The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants square off on Monday Night Football this week, with plenty of draft implications to consider. In the meantime, Sunday has brought the 49ers a couple helpful breaks.
The Buffalo Bills thumped the New York Jets, wining 41-10 in spite of starting Matt Barkley at quarterback. Josh Allen should be back next week, but the “anybody but Nathan Peterman” strategy paid dividends this week. The Bills improve to 3-7 with the win.
In Cleveland, the Browns got big days from rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield (three TD passes) and rookie running back Nick Chubb (a record-setting 92-yard touchdown run in a 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Browns improve to 3-6-1 with the win.
Both wins mean if the 49ers beat the Giants on Monday, they will likely not drop behind the Bills. They could fall into a tie, but the 49ers have the weaker strength of schedule for the tiebreaker edge. The 49ers have a shot to beat both the Giants this week and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the bye, so teams near them winning is always a plus.
The only other game of significant note for now saw Arizona lose 26-14 to Kansas City. The Cardinals gave the Chiefs a tough time and covered the spread, but they could not take advantage of some opportunities and dropped to 2-7. The 49ers still hold the SOS tiebreaker edge.
The afternoon slate features the Oakland Raiders hosting the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders are pretty awful, and I think they end up with the No. 1 or No. 2 pick. However, we can still root for them to mess up their own draft position!
I enjoy watching the 49ers win games, but I also recognize that odds are pretty good Nick Mullens is not the second coming of Joe Montana. I’m fine rooting for the team to win but also being plenty happy with other teams winning to keep the 49ers in a decent draft position.