It's hard to find a silver lining when your favorite team loses to their rivals on the last play of the game, especially when it essentially ends what little hopes of the postseason you were clinging to. And while a better draft pick hardly seems like a worthy consolation prize, that is the reality for the Detroit Lions after Week 13. After a three-game winning streak pulled the Lions out of the top pick in the draft and all the way down to 12 last week, they bounced back into the top 10 this week. Here's a look at the top 10 according to Dan Kadar:
1. Cleveland Browns: 2-10 (.531 strength of schedule)
2. Tennessee Titans: 3-9 (.495 SOS)
3. San Diego Chargers: 3-9 (.526 SOS)
4. Dallas Cowboys: 3-8 (.532 SOS)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-8 (.484 SOS)
6. Baltimore Ravens: 4-8 (.502 SOS)
7. New Orleans Saints: 4-8 (.521 SOS)
8. San Francisco 49ers: 4-8 (.526 SOS - 3-7 in conference)
9. Detroit Lions: 4-8 (.526 SOS - 3-5 in conference)
10. St. Louis Rams: 4-8 (.529 SOS)
As you can see, there are only four teams with a worse record than the Lions at this point, and if the Cowboys win on Monday night, that number will be down to three. That essentially means the Lions could easily drop into a top five pick if they continue to struggle down the stretch.
The Lions' strength of schedule is currently holding them back from top five pick, and unfortunately the strength of schedule accounts for the entire season. So even though the Lions' schedule lightens up in the final four games, the SOS percentage listed already takes into account those games.
There are six teams currently standing with a 4-8 record (seven if the Cowboys win), and the Lions oddly play three of them in the next three weeks. Those games will have a huge impact on the draft, starting with the Rams this Sunday.