If you don’t know each other yet, please allow me to introduce you to the playoff machine. It’s the tool to use this time of year to figure out all of those pesky playoff scenarios. Fortunately for Lions fans, the path became clearer on Sunday.
Here it is in black and white. The Lions make the playoffs IF:
- They finish 2-0. (@Bengals, v. Packers)
- The Falcons finish 1-2. (v. Buccaneers, (MNF) @Saints, v. Panthers
Yes, it makes me queasy too knowing that the Lions were one inch and a few seconds from owning this tie-break over the Falcons. Thus is life as Kool-Aid consumers. In order to make the playoffs, the Lions must finish 10-6, and the Falcons 9-7. This may be more likely than you think.
Fortunately, the Panthers squashed the Packers playoff hopes real quick even though He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named returned from injury today. I think it’s likely given their playoff situation now that they shut him down for the remainder of the season. If the Falcons win tomorrow night, they are mathematically eliminated, but even if Atlanta loses they still need major help. This would be huge for the Lions, because if they find themselves in week 17 with a chance to make the playoffs Green Bay will likely be playing Brett Hundley.
I like the Lions chances to make it to week 17 with a scenario to make the playoffs. Cincinati has been smacked by 2 NFC North opponents the last two weeks, and Marvin Lewis is expected to resign following this season. The Falcons likely will win on Monday night against the Buccaneers, but a game at New Orleans will be tough for them. I don’t think the Falcons will go 2-0 these next 2 weeks.
This leaves week 17 with the Lions hosting a likely Rodger-less Packers who they handled in Lambeau, and the Falcons hosting the Panthers in week 17. Carolina will have likely have plenty to play for in that game with a home playoff game in reach, so there’s not a chance we see Derek Anderson fighting for the Lions’ playoff lives.
So pour some Kool-Aid, sit back, and watch Jameis eat a W on Monday Night.