Unfortunately, it's that time of year again. With postseason dreams long gone, we look to determine which draft pick the Bucs might get. Last year I correctly predicted the 5th pick. This year is more difficult to predict the pick, so at the end of this are a couple of tables that will allow one to determine the pick based on their predictions of the outcome of games. The following assumes no more ties!
First, an initial look at the possibilities:
Pick Team W-L SOS Remaining opponent
This data is based on the link posted by BucsBay
, which is actually closer to the final outcome than the other sites. The other sites aren't factoring in, for example, the Falcons twice in the SOS yet because we haven't yet played them twice. The numbers above already include the Falcon's current 13 wins twice into the strength of schedule.
Based on the facts that
-Week 17 is entirely divisional games
-Teams play their division (twice), an entire in-conference division (Bucs: NFC East), an entire out of conference division (Bucs: AFC West), and two other 'wildcard' games
there is actually a tight range that the SOS will lie in at this point. First, converting the SOS to opponent wins:
Based on the facts above, each team will pick up 6 to 8 SOS Wins if they win, and 8 to 10 SOS Wins if they lose. For example, for the Bucs SOS, either CAR or NO will win (+2), and half of AFC West and NFC East will win (+4). STL and MIN are wildcards. If the Bucs win, that's 6 to 8 SOS wins, but if they lose, it's +2 from the Falcons, so their SOS gets higher, thus 8 to 10 SOS wins. So, for each team:
Entangled teams: BUF/NYJ, CLE/PIT, CAR/NO. Some observations from the table:
1) We will not be picking before BUF and CLE. If they lose, we have a better record. If they win and we lose, their SOS will be lower than ours. With a loss, the Jets might have the same record as us, and they have an overlapping SOS range, so root for the Jets to beat the Bills (and PIT to beat CLE).
So at this point, we pick at "best", 8th
2) If we lose, and ARI wins, they will pick after us. If SD loses, they will pick before us. If we win and PIT loses, they will be pick before us.
3) We won't pick after NO. If they lose and we win, their SOS will be higher anyways, so root for CAR to win (if they do, then they will also pick after us regardless).
4) With a loss, our "competing" teams are ARI, SD, NYJ, and TEN. With a win, our "competing" teams are NYJ, MIA, PIT, and CAR.
So at this point, we pick at "worst", 15th
To summaries the possibilities:
TB wildcards: STL/MINIF TB LOSES, WE PICK 8TH HIGHEST, 12TH LOWEST
With TB losing...If ____ wins / loses then they pick...
ARI after TB before TB
SD after TB before TB
NYJ after TB depends
TEN depends before TB
TEN wildcards: PIT/SD
NYJ wildcards: PIT/SDIF TB WINS, WE PICK 11TH LOWEST, 15TH HIGHEST
With TB winning...If ____ wins / loses then they pick...
CAR after TB before TB
PIT after TB before TB
MIA after TB depends
NYJ depends before TB
NYJ wildcards: PIT/SD
MIA wildcards: CIN/OAK
The "depends" sections depend on the 'wildcard' teams that each team plays.
For all depends scenarios, the team would pick after TB only if they get more wildcard SOS wins. Equal or less wildcard wins means they pick before TB. For example, for TEN (wildcards: PIT/SD), assuming they win and TB loses, if PIT wins and SD loses, then TB needs both wildcards (STL/MIN) to lose in order to pick before TEN. In other words, the scenarios all slightly favor the other team picking before TB assuming equal chance for any team to win this weekend.
So if one predicts the relevant games this weekend, one can easily see where TB picks. For example:
Predict that TB loses: I'm guessing TEN and ARI loses, and SD, NYJ wins. That means TB picks 11th.
Predict that TB wins: I'm guessing PIT wins, and the rest lose, with CIN/OAK also losing. That would mean we pick 14th.
...and with that, I'll just say go Bucs! Finishing the season strong is better than gaining a few spots in the middle of the 1st, IMO.