Earlier this month, after the Detroit Lions got off to a 1-3 start, there were still plenty of reasons to be hopeful about their chances of making the playoffs. Although their odds were growing longer, history showed that plenty of 1-3 teams were able to turn things around to make the postseason.
Now, with the Lions falling to 2-4, their odds are even longer, but history shows that it's still possible for them to get things turned around to make the playoffs. Don't believe me? Read this:
Per STATS: since '78 only 18 of 208 teams that began 2-4 made playoffs ... but Lions have done it an NFL-best 3 times ('83, '94, '95).— Carlos Monarrez (@cmonarrez) October 23, 2012
In 1994 and 1995, the Lions shook off a 2-4 start to go 9-7 and 10-6, and they made the playoffs both times. This year, given how strong the NFC is, the Lions will likely have to win at least seven of their final 10 games in order to have a shot at obtaining one of the wild card spots. Considering the Lions' remaining schedule includes the Green Bay Packers twice, the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons, it'll be very tough for them to pull that off.
Regardless, right now the Lions can still have optimism about making the playoffs despite how this season has started. Even if they fall to 2-5, they can look back at the 2002 New York Jets if they are in need of finding a reason to be hopeful about making the playoffs. The '02 Jets started 2-5, but they actually ended up finishing 9-7 and made it to the postseason.
Realistically, Sunday's game is pretty much a must-win for the Lions. The margin of error is extremely small at this point, and the Lions can't afford to drop winnable home games. The Seattle Seahawks are a good team for sure, but this is the kind of game the Lions have to win if they want to realistically keep their playoff hopes alive.