Another loss for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the lens through which the season is being viewed as flipped.
Had the Bucs managed to pull out a win on Sunday, it would have brought them back to .500 and right into the mix for the NFC South crown. Instead, the defense allowed a new single-game record for yards by a rookie quarterback and blew two different leads in a 39-37 loss.
There's still a chance Tampa Bay can work its way into the race for a winnable division, but it's starting to look like draft positioning will interest fans moving forward more than anything else.
The upcoming schedule featuring teams like the Titans and 49ers doesn't do much to excite anyone about the season turning around anytime soon, either.
With very clear needs across the board on the Bucs roster, and a penchant for drafting well, now is a perfect time to start glancing at the NFL Draft order to see where Tampa Bay might be picking.
Updated 2024 NFL Draft Order after Week 9
While there's still a lot of season left, we're starting to reach the point where draft position matters as much as wanting to get back into the playoff race. A win on Sunday would have gone a long way in fans investing in the latter, but at 3-5 the former is where most of the attention is at.
It's for good reason, too. The loss drops the Bucs two games out of first place but shoots them up to No. 8 in the NFL Draft order.
Tampa Bay's upcoming schedule could push them higher in the Top 10. The Bucs get the Titans, 49ers, and Colts to close out November before hosting Carolina in Week 13. There's also an upcoming matchup with the Packers in December, something that once looked like it could be for playoff seeding but will likely be about draft position instead.
Here's a look at the NFL Draft order after what happened in Week 9:
Chicago Bears (From CAR)
New England Patriots
New York Giants
Los Angeles Rams
Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Chargers
Las Vegas Raiders
Arizona Cardinals (From HOU)
New York Jets
A Top 10 pick would be huge for the Bucs, not only because it affords them a shot at a top quarterback in one of the best classes in recent memory. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and J.T. Daniels are all names that could be in the conversation as first round picks, as well as Sam Hartman, J.J. McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr. in the mix as well.
There are also players like Marvin Harrison Jr., Keon Coleman, and a slew of offensive lineman likely to be top picks as well.
Right now all that matters is the Top 18 picks, because those will be the team that don't make the playoffs. After that the draft order is determined by when teams are eliminated from the playoffs and what their records are.
So if the Saints go to the Super Bowl and lose, they'd pick No. 31 overall despite having a worse record than other playoff teams picking below them.
The loss to Houston is very recent so emotions are running high, but there's a very real chance the Bucs don't win another game until after Thanksgiving and could enter the final month of the season with a shot at the No. 1 pick.