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Week 17 NFC Playoff clinching scenarios and what they mean for the Detroit Lions

The Packers and Rams can clinch high seeds this week, and that matters for the Detroit Lions

Syndication: The Post-Crescent William Glasheen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions were eliminated from playoff contention long ago, but that doesn’t mean they are not impacted by how the postseason plays out over the next couple months. The Lions have draft pick positions still left to be decided. Even though there is a high probability Detroit lands the second overall pick, there are a few important things that could change that.

There’s also the Lions’ first-round pick via the Los Angeles Rams. Last week, the Rams punched their ticket to the postseason, ensuring that Detroit’s second first-round pick will be no higher than 19. But that pick could drop as far as 32 or be in the low 20s. And how the final two weeks of the season play out could have a huge impact on where Detroit ends up picking.

So let’s take a look at a couple of the Week 17 NFC Playoff clinching scenarios and what it means for the Lions.

Los Angeles Rams

Can clinch the NFC West with:

  • Rams win/tie vs. the Ravens AND
  • Cardinals lose vs. Cowboys

If these two things happen, the Rams will not only clinch the NFC West, but they’ll guarantee themselves a home playoff game. Los Angeles currently sits with the third seed in the NFC, which means they’d host the six seed (currently the 49ers) in the Wild Card round. This would also keep the Rams’ very long-shot odds at getting the first seed and a bye alive.

Green Bay Packers

Can clinch the NFC No. 1 seed—and a first-round bye—with:

  • Packers win over Vikings AND
  • Cowboys loss vs. Cardinals


  • Packers tie over Vikings AND
  • Cowboys loss vs. Cardinals AND
  • Rams loss vs. Ravens AND
  • Buccaneers loss/tie vs. Jets


  • Packers tie over Vikings AND
  • Cowboys loss vs. Cardinals AND
  • Rams tie vs. Ravens AND
  • Buccaneers loss vs. Jets

Why does this matter to the Lions? Well, if the Packers clinch a first-round bye this week, it means they will have nothing to play for in Week 18... against the Detroit Lions.

That matters if the Lions win this week against the Seahawks. That would put Detroit at 3.5 wins (three wins and a tie). If they get to 4.5 wins by beating a Packers team with nothing to play four, it puts them in danger of falling behind the Texans, Jets, and Giants in draft order. They could realistically fall as low as five in the draft.

You can see all of the Week 17 playoff-clinching scenarios here.

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