The Detroit Lions did not play football in Week 9, but they certainly benefitted from the results. In our Week 9 rooting guide, we went three-for-four in the most important games, and the only one that didn’t go in Detroit’s favor still managed to help the Lions out.
The unfortunate part of this entire situation is that we’re talking about draft position here, not playoff standings. To not even be considering the playoffs at the midway point in the season is a sign of just how bad this year has gone, but it’s the reality of a rebuild, and the best way to proceed in a rebuild is with a high-quality draft picks.
So with Monday Night’s game between the Steelers and Bears still pending, here’s an updated look at the current 2022 NFL Draft order. We’ll take a look at both the Lions’ current place on the list, and that of the Los Angeles Rams, because Detroit owns their first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Note: Strength of schedule, which is the No. 1 tiebreaker in draft order, is based on Tankathon’s numbers. This number is based on the entire 17-game schedule of each team, not just games played thus far.
- Detroit Lions: 0-8 (.552 strength of schedule)
- Houston Texans: 1-8 (.514)
- Miami Dolphins (owned by Eagles): 2-7 (.496)
- New York Jets: 2-6 (.476)
- Jacksonville Jaguars: 2-6 (.493)
- Washington Football Team: 2-6 (.542)
- Philadelphia Eagles: 3-6 (.468)
- New York Giants: 3-6 (.510)
- San Francisco 49ers (owned by Dolphins): 3-5 (.514)
- Seattle Seahawks (owned by Jets): 3-5 (.517)
Sunday couldn’t have gone much better for the Lions. The one-win Dolphins, three-win Falcons, two-win Giants, and one-win Jaguars all came away victorious, giving the Lions a little breathing room with that first overall pick.
And while the Houston Texans are certainly a real threat to jump the Lions—especially with an easier strength of schedule—it’s important to remember that they still have games against the Jets, Seahawks, Jaguars and 49ers.
In other words, it seems likely the Lions can afford to win a game this year and still hold onto that No. 1 pick. Heck, with only four two-win teams remaining at the halfway point in the season, they may be able to hold onto that top spot with a couple of wins.
Seeing as the Rams are currently in a playoff spot, their draft pick spot cannot be determined. If the Rams hold onto a playoff spot, their pick will be no better than 19th overall.
To give you a better look at where the Rams may finish this year, here’s a look at the NFC playoff picture right now:
- Arizona Cardinals: 8-1
- Green Bay Packers: 7-2
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-2
- Dallas Cowboys: 6-2
- Los Angeles Rams: 7-2
- New Orleans Saints: 5-3
- Atlanta Falcons: 4-4
In the hunt
- Carolina Panthers: 4-5
- Minnesota Vikings: 3-5
- Seattle Seahawks: 3-5
- San Francisco 49ers: 3-5
- Chicago Bears: 3-5
It was a bad week for the top NFC teams, as the Rams, Packers, Cowboys and Saints all lost. However, the Cardinals—despite being without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins—managed to take down the 49ers with relative ease. Arizona now has a somewhat firm grasp of the NFC West over the Rams, seeing as they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker right now, as well.
That means the Rams are essentially two games out of the division lead. If they don’t catch the Cardinals, that means they would travel on the road in the Wild Card round, and based on current standings that would mean a trip to Dallas for another playoff homecoming game for Matthew Stafford.