The Detroit Lions came out of Sunday with their fifth win in a row and their eighth in their past nine. They remain a comfortable two games ahead of everyone in the NFC North with only three games remaining. They’ve leapfrogged the Seahawks and now control their own destiny as the NFC’s two-seed.
Yet not all is well in Lions land. Detroit played uninspired football against a mediocre-at-best Bears team and Matthew Stafford suffered a significant, but not season-ending injury. The Packers look like a dominant force again. And the bottom of the NFC playoff race is starting to tighten up.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you feel better, worse or the same about the Lions after Sunday?
My answer: A little worse. I feel a little worse about the Lions, and it has very little to do with their performance against the Bears. There wasn’t a lot that surprised me about that game, though I admit I was disappointed to see the pass defense take a step back.
No, I feel worse about the Lions because despite their win, their margin for error for a playoff berth just got a lot thinner. The Giants, Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Buccaneers and Washington all won on Sunday, meaning the window for the Wild Card spot is closing. It’s looking more and more likely that the Lions will have to win their division to lock up a playoff spot, and after the Packers’ convincing win, that may be more difficult than expected. However, it’s very simple at this point: beat the Packers and you’re NFC North champs. Still, the Stafford injury only heightens my worries.