The NFL is working its way through Week 15, and the Texans have a chance to move one step closer to locking down the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. A week after nearly upsetting the Cowboys, Houston gets another tough matchup as they host the AFC West leading Chiefs. Kansas City can clinch the division title with a win.
The Texans are a week or two away from clinching the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, but the rest of the top ten is not nearly so settled. One game (and a tie) separates the Broncos at No. 2 from the Colts at No. 7. Following that group, six teams entered Week 15 tied with 5-8 records, including the Raiders, Panthers, Falcons, Jaguars, Steelers, and Packers.
Week 15 opened with significant playoff implications between Thursday and Saturday. Sunday and Monday offer matchups with draft pick implications for both teams. The 5-8 Falcons and 4-9 Saints are in the NFC South race, but also right in the draft pick race. Steelers-Panthers features a pair of 5-8 teams and Monday Night Football will see the 5-8 Packers host the 4-9 Rams. Arguably the biggest game will see the 3-10 Broncos host the 4-9 Cardinals.
1 p.m. window update
For a second straight weekend, the Texans put the fear of God in a playoff contender. They led much of the day against the Chiefs and forced overtime. A turnover in OT cost them but it was another strong showing. Elsewhere, the Bears gave the Eagles a tough time late, but lost 25-20 and for now hold the No. 2 pick, pending the outcome of Broncos-Cardinals.
4 p.m. window update
The afternoon window saw the Broncos beat the Cardinals and settle into the No. 3 spot while Arizona moved to No. 5. The Patriots lost a stunner in Las Vegas to drop out of the playoff picture and move into the top 18.
Here’s the complete 2023 NFL Draft order. The first 18 picks are teams that would currently miss the playoffs. A division leader has a lower draft position than a non-playoff or wild card team with a better record because of the nature of playoff seeding. SOS serves as the tiebreaker and comes via Tankathon.
- Houston Texans, 1-12-1, .504
- Chicago Bears, 3-11, .574
- Denver Broncos (Seahawks have pick), 4-10, .483
- Los Angeles Rams (Lions have pick), 4-10, .500
- Arizona Cardinals, 4-10, .517
- Indianapolis Colts, 4-9-1, .508
- Atlanta Falcons, 5-9, .447
- Carolina Panthers, 5-9, .452
- New Orleans Saints (Eagles have pick), 5-9, .496
- Las Vegas Raiders, 6-8, .454
- Jacksonville Jaguars, 6-8, .492
- Cleveland Browns (Texans have pick), 6-8, .508
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-8, .536
- Green Bay Packers, 6-8, .550
- Seattle Seahawks, 7-7, .456
- New England Patriots, 7-7, .523
- New York Jets, 7-7, .534
- Detroit Lions, 7-7, .546
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-8, .475
- Tennessee Titans, 7-7, .500
- Washington Commanders, 7-6-1, .546
- Los Angeles Chargers, 8-6, .441
- Miami Dolphins (Forfeit pick due to tampering), 8-6, .536
- New York Giants, 8-5-1, .538
- Baltimore Ravens, 9-5, .490
- San Francisco 49ers (Broncos have pick), 10-4, .414
- Cincinnati Bengals, 10-4, .521
- Dallas Cowboys, 10-4, .521
- Kansas City Chiefs, 11-3, .450
- Minnesota Vikings, 11-3, .494
- Buffalo Bills, 11-3, .521
- Philadelphia Eagles, 13-1, .475