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Indy's hot streak fuels intrigue around who will draft No. 1

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  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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An inspired win by the Colts on Thursday night has muddied the waters around who will earn the top overall pick in April's draft.

The Colts (2-13) were winless -- hot on the trail of the NFL's worst mark -- before back-to-back victories over the Titans and Texans placed them alongside the Rams (2-12) and Vikings (2-12) with two wins apiece.

The race for the No. 1 pick in 2012 NFL Draft
Team Record Remaining Games Current Strength of Schedule*
Colts 2-13 at JAC .547
Rams 2-12 at PIT, vs. SF .566
Vikings 2-12 at WAS, vs. CHI .587
*Tiebreaker: Teams with the easiest strength of schedule pick higher in the order

How does Indy's late surge affect April's draft order? Here's where we stand heading into Saturday's full slate of games:

» NFL Network's research department confirmed Friday that a Colts loss against the Jaguars in Week 17 will assure Indy (who would fall to 2-14) the top overall pick -- no matter what the Vikings or Rams do -- based on easier strength of schedule.

» If the Colts beat the Jaguars (to go 3-13) and the Rams and Vikings lose out (making them both 2-14), the Vikings would earn the top pick in the draft based on easier strength of schedule.

» The only way the Rams can earn the top pick is by finishing 2-14, with the Colts and Vikings each winning at least three games.

» If all three teams end up 3-13, the Colts would earn the top pick based on easier strength of schedule.

There's now fresh intrigue around Saturday's Rams-Steelers and Vikings-Redskins affairs, two games that could go a long way to crystallizing April's draft order.

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