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After Thursday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Detroit Lions' playoff chances are all but gone. According to the New York Times Playoff Simulator, the Lions' chances for making the playoffs went from four to five percent to one percent or less after the loss. But if you're still clinging to that one percent, here are some scenarios that will help the Lions' razor-thin postseason odds:
Games that affect the Lions' playoff chances:
The Giants, at 5-6, are currently both a contender for the wild card and the NFC East title. A loss puts them within striking for the Lions. The Jets are an AFC team, so a win for the Jets will not harm the Lions' playoff chances.
Root for: Jets
The Cardnials are mathematically uncatchable by the Lions at 9-2, but the Rams are still technically in the wild card race at 4-7.
Root for: Cardinals
For the Lions to make the playoffs, they'll need some major contenders to completely collapse to end the season. The Falcons (6-5) are well on their way, having lost five of their last six games. The Bucs are now a legitamate wild card contender at 5-6, so a loss for either team will be helpful for the Lions. But the Falcons still are just a tiebreaker away from a playoff spot, while the Bucs are still a game out.
Root for: Buccaneers
This is the most important matchup for the Lions playoff chances this week. The Seahawks represent the Lions' greatest threat to the playoffs, having beaten Detroit earlier in the season, therefore taking control of the tiebreaker between the two teams. The Lions cannot catch the Vikings in the division, so this is an easy choice.
Root for: Vikings
The Bears have turned their season around and at 5-6, they're only one game out of a wild card spot. The 49ers are 3-8 and are an even longer shot to make the playoffs than the Lions.
Root for: 49ers
The Saints may have lost three in a row, but they're still technically in the postseason race at 4-7. They are just one of many teams the Lions will need to leapfrog to play a game deep into January.
Root for: Panthers
Always root for the AFC over the NFC, especially when the NFC team is in the midst of a playoff race. The Eagles' postseason chances are slim at 4-7, but since the Lions have the tiebreaker against them, if Philadelphia loses again, the Lions will jump past them.
Root for: Patriots
At this point, playoffs are such a long shot, it probably makes more sense to root for improving the Lions' draft position. So if that is your main concern on Sunday, here's a quick guide to who you should root for in each game:
Jets at Giants - Root for Giants
Cardinals at Rams - Root for Rams
Falcons at Buccaneers - Root for Buccaneers
Seahawks at Vikings - Root for Seahawks
Texans at Bills - Root for Bills
Ravens at Dolphins - Root for either (both 4-7)
Bengals at Browns - Root for Browns
Jaguars at Titans - Root for Titans
49ers at Bears - Root for 49ers
Broncos at Chargers - Root for Chargers
Chiefs at Raiders - Root for Raiders
Panthers at Saints - Root for Saints
Eagles at Patriots - Root for Eagles
Colts at Steelers - Root for either (both 6-5)