At least the Kansas City Chiefs are #1 in something.
The Chiefs, now 2-11, are still in the drivers seat to obtain the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. With only three games remaining, the Chiefs’ only real competition is the Oakland Raiders (3-10) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11).
The Chiefs will play the Raiders this Sunday in what could be the last winnable game for KC. If the Chiefs lose, the Raiders will have basically no chance of landing the #1 pick. Oakland would move to four wins with only two games to play. The Chiefs would have to win out just to tie the Raiders and any of the other four loss teams. Oakland also has winnable games against the Panthers and Chargers on the horizon, both contests appear winnable.
That leaves the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team that has been a thorn in KC’s side all season long. The two teams don’t play one another so a head to head tie-breaker is not in the cards. Should both teams lose out, the tie breaker would come down to strength of schedule. The team with the easier schedule is the most pathetic and so they are awarded the #1 pick. As of now, the Chiefs have that distinction.
After the Raiders, the Chiefs have to play the Colts and the Broncos. Indy will likely still be fighting to secure a wild card playoff spot so the Chiefs will probably get the best of Andrew Luck in that game.
The only problem could be the final week of the season in Denver. The Broncos have already won the AFC West and unless playoff seeding is on the line for them, which it could be, Denver could well rest Peyton Manning and Von Miller. That means the Chiefs would be going up against rookie QB Brock Osweiler. It would be a shame if an end of the season “garbage time” win lost the Chiefs the top pick.
The difference in #1 and #2 could cost the Chiefs a shot at the draft’s top QB. Regardless of your opinion of Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and the other potential signal callers, we can all agree that a lot could change between now and April. If a top QB does emerge once the evaluation is complete, we’ll want the Chiefs in position to take him.
Also, there are plenty of other advantages to having the first pick. With the draft now divided into three days, the team that has the opening pick of the round on a new day has a distinct advantage. For instance, Thursday only features the first round. That means the Chiefs will have the first pick of the second day and will have all night to plot their next move. They’ll also be able to field offers from other teams interested in their picks. There is always a player that slides into the second round that is coveted by a club with a later draft pick. The Chiefs would be in prime position to deal the pick and pick up some extra assets.
With just three games to go the Chiefs control their own destiny.