The Detroit Lions dropped a game in Week 15 to the New York Giants. With the result, Detroit fell down to 9-5 on the season, but they still remain in first place in the NFC North. However, that could change over the next two weeks and if it does then Detroit might not even win a Wild-Card position.

Detroit Lions aren't a lock for the playoffs

The Lions have a dangerously difficult schedule remaining. In Week 16 they face the Dallas Cowboys, the best team in the NFC this season. Furthermore, the Lions will play that game in Dallas, a place where the Cowboys have not lost a game since way back in Week 1.

If Detroit fall to 9-6 then that will open the door for the Green Bay Packers to claim the NFC North division title, regardless of how GB do in Week 16. If Detroit lose to Dallas and GB then the Packers will be divisional champs.

How would a 9-7 Detroit Lions' team do in the Wild Card race? Obviously it wouldn't be good enough for the first Wild Card position. However, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that Detroit would miss the 2nd Wild Card spot too.

On the positive side, if Minnesota ended up 9-7 then Detroit beat them on tiebreakers. Additionally, Detroit would also beat the Washington Redskins on tiebreakers, but here's the thing: if Washington win their remaining games they would be 9-6-1 and tiebreakers wouldn't matter.

The tie in Washington's record would push them ahead of Detroit. Furthermore the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 8-6 heading into Week 16. They have just New Orleans and Carolina remaining, a friendly schedule that projects to two wins in my view. If Detroit end up 9-7 then they could be looking up at both 9-6-1 Washington and 10-6 Tampa Bay.

Detroit need a big win

Both games remaining in Detroit's schedule are critical but at least Detroit are in firm control of their own destiny. If they beat GB from Ford Field then the Lions will enter the post-season regardless of how any other game goes. That event alone would make the Lions uncatchable in their division.

However, if Detroit beat the Cowboys it would still be huge as it would guarantee at least a 10-6 record. They would still lose on tiebreakers to GB in the NFC North if the Packers ended up 10-6 (head to heads GB would be 2-0), but a 10-6 Detroit team would be powerful in the Wild-Card standings.

If Detroit was 10-6 and in 2nd place in the NFC North then they might end up the 2nd place team in the Wild Card standings. They may end up tied with a potential 10-6 Tampa Bay and that would lead to tiebreaking procedures. At this point, Detroit fans are hoping for Green Bay losses and Tampa Bay losses. Washington losses certainly don't hurt either. Furthermore, Atlanta and Seattle losses may help get Detroit to the 2nd overall seed and avoid Wild Card weekend entirely.

The potential events are numerous for this team. There are scenarios where they actually host the conference championship game still. Yet, there are also scenarios where they don't make the NFL post-season at all.

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