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NFL playoff scenarios: Lions-Packers will decide NFC North title

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The NFC North title and a first-round bye will be on the line next week when the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers square off at Lambeau Field.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The stage is set. Week 17 at Lambeau Field will decide the NFC North title with the 11-4 Green Bay Packers hosting the 11-4 Detroit Lions. The winner of this game will win the division and clinch a first-round bye. Here's a full look at what's at stake for the Lions:

If the Lions win

A Lions victory will give them their first-ever NFC North championship and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They could potentially even end up with the No. 1 seed in the conference depending on what happens with the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, but at worst they'll have the No. 2 seed.

If the Packers win

If the Lions lose, the Packers will take the division and get a first-round bye. In all likelihood, this would leave the Lions as the sixth seed and give them a road game against the Dallas Cowboys in the wild-card round. There's a scenario where the Lions could end up as the No. 5 seed and play at whichever team wins the NFC South, but that would require the Seahawks to lose their final two games.

If there's a tie

As far as the NFC North goes, the Lions will win the division with a tie since they already have one head-to-head win over Green Bay. For seeding, things would be a bit more complicated. They could still end up with a first-round bye, but only if the Cowboys don't win out. If the Cowboys finish 12-4 and the Lions end up at 11-4-1, Detroit would have the No. 3 seed and could very well host the Packers in the playoffs.

At this point, there's no word just yet about when the Lions' game against the Packers will be played. It seems likely that it will be flexed into the Sunday night slot on NBC, but it's possible the NFL could go with the NFC South title game between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers or the showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, which could decide the AFC North. We should get an official announcement on Week 17's Sunday night game shortly.