Every Tuesday morning, we take a look at where the Vikings would pick in the 2014 NFL Draft if the season ended today.
If you were confused about how to react to a Vikings’ 26-26 tie against the Packers on Sunday, it’s likely the same feeling you’ll get when looking at how it impacts the NFL Draft order.
Technically, the tie counts as half a win in the standings, so the Vikings win percentage went up. As a result, they’re behind a few more teams this week.
Last week, the Vikings’ would’ve picked second if the season ended today (more on tiebreakers in a bit). This week, they jumped up two spots to fourth. Here’s the current top five (records in parentheses):
1. Texans (2-9)
2. Jaguars (2-9)
3. Falcons (2-9)
4. Vikings (2-8-1)
5. Rams [via Redskins] (3-8)
So what if the Vikings would’ve lost to the Packers? First let’s explain the tiebreaker procedure.
The first tiebreaker is strength of schedule where the team with the worst strength of schedule percentage wins the tiebreaker and gets a better pick.
Strength of schedule is based off the win percentage of a team’s opponents, so there’s two ways to calculate it during the season. One would be to factor in a team’s entire 16-game schedule, or the other method would be to tally the records of games already played (the method used above). The Texans have a .545 SOS percentage based off the 11 opponents they’ve played, which is the lower than the Jaguars (.579) and the Falcons (.595) and gives Houston the top pick at the moment.
Just like in that math class, there’s no right or wrong way about it. Both methods will result in the same percentage at the end of the season. This method is just preferred here because it gives us the draft order if the season ended after Week 12.
So if the Vikings would’ve lost to the Packers, they’d be in a four-way tie for the top pick. Because the Packers would win, it also impacts the Vikings’ SOS percentage, which jumps from .521 to .529. So here’s how the hypothetical tiebreaker would play out (SOS in parentheses):
1. Vikings (.529)
2. Texans (.545)
3. Jaguars (.579)
4. Falcons (.595)
The Vikings would have the top pick in the draft at the moment if they lost Sunday with a strength of schedule edge over the other 2-9 teams.
With a tie now in the record, strength of schedule won’t matter unless another bottom feeder draws as well. Strength of schedule changes every week, so it’ll be interesting to see at the end of the year how much that “half win” either hurts, or possibly helps, the Vikings down the road.