Three wins in-a-row for the Detroit Lions means playoff hope is still alive in the “Motor City.”
In a crazy and eventful week 15 in the NFL, the Lions came out on top of the New York Jets, 20-17.
It wasn’t the prettiest game they’ve played, but they were able to beat a top five NFL defense, on the road and in a hostile atmosphere. Confidence is sky high for the team and the fan base.
Last week’s article (Detroit Lions: Roadmap to the Playoffs) laid out every scenario for the Lions to make it into the postseason. Now that a week has gone by, there’s been some changes to their path to the promise land.
The biggest change was the Minnesota Vikings historic comeback win against the Indianapolis Colts in overtime. The Vikings win cemented their spot as kings of the NFC North and clinched the division.
Even though Detroit can no longer win their division, it helped its case battling for a wildcard spot.
Before the black hole of possibilities open up, here’s a look at the current standings (after week 15) for the wildcard race.
- First team in: Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
- Second team in: New York Giants (8-5-1)
- Third team in: Washington Commanders (7-6-1)
- First team out: Seattle Seahawks (7-7)
- Second team out: Detroit Lions (7-7)
Detroit Lions Get in the Wild Card
Similar to last week, what are the teams in the hunt remaining schedule, and what was the result of their week 15 matchup?
Betting odds according to FanDuel Sportsbook and win percentage according to ESPN’s matchup predictor.
- Week 15 – Away vs. New York (J) (WIN)
- Week 16 – Away vs. Carolina Panthers (-2.5)
- Week 17 – Home vs. Chicago Bears (-6.5)
- Week 18 – Away vs. Green Bay Packers (36.2% chance to win)
- Week 15 – Home vs. San Francisco 49ers (LOSS)
- Week 16 – Away vs. Kansas City Chiefs (+9.5)
- Week 17 – Home vs. New York (J) (-1.5)
- Week 18 – Home vs. Los Angeles Rams (64.6% chance to win)
- Week 15 – Home vs. New York (G) (LOSS)
- Week 16 – Away vs. San Francisco (+7.5)
- Week 17 – Home vs. Cleveland Browns (-1.5)
- Week 18 – Home vs. Dallas (20.1% chance to win)
New York (G)
- Week 15 – Away vs. Washington (WIN)
- Week 16 – Away vs. Minnesota (+3.5)
- Week 17 – Home vs. Indianapolis (-3)
- Week 18 – Away vs. Philadelphia Eagles (16.5% chance to win)
- Week 15 – Away vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (LOSS)
- Week 16 – Home vs. Philadelphia (-5.5)
- Week 17 – Away vs. Tennessee Titans (-3)
- Week 18 – Away vs. Washington (79.7% chance to win)
If these predictions remain true, this is what the the wildcard picture would look like:
- First team in: Dallas Cowboys (13-4)
- Second team in: New York Giants (9-7-1)
- Third team in: Seattle Seahawks (9-8)
- First team out: Detroit Lions (9-8)
- Second team out: Washington Commanders (8-8-1)
Compared to what these predictions looked like last week, the Detroit Lions moved up one spot. They still are out of the playoffs in this scenario, but how else can they make the wildcard?
One More Detroit Lions Win
It’s very unlikely but the Lions could make the wild card with one more win. The only problem is that the Commanders and Seahawks would have to lose their final three games. Another concern is if the Packers continue to win.
If Detroit met Green Bay in week 18, with matching 7–9 records, the Packers would knock the Lions out of the playoff race with a win. It’s unlikely, but worth mentioning.
Two More Detroit Lions Wins
Two more wins is what the Lions are predicted to do. Washington is already predicted to lose two games, which would put them behind the Lions. Seattle is predicted to lose to Kansas City, but they’re favored in their last two. The Seahawks toughest opponent is the Jets, so that’d be the best opportunity for Seattle to knock itself out of contention.
When it comes to the Giants, they’d have to lose out for the Lions to become the first team in the wildcard.
Detroit Lions Win Out
This scenario pretty much guarantees the Lions a playoff spot. It’s the best case scenario to get in and not have to worry about other teams’ schedules and matchups.
It can be accomplished because Detroit is on a roll. But can the Lions get it done? Only time will tell.
Photo Credit: Seth Wenig—Associated Press
Photo Edit: Noah Wulbrecht – Woodward Sports