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Week 6 NFL postseason picture: Lions still clinging to a playoff spot

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Despite their loss to the Panthers, the Lions remain in a playoff spot through five weeks.

Carolina Panthers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions may not have played like a playoff team on Sunday, but technically speaking, they still are one. Now that the dust has settled on Week 5 of the 2017 season, the Lions still technically hold a playoff spot for what it’s worth.

While they’re no longer the division leaders and don’t hold as prestigious of a seed as the two-seed they held last week, they remain clinging to the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. Here’s a look at the standings:

  1. Eagles (4-1)
  2. Packers (4-1)
  3. Panthers (4-1)
  4. Seahawks (3-2)
  5. Falcons (3-1)
  6. Lions (3-2)
  7. Rams (3-2)
  8. Vikings (3-2)

Wild card tiebreakers

The Lions currently rank above the other two 3-2 teams thanks to some solid interconference play. First, the Vikings are eliminated from contention because of Detroit’s 14-7 win over them in Week 4. When it comes to Lions vs. Rams, Detroit currently holds the tiebreaker thanks to a slightly better record in NFC games (3-2 vs. 2-2).

However, with losses to the Panthers and Falcons already, the Lions are in a bit of trouble if they want to ever climb above a six-seed. The way things look right now, it’s very likely that the Panthers and Falcons will be the top two teams in the competitive NFC South. That means that Detroit will not have the tiebreaker over whichever team doesn’t win the division.

Of course, the dynamics of that division could certainly change with the Buccaneers and Saints just barely behind with 2-2 records respectively. If one of them threatens for a playoff spot, and the Lions beat one or both of them, Detroit could be in a good spot again.

NFC North standings

Of course, the best way to guarantee a higher seed and a home playoff game is to simply win your division. However, the Packers have already separated themselves from the crowd with a 4-1 record through five games. Here’s a look at the division standings:

  1. Packers (4-1)
  2. Lions (3-2)
  3. Vikings (3-2)
  4. Bears (1-4)

While the Packers currently lead the division, things can change in a hurry. In their next three games, Green Bay plays both the Vikings and the Lions.

Playoff matchup

If the playoffs ended today, the Lions would have to head to North Carolina for an immediate rematch against the Panthers. The two teams have never faced off in the postseason before.