Curtis Painter: We're really "TRYING" out here to "WIN."
Well, there's bad news and then there's good news. And the there's more bad news.
The bad news: The Colts remain the frontrunner for the #1 pick in next year's NFL draft.
The good news: The NFC West, ridiculed for years as the weakest division in the NFL, is no longer such.
The other bad news: The worst division this year is (wait for it!)... the AFC South.
With a combined record of 7-16, the AFC South is the most futile division in the NFL thus far, thanks in large part to the Manning-less Colts having yet to win a game. The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking similarly horrible, just with one more win, and the division-leading Titans are barely above sea level themselves at 3-2. (Meanwhile, our division currently sits with a robust 8-13 record.)
The upshot to this is, regardless of how the records shake out by season's end, the Colts will likely have the inside track against whatever teams finish with the same record, because their divisional opponents are likely to finish with a sub-.500 record, and possibly even a sub-.450 record if the Jags continue to stink and the other two teams continue to not want to pull away.
There is still plenty of time for Indianapolis to screw things up for themselves, though. They still have two games against Jacksonville - even a split of those two games could potentially jeopardize their chances at the #1 pick.
But alas, they remain glued into the top spot for the third straight week. Here's how the rest of the league rates:
1. Colts (0-6 .516 SOS)
2. Dolphins (0-5, .567 SOS)
3. Rams (0-5, .580 SOS)
4. Jaguars (1-5, .495 SOS)
5. Panthers (1-5, .516 SOS)
6. Vikings (1-5, .604 SOS)
7. Cardinals (1-4, .466 SOS)
8. Broncos (1-4, .600 SOS)
9. Eagles (2-4, .500 SOS)
10. Browns (2-3 .483 SOS)
**11. Seahawks (2-3, .500 SOS)**
12. Cowboys (2-3, .522 SOS)
13. Chiefs (2-3, .538 SOS)
14. Texans (3-3, .418 SOS)
15. Falcons (3-3, .488 SOS)
16. Jets (3-3, .511 SOS)
17. Bears (3-3, .554 SOS)
18. Titans (3-2, .419 SOS)
19. Redskins (3-2, .422 SOS)
20. Saints (4-2, .447 SOS)
21. Bengals (4-2, .449 SOS)
22. Steelers (4-2, .472 SOS)
23. Buccaneers (4-2, .479 SOS)
24. Giants (4-2, .500 SOS)
25-26. Raiders (4-2, .517 SOS, 1-0 Div.)
25-26. Bills (4-2, .517 SOS, 1-0 Div.)
27. Ravens (4-1, .462 SOS)
28. Chargers (4-1, .511 SOS)
29. Patriots (5-1, .449 SOS)
30. 49ers (5-1, .476 SOS)
31. Lions (5-1, .543 SOS)
32. Packers (6-0, .489 SOS)
(Strength of Schedule is the aggregate win-loss records of all opponents on a team's schedule. Divisional opponents are counted twice, as they appear on the schedule twice. In the event of a tie for schedule strength, divisional record prevails; if there is still a tie, a coin flip would determine the final ranking. Head-to-head matchups are not taken into account; this is why the Bills and Raiders are tied despite the Bills beating the Raiders in Week 2.)
I'm no longer tracking which teams are most likely to target a quarterback, mainly because it seems to change every week with the exception of the Colts and Dolphins (who, surprise surprise, are 1-2 this week, and will probably stay that way for most of the season.) The Broncos, Jaguars, Rams, Vikings, and Cardinals are not likely to cut bait on their newly-acquired QBs unless they really stink up the joint (and they'll probably have to in order to snatch the #1 pick anyway), and Seattle and Kansas City are not likely to have a high enough pick to even daydream about a "Suck for Luck" campaign.
I'll be back with another update next week. Until then, here's a topic for discussion: how many QBs do you think we'll see getting taken with the first 20 picks (that is, the 20 non-playoff teams) in the first round? And of course, would the Seahawks be one of those teams - even if we're taking the third, fourth, or fifth QB available?