While nowhere even close to mathematically true, the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings truly felt like the death blow to any legitimate shot at the playoffs in 2020. At 3-5, the Lions are in 11th place in the NFC, meaning there are four teams between them and a playoff spot. The final Wild Card spot is currently held by the 5-3 Los Angeles Rams.
So if playoffs are realistically out of the equation, there’s only one standings race that remains truly relevant for the Lions: the race for draft order.
The good news for the Lions is that they’re already nearing a top-10 pick despite a 3-3 start. After two consecutive losses, Detroit is now 11th in draft order (and therefore waiver priority order, as well).
Here’s where things stand currently:
Note: We are using tiebreakers according to Tankathon, which uses strength of schedule for all 17 weeks, not just games played
- Jets — 0-9
- Jaguars — 1-7
- Cowboys — 2-7
- Giants — 2-7
- Washington — 2-6
- Chargers — 2-6
- Texans (pick owned by Dolphins)— 2-6
- Bengals — 2-5-1
- Panthers — 3-6
- Falcons — 3-6
- Lions — 3-5
- Vikings — 3-5
- Patriots — 3-5
- Broncos — 3-5
If the Lions were to drop into the top 10, it would be the third straight year the Lions had a selection in the first 10 picks of the draft. That’s obviously bad, but to put it in perspective, the Lions picked in the top 10 in every single year from 2002 to 2007, then again in 2009 and 2010.
Still, once you start draw comparisons to the Matt Millen era, you know things are in a bad spot.