Examining The NFC North Playoff Race

By jonathonsvec
Reggie Bush
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the Monday Night game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Detroit Lions held their playoff destiny in their own hands. After the loss, they will now need some help if they want to make the postseason.

The Lions are the only NFC North team to play at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday; they will be squaring off against the 5-9 New York Giants at Ford Field in a very winnable football game. The Giants’ offense currently ranks 30th in scoring and 28th in yardage gained. If the Lions let this one slip, not only with their playoff hopes be dashed, but they will also prove that they don’t belong to be there.

The Green Bay Packers have a home tilt scheduled against the 6-8 Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday. At the time of this posting, it had not yet been decided as to whether or not quarterback Aaron Rogers would suit up for the Packers, a factor that will likely sway the outcome of this one.

The Chicago Bears have a tough one on Sunday night when they hit the road to play the talented Philadelphia Eagles, who are currently at 8-6. It should be a good prime-time matchup that a lot of other teams will be watching.

A Lions win and losses by the Packers and Bears will put Detroit back atop the NFC North. The Packers play the Bears in Week 17, so one of those teams will most likely pick up another win and the other will add a loss.  The Lions hold the tiebreaker over the Bears, while the Packers’ tie from earlier in the year may end up being a factor.

The Lions’ best bet is to win out against the Giants and the Minnesota Vikings. Depending what happens with the Packers and Bears in Week 16, the Lions could either be rooting for the home team or the away squad at Soldier Field in the last week of the regular season.

Jonathon Svec is a Detroit Lions writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @jonathonsvec.

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