As we discussed yesterday, the Cleveland Browns are out of the playoff hunt which creates a 2 Sided/Faced Browns fan over the last 4 games of the season. Today we look at teams the Browns are “competing” with for a high draft pick in 2014 as well as other teams that are of interest to the Browns draft.
Quick note from CBS Sports on tie breakers:
For the NFL Draft, the first tiebreaker rule is strength of schedule (SOS), the easier SOS earning the earlier selection. Division and Conference tiebreakers are next and if teams are still tied, a coin flip will determine the team that picks first.
The Raiders are currently tied with the Browns at 4-8 but has a slightly worse SOS so would draft ahead of the Browns. The Raiders end with the Jets, Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos so it is most likely that the Raiders SOS could get higher then the Browns. Either way the game against the Jets is the most winnable and is this week. The Browns fans should be rooting for a big Raiders win.
The Vikings, with their 1 tie, are a half game worse then the Browns. They have a tough remaining schedule with the Ravens, Eagles, Bengals and Lions on their schedule. Can they pull off a AFC North upset or catch Nick Foles worse game of the year? Either way a Vikings win, assuming the Browns continue to lose as well, would move the Browns ahead of the Vikings.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have made some strides over the past few weeks including winning 3 out of their last 4. The Browns should be rooting for the Bucs for 2 reasons, draft positioning and the better Mike Glennon plays the less likely the Bucs draft a QB with the first round pick. The Bucs currently have a stronger SOS then the Browns so one more win then the Browns should put them with a worse pick then the Browns. The Bucs most winnable game is this week against the Bills, whose record matches the Browns. After that games against the 49ers, Rams and Saints seem less winnable. It is possible the Saints won’t be playing for much in the last week, making the game easier for the Bucs.
The Jags took care of their business already for this week, beating the Houston Texans to move to 4-8 as well. The Jags have won 4 out of 5, including beating the Browns. Prior to this week their SOS was higher then the Browns but will drop after playing the Texans. The Browns fans will be rooting hard for the Jags against the Colts in the last week of the season, which will both help the Browns versus the Jags but also possibly improve the Colts pick the Browns are to receive. The Jags also have the Bills and Titans on their schedule, which are both possible wins. The Browns, due to the Colts pick, should be rooting for the Titans in this matchup.
The Texans are most likely to “win” the #1 overall pick. To end up with a better record then the Browns the Texans would have to win out after firing their head coach. The hope is that there is some positive momentum from the change at the top for their next game, against the Colts. Losses to the Jags and Texans would drop the Colts to 8-6. The Texans then play the Broncos, a tough win for anyone. In a hope, maybe against hope, Browns fans then root for the Titans against the Texans.
As noted the Titans are the lone hope for the Colts missing the playoffs, giving the Browns a much higher pick. The Titans have a tough game against the Broncos this week. A loss against the Broncos means the best the Titans can hope for is a 8-8 record. A upset against the Broncos could set up the Titans to run the tables against the Texans, Jags and Arizona Cardinals. A 9-7 record means the Colts would have to go 1-3 at best to tie the Titans. Yet due to tie breakers the Colts would still take the playoff spot. The Titans need to win out and have the Colts lose out.
Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs
The other two teams on the Colts schedule. Both of these teams have winning records and should make for tough games for the Colts. The bigger, more unlikely, games against the Colts are their division games versus the Texans and Jags. Yet the Bengals and the Chiefs have shown weaknesses throughout the season. The Browns have to hope both of these teams come to play, and the division rivals give them the upsets needed.
Overall some of the hopes for the Colts pick are wishes at best, and probably will go by the way side with a Titans loss or Colts victory this week. Yet for the Browns pick there are realistic ways for them to be within the top 5 picks following this week. A Browns loss and victories by the Bucs, Vikings and Raiders, paired with the Jaguars win, should put the Browns around the 4th or 5th pick. Wins by the Falcons and Redskins, who we will get to tomorrow, could put the Browns within SOS of the #2 pick. Browns fans have alot of other teams to root for. Tomorrow we look at teams the Browns should be rooting against, obviously including the Colts.
Topics: Cleveland Browns