Biggs: Browns-Lions a showdown for No. 1 pick?
The bright lights of prime time could very well await the loser of Sunday’s tilt at Ford Field.
“With the first pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the ... ”
Yes, the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns will meet Sunday in Motown in a titanic battle 1-8 franchises. As John Niyo of the Detroit News notes, less than 40,000 people are expected for the game, another guaranteed local TV blackout. Niyo also astutely points out that the booby prize for the loser could be the No. 1 pick in the draft, a chance to shine in the spotlight of the NFL’s new draft format with the first round held on a Thursday night this coming April.
If you watched the Browns on Monday night, and temporarily suspended your disbelief that they were actually shown in prime time, you might have got the feeling they’re already playing for the top pick.
The Lions, with six consecutive defeats, have the longest losing streak in the league. Hey, what else is new? Jim Schwartz’s team seems to have some nice building blocks for the future, particularly quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and safety Louis Delmas, but they’re back to their inept ways.
Let’s take a quick look at the teams in the running for the top pick in the draft, and their remaining schedules:
Cleveland (1-8): @Det, @Cin, SD, PIT, @KC, OAK, JAC
Comment: A loss to the Lions on Sunday would have to put the Browns in leading position for the top pick unless they could rally in December. Offense is simply brutal.
Detroit (1-8): CLE, GB, @Cin, @Bal, ARI, @SF, CHI
Comment: Feel good that 3-13 is attainable here.
St. Louis (1-8): ARI, SEA, @Chi, @Ten, HOU, @Ari, SF
Comment: Gave solid effort against the Saints last week but injuries have really piled up for Steve Spagnuolo. Fact that Rams just can’t score a real issue.
Tampa Bay (1-8): NO, @Atl, @Car, NYJ, @Sea, @NO, ATL
Comment: Rookie QB Josh Freeman has provided the Bucs with a boost but rookie coach Raheem Morris has a knack for blaming his players for losses. Two dates with Saints doesn’t bode well but they’ve been competing.
Oakland (2-7): CIN, @Dal, @Pit, WAS, @Den, @Cle, BAL
Comment: Who’s quarterbacking this motley bunch? If it’s not JaMarcus Russell, maybe they get to four victories.
Kansas City (2-7): PIT, @SD, DEN, BUF, CLE, @Cin, @Den
Comment: Todd Haley’s crew has competed in some games and has four of its next five at Arrowhead Stadium, an opportunity to pick up a couple more victories. The Chiefs could get to five wins here.
The skinny: There’s a lot of football left to play, a lot of bad football when it comes to most of these teams. If Cleveland loses Sunday (nothing is a given vs. the Lions), they could own the top pick. There’s just nothing about the Browns right now that shows any spark or any hope.
Stay tuned (you know, unless you live within 75 miles of Ford Field on Sunday).
Follow me at Twitter: BradBiggs