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Two Shocking Teams Ticketed For Top 5 Picks

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Should the NFL declare the 2013 season over after this weekend's games, I don't suppose fans of either the Falcons or Texans would object.

And if the season were brought to a mercifully early end, the Falcons and Texans would own top-5 picks for the 2014 NFL Draft.

That's right. Two teams that, as late as Labor Day, were in the neighborhood of 12-1 to win the Super Bowl, are now among the five worst teams in the league.

Jacksonville's not going anywhere. The Jags will own a top-5 pick, quite likely No. 1 overall.

Minnesota appears secure in its standing as one of the league's bottom dweller. Tampa Bay has won two in a row and might play itself right out of the top 5 (as the Bucs should if they could; after all, this isn't the NBA).

With the exception of Washington, there doesn't seem to be a realistic challenger to either the Falcons or Texans for a spot in the top 5. Both Atlanta and Houston trail the nine four-win teams by two games, with six to play.

As I discuss here, this unthinkably bad season might turn out to be the best thing that happened to both franchises.