Detroit Lions playoff scenarios still allow for the team to clinch a No. 2 seed in the 2017 NFL Playoffs. Though a number of games have to yield the exact right results, the Lions could still secure a first-round bye in the postseason on Sunday (Jan. 1). The updated NFL standings showcase a tie between the Lions and Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North. The Lions host the Packers on Sunday night, with a victory becoming the most important component within the playoff hopes for the team.
If the Lions beat the Packers, the team is at least guaranteed a home game in the NFC Playoffs. Winning the North Division will give the team at least the No. 4 seed and a game against the first NFC Wild Card team to open the postseason. Additional playoff scenarios exist where the Lions could be the No. 2, No. 3, or No. 6 seed in the postseason. There is also a worst-case scenario in the cards, where the Lions could miss the postseason entirely by losing to the Packers and a win by the Washington Redskins over the New York Giants.
As for the best-case Detroit Lions playoff scenarios, three games in the Week 17 NFL schedule will determine whether the team can move up into that No. 2 seed. If the Lions beat the Packers, the New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks, then the Lions will secure that first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs. This would allow the Lions to join the No. 1 seeded Dallas Cowboys in having a week off to rest up for the postseason. It could serve as a huge advantage to the team.
The NFL schedule has the Seahawks vs. 49ers and Falcons vs. Saints taking place at 4:25 p.m. ET on January 1. This means that Lions fans will already know those game results when the team takes the field against the Green Bay Packers at 8:30 p.m. ET. By then, nearly everything will be settled, including whether a loss would knock the Lions completely out of the postseason. The Redskins vs. Giants game is also taking place at 4:25 p.m. ET, giving the NFL schedule quite a few games that have a direct impact on playoff seeding.
There are a number of other Detroit Lions playoff scenarios that will come into play during the final weekend of the NFL regular season. The Lions would clinch the No. 3 seed with a victory and a loss by either the Seattle Seahawks or Atlanta Falcons. If Detroit, Seattle, and Atlanta all win on Sunday, then the Lions settle in as the No. 4 seed in the NFC. Should the Lions lose to the Green Bay Packers, the team can still make the playoffs if the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins. In that scenario, the Lions would become the No. 6 seed.
As for the possible opponents for the Lions, they include several different options as well. If the Lions are the No. 2 seed, they will get a bye and await a likely matchup with the No. 3 seed in the divisional round. As the No. 3 seed, the Lions would play the No. 6 seed, which would be the Redskins with a win or the Packers due to a Giants victory. As the No. 4 seed, the Lions would play against the Giants, as that team has already clinched the No. 5 seed. Finally, as the No. 6 seed, the Lions would be on the road against the team that finishes in the No. 3 slot.
Everything is on the line for the Lions when they take the field on January 1. The team could finish as high as the No. 2 seed or completely miss the entire 2017 NFL Playoffs. It’s very rare that a situation like this exists heading into the final week of the regular season, but that is exactly what has presented itself within the Detroit Lions playoff scenarios.
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