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Colts would pick no worse than No. 2 if they lose to Texans

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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Editor's note: Because of miscalculations by STATS, the information in this story is incorrect. If the Colts lose Thursday night, they would have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft because their best possible strength of schedule is worse than the Vikings' worst possible strength of schedule.

The Colts no longer can match the 2008 Lions and their 0-16 futility. But they still remain front-runners in the race for the No. 1 overall draft pick.

If the Colts lose to the 10-4 Texans in Thursday night's NFL Network game, the lowest they can pick in the 2012 NFL Draft is second overall, and that would be based upon losing a coin toss for the No. 1 selection. The coin toss would be between the Colts and Vikings.

Of course, as the NFL's sole one-win team, the Colts control their own destiny (so to speak). A loss in each of their final two games would assure them of the No. 1 pick.

The Vikings and the Rams are both 2-12, making them the only other teams mathematically alive for the No. 1 pick.

Here's a breakdown on some of the nitty-gritty tiebreaker details, thanks to the NFL Network research staff:

» When there is a tie for draft order, the first tiebreaker is strength of schedule, with the team with the easier (lower) strength of schedule picking first.

» If the Colts lose to the Texans, the best their strength of schedule could be at the end of the season is .5469.

» If the Vikings lose their final two games, the worst their strength of schedule could be also is .5469.

» The Rams' strength of schedule could be at worst .5586, so they cannot land the No. 1 pick if the Colts lose a 14th game because Indy's best strength of schedule would be lower than the worst possible for St. Louis.


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» The only other tiebreakers for draft order apply to teams in the same division or conference, which the Colts and Vikings are not. What this means is if any of the Colts' unique opponents (teams who didn't also play the Vikings) lose or any of the Vikings' unique opponents win, then Indy will lock up the No. 1 pick. It will just take one loss by a Colts unique opponents or one win by a Vikings unique opponent.

Bottom line: The Colts still have a very good chance at owning the No. 1 pick come April.

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