Detroit Lions Rooting Guide: Week 17 Edition
The Detroit Lions may have clinched the NFC North by defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17, but their work is far from over when it comes to the NFC Playoff picture. The Lions currently control their destiny in terms of earning the No. 2 seed, and the door is still open for the No. 1 seed if they can get some help from the San Francisco 49ers. It all begins on Saturday night when the Lions take on a Dallas Cowboys team that has won a whopping 15 games in a row on their home field.
Which Teams Lions Fans Should Root for in Week 17
Let's look at the Detroit Lions Rooting Guide from Week 17.
Detroit Lions over Dallas Cowboys (Saturday – 8:15 p.m. ET)
With a win, the Lions would be just one step away from securing the No. 2 seed in the NFC, AND they would still be alive for the No. 1 seed if they win out and the 49ers lose to either the Washington Commanders in Week 17 or the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18.
Atlanta Falcons over Chicago Bears (Sunday – 1:00 p.m. ET)
This can be looked at in two ways. 1) In my opinion, the Lions' dream scenario (if they don't get the No. 1 seed) would be a Wild Card matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. For that to happen, the Falcons MUST beat the Chicago Bears, and get some help. 2) If you have given up on the Falcons' chances of making the playoffs, then you could root for the Bears to win so that they get a lower draft pick. I will be rooting for the Falcons.
New York Giants over Los Angeles Rams (Sunday – 1:00 p.m ET)
Yes, I am still a big Matthew Stafford supporter, and yes, there would be a plethora of articles to write if he somehow returned to Ford Field to face the Lions in a playoff game. But to be 100% honest… I want NOTHING to do with Stafford, who has been ON FIRE as of late, coming into Ford Field against a Lions defense that just surrendered over 400 yards to a quarterback who has since been benched.
Arizona Cardinals over Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday – 1:00 p.m ET)
The Philadelphia Eagles are currently tied with the Lions in the NFC Playoff picture. This one is easy, root for the Cardinals.
New Orleans Saints over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday – 1:00 p.m. ET)
This one likely won't matter much in the big scheme of things except for one thing. If the Saints win, it would help the Lions in terms of their strength of victory ranking, which could come into play if they end up with the same record as the Eagles. Root for the Saints.
Washington Commanders over San Francisco 49ers (Sunday – 1:00 p.m. ET)
At this point, you probably know that for the Detroit Lions to have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC, they need the 49ers to lose at least one of their final two games. I highly doubt the 49ers lose to the Commanders as a 13.5-point favorite, but… Do you believe in miracles?!?!
Pittsburgh Steelers over Seattle Seahawks (Sunday – 4:05 p.m. ET)
Personally, I am not as afraid of the Seahawks as many people seem to be. Yes, they have owned the Lions during the Dan Campbell era, but I still believe Detroit would take care of business if they met in the playoffs. But, as I wrote above, I am rooting for the Falcons to get into the playoffs and face the Lions, and the Seahawks losing would help that cause.
Minnesota Vikings over Green Bay Packers (Sunday – 8:20 p.m. ET)
To be honest, there is a lot that goes into this game in terms of the Vikings already being eliminated from the playoffs when they play the Lions in Week 18, which outcome would help the Lions more in terms of strength of victory, and which team the Detroit Lions would rather see make the playoffs. For me, I really would rather the Packers be left out of the playoffs because they have a much better QB situation than the Vikings do. Root for the Vikings!
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Detroit Lions' Playoff Positioning: The Detroit Lions have clinched the NFC North and are aiming for a higher seed in the playoffs. They control their destiny for the No. 2 seed and could still achieve the No. 1 seed with wins and a 49ers loss. Their next challenge is against the Dallas Cowboys, who have a strong home-field winning streak.
- Week 17 Rooting Guide for Lions Fans: Fans are encouraged to root for specific outcomes in Week 17 games that could benefit the Detroit Lions' playoff positioning. These include the Lions defeating the Cowboys, the Falcons beating the Bears, the Giants winning over the Rams, the Cardinals triumphing over the Eagles, the Saints over the Buccaneers, the Commanders over the 49ers, and the Steelers over the Seahawks. Additionally, a preference for the Vikings to beat the Packers is noted.
- Playoff Scenarios and Preferences: The guide outlines various scenarios that could unfold based on Week 17 results. This includes potential matchups, implications for playoff seeding, and strength of victory considerations. Personal preferences, like facing the Falcons in the playoffs and avoiding teams like the Seahawks and Packers, are also expressed.
Bottom Line: Take Care of your own business
The Detroit Lions are in a strong position to secure a high playoff seed, with their fate largely in their own hands. Week 17 is crucial, and Lions fans are guided on which teams to support for the best playoff scenarios. Personal preferences and strategic considerations shape these rooting choices, highlighting the complexity of playoff positioning in the NFL.