One of the stranger items of the 2016 NFL season has been the play of the Detroit Lions. Specifically, the weird part has been that Detroit has trailed in every one of the team’s ten games this season, yet they are 6-4. The Lions are 5-1 in their last six games now, with wins over Minnesota, Washington, and Philadelphia in that span.
By virtue of that head-to-head win against the Vikings, Detroit owns the tiebreaker and the NFC North lead. The 6-4 record now puts them two games up on the Green Bay Packers, who lost in Washington last night and are well back of the Wild Card. At this point, Green Bay has no other option but to run the table - especially with the three divisional games at the end of the season - if they hope to find a way into the postseason.
To make matters worse, the Packers have three straight games against teams at or above .500 before closing with that divisional stretch. They play at Philadelphia (5-5) next Monday night before returning home for dates against Houston (6-3) and Seattle (7-2-1).
Here’s how the NFC Playoff Picture looks after all of week 11’s results are in. (Monday Night’s game pits Houston against Oakland in an AFC battle.)
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys (9-1)
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1)
NFC North: Detroit Lions (6-4)
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons (6-4)
New York Giants (7-3)
Washington Football Team (6-3-1)
Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)
Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1)
Green Bay Packers (4-6)
Carolina Panthers (4-6)
New Orleans Saints (4-6)
Los Angeles Rams (4-6)
Bottom of the Barrel
Chicago Bears (2-8)
San Francisco 49ers (1-9)