On Saturday, the Detroit Lions defended their home turf by defeating the Chicago Bears 20-10 to move to 8-6 on the season. With the victory, the Lions kept their playoff hopes alive but they will still have to win their remaining two games of the season (and get help) to get into the postseason.
In Week 16, the Lions will hit the road to take on the Cincinnati Bengals with the hopes of coming away with a win and making Week 17 meaningful.
According to BetOnline, the Lions are currently a 4-point favorite over the Bengals according to top football betting sites.
The last time the Lions played the Bengals in Cincinnati was in December of 2009 when the Bengals came away with a 23-13 win.
There is still hope – Detroit Lions Playoff Chances
The Lions still have a shot at getting into the NFL Playoffs, but they are not only going to have to win their remaining two games but they are also going to need help from the NFC South.
According to the Detroit Free Press, there are four different scenarios in which the Lions can clinch a playoff berth. The final scenario even has the Lions getting in as a No. 5 seed.
1 – Lions win out and the Falcons lose out
This scenario, which we talked about yesterday, is the easiest and most logical way for the Lions to earn the No. 6 seed in the NFC. If the Lions beat both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers to finish 10-6 and the Falcons lose to the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers to finish 9-7, it’s a done deal, Detroit would be in.
2 – Lions win out and the Saints lose out (Plus help)
You may be thinking this scenario is not possible since the Lions and Saints would both finish 10-6 and New Orleans would own the head-to-head tiebreaker since they already beat Detroit, but there’s more too it.
Via Detroit Free Press:
“The Lions would get in if there’s a three-team tie with the Saints and Cowboys or Seahawks, or a four-team tie with the Saints, Falcons and Cowboys or Seahawks.”
Keep in mind that the Saints still get to play the Buccaneers, so chances are high that they finish with a minimum of 11 wins, putting them out of the Lions reach.
3 – Lions win out and the Panthers lose out (Plus help)
This is essentially identical to the previous scenario as both the Lions and Panthers would finish 10-6 with the Panthers owning the head-to-head tiebreaker. But, if the Lions win out and the Panthers lose out AND the Dallas Cowboys or Seattle Seahawks also win out, there would be a 3-way tie and the Lions would get the nod because they would have the better conference record.
4 – Lions win out and the Saints AND Panthers BOTH lose out (Plus help)
In this scenario, the Lions, Saints, and Panthers would all finish 10-6 and the Lions would be the team left out of the playoffs because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. That being said, if the above happens AND either the Cowboys or Seahawks also win out to finish 10-6, the conference record tiebreaker would come into play and the Lions would get into the playoffs as a No. 5 seed.