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49ers maintain draft order lead, but SOS tightens a bit

There is some upside to the downside of things.

A week after the Oakland Raiders beat the Arizona Cardinals to give the San Francisco 49ers a boost in the draft order, Week 12 brought us the status quo for the top three teams. The 49ers, Raiders, and Cardinals all lost in relatively ugly fashion to drop to 2-9 across the board.

We still have Monday Night Football to be played, but as of the close of Sunday business, here is what the top six picks in the draft order looks like.

1. San Francisco 49ers (2-9, .511)
2. Arizona Cardinals (2-9, .529)
3. Oakland Raiders (2-9, .557)
4. New York Jets (3-8, .503)
5. New York Giants (3-8, .511)
6. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8, .538)

The biggest change up top was the narrowing of strength of schedule. The 49ers entered the week with a .506 SOS, while Arizona was at .531. After Sunday, the 49ers are at .511 and Arizona is at .529. Monday Night Football features Tennessee and Houston, neither of whom faced the 49ers or Cardinals. Meanwhile, the 49ers actually went up from .556 to .557.

Last week I listed the top nine, but three teams grabbed their fourth win and thus are two games ahead of our fun little group at the top of the pack. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their fourth win in beating the 49ers, the Buffalo Bills got their fourth win in beating the Jaguars, and the Cleveland Browns got their fourth win in beating the Cincinnati Bengals.

Meanwhile, the Jets lost to the Patriots and the Giants lost a heart-breaker to the Eagles to join the Jaguars with eight losses on the season.

Looking ahead to Week 13

The 49ers, Cardinals and Seahawks head into December with tough five-game stretches to close out the season. The 49ers most winnable game is either at home against Denver in Week 14 or on the road against the Rams in Week 17 if LA is resting their starters. The Cardinals face a pair of currently 4-7 teams when they host Detroit in Week 14 and travel to Atlanta in Week 15. The Raiders have a winnable game at 5-6 Cincinnati in Week 15 and at the Chiefs in Week 17 if Kansas City is resting their starters.

Here is a look at the Week 13 schedule for the teams in the top six of the draft order. The 49ers will also be rooting against various other teams to impact strength of schedule, but this is what most directly impacts them.

49ers (2-9) @ Seahawks (6-5)
Cardinals (2-9) @ Packers (4-5-1)
Bears (8-3) @ Giants (3-8)
Colts (6-5) @ Jaguars (3-8)
Jets (3-8) @ Titans (5-5)
Chiefs (9-2) @ Raiders (2-9)