clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFC playoff picture: Lions squander best chance to gain ground

Detroit’s playoff chances look bleak after a crushing loss.

Detroit Lions v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

We knew Week 13 was going to be huge in terms of the Detroit Lions’ chances to make the postseason. With so many NFC contenders facing off against each other, there was ground to be made this week. But with their crushing loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Lions ruined their best chance to gain ground in the playoff race, and likely ended any realistic chance at the postseason.

Here’s a look at the standings.

NFC North

  1. Vikings: 10-2 (3-1 in division)
  2. Lions: 6-6 (3-1)
  3. Packers: 6-6 (2-2)
  4. Bears: 3-9 (0-4)

Literally the only way the Lions can win the division is if they win out and the Vikings lose out. That’s not happening. Let’s move on.

NFC Wild Card race

  1. Vikings: 10-2
  2. Eagles: 10-2
  3. Rams: 9-3
  4. Saints: 9-3
  5. Seahawks: 8-4
  6. Panthers: 8-4
  7. Falcons: 7-5
  8. Lions: 6-6
  9. Packers: 6-6
  10. Cowboys: 6-6

The Lions remain in the eighth seed, which is where they stood after 12 weeks. However, with the Panthers and Falcons losing on Sunday, Detroit squandered their best opportunity to gain ground in the standings. They’re now two games back of a playoff spot, and also need to somehow overcome the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Panthers and Falcons.

The easiest way for the Lions to do that is to get in a three-way tie with the Seahawks, since Detroit hasn’t lost to Seattle (to break a three-way tie, a head-to-head tiebreaker must include wins over the other two teams or one team losing to both of the other teams). But since Seattle picked up a big win over the Eagles, that becomes more likely.

Now Detroit is essentially in a situation in which they need to gain three games on the Panthers and two on the Falcons in just four weeks. Or they need to gain two games on the Panthers and Falcons and Seahawks. So... yeah, things look pretty bleak right now.

In glass-half-full news, the Lions jumped up to 18th on the 2018 NFL Draft order!

NEW: Join Pride of Detroit Direct

Jeremy Reisman will drop into your inbox twice a week to provide exclusive, in-depth reporting and insights from Ford Field. Subscribe to go deeper into Lions fandom, and join us on our path to win the Super Bowl.