Detroit Lions playoff scenarios just got a lot better as the Lions beat the Chicago Bears and then the Green Bay Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday (Dec. 11). The day started off with the Lions muscling up a 20-17 victory over the Bears. The win improved the Lions to 9-4 on the season and kept the team in first place in the NFC North. This made it easier for fans to root for the Packers as they played the Seahawks later in the evening.
When the Packers destroyed the Seahawks, it improved Green Bay to 7-6 on the season, but also dropped Seattle to 8-4-1. The Seahawks had held the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff standings, but have now given up that spot to the Lions. In the updated NFL standings, the Lions trail only the Dallas Cowboys (11-1) for the best record in the conference. Dallas is on the road to play the New York Giants in the Sunday night game for NBC.
The playoff scenarios for the Detroit Lions became much easier to discern, as the team now has a two-game lead in the race to win the NFC North. The Lions are also ahead of the two NFC Wild Card teams at this point, putting the team in a very strong position to easily make the 2017 NFL Playoffs. Any time that a team controls its own destiny, they have a huge advantage, and that is exactly what the Lions have going for them as Week 14 comes to a close.
The only thing currently working against the Lions is that the team loses the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Packers. The Lions lost to the Packers (34-27) in Week 3, which is where the edge lies if the two teams finish the season tied. This means the battle for the NFC North could come down to the final weekend of the season, when the Lions host the Packers at Ford Field on January 1.
Before that grudge match against the Green Bay Packers, the Detroit Lions head out on the road for two tough conference games. On December 18, the Lions play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium and then the Lions travel to play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 26. The Giants and Cowboys currently hold playoff spots as well, meaning a lot is on the line for both teams in those games.
As for the Lions’ playoff scenarios, if the team beats the Giants and Cowboys, they will clinch the NFC North. The Lions just have to win two of their final three games to clinch the division, as the team has a two-game lead over the Packers so far. Another scenario involves the Lions winning in Week 15 and the Packers losing their game. In that instance, the Lions would also clinch the division, possibly making the final two regular season games a bit less stressful. Those aren’t the only playoff scenarios that the team is faced with.
In order to stay ahead of the Seattle Seahawks, the Lions need only match records with them for the rest of the season. If the Lions win their final three games, then the team will finish 12-4 with the No. 2 seed and a bye in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Playoffs. That is the easiest route to the postseason for the Lions, as the team continues to control its own destiny, so simply finishing the season on a nice winning streak means the fans will get to see at least one home playoff game. Game time for the Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants in Week 14 is 1 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]