Week 15 Rooting Guide – A Wildcard Spot, a Bye or a Bust?

Week 14 Recap

Ugly win is win. The most important thing is always getting the win, but I don’t need to tell you that.

The Lions claimed the #2 seed from the Seahawks, which is pretty cool, but a lot went against Detroit this week in terms of clinching the division and securing their position as a top 3 seed.

The Packers’ win against the Seahawks is what moved the Lions into the #2 seed. Unfortunately, it means the Packers are still hanging close in the division race. More on that later.

The Vikings, too, are hanging around after a win. On the bright side, the Vikings @ Packers game in two weeks will almost certainly eliminate one of them from the playoff race. We eliminate the Vikings from the division race with one more win.

The Falcons and Bucs both won, which means they are both just a game back from the Lions in terms seeding, when the NFCS gets sorted out. We probably need to hope that we finish with a better record than whoever wins the NFCS though, as they may hold a strength of schedule tiebreaker over us, although there are a lot of variables. This could also be relevant to the wildcard.

The Giants’ win over the Cowboys probably didn’t do us any favors, unless the Cowboys collapse down the stretch here. A win against the Cowboys, and one more win than them in the other 2 games would win us the tiebreaker over them and potentially the #1 seed. Fair to hope, I suppose. The Giants did a lot to secure their wildcard position this week.

Bears over Packers

This would really be huge. It would mean the Lions only need one win in the next three weeks to secure the division. It’s unlikely to happen, but it is in Chicago and Barkley did play great against us. It might be a shootout. If the Packers win, the Lions need 2 more wins, or a Packers loss and 1 win, to guarantee the division.

Colts over Vikings

The Vikings are already in a tough spot. They would have to win out and the Lions would have to lose out for them to take the division, but they are still alive. We’ll be rooting for them against the Packers in week 16, but for the time being, it would be good to knock them out of the division race.

Rams over Seahawks

One more loss for the Seahawks would make me believe we have a shot to keep the #2 seed, but this probably won’t be that loss. Still, the Seahawks defense looked lost on Sunday and the NFCW always seems to cannibalize itself.

49ers over Falcons

Yikes, this one is unlikely to do us any favors. The Falcons losing would be awesome for us both in terms of hanging on to a higher seed in the NFC as well as giving us a leg up should we end up in the wildcard race. Still, this one is hard to see as a loss for the Falcons.

Cowboys over Bucs

This one is a bit of a toss up, much like the Seahawks @ Packers game was. If the Cowboys win, they all but secure the #1 seed. The Lions would have to win out(including week 16 against the Cowboys) and the Cowboys would have to lose their final game. If they lose? We have a slightly better shot at it, but it’s still a stretch. The Lions would have to beat the Cowboys as well as either beat the Packers or have the Cowboys lose in week 17. Right now though, the Bucs are a scary team and it would be good to see them taken out of the race for not only a wildcard spot, but potentially a seed in the top 4, should they overtake the Falcons. I know some will disagree here, but I’m personally much more concerned with making sure the Lions make the playoffs than anything else just yet. It’s okay if you feel otherwise.

Panthers over Redskins

This is strictly a wildcard race issue. The Redskins are 1.5 games behind the Lions though and if we end up seeking a wildcard spot, they could be a team that beats us out. Not likely to be an issue when all is said and done.

Other stuff

A couple of teams dropped out of the wildcard race this week. The Saints, Cardinals, and Eagles all dropped too far behind the Lions to be a threat to them.

As awesome as another win was, this week could have done us a lot more in terms of favors. Almost everyone we wanted to lose, won. That keeps the pressure on the Lions to keep winning. This week may be the toughest game of the year for the Lions, but having watched the Cowboys @ Giants game, it’s clear that they are both beatable teams. A win for the Lions and loss for the Packers this week would clinch the division and give the Lions a really great shot at a top 3 seed in the NFC.

Go get ’em!

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