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NFC Playoff Picture update: Detroit Lions preparing push for top seed

An updated look at the NFC playoff picture through Week 10, and where the Detroit Lions stand.

Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The NFC potential playoff teams are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack as we close out Week 10 of the 2023 season. While seeding is still very much a tight race, there is a two-game gap between team No. 7 and the rest of the pack in the NFC.

With “Monday Night Football” a battle between AFC teams, let’s take a closer look at the NFC Playoff picture, and how it impacts the Lions.

NFC North

  1. Lions: 7-2
  2. Vikings: 6-4
  3. Packers: 3-6
  4. Bears: 3-7

The Lions, Vikings, and Bears all picked up wins, in Week 10, while the Packers dropped their sixth of the season.

The Lions got over one of the biggest remaining obstacles by beating the Chargers, leaving just two teams with winning records remaining on their schedule: the Vikings (whom they play twice) and the Cowboys. All three of these games will take place over the final three weeks of the regular season, as the Lions visit Minnesota in Week 16, then head to Dallas in Week 17, and close out the season with the Vikings at home.

The Lions' lead in the North remains a 1.5-game over the Vikings, but Minnesota’s schedule isn't very daunting. Like Detroit, the Vikings only have the Lions, plus one other team (the Bengals in Week 15) remaining on their schedule with winning records.

The Packers and Bears are dangerously close to being out of this race altogether unless they can find some magic soon.

NFC Playoff Picture

Division leaders:

  1. Eagles: 8-1
  2. Lions: 7-2
  3. 49ers: 6-3
  4. Saints: 5-5

Wild Card race (top three advance)

  1. Seahawks: 6-3
  2. Cowboys: 6-3
  3. Vikings: 6-4
  4. Commanders: 4-6
  5. Falcons: 4-6
  6. Buccaneers: 4-5
  7. Packers: 3-6
  8. Rams: 3-6
  9. Bears 3-7

While the Lions remain in the driver's seat for the No. 2 seed, they’re looking up at just the Eagles ahead of them in the standings. Philadelphia was able to get some rest while on a bye in Week 10, and they’re going to need it because the next five games on the schedule are going to be a gauntlet: Chiefs (away), Bills, 49ers, Cowboys (away), and Seahawks (away).

The 49ers are nipping at the Lions' heels after getting back in the winning column in Week 10 after a three-game skid. But their schedule isn’t a cakewalk either, as they face the Seahawks twice, the Eagles (away), and the Ravens over the next six weeks.

The Lions will still have to take care of business over the final eight weeks, but based on the schedule, they’ll have an opportunity to work their way into a quality position for the postseason.

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