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NFL playoff picture: Lions fall all the way to seventh in NFC

The Detroit Lions managed to fall from second to seventh in the NFC playoff picture in one day.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

As if their loss to the New England Patriots wasn't bad enough, the Detroit Lions got no help in any of Sunday's other games involving potential NFC playoff teams. The Green Bay Packers won, for example, vaulting them into first place in the NFC North. What's more, the Seattle Seahawks also won, pushing the Lions all the way down to seventh in the NFC. Take a look:

  1. Arizona Cardinals (9-2) *NFC West champion*
  2. Green Bay Packers (8-3) *NFC North champion*
  3. Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) *NFC East champion*
  4. New Orleans Saints (4-6) *NFC South champion*
  5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3) *Wild card*
  6. Seattle Seahawks (7-4) *Wild card*
  7. Detroit Lions (7-4)
  8. San Francisco 49ers (7-4)

Bye: Cardinals, Packers | Wild-card round: Eagles vs. Seahawks, Saints vs. Cowboys

There has been some confusion over the tiebreaker between the Lions, Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, but it boils down to this: San Francisco is eliminated from the three-team tie by Seattle, and Seattle has a better record than Detroit in common games (their conference record is the same). Between Detroit and San Francisco, the Lions have the better conference record, so they're seventh rather than eighth.

In short, the Lions had a pretty disastrous Sunday from the perspective of the playoff picture. Obviously there's still a lot of football left, but the Lions have to start stringing together some wins. The Seahawks and 49ers actually meet on Thanksgiving night, and they still have another game later in the season, so they will do some damage to each other. But even so, the Lions are now in for a fight just to make the playoffs as a wild-card team. Obviously the NFC North is still within reach for now, but that may not be the case for much longer if the Packers' hot streak continues.

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