NFC playoff picture: Lions remain in control of No. 3 seed

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Even though they lost on Sunday, the Detroit Lions are still in control of the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff picture.

The Detroit Lions may have lost on Sunday, but they are still in pretty good shape in the NFC playoff picture. Yes, they are tied with the Chicago Bears for first in the NFC North, but the Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker. As a result, the Lions still have control of the No. 3 seed in the NFC for the time being. Take a look:

  1. Seattle Seahawks (10-1)
  2. New Orleans Saints (8-2)
  3. Detroit Lions (6-4)
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)
  5. Carolina Panthers (7-3)
  6. San Francisco 49ers (6-4)
  7. Arizona Cardinals (6-4)
  8. Chicago Bears (6-4)
  9. Dallas Cowboys (5-5)
  10. Green Bay Packers (5-5)

Bye: Seahawks, Saints | Wild-card round: Lions vs. 49ers, Eagles vs. Panthers

The bad news for the Lions is that the wild-card race is becoming more and more crowded. As a fallback option, it's not exactly looking all that great, especially with the Cardinals firmly in the mix. They own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Lions, so if Detroit doesn't win the NFC North, it could be tough to secure one of the wild-card spots.

In any case, the Lions should continue to primarily set their sights on simply winning the NFC North. They have control of their own destiny for now, and if they put together a strong finish to the season, they can make sure that the wild card is irrelevant for their playoff chances.

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