by Scott Benson
Week Two here on the Niner Watch and we’ve already had a change at the number one spot in the dash for the top pick in next April’s NFL Draft.
The Miami Dolphins took another step towards immortality this week by heroically blowing a fourth-quarter lead to Buffalo, at home, to become the last winless team lying in the Race to the Bottom of the NFL.
The St. Louis Rams, possessors of top spot last week, suffered a tough-luck win over the Saints, which I’m sure their management regrets already. This is why the Jets were glad they had the week off. Things happen, people get carried away.
Honestly, Our 2-7 Niners deserved a better fate than to simply remain again in the fourth slot, what with their note-perfect 24-0 shutout loss to Seattle. What more can they do?
The 49′ers get the edge over the proud, fearsome tradition of the Oakland Raiders, also playing at a .222 clip, through the Strength of Schedule tiebreaker.
The Niners have a big edge in over the Raiders, Falcons, Bengals and Vikings (all one game back) in that tiebreaker, the first after winning percentage. That makes me think they may have some staying power.
There’s another nine teams on our list this week, all currently in competition for tail end of the top ten and the rest of the top fifteen picks. Strangely, many are involved in division races anyway.
Let’s take a look at this week’s Big Board:
What concerns me about the 49′ers is their strength of schedule going forward – they have the second easiest schedule when it comes to remaining opponents (a combined winning percentage of .397). They could slip up and win one or two of those. Comparatively, the Jets face a .619 schedule, the Raiders a .584, and the Dolphins a .524. Grim as far as any hope for the top spot.
What to watch for this Sunday?
Smallest Games of the Week
Rams at Niners – Believe me, this game is HUGE. If the Niners lose here, that moves them ahead of St. Louis in next week’s rankings, no worse than #3. The Rams are reeling, having found to way to win.
Steelers at Jets – Jets can get to number 2 with a loss and a St. Louis win. The Jets are heavily favored to get blasted by the Steelers in Giants Stadium. I know what you’re thinking – it’s too much to hope for. It’s too much.
Dolphins at Eagles – Rookie quarterback this week…..in Philadelphia. Cam Cameron is pushing all the right buttons in Miami.
Raiders at Vikings – I’d love to see the Raiders win this, and it strikes me that Minnesota is exactly the kind of place that such a thing could happen. Although, the last time an AFC West team went to the Metrodome, they got ran out of the building. I think we have to prepare for a 2-8 Raiders team, right on the Niners tail.
This is just like when those couples get some woman to carry and birth a baby for them. Sort of. Right?