The NFL has just about wrapped up Week 9 action, with the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football to close it out. Both teams are still in the playoff picture and a win on MNF would be huge. Dallas is a game and a half back of Washington, while Tennessee is two and a half games back of Houston.
We’re back once again with a look at NFL standings from a couple different perspectives. We’ll be breaking down the draft order, since the San Francisco 49ers are firmly in the mix for the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. We will also break down the playoff picture since most of us will pay at least passing interest in the playoffs come January.
2019 NFL Draft order
The 49ers got back in the win column this week, crushing the Raiders on Thursday Night Football. Even with the win, the 49ers only dropped one spot in the draft order. The Giants and Raiders hold the top two sports, and the 49ers are now tied with the Bills at 2-7. The 49ers have the weaker strength of schedule (.504 to .529) thanks in part to losses by both the Rams and Seahawks. The next closest teams with weaker SOS are the 3-5 Indianapolis Colts (.458) and 3-6 New York Jets (.478).
There are 11 teams with three wins at the moment. That’s where things could get really interesting as the 49ers host the Giants this week. The 49ers are a slight favorite in what could be Nick Mullens’ second start. If Mullens builds on last week (and/or the Giants remain a train wreck), the 49ers could be 3-7 a week from tonight. If they improve to 3-7, it gets interesting coming down the final month and a half of the season.
Aside from 49ers-Giants, some big games in draft order include the 2-6-1 Browns hosting the 4-4 Falcons, the 3-6 Jets hosting the 2-7 Bills, and the 1-7 Raiders hosting the 6-2 Chargers. The Chargers will probably roll the Raiders, but divisional games can get a little crazy at times. The 8-1 Chiefs host the 2-6 Cardinals, and while we might expect an easy KC win, the Chiefs face the Rams in Week 11, so this could be a prime letdown opportunity.
Here is the top six in the draft order heading into Monday Night Football.
1. New York Giants (1-7 — .520)
2. Oakland Raiders (1-7 — .547)
3. San Francisco 49ers (2-7 — .504)
4. Buffalo Bills (2-7 — .529)
5. Arizona Cardinals (2-6 — .533)
6. Cleveland Browns (2-6-1 — .567)
2019 NFL playoffs
The big game in Week 9 saw the Saints win a wild one over the Rams. The Saints looked prime to blow out LA, leading 35-14 in the second quarter. However, the Rams stormed back to tie the game in the fourth quarter — only to give up ten unanswered points to close out the game. The Rams still hold a half game lead on the Saints for best record, but New Orleans holds the head-to-head tiebreaker once the Rams get through their bye.
The NFC East is tightening up following the Cowboys and Eagles adding Amari Cooper and Golden Tate, respectively. Philadelphia had a bye this week and Dallas plays on Monday Night Football, but Washington was thumped by Atlanta to drop to a game ahead of Philadelphia and a game and a half ahead of Dallas.
Week 9 had a pair of big inter-conference matchups. The Patriots outlasted the Packers on Sunday Night Football, putting up 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to win 31-17. Meanwhile, the Chargers went into Seattle to beat the Seahawks. There were some shaky penalties called against Seattle, but LA took control in the second quarter and never let up. Chiefs-Chargers in Week 15 could be a huge matchup for AFC West control.
NFC playoff picture
1. Los Angeles Rams (8-1)
2. New Orleans Saints (7-1)
3. Chicago Bears (5-3)
4. Washington (5-3)
5. Carolina Panthers (6-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)
AFC playoff picture
5. Los Angeles Chargers (6-2)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)