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Monday open thread: Is a first-round bye a realistic goal for Lions?

Could the Lions actually make a play for a top two seed in the NFC playoffs?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions didn’t get a ton of help on Sunday according to our Week 12 rooting guide. Only the Falcons and Raiders did their part in helping Detroit clinch a playoff spot. However, one of the most interesting outcomes on Sunday involved the Seattle Seahawks. While the rooting guide rationalized rooting for a Seattle win because a Buccaneers loss would give Detroit a better chance at the Wild Card, a Seahawks loss has its own benefits.

Seattle did indeed lose, and have now fallen to 7-3-1, just a "half" game ahead of the 7-4 Lions (and Falcons) for the No. 2 seed overall. With the Lions so close to a potential first-round bye, one has to start thinking of that as a real possibility for the franchise. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Is a first-round bye a realistic goal for the Lions, or just pipe dream?

My answer: I think this is more of a pipe dream. First off, there are still five games left in the season. A ton can change in just a week’s worth of time. Let’s not forget how quickly the Lions turned a 1-3 season into a 7-4 season. Also, looking at the schedules ahead—more on this later in the day—the Lions are in a much tougher situation than both the Seahawks and Falcons, two contenders for the second spot behind the Cowboys.

And with the Lions’ tiny margin of error in every single game this year, it’s hard to imagine the Lions playing down the stretch without tripping up at least once or twice.

A playoff bye would be nice, but this team should have one, and only one goal right now: make the playoffs by any means necessary.

Your turn.

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