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NFC playoff picture: Detroit Lions jump to a two seed

After a Seahawks loss, the Lions’ chance at a first-round bye in in their control.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

It has been an up-and-down day for the Detroit Lions. First, they nearly lose an important game against the lowly Chicago Bears, only to come back in a way only the Lions seem to know how. Then news broke that Matthew Stafford dislocated his middle finger on his throwing hand, tearing several ligaments in the process. Now after the Green Bay Packers’ beatdown of the Seattle Seahawks, they will end the day as the current holder of the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Here’s a look at the current standings:

  1. Dallas Cowboys: 11-2
  2. Detroit Lions: 9-4
  3. Seattle Seahawks: 8-4-1
  4. Atlanta Falcons: 8-5
  5. New York Giants: 9-4
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-5
  7. Washington: 7-5-1
  8. Minnesota Vikings: 7-6
  9. Green Bay Packers: 7-6

With Sunday’s results, the Lions are now in control of their own destiny regarding a first-round bye. If they win out—at Giants, at Cowboys, vs. Packers—they will host a playoff game in the divisional round of the 2016 playoffs.

Of course, that task seems much more difficult after the news of Stafford’s injury. The Lions already had a tough schedule ahead—much tougher than the Seahawks’—and with a hampered quarterback they will have to defy some odds to hold on to that bye.

However, the Lions’ win also gave them an opportunity to clinch the NFC North as soon as next week. With a win over the Giants, the Lions will cement their place atop the Vikings for the season. If the Packers manage to drop a road game against the Bears, too, the Lions will have clinched their first division title in 23 years.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.