Most years, to make the NFL playoffs, teams need to win a minimum of nine games, with 10 likely getting you in. This year, things look at bit different as the teams in the NFC have dominated the early part of the season and 10 wins may be the new minimum.
The New England Patriots sit at the top of the league at 7-0, while the NFC already has four teams with six wins: the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints, the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings, who won their Week 8 game this past Thursday.
That means with the Lions sitting at 2-3-1, they’ll need to win at least seven of their remaining 10 games, and will realistically, probably need eight to get into the playoffs.
The good news is, the toughest part of their schedule is over.
The combined record of their first six opponents was 25-17-1, including two of the six-win NFC team in the Packers and Vikings. Of the remaining 10 opponents, only three of their matchups are against winning teams and the collective group has a win-loss record of 32-36.
Week 8 vs. Giants (2-5)
Week 9 at Raiders (3-3)
Week 10 at Bears (3-3)
Week 11 vs. Cowboys (4-3)
Week 12 at Redskins (1-7)
Week 13 vs Bears (3-3)
Week 14 at Vikings (6-2)
Week 15 vs Buccaneers (2-4)
Week 16 at Broncos (2-5)
Week 17 vs Packers (6-1)
If the Lions want a shot at the postseason, they need to get back to their winning ways immediately and how they perform in the next three games will determine their chances.
Theymustbeat the Giants on Sunday. Have to. If they lose, chances are they start selling off pieces of the roster and trying to reset the pieces for next season.
Then, they’ll be on the road the next two games for matchups against the Raiders and the Bears. The Raiders are a bit of an underrated team but it’s a winnable game for the Lions and one they will have to have to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Playing the Bears at Soldier Field is never pleasant and the Lions lost in their most recent trip there, but prior to that, they won four of the previous five games. This will be the most difficult of the upcoming three games, but again, it’s a winnable game the Lions must have.
If they can win their next three games and push their record up to 5-3-1, then they open up a world of opportunity. Getting these wins still won’t mean they’re playoff-bound, but if they don’t get them, it would mean their 2019 path to the postseason is all but over.
Time to see if the Lions can live up to the potential we have seen flashes over the last six months.
2019 Regular Season, detroit lions, NFL playoffs, playoff odds, playoff picture, playoffs, stn, Editorial, Playoffs, Regular Season