This is it. This is the last chance for the Detroit Lions to salvage their 2017 season. There’s no more margin for error, no more room for a letdown game or a last-second heart-breaker.
The Lions’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens plummeted any chance for Detroit to make the postseason and now they not only have to win out, but they’ll need plenty of help along the way.
But there’s still a chance things go their way. In fact, according to New York Times’ Playoff Simulator, the Lions’ playoff odds shoot up to 70 percent if they win out.
But what are the odds of that happening? Let’s take a look at their Week 14 playoff odds.
9.9% playoff odds (-14.4%)
0.1% NFC North crown (-2.2%)
Football Outsiders paints a bleak, bleak picture for the Lions. Not only have their playoff odds dropped significantly, but they’re actually behind the Green Bay Packers now, who have an 11.2 percent chance at the postseason after their overtime win against the Buccaneers.
Obviously both teams are a long-shot at this point, but now it’s entirely possible that Detroit is playing spoiler in Week 17, not the Packers.
10% playoff odds (-13%)
<1% NFC North crown (-2%)
The percentages are nearly identical according to FiveThirtyEight’s model. However, according to their math, the Packers only have a seven percent chance at the playoffs.
Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight allows you to manipulate the outcomes of the next three games for each team to see how it affects their playoff odds. If the Lions win the next three games, their playoff odds rise to 38-39 percent.
New York Times—The Upshot
10% playoff odds (-10%)
<1% NFC North crown (-3%)
The New York Times also puts the Lions’ odds at a playoff berth slightly ahead of the Packers (nine percent). But overall, the numbers are all the same. The Lions have a one-in-10 shot to make the playoffs.
Other playoff odds sources:
- 6.1% playoff odds (-15.2%) per numberFire
- 4.3% playoff odds (-10.9%) via PredictionMachine.com
- 15% playoff odds (-13%) per PlayoffStatus.com
The Lions absolutely have to win out to give themselves a shot. While the numbers will continue to look better if they continue to win, they’ll still need some help. Two games back with four games to go is not a great position to be in. But one game at a time. The Lions have to beat the Buccaneers on Sunday.