9 Things that MUST Happen for the Detroit Lions to MISS the NFL Playoffs
Despite having a greater than 99% chance of making the 2023 NFL Playoffs, the Detroit Lions could still miss out on postseason action if a highly improbable series of events were to occur over the final weeks of the season. Here’s a chronological breakdown of what would need to happen, week by week: (Note: I believe the Lions will beat the Vikings this coming Sunday, so we don’t have to worry about any of this!)
- Detroit Lions Lose at Minnesota Vikings: The Lions must start their potential downfall with a loss in their critical Week 16 matchup against the Vikings.
- Seattle Seahawks Win at Tennessee Titans: Simultaneously, the Seahawks need to secure a victory against the Titans to keep their own playoff hopes alive and add pressure in the NFC race.
- Detroit Lions Lose at Dallas Cowboys: The Lions’ journey to the playoffs faces another hurdle as they must lose to the Cowboys in Week 17.
- Los Angeles Rams Win at New York Giants: The Rams have to claim a victory against the Giants, shaking up the NFC standings.
- Minnesota Vikings Win vs. Green Bay Packers: The Vikings need to defeat the Packers, bolstering their playoff position and affecting the Lions’ chances.
- Seattle Seahawks Win vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Seahawks must continue their winning streak by beating the Steelers, further complicating the playoff scenario.
- Detroit Lions Lose vs. Minnesota Vikings: In the final week, the Lions must suffer a second defeat at the hands of the Vikings, potentially sealing their fate outside the playoff picture.
- Los Angeles Rams Win at San Francisco 49ers: The Rams need to maintain their momentum with a win against the 49ers.
- Seattle Seahawks Win at Arizona Cardinals: Finally, the Seahawks must clinch their last game against the Cardinals to complete this complex puzzle.
TL;DR (too long didn’t read)
- Critical Losses for the Lions: The Detroit Lions must lose all three of their remaining games – two against the Minnesota Vikings and one against the Dallas Cowboys. These losses are crucial, as each defeat significantly diminishes the Lions’ chances of securing a playoff berth.
- Rivals’ Winning Streaks: Concurrently, specific rivals must go on winning streaks. The Los Angeles Rams need victories against both the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. Similarly, the Seattle Seahawks must secure wins in all their remaining games against the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals. These streaks are essential to reshuffle the NFC standings and impact the Lions’ playoff positioning.
- Vikings’ Key Role in the Scenario: The Minnesota Vikings play a pivotal role in this scenario, not only by needing to defeat the Lions twice but also by requiring a win over the Green Bay Packers. These outcomes would elevate the Vikings’ standing while simultaneously pushing the Lions further from playoff contention.
Bottom Line: Just Win
Each of these outcomes is a piece in a highly unlikely chain of events that would need to occur in perfect synchrony for the Detroit Lions to miss out on the 2023 NFL Playoffs. While the probability of this happening is extremely low, the unpredictable nature of the NFL means that nothing is ever certain until the final whistle of the season blows. With that being said, the Lions control their own destiny as they will clinch the NFC North by winning one of their final three games.