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NFL playoff picture: Lions officially eliminated from contention

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The Detroit Lions are officially out of the NFC playoff picture.

Leon Halip

It's official: The Detroit Lions have been eliminated from contention for the playoffs. The Lions were officially knocked out of the playoff picture on Sunday afternoon with an overtime loss to the New York Giants.

As if the loss alone wasn't frustrating enough, the Lions actually got the help they needed from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers went on the road and beat the Green Bay Packers, and the Eagles blew out the Chicago Bears at home. As a result, the Lions would have actually controlled their own destiny for the NFC North title in Week 17 had they been able to win on Sunday. They did not win, though, so the NFC playoff picture currently looks like this:

  1. Seattle Seahawks (12-3)
  2. Carolina Panthers (11-4)
  3. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6)
  4. Chicago Bears (8-7)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
  6. New Orleans Saints (10-5)
  7. Arizona Cardinals (10-5)
  8. Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
  9. Green Bay Packers (7-7-1)

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

The NFC North really does not deserve a playoff spot this year. The division is an absolute mess, and it says a lot about the Lions that they weren't able to win it this year. Instead, Chicago or Green Bay is going to get to host a playoff game in the wild-card round while the Lions are likely off trying to find a new head coach. This whole season is going to sting for a while.