The Cincinnati Bengals finally found their way into the win column Sunday, so no team will finish 0-16 this NFL season despite a plethora of teams clustered at the bottom of the standings. The Bengals beat the New York Jets 22-6 to move to 1-11.
Ironically, the Washington Redskins gained ground in this week’s projected draft order despite also winning for the second straight week.
Washington beat the Carolina Panthers 29-21 in Week 13 a week after edging out a win over the Detroit Lions. But because the Bengals, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos also won, the Redskins didn’t fall from last week’s position of fourth overall.
In fact, they actually come in third this week.
How did that happen? Last week, they were behind Miami due to the strength of schedule tiebreaker. The Dolphins’ 16-game strength of schedule was easier than the Redskins’, which awarded Miami the higher pick. After another week of games, Washington’s strength of schedule is now at .490 and Miami’s is at .495.
This is worth watching the rest of the season, because if the two teams from opposite conferences finish with identical records and strengths of schedule, their draft order will be determined by a coin flip.
Here’s what the top 10 of April’s draft would look like if the season ended Dec. 2:
1. Cincinnati Bengals (1-11)
2. New York Giants (2-10)
3. Washington Redskins (3-9, .490 strength of schedule)
4. Miami Dolphins (3-9, .495 SOS)
5. Atlanta Falcons (3-9, .566 SOS)
6. Detroit Lions (3-8-1, .487 SOS)
7. Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1, .545 SOS)
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8, .479 SOS)
9. New York Jets (4-8, .484 SOS)
10. Los Angeles Chargers (4-8, .510 SOS)