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NFL Week 18 preview: Breaking down games for Detroit Lions playoff picture

We break down all the important NFC games in Week 18 and what it means for the Detroit Lions’ playoff picture.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

This week, instead of doing our standard Detroit Lions preview podcast with a guest, we took a larger scope of Week 18 and how it pertains to Detroit’s playoff picture.

That’s because even if the Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, their chances of moving off the No. 3 seed in the NFC are still very slim. It would require the Dallas Cowboys—a 13-point road favorite vs. the Commanders—and the Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) to lose this week. Not impossible, but not likely.

So, instead, myself and Ryan Mathews talked about what we’re hoping to see from the Lions’ season finale against the Vikings. Then we turned our attention to other Week 18 games and how they’ll impact the NFC Playoff picture.

Here’s an overall preview of our show.

First segment —Lions vs. Vikings preview

  • 2:30 — Are the Lions making the right choice playing their starters?
  • 7:00 — How much will C.J. Gardner-Johnson play, and how will it impact everyone else?
  • 9:15 — Tyson Alualu and Alim McNeill: the new DT duo?
  • 11:45 — Can Sam LaPorta and the Lions RBs hit their statistical benchmarks/records?
  • 12:20 — Can Donovan Peoples-Jones step up for Jameson Williams?
  • 14:15 — Will the Lions pass defense finally slow a WR1?
  • 18:30 — Will James Houston be ready for the playoffs?

Second segment — NFC Week 18 preview

  • 25:00 — Cowboys vs. Commander; Eagles vs. Giants — Could the Lions really have a shot at the two seed? Dallas or Philly on upset alert?
  • 28:30 — Would Dallas getting the two-seed over Philly be a blessing in disguise?
  • 30:10 — MID-OFF! Backup 49ers vs. Backup Rams: who wins? Who do we WANT to win?
  • 33:00 — Packers vs. Bears — The future of the NFC North on the line!
  • 34:30 — Jeremy explains why he thinks the Bears upset the Packers
  • 37:30 — Our ideal Week 18 results and playoff matchups for the Lions

Check out our entire conversation in the podcast embedded below:

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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.