick to the Browns, and Cleveland isn’t too far off from having two picks in the top five. Heck, they could end up with the top two picks at this rate. That would be lame. Go Texans.
Buccaneers (3-6) @ Dolphins (4-5): Tampa Bay — The Buccaneers won their last game, but the Dolphins have looked like the better team for most of this season, so while the Dolphins are pretty far down the list, the Buccaneers are lower.