It might be panic time in the motor city. After Monday night’s embarrassing loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions find themselves in a much more difficult position than they were in just three or four weeks ago. They might actually miss the playoffs. Monday night’s game wasn’t a must-win for Detroit, but it sure as hell was a “please-win” for all of their fans. As down as Lions fans may feel, there are still two ways Detroit can make the playoffs.
The first scenario is the simplest and would offer the city the quickest remedy of what has been a disappointing last couple of weeks. Beat the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 and the Lions clinch the NFC North Title and a top-four playoff spot. Lose to the Pack, and they need some help.
In order for Detroit to lose to the Packers and still make the playoffs, they would need the New York Giants to beat a Washington Redskins team that is also fighting for their playoff lives. That scenario would land the Lions the sixth seed in the playoffs.
However, if the Lions lose next week, and Washington wins, the Lions will be left out of the playoffs completely.
Since we will know the outcome of the Redskins/Giants game before Detroit kicks off against Green Bay Sunday night, the Lions will know if Week 17 is a must-win to extend their season or not. Of course, the dream scenario is to beat the Packers in Week 17, win the North and send the team into playoffs on a very positive note. But again, “dream scenario” and “Detroit Lions” have never ever mixed.
My suggestion: Root for the Giants just as hard as you will be rooting for the Lions Sunday night.