The Lions came into week 16 thinking one thing: improve their playoff chances. They didn’t do that, with an embarrassing defensive effort in Carolina. Even though Detroit didn’t take care of its business against the Panthers, everything else went well enough to keep them at an arm’s reach of the playoffs.
Because the Lions don’t hold the tiebreaker with Seattle, the Lions needed the Seahawks to lose this weekend to keep pace. Luckily, they did and maybe even more importantly, that team just looks deflated. This means that even though Detroit needs them to lose again to get past them, they’ll be riding a negative wave going against the Jets this upcoming weekend. Even better news is that the Jets will be getting back Mike White, so the offense may be able to move the ball. It is also good to note that Seattle is 1-4 since their 6-3 start.
Because of the Lions loss, a win by Washington would’ve put Detroit’s playoff aspirations almost all the way down, which is why the Lions needed Brock Purdy to come through all that much more. And he did, leading his Niners team to a resounding victory over Heinicke and the Commanders. Interesting to note, but the Commanders are going to be switching quarterbacks, moving back to Carson Wentz to try and lead them to a victory over Myles Garrett and the Browns.
The Vikings also won their game, which is inconsequential to the Lions playoff push, but it keeps their momentum going for a Date with the Packers next week. If the Vikings beat Green Bay, that’ll eliminate the Packers and might give them incentive to bench their starters against the Lions in week 18. It also might set up a race for the 1 Seed in week 18, which would benefit the Lions because the Commanders would get an even more hungry Eagles squad to hurdle, making the Lions playoff chances just that much better.
Going into week 17, the Lions playoffs have essentially started. Win out and you may get in, but another loss puts everything to rest. Facing an elimination game in Chicago, the challenge starts now.