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December 21, 2010 9:30 AM

Teams in Need of a Little Luck ('Race' for Top Pick in NFL Draft)

Andrew Luck Lottery final copy2.jpgIt was a win-win for the Panthers this past weekend. Not only did they get to celebrate a home victory and avoid the chance of matching the worst record in franchise history, but they maintained hold of the top pick. The Bengals, Bills and Lions all won to give the Panthers a little more cushion and slightly increase their chances at drafting Andrew Luck.

1. Carolina Panthers (2-12)
Remaining Schedule: @ Steelers, @ Falcons
This Week's Result: Jimmy Clausen won his first game as a starter. There's a good chance it will be his only win with the Panthers. He was serviceable in the start but it was the Panthers' running game that excelled. They rushed for 177 yards and controlled the time of possession to beat the Cardinals.

Game Most Likely to Win: Week 17 @ Falcons - There is no way they win in Pittsburgh. There is the slightest chance they win in Atlanta if they get to play the Falcons JV team with the starters resting if they've secured the top-seed in the NFC.

Chance of Landing Luck: 90%. Last week: 80%.


2. Denver Broncos (3-11)
Remaining Schedule: vs. Texans, vs. Chargers
This Week's Result: The Raiders racked up over 500 yards of total offense and not even the immaculate Tebow could will the offense to overcome the horrendous defense.

Game Most Likely to Win: Week 16 vs. Texans - The Texans are awful against the pass and the Broncos now have the Tebow factor! He was decent in his debut. Maybe with another game under his belt he can do even better. But it will be tough for the Broncos to outscore the Texans since they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Chance of Landing Luck: 9% Last week: 6%. If the Panthers slip...and win a game, the Broncos would get the first pick. Although, they might not draft Luck. They gave up a lot to draft Tebow and have huge holes on the defensive end. They might look to trade the pick for multiple draft picks.


3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-11)
Remaining Schedule: vs. Chargers, @ Ravens
This Week's Result: The Bengals snapped their 10-game skid by beating the Browns. They finally decided to rely on the running game and Cedric Benson churned out the type of performance that allowed the Bengals to win their division last year.

Game Most Likely to Win: Week 17 @ Ravens - The Bengals played them close in week 2 and could hang with the Ravens again if they have a balanced offensive attack.

Chance of Landing Luck: 1% Last week: 8%. They need a miracle to get the top pick. They'd need to lose out, have the Panthers win both of their games and the Broncos to win a game.

Buffalo Bills (4-10)
Remaining Schedule: vs. Patriots, @ Jets
This Week's Result: Beat Dolphins 17-14 - Carpenter missed 4 FGs!!

Game Most Likely to Win: Week 17 @ Jets - Maybe the Jets will have secured a playoff bid and take their foot off the pedal. The Bills do have a legitimate shot at winning this one but it's still fairly unlikely.

Draft Placement: By beating the Dolphins, they were eliminated from contention for the top pick. The Bills are currently slotted fifth (behind the three above and the Cardinals) but would fall to sixth if both they and the Lions lost out (based on strength of schedule). But the Bills aren't likely to win either of their next two games (They never beat the Patriots and the Jets' running game should control the finale) and the Lions just might win one or two.

Detroit Lions (4-10)
Remaining Schedule: @ Dolphins, vs. Vikings
This Week's Result: The Lions are on a winning streak! After beating the Packers last week, they beat the Bucs in overtime to snap a 26-game road losing streak.

Game Most Likely to Win: Week 17 vs. Vikings - The Lions defense is playing decent as of late but they need Drew Stanton to play better to be able to win either of these next two games. The Vikings are the most likely team for them to beat since it's at home and that team has probably already packed it in for the season.

Draft Placement: The win against the Bucs takes them out of top pick contention. If the Lions and Bills have identical records, the Lions will get the higher pick based on strength of schedule but the Lions could easily win both of these games. They will most likely pick anywhere from 3rd to 10th.




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