Ask The Intern: Playoff Appearance a Possibility With Division Lead

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Week 12 Is Over And Detroit Still Has Control Of Their Playoff Hopes!


We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with friends and family and were able to watch as the Lions had another comeback win, this time to take down Minnesota again, helping pad their lead in the division. Now there are five more games left to be played and fans are starting to drink heavily in the kool-aid for this team and their post-season hopes.

If you would like to see your questions appear here next week, comment on our Facebook post, tweet me @BKnappBlogs, email me at [email protected], or call in to the podcast. Here are this week’s questions.

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Question 1: When Could Brandon Pettigrew Return?

Brandon Pettigrew came off the PUP last week and that means his chances to return are high. Pettigrew said that he wants to play this Sunday, but he isn’t sure that he will. He missed the Vikings game which is no surprise, and having him return against New Orleans right now is even a stretch.

Pettigrew also said “We’ll see where it goes, I’m not going to say for certain I’m going to play Sunday we’ll see where I’m at at the end of the week.’’

Pettigrew will return this season, but I would rule him out for this Sunday against the Saints. While it could be possible for him to play against the Bears in two weeks, I will lean towards him returning against the Giants.

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Question 2: What Playoff Seed Do You Think Detroit Ends Up With?

The one seed is out of the question. Detroit would need to win three of the next five games, one of them being against Dallas and they would need Dallas to lose out, which is highly unlikely. So the best bet for Detroit is to end up being the number two seed. If Detroit wins the division, they will be between the two and four seed. If they lose the division lead, then they would have to settle for the five or six seed.

Here are the current standings inside the NFC:

  1. Dallas 10-1
  2. Seattle 7-3-1
  3. Detroit 7-4
  4. Atlanta 7-4
  5. New York 8-3
  6. Washington 6-4-1
  7. Tampa Bay 6-5
  8. Minnesota 6-5
  9. New Orleans 5-6
  10. Green Bay 5-6

So Detroit still has to worry about the teams that are 4-10 and even some of the teams below that. Looking at the schedule ahead for the Lions, Seahawks, Falcons, Giants and Redskins for example, I believe Detroit will win the division, but fall to the number four seed. Either way they will have home field advantage in the first playoff game, which is huge for the team and the city. If Detroit somehow loses the division, expect them to be the six seed as the Giants will most likely be the five seed.

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Question 3: After Winning On Thursday, Do You Think The Lions Could Win the NFC North?

The possibility just got greater. Being a Lions fan I just can’t jump on the train of believing that the division is ours 100 percent. This team has lost games in the craziest ways and they have snatched defeated from the jaws of victory. With that said, I do think the team can win the NFC North, but I am not sold on it being a lock just yet.

Sweeping Minnesota was huge, but Detroit needs to beat Green Bay and Chicago later in the season. While Chicago will most likely be outside of the playoff and division race very soon, beating them will still help Detroit and the division record when comparing it to the others.

Minnesota has the easiest schedule for the rest of the season, having four opponents with less than a .500 record and Dallas gives them a chance to still be alive in the division.

Green Bay has the hardest schedule with only one game against a team with a record less than a .500, so their chances are tougher, but Green Bay is known for late season turnarounds.

Detroit has to play three opponents with less than a .500 record, as well as Dallas and New York. While things look good for Detroit, you can’t get excited until it is mathematically impossible for them to lose it.

Thanks for reading! We will be taking and answering your questions via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and even the Podcast! Don’t forget to follow me and ask questions on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find and send me questions on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life. I also have an email you can send questions to at [email protected]. Call in to the live post-game show and ask me questions and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.