EARTH CITY, Mo. -- For as disappointing as the 2013 season has become for the St. Louis Rams, things could be worse. A lot worse.
Houston has already fired its coach and is sitting in the lead for the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Meanwhile, in Washington, things aren't happening quite as rapidly, but the Redskins will likely fire their coach and they're also in position to finish the season with a pick near the top of the draft.
There aren't many rewards that go with a dreadful season, but more often than not, a team can at least look forward to the draft. The Redskins don't have that luxury and the Rams actually are now in position to double their enjoyment in looking ahead to the annual college selection process.
As we've documented throughout the season in this space, the Rams hold Washington's first-round pick in the next draft. With each passing week, that pick looks better and better.
Washington found itself on the wrong end of a blowout loss to Kansas City on Sunday, falling 45-10 and dropping to 3-10 on the season. Making matters worse, our Dan Graziano reported Sunday morning that there's serious discord between coach Mike Shanahan and owner Daniel Snyder. On Monday afternoon, Shanahan acknowledged that sitting quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season is a possibility.
If the NFL draft was this weekend, Washington would have the second pick. Instead, the Rams would hold that pick as well as its own choice, at No. 13 overall.
Using the NFL's strength of schedule tiebreaker wherein the team with the easier schedule moves ahead of other teams with the same record, it would likely require two wins from Houston for the Rams' pick from Washington to become No. 1.
But there seems to be an ever-increasing chance that the pick will remain in the top two.
Washington's remaining schedule includes a visit to Atlanta, a home game against Dallas and a trip to play the New York Giants. The Falcons are playing better recently and with that game in the Georgia Dome, it figures to be a tough out for the Redskins. The Cowboys will almost certainly still be playing for the NFC East division and though the Giants aren't in the mix, they've also been more competitive and host a home game.
The Redskins-Falcons matchup actually could weigh heavy in how Washington's pick ends up. Those two teams are the only 3-10 teams in the league. A win by Atlanta would not only keep the Redskins in their losing habit, but would push the Falcons further down the order.
Given the current turmoil in Washington, with the head coach and quarterback issues persisting, it's awfully hard to see the Redskins getting any more wins in 2013. And that's good news for the Rams.