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Sunday was a good day for the Detroit Lions’ playoff chances and draft position

For the Lions, it was a good day.

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

As a Detroit Lions fan, I know it’s very rare that an entire day goes the team’s way, but that’s exactly what happened on Sunday.

The Lions entered the day with less than a one percent chance of making the postseason. Almost jokingly, I put in playoff options in our Week 14 Rooting Guide, in case there were still those of you out there rooting for a shot at the playoffs.

Not only did the Lions do their part, winning an ugly game in Arizona, but literally every single other game went Detroit’s way on Sunday. Here’s a look at the teams ahead of Detroit in the Wild Card race, and what they did on Sunday:

Eagles (6-7) lost to the Cowboys
Washington (6-7) lost to the Giants
Panthers (6-7) lost to the Browns
Falcons (4-9) lost to the Packers
Packers (5-7-1) beat the Falcons
Buccaneers (5-8) lost to the Saints

The only other two teams ahead of the Lions in the Wild Card hunt—the 7-5 Seahawks and the 6-5-1 Vikings—play each other on Monday, meaning another team will likely lose.

So while the Seahawks and Vikings currently both hold a wild card spot, here’s a look at the teams trying to catch them now (Note: order does not reflect tiebreakers).

6-7 Eagles
6-7 Washington
6-7 Panthers
5-7-1 Packers
5-8 Lions
5-8 Buccaneers
5-8 Giants

Now, the odds are still ridiculously long for the Lions to make the playoffs. They absolutely need to win out, and they’ll still need some help from other teams beating the Vikings, Eagles, and Washington among other teams. Still, it was an oddly good day for those keeping the dream alive, but keep in mind, according to the New York Times’ Playoff Simulator, the Lions’ playoff chances went from less than one percent to... one percent.

The good news is that it was also a pretty good day for those hoping for a good draft pick. While the Lions win will obviously push them down in the draft order, a lot of bad teams won on Sunday. Here’s a quick list:

  • The 2-10 Raiders moved to 3-10
  • The 2-10 49ers moved to 3-10
  • The 3-9 Jets moved to 4-9
  • The 4-8 Giants moved to 5-8

At the moment, Detroit is picking 10th per Tankathon, but they could still move into the top five easily with the No. 4 pick (Falcons) just one game “ahead” of Detroit at 4-9. Pessimists will dream of a Lions loss that would’ve kept them with a top-five pick, but if that’s what you really want, there’s still a good chance of it, and now you could argue that the top three is still in play.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.