"Hooray! The Seahawks win!" ..... Wait, we dropped four spots in the draft now? Crap."
That is the dichotomy that faces Seahawk fans at this point of the season, and indeed many of the lower-tier teams in the NFL. Every win comes with the sobering realization afterward that one single victory puts an additional mortgage on the future. Not long after the Seahawks won their nail-biter against the Ravens on Sunday afternoon, the fretting began about draft position.
For those people, I'll start with the bad news: the Seahawks dropped four spots in the draft order because of their win, and they are now out of the top ten.
But here's the good news: it's still not that bad.
1. Colts (0-10 .549 SOS)
2. Panthers (2-7, .514 SOS)
3. Dolphins (2-7, .517 SOS)
4. Vikings (2-7, .565 SOS)
5. Rams (2-7, .577 SOS)
6. Redskins (3-6, .451 SOS)
7. Cardinals (3-6, .482 SOS)
8. Jaguars (3-6, .483 SOS)
9. Eagles (3-6, .497 SOS)
10. Browns (3-6, .514 SOS)
**11. Seahawks (3-6, .528 SOS)**
12. Broncos (4-5, .483 SOS)
13. Chiefs (4-5, .500 SOS)
14. Chargers (4-5, .521 SOS)
15. Buccaneers (4-5, .534 SOS)
16. Cowboys (5-4, .465 SOS)
17. Titans (5-4, .466 SOS)
18. Falcons (5-4, .473 SOS, 1-2 Div.)
19. Jets (5-4, .473 SOS, 1-1 Div.)
20. Bills (5-4, .473 SOS, 2-1 Div.)
21. Raiders (5-4, .510 SOS)
22. Patriots (6-3 .439 SOS)
23. Bengals (6-3, .486 SOS, 1-1 Div.)
24. Ravens (6-3, .486 SOS, 2-0 Div.)
25. Giants (6-3, .490 SOS)
26. Bears (6-3, .510 SOS)
27. Lions (6-3, .558 SOS)
28. Texans (7-3, .431 SOS)
29. Saints (7-3, .466 SOS)
30. Steelers (7-3, .486 SOS)
31. 49ers (8-1, .454 SOS)
32. Packers (9-0, .483 SOS)
(Strength of Schedule is the total win-loss percentage of every opponent on a team's schedule. Divisional opponents are counted twice since they appear on the schedule twice. If teams with the same record are tied for SOS, the worst divisional record is ranked highest, with a coinflip breaking any additional ties.)
So, yeah. We tumbled from seventh to eleventh. Guess we'd better get ready for the Landry Jones era*, right?
(Disclaimer: The above comment in no way was meant to disparage the NFL career prospects of Landry Jones. I'm sure he'll have a long, successful future with whatever team he ends up on. Maybe.)
But wait a minute here. Look at all those teams in front of us right now. How many of them are actually in enough need of a quarterback that they would spend their first-rounder on one - especially since the Colts are all but locked in at the top spot now?
The Dolphins, as mentioned numerous times in these posts, are probably going to make a change at the position. The Panthers, Vikings, and Jaguars just drafted a QB last year, and each of them have done a pretty good job of winning the job for the foreseeable future. The Cardinals and Eagles just sunk millions into their quarterbacks. The Redskins and Browns are troublesome, but both have enough holes at other positions that they might decide to look elsewhere.
I have never been a proponent of rooting for your own team to lose for the benefit of draft positioning. Even though winning may jeopardize our chances at Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley or Forest Griffith or Blake Griffin or whoever we decide to pin our hopes on under center, I'd much rather enjoy the type of Sunday we had last weekend than the ones we had against Cleveland and Cincinnati. So for those of us who would like to have our cake and eat it too, the teams we should be keeping an eye on:
- The Dolphins, who host the Bills next week;
- The Redskins, who are at home against the Cowboys; and
- The Browns, who host the Jaguars.
Those are the three teams we need to win as many games as possible, so that any wins we may happen upon for the rest of the season will inflict minimal damage on our draft order.
Of course, if we lose, well, then, I guess we'll manage.