Prior to the start of the 2022 season, many believed the Lions would take a huge jump and at least double, and possibly triple, their win total from 2021 when they finished with a 3-13-1 record. Following their Week 15 win over the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions are now 7-7, and their playoff chances have suddenly increased to 40%. There has been plenty of talk for a while now about the Lions needing to win out to get into the playoffs, but it is very possible that they could clinch a spot before the final week of the season.
How can the Detroit Lions clinch a playoff spot before Week 18?
Here is the scenario that has to play out for the Detroit Lions to clinch a playoff spot prior to their road matchup against the Green Bay Packers in Week 18.
Lions win at Panthers (Lions favored by 2.5)
Seahawks lose at Chiefs (Chiefs favored by 9.5)
Commanders lose at 49ers (49ers favored by 7)
Lions win vs. Bears (Lions favored by 6.5)
Seahawks lose vs. Jets (Seahawks favored by 1.5)
Commanders lose vs. Browns (Commanders favored by 1.5)
If this scenario works out perfectly, the Lions would not only hold the No. 7 overall seed, but they would have a 1.5 game or more lead over the Commanders, Seahawks, Packers, and any other potential challenger with just one game remaining!
Here is what the scenario would look like according to the ESPN Playoff Machine: