Just like we had all feared a few weeks ago, the Detroit Lions’ postseason chances will come down to Week 17. After failing to punch their ticket into the playoffs against Dallas on Monday night, the Lions must either win (or tie) their way into postseason or rely on the New York Giants to do them a solid and knock Washington out for good.
Things look bleak as the Lions are riding a two-game losing streak that includes their two biggest losses of the year. The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, are hitting their stride, having won their past five games. With so much riding on the line and so much negativity around, it seems like the Lions don’t have much of a chance at making the playoffs at this point. However, when looking at every single possible prediction model, the Lions actually still have a very good chance at making the playoffs. Here’s a look around at the Lions’ playoff odds according to several different sources.
63.2 percent playoff odds (-7.9%)
37.8 percent NFC North crown (-8.5%)
Football Outsiders remains one of the most pessimistics sites regarding the Lions’ playoff chances, and even they put the Lions’ odds at the postseason well above 50-50. Though their odds of defeating the Packers and winning the division are all the way down to 37.8 percent, they are still giving Detroit a healthy shot at getting in via the Wild Card.
Interestingly enough, Detroit (63.2 percent), Green Bay (77.8) and Washington (59.0) all have over a 50-50 shot at making the postseason, even though only two of those three will make it in (unless the Buccaneers get incredibly, incredibly lucky).
71 percent playoff odds (-6%)
51 percent NFC North crown (-8%)
FiveThirtyEight remains much more optimistic about Detroit. In fact, they give them the very slight edge to win on Sunday, keeping their division odds just slightly above 50 percent.
Their overall playoff odds are still a tenuous 71 percent. While that may seem pretty good, consider that three weeks ago, the Lions’ playoff odds were at 90 percent.
New York Times — The Upshot
73 percent playoff odds (-7%)
54 percent NFC North crown (-7%)
We love the New York Times. Of all major prediction models, they are the most confident in the Lions’ chances at the postseason. They give them the slight edge over the Packers for the division and hefty odds at the Wild Card (19 percent).
With odds all the way up to 73 percent, you have to feel at least okay about Detroit’s chances at getting in, but constantly seeing those percentages fall week after week has produced some understandable anxiety.
Other playoff odds sources:
- 59.5 percent playoff odds per numberFire (-6.8%)
- 67.7 percent chance via PredictionMachine.com (-12.3%)
- 78 percent chance via PlayoffStatus.com (+3%)
It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture after seeing the Lions play for the past two weeks. This is a team that, in a single season, has fought through adversity more times than any team in NFL history. They still control their own destiny and they have a home game to decide their fate. Even if things don’t work out on that end, Detroit has a very good shot at getting in with the Giants supposedly playing their starters against an inferior Washington team.
So, chin up, Lions fans. We could very well be in for some extra football into the heart of January.