Location? Location? Location? With three weeks to go in the season, many teams at the bottom of the league’s pecking order are beginning to wonder exactly where they might end up selecting in the draft come April.
With three games to go, some absolutely solid speculations can be made. Dang, I’m even learning to speak pioliosis (a rare strain of Greek and country two-step). Let the predicting commence.
With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the…
1. Indy Colts
At 0-14 the Colts appear to have a firm lock on the first position in the draft. They finish the season at home against the 7-6 Titans and the 10-3 Texans, then travel to the 4-9 Jags for their finale. While they don’t look to have much of a chance against the Titans or the Texans they could have a shot against the Jags but, it won’t matter unless they can win all three of their remaining games and the 2-11 Rams lose their last three. Otherwise, the Colts have a death grip on last place and a real shot at taking infamy by the balls… if they can manage to lose-out. 0-16.
2. St. Louis Rams
2-11 is not the direction the Rams thought they’d be headed before the season began. But, here they are again, in worse shape than the Chiefs, if you can believe that. The Rams complete this messy affair hosting the 7-6 Bengals, on the road against the 10-3 Steelers and home against the 10-3 49ers. The Rams schedule looks tough enough that if the Colts can win their last three games, there’s a better than 50% chance the Rams will be selecting first in April. The odds are that the Colts will be more than lucky to win one and so, even if the Rams lose the rest of their games the Colts will stay at “lucky” number 1. 2-14.
More Predicting after the jump.
3. Minnesota Vikings
The 2-11 Vikes finish at home against the 10-3 Saints, a probable loss, on the road against the 4-9 Redskins, a possible win, and home against the 7-6 Bears. a who-knows-for-sure affair. If you give the Vikings one victory down the stretch they finish 3-13.
Neither the Vikings, Rams or the Colts appear dangerous enough to win enough games to tie or pass the Chiefs on the draft order board. Mathematically, it’s not out of the question but, very unlikely since the Chiefs are 2 games ahead of the Vikes and 3 ahead of the Rams and 5 games ahead of the Colts.
That leaves 5 teams at 4-9 before this weekend began.
4. Miami Dolphins
The 4-9 Dolphins finish at the 5-8 Bills, at the 10-3 Pats and home against the 8-5 Jets. The Dolphins beat the Bills badly earlier this year 35-8 and no one should count on that happening again but, this is the one game Miami could win. I think it’s more likely they end on a 4 game losing streak now that they have let their coach go. 4-12.
5. Cleveland Browns
The 4-9 Browns finish with the 6-7 Cardinals in Arizona, who’ve won 5 of their last 6, the 10-3 Ravens in Baltimore and the 10-3 Steelers in Cleveland. They are on a 4 game losing streak and I predict they keep that going until the end of the year. 4-12.
6. Jacksonville Jags
However, the Jags lost Thursday night to the Falcons, badly, and are now 4-10 with two games left on their schedule. The Jags travel to play the Titans in 10 days then finish the season at home against the Colts. So, it looks likely that the Jags will finish 5-11. Unless of course the mighty Colts rise up and streak down the powerful Jags.
7. Washington Redskins
The 4-9 Redskins travel to the 7-6 NY Giants this weekend, then play the 2-11 Viking at home and end the season on the road against the 5-8 Eagles. The Skins could win a couple of those games and end up 6-10. Though it’s probably more likely they will be 5-11.
8. Carolina Panthers
The 4-9 Panthers are at the 10-3 Texans this Sunday then play the 4-9 Bucs at home and close on the road against the 10-3 Saints. If the Panthers win one more game it will be against the Bucs at home and could possibly finish 5-11.
9. Tampa Bay Bucs
The 4-9 Bucs bring the season to a close by hosting the 7-6 Cowboys, then finishing on the road at both the 4-9 Panthers and the 9-5 Falcons. The Bucs could beat the Panthers and finish 5-11. If the Bucs beat the Cowboys it will change the fortunes of a number of teams and they could even possibly climb behind the Chiefs in draft order.
One of those teams, the Bucs or the Panthers, are probably not going to make it to 5-11 because the one game they are likely to win is against each other. Either way, it leaves them ahead of the Chiefs in the selection order.
10. Kansas City Chiefs 6-10. (see below)
11. Buffalo Bills
The 5-8 Bills close with games at home against Miami and the Broncos and then travel to New England. They’ll finish by winning either 1 or 2 games even though they’ve been on a horrible 6 game losing streak. 6-10.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
The 5-8 Eagles finish at the 8-5 Jets, home against the 7-6 Cowboys and on the road against the 4-9 Redskins. The Eagles have been one of the most unpredictable teams this season. I’m sure they’d love nothing more than to put a crimp in some other teams playoff plans so I’d say the Eagles could come away with as many as two wins down the stretch. 7-9.
13. Arizona Cardinals
The 6-7 Cardinals finish against the Browns, the Bengals and the Seahawks and could certainly end up winning all three of those games. But, I’ll give them two wins because the Browns and the Seahawks are at home. 8-8.
14. Oakland Raiders
The 7-6 Raiders host the 8-5 Lion this weekend then come to KC and then finish the season off hosting the Chargers. The Raiders have already beaten the Jets, Bears, Texans and the Chargers in San Diego so, they’re very capable of winning one more game this year. 8-8.
15.San Diego Chargers
While the Chargers are ending with the Ravens, the Lions and the Raiders, they are also one game ahead of the Chiefs. They’d have lose two, which is possible, while the Chiefs win two, which doesn’t seems likely. 8-8.
All of the other 7-6 teams in the league including the Giants, Cowboys, Bengals, and Titans look good to win at least one more game this season landing each of them at 8-8 or better. All teams with better records than 7-6 aren’t included in this discussion because of the extremely low mathematical probability that they could finish with a worse record than the Chiefs which is also based on the strength, or in this case weakness, of their remaining schedules.
Kansas City Chiefs 6-10.
The Chiefs can beat either the Raiders or the Broncos or both. Not to say they can’t beat the Packers. It’s just not likely. I’m giving them one victory, at least, based on their games with the Raiders and Broncos and that it’s also likely the players will want to rally around their interim head coach, Romeo Crennel, and pull out all the stops to get at least one win. If the Chiefs win no more games this year, they’ll complete the season at 5-11, and finish in a dead heat with a number of other 5-11 teams. At that point a number of tie breakers will kick in. The tie breakers for three or more teams are as follows:
Three or More Clubs
- Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs).
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
- Strength of victory.
- Strength of schedule.
- Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
- Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
- Best net points in common games.
- Best net points in all games.
- Best net touchdowns in all games.
- Coin toss
Based upon the tie breakers, if the Chiefs, for some reason, ended the year tied with either the Lions or the Bills, then the Chiefs would be drafting ahead of them because of the head-to-head losses in each case.
This shows that the Chiefs will very likely pick somewhere between 6 and 11. However, if both Cleveland and the Dolphins begin to win multiple games and the Chiefs lose out, the Chiefs could draft as early as the 4th pick.
I’m not hoping for that of course but, the math is there.
Assuming the Chiefs don’t trade out… and there’s absolutely no guarantee of that not happening… where do you think the Chiefs will be selecting?