After a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving, the Lions have their sights set on a wildcard playoff spot. Though they are still not mathematically out of the division race — the chances of the Vikings completely falling apart in their last five games are slim-to-none.
Detroit will need to win at least four of their last five to have any hopes of snagging a wildcard spot in the NFC. The Lions start the first two games of the seasons final stretch on the road as they travel to Baltimore Sunday to take on the Ravens (5-5) and then head to Tampa Bay the following week to take on the Buccaneers (4-7). Three out of Detroit’s final five games are on the road — which is surprisingly good news for Lions fans as the team has gone 4-1 playing outside of Ford Field this year.
The Lions final two home games of the season come in Week 15 when the Chicago Bears (3-8) come to town, and Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers (5-6) who could possibly have Aaron Rodgers back under center. The Lions are 2-4 this season at home which is something they will have to quickly improve on if they want any chance of playing in January.
Detroit is in a similar position that the Green Bay Packers were in around this time last season. Though Stafford is much less of a talker than Aaron Rodgers when it comes to the media, and you won’t get much from him other than “We just gotta take it one game at a time,” even he knows the Lions winning out is what has to happen. It’s pretty simple, get to 11 wins and you’re pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot. Win 10 and you’ll have a chance at a playoff spot, with some help of course. And then theirs the third scenario which is win 9 or less and you’ll be watching the playoffs from your couch like the rest of us.
With the remainder of the Lions schedule all being against teams without a winning record, their is no reason they can’t run the table. But then again — it’s the Lions and anything can happen with them, good or bad. All fans can hope for at this point is that the coaching staff has the team fully prepared to play each week from start to finish, and that Stafford can get hot and turn the 4th quarter of the season into another heroic comeback.