Silver lining: Loss earns Packers No. 14 pick in NFL draft

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy leaves the field after the game Sunday at Ford Field.

DETROIT – Almost everything about the 2017 Green Bay Packers season was a bust, but they could leave Ford Field on Sunday with the knowledge they accomplished one thing with their 35-11 loss to the Detroit Lions.

They made it inside the top 15 in the 2018 draft order.

The NFL still has to certify the order, but it appears the Packers will pick 14th in the April draft.

The Packers came into their game against the Detroit Lions sitting at No. 15 in the draft order, which places teams in inverse order of their record this season.

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Any team that doesn’t make the playoffs is guaranteed a pick no later than No. 20, but the Packers, as a result of their 7-8 record, were sitting in a three-way tie with Washington and Arizona for the 13th spot.

The first tiebreaker in draft selection is strength of schedule. The team with the lower strength of schedule gets the higher pick.

The Packers went into Sunday with the sixth toughest strength of schedule in the NFL and thus were not in a good position to win a tiebreaker.

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Once the Packers lost, finishing in a tie depended on whether any of three 6-9 teams in front of them — Cincinnati, Oakland and Miami — won, and whether any of the other two 7-8 teams lost.

The Raiders and Dolphins lost and finished 6-10. Those teams will occupy the 10th and 11th spots. Cincinnati won to finish 7-9, tying the Bengals with the Packers and Washington.

The Bengals get the 12th spot because they had the easiest schedule of the three. The Packers and Washington have the same strength of schedule (opponents combined record of 138-118), so it goes to the second tiebreaker, which is record against common opponents in the conference.

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Their common NFC opponents are Seattle, Dallas, New Orleans and Minnesota. Washington beat Seattle, lost to Dallas twice, lost to New Orleans and lost to Minnesota for a 1-4 record. The Packers beat Seattle and Dallas and lost to New Orleans and Minnesota twice for a 2-3 record.

Thus, Washington gets the higher pick because it had the worse record.

So, Washington will pick 13th, Green Bay will pick 14th and Arizona (which beat Seattle to finish 8-8) will pick 15th.

BOX SCORE:Lions 35, Packers 11

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