The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sure gave us some blind hope on Monday night, didn’t they? Despite trailing for nearly the entire game, the Buccaneers had a chance to tie the Atlanta Falcons as regulation expired on Monday Night Football. A Bucs win would have been absolutely huge for the Lions, jumping their playoff odds to 38 percent. But Tampa couldn’t pull off the upset and Detroit’s chances at the postseason have plummeted to just 14 percent.
There are still plenty of ways the Detroit Lions can sneak their way into the postseason, but all of them involve Detroit winning their final two games. Unfortunately, that is far from enough. In fact, accoridng to FiveThirtyEight.com, even if Detroit wins both of those games, their playoff odds are still just 35 percent.
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But stranger things have happened in the NFL. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you think the Lions will make the playoffs?
My answer: No. The most realistic scenario—and in my opinion, the only realistic scenario—is the Lions winning out combined with the Falcons losing out. Atlanta plays the Saints and the Panthers in their final two.
On paper, those two losses certainly looks possible. The Falcons looked flawed on Monday night, and a Saints team probably would have dominated them with the way they were playing.
But here’s the problem: The Panthers may not be playing for anything against the Falcons in Week 17.
If the Saints beat the Falcons this week, and the Panthers win against the Bucs, there’s a good chance Atlanta-Carolina gets pushed to Sunday night for the final week of th season. If that happens and the Saints beat the Bucs earlier in Week 17, New Orleans will have clinched the division. The Panthers would already clinch a playoff spot, and would therefore have nothing to play for against the Falcons. Carolina would likely bench some starters, giving Atlanta a much easier path for a win.
So even though I think the Lions will probably win out—especially since it seems like Aaron Rodgers probably won’t play in Week 17—I just don’t think they’re going to get the help they need.
Will the Detroit Lions make the playoffs?
This poll is closed