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Detroit Lions Week 16 rooting guide: How the Lions could jump into the top 5 in draft order

The Lions could finish the day as high as 5 in draft order or out of the top 10 completely.

NFL: DEC 22 Lions at Broncos Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With Saturday’s crushing 47-7 loss, the Detroit Lions jumped into the top 10 in draft order for the 2020 NFL Draft. They currently hold the eighth overall pick, but that’s likely to change based on the rest of Week 15’s results.

Theoretically speaking, they could jump all the way to five by the time the day is done, but they could still drop back outside the top 10 if things don’t go the right way.

Here’s a breakdown of the teams you should be rooting for to better the Lions’ draft position.

Falcons (4-10) vs. Chiefs (13-1) — 1 p.m. ET — FOX

Who to root for: Falcons

If Atlanta wins, it would push them to 5-10, tying the Lions’ overall record. Luckily for Detroit, head-to-head record has nothing to do with draft position. Strength of schedule is the primary, and the Lions have a much easier schedule (.507) than the Falcons so far (.537).

Giants (5-9) vs. Ravens (9-5) — 1 p.m. ET — FOX

Who to root for: Giants

While the Lions are currently above the Giants in draft order, another loss from New York could catapult them ahead of Detroit. Currently New York’s strength of schedule (.504) is just barely easier than the Lions’ (.507), but that could change.

Bengals (3-10-1) vs. Texans (4-10) — 1 p.m. ET

Who to root for: Texans

While the Bengals are still mathematically catchable, it seems unlikely they’ll beat both the Texans and the Ravens. So, instead, root for the Texans here as an easy jump for the Lions. Houston’s strength of schedule (.546) is not catchable by the Lions, so if the two teams finish with the same record, Detroit will have the higher draft position.

Broncos (5-9) vs. Chargers (5-9) — 4 p.m. ET — CBS

Who to root for: Chargers

The biggest threat to the Lions is the team with the easier strength of schedule. That’s the Chargers (.487) by quite a lot (.559). If the Chargers lose, they will almost certainly jump the Lions in draft position. The Broncos would not jump them with a loss.

Panthers (4-10) vs. Football Team (6-8) — 4 p.m. ET — CBS

Who to root for: Panthers

The Lions can jump the Panthers (.530) if Carolina wins. Washington still has something to play for, unfortunately, but on the positive side, they’re currently dealing with huge quarterback issues. Alex Smith probably won’t play, and Dwayne Haskins is... well, dealing with stuff.

Eagles (4-9-1) vs. Cowboys (5-9) — 4:25 p.m. ET — FOX

Who to root for: Toss up (leaning Cowboys)

If the Eagles win, the Lions will guaranteed jump them but the Cowboys will also jump the Lions due to their ridiculously easy schedule (.474).

If the Cowboys win, Dallas will stay behind the Lions in draft order, but Philly would move to 4-10-1, making them difficult to catch. The Eagles play Washington in Week 17, which gives them a shot to win in the season finale, but the Cowboys have just as good of a shot to win next week against the Giants.

It’s a true toss up here.

Bills (11-3) vs. Patriots (6-8) — 8:15 p.m. ET Monday — ESPN

Who to root for: Patriots

A New England win clinches a Detroit finish above them in draft order.

If all these outcomes go in the Lions’ direction...

Here’s what the draft order would look like after Week 16 (assuming losses by the Jaguars and Jets, just because).

Note: Tiebreakers are decided by current strength of schedule. Obviously, these numbers will change a bit after this week’s outcomes.

  1. Jaguars: 1-14 (.553)
  2. Jets: 1-14 (.598)
  3. Bengals: 3-11-1
  4. Eagles: 4-10-1
  5. Lions: 5-10 (.507)
  6. Panthers: 5-10 (.530)
  7. Falcons: 5-10 (.537)
  8. Texans: 5-10 (.546)*
  9. Broncos: (.559)
  10. Cowboys: 6-9 (.474)
  11. Chargers: 6-9 (.487)
  12. Giants: 6-9 (.504)
  13. Vikings: 6-9 (.504)
  14. 49ers: 6-9 (.546)