Looking at the Lions’ Chance to Make a Late Season Playoff Push

The Detroit Lions currently sit at 4-7, 3 games under .500. Their record has them 2.5 games out of the 7th wildcard spot, held by The Washington Commanders. So where do The Detroit Lions’ playoff chances stand after a week 12 loss to The Buffalo Bills? Unfortunately, The Lions are more than likely a longshot to make the playoffs currently with an 11% chance to make the wildcard. While the odds are currently stacked against The Lions to make the postseason, let’s take a look at the Lions’ most likely avenues to secure a playoff spot.

Winning The Division
The Lions essentially have no shot at winning the division, even though it would guarantee them a playoff spot. The Vikings currently have a firm lead in The NFC North, with a chance to secure a division title for the first time since 2017 this Sunday, if they were to defeat the New York Jets along with a Detroit loss. The Lions currently sit 6 games back in The NFC North.

The Wildcard Situation
This would be the most likely avenue for The Lions to get into the playoffs, as they are only 2.5 games out of the 7th seed. There will more than likely only be one spot up for grabs in the wildcard, as one would assume that either the Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys would hold the fifth seed, and either The Seattle Seahawks (who hold the head to head tie-breaker over The Lions) or San Francisco 49ers would hold the sixth seed. This leaves the seventh seed, currently held by The 7-5 Washington Commanders. The Lions are currently in the hunt with several other teams including The 7-4 New York Giants (who currently hold the 6th seed but I am making a guess will lose several games due to injuries to key players), The 5-7 Atlanta Falcons, and several 4-8 longshots including The Green Bay Packers, The Arizona Cardinals, The Carolina Panthers, and The New Orleans Saints. The Lions currently sit at 10th in The NFC, but fortunately hold head to head tiebreakers over The Washington Commanders and New York Giants.

Playoff Scenarios
The first scenario in which The Detroit Lions would secure a wildcard spot would be to win out. This would give The Lions a 10-7 record and all but guarantee the 7th seed in The NFC. This means that Detroit would not only beat several very good teams including The Jets in New York, a home game against The Vikings, and The Packers in Green Bay. With no margin for error, The Lions would run the table in this scenario. This is not likely, as The Lions will more than likely lose one of the three games listed beforehand. This scenario also counts on the Lions taking care of business against lesser teams such as The Jaguars, Panthers, and injury-ridden Bears, which is a tall task considering Detroit’s track record.

The more likely scenario would be for Detroit to drop one game out of their next six, finishing with a 9-8 record, and I use the term “likely” lightly. The Lions would need to jump both The Commanders and Giants here, who still have to play each other twice. Even if one of the two aforementioned teams finish 9-8, the Lions will hold the head to head tiebreaker over them, thus giving them the nod. This scenario gives the Lions slightly more room to breathe, but they would still need to take care of business against several good teams. The Lions’ road to the playoffs begins this Sunday when they host The Jacksonville Jaguar. The Lions will open up as underdogs by one point against a Jacksonville team coming in off of a big upset over The Baltimore Ravens.
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