Another week down and the San Francisco 49ers remain in possession of the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Cleveland Browns, certified experts in losing football games, still have the top pick after they fell to 0-11 on the season with a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The New York Giants also lost, falling to Washington, and are 2-9 on the year.
The strength of schedule is of particular note. The 49ers actually had a lower strength of schedule going into Week 12, for what I think is the first time this season. But after facing the Seahawks, they have a stronger strength of schedule and thus would lose that tiebreak with the Browns in the event of a matching record.
Through Week 12, the Giants have the weaker strength of schedule of the three teams vying for the top pick. However, of the remaining three-win teams, the Denver Broncos have the lowest at .483, and would be shoo-ins for the top pick if they match records with the Browns, 49ers or Giants — at least as things stand right now.
The Broncos have now lost seven consecutive games, while the Indianapolis Colts have lost two and the Chicago Bears have lost four. The Miami Dolphins are climbing up the draft board with five-straight losses.
There were a few things that did go right for the 49ers this week, though. Of the several four-win teams, all of the Los Angeles Chargers, Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and Washington won their games in Week 12, moving them to five wins with a few other teams.
The top 10, following Sunday’s games
1. Cleveland Browns (0-11)
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-10)
3. New York Giants (2-9)
4. Denver Broncos (3-8)
5. Indianapolis Colts (3-8)
6. Chicago Bears (3-8)
7. New York Jets (4-7)
8. Miami Dolphins (4-7)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
10. Houston Texans (4-6, traded to Browns)
Two very bad teams in the Bears and 49ers will face each other. The Browns have a slightly winnable game against the Chargers, although LA suddenly finds themselves only a game back of the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. The Giants will take on the Raiders on top of that. The Broncos, catching up to the 49ers fast, probably won’t be able to beat the Dolphins.