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NFC Playoff Picture: Lions Currently Slated To Face 49ers

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Come get some, Jim Harbaugh.
Come get some, Jim Harbaugh.

After all that went down between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers earlier this season, a common refrain was, "See you in the playoffs." Because of the post-game handshake incident and the ensuing trash talk, football fans have been hoping that the Lions and 49ers will meet again in the postseason, and, as of right now, that's exactly what one of the matchups would be in the first weekend of the playoffs if the season ended today.

Seeds

1. Green Bay Packers (13-1)

2. New Orleans Saints (11-3)

3. San Francisco 49ers (10-3)

4. Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

5. Atlanta Falcons (9-5)

6. Detroit Lions (9-5)

Matchups

First-round bye: Packers, Saints

49ers vs. Lions

Cowboys vs. Falcons

The reason New Orleans is currently ahead of San Francisco is because the 49ers play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. If the 49ers win, they will move back up to the second seed by virtue of having a better conference record. If they lose, however, the Saints will move a game ahead in the standings and, for the time being, lose out on a first-round bye.

With the Lions remaining at No. 6 in the NFC playoff picture for now, they are set to take on the Saints or 49ers. Considering how hot the Saints are right now and the history the Lions have with Harbaugh and company, I would much rather see a Lions/49ers matchup in the wild-card round.

Probably the best scenario for the Lions would be to win out and have the Falcons drop one of their two final games. This would allow the Lions to move up to the No. 5 seed and take on the NFC East champion in the wild-card round. If the Lions won that game, then there would at least be a chance of not having to play a road game against the Packers in the divisional round. If they end up being the six seed and win their opening game, they would have to play at Green Bay no matter what (assuming the Packers do clinch the top seed, of course).

In any case, I don't think Lions fans will complain about the matchup in the playoffs as long as there is one. Be it the Saints, 49ers, Giants or Cowboys, at this point I'll be thrilled if there is actually a Lions playoff game to talk about. Whatever happens after that is all gravy to me.

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