The San Francisco 49ers were on bye for Week 11, but got a ton of help from the league’s worst. The New York Giants managed to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (whom the 49ers will play today) and the Oakland Raiders pulled a win off the Arizona Cardinals. How the Raiders forgot to Raider, we may never know.
In any case, this puts the pool of two-win teams fighting for draft positioning via strength of schedule: The 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, and Oakland Raiders. Right now the 49ers win via strength of schedule—head to head records do not count in draft positioning. It may come down to coin flips, who knows. The Raiders and the Cardinals need to start winning to get themselves out of this tiebreaker though, strength of schedule could change by the end of the year.
Anyone remember the last time the 49ers had two wins and were undercut by the Cleveland Browns?
Below are the games you should care about:
Browns (3-6-1) at Bengals (5-5): Browns — Somehow the Browns have managed to get a tie and win three games. Right after getting whacked, Hue Jackson went back and joined the Bengals staff, so this game should be rather interesting. Despite the 1.5 game lead the Browns have over the 49ers, they are still the Browns and as I’ve said, find a way to ruin everyone’s draft plans. Beating the Bengals (who don’t have A.J. Green) should be enough to kick them out of the top 5.
Raiders (2-8) at Ravens (5-5): Raiders — The Raiders helped the 49ers out a ton by beating the Arizona Cardinals, now they need to do it to the Joe Flacco-less Ravens. Lamar Jackson will make his second career start against the team and given how bad the Raiders defense is, that read-option thing (which is like a poor-man’s version of the Colin Kaepernick fun the 49ers had years ago) could carve them. If the Raiders can pull this off, it’s a big help.
Jaguars (3-7) at Bills (3-7): Bills — This one is a toss-up. Both have roughly the same strength of schedule and in the division, the Jaguars would be the clear winner, but they can still win games with that team, the Bills, who knows. Root for another Bills win so they can get out of the 49ers’ way.
Patriots (7-3) at Jets (3-8): Jets — There is never a time you should root for the Patriots. Draft implications or otherwise.
Giants (3-7) at Eagles (4-6): Giants — If the 49ers keep losing, a Giants win puts them out of the conversation once and for all.
Cardinals (2-8) at Chargers (7-3): Cardinals — It’s not happening, but if they could get another win, I’d really appreciate it.