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By the Numbers: How the Atlanta Falcons Can Still Claim Number One Draft Pick

December 10th, 2013 at 3:28 PM
By Graham Waldrop

With the season coming to a merciful end for the Falcons in three short weeks, the Falcons are currently tied for the second worst team in the NFL with the Washington Redskins at 3-10, and are just one game behind (or ahead, depending on how you look at it) the NFL's worst team, the Houston Texans, who clock in at 2-11.

Here is a look at how the Falcons can claim the number one pick in the draft.  But they're going to need to shoot themselves in the foot one more time and get at least one win from the Texans if they're going to get the number one pick.

Here's a quick team by team break down of the schedules of these three teams and what needs to happen for the Falcons to get the first pick.

Team: Houston Texans

Record: 2-11

Draft Standing: 1

Schedule: At Indianapolis, Vs Denver, At Tennessee

Breakdown: The Colts have been very good at home this season, so it's unlikely that the Texans will take down their AFC South foes, although they have been competitive over their last six games, despite losing all of them.  They took the Colts to the wire at home, so one would think they could potentially beat them.  

The Denver game will be a wash as the Broncos will likely destroy them, it's not even worth writing about.  

Houston's best bet is to win their last game of the season against Tennessee, which seems very doable given the Titans recent struggles, and due to the fact that Houston has already beaten them this year.  Out of their next three opponents, winning at Tennessee is Houston's best bet for a win, which would put them at 3-13 to end the year.  The Falcons will have to lose out if this scenario did play out this way which would place them in a tie with Houston in the draft which would then be decided by strength of schedule.

Predicted Outcome: 3-13

Team: Washington Redskins

Record: 3-10

Draft Standing: Tied for second

Schedule: At Atlanta, Vs Dallas, At NYG

Breakdown: The deciding factor for the Redskins will likely come this weekend against the Falcons.  The loser of that game will be put in great position to claim at least the number two pick in the draft, the winner will likely fall into the third slot. The Redskins' best chance to win is probably against Atlanta, but with how inconsistent the rest of the NFC East has been, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Redskins could upset the Cowboys or the Giants. 

But with how lost this team looks lately, it doesn't look like they're going to beat anyone, especially after their 45-10 drubbing by the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.  

It's a toss up on the Falcons game, especially given the health of Robert Griffin III, but the Redskins should definitely lose their last two games. With how much better the Falcons are playing, it's more than likely that the Redskins won't win another game the rest of the year.  If our predictions are correct, the Redskins will finish 3-13, tied with Houston for that number one pick.  

Predicted Outcome: 3-13

Team: Atlanta Falcons

Record: 3-10

Draft Standing: Tied for second

Schedule: Vs Washington, At San Francisco, Vs Carolina

Breakdown: The Falcons have played better recently and given the aforementioned struggles of the Redskins, the Falcons should take care of business this weekend.  This will hurt their standing in the draft however, by improving their record to 4-10.  This means the Falcons will fall into a dangerous place.  There is a five way tie for the fifth spot in the draft with those teams checking in at 4-9 that will be broken up as the season continues.  But the more games the Falcons win, the bigger chance there is that the Falcons could slip into that jumble.

The Falcons realistically only have a chance to win the Washington game this week.  They have no shot against San Francisco, and although they always play the Panthers tough, Carolina is the far superior team this year.  The Falcons will likely finish at 4-12 and hopefully get a top five pick.  But it will come down to this weekend to determine whether or not the Falcons will finish ahead of the Redskins in the draft or not. If our predictions are correct, the Falcons will finish 4-12, and will likely miss out on the top draft pick. Either way, the Falcons will need the Texans to win a couple of games to have any chance of claiming that number one pick.  They will also need to lose to Washington this weekend.

Predicted Outcome: 4-12

 

 

 

 

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Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Falcons, Football, Houston Texans, NFL, Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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