Looking at the Detroit Lions’ playoff positions, their road to the playoffs looks pretty simple. With the Lions, Seahawks, and Packers now clinching the final standings with him 8-8, the Lions simply need to beat the Packers and the Seahawks lose or tie to the Rams. Record more than the other two teams.
If you’re smart, you can think of a second scenario where the Lions and Packers tie and the Seahawks lose. That way, Detroit would finish ahead of Seattle and retain the tiebreaker due to their previous win over the Packers.
But if you want to use all the galactic brains in the Lions’ playoff scenario, there’s another crazy route to Detroit’s postseason. It’s insane, almost zero chance of actually happening, and involves a team already eliminated from playoff contention (Washington Commanders).
Here’s what needs to happen:
- Lions tie with Packers
- Seahawks tied Rams
- commander beats cowboys
Then the wildcard ranking would be:
- Lions: 8-8-1
- Packer: 8-8-1
- Seahawks: 8-8-1
- Commander: 8-8-1
Yes, a 4-way tie for the final playoff spot. Then who will enter? Let’s take a closer look at the NFL playoff tiebreaker rules.
In the event that two or more teams are tied for wild card quota, a tiebreaker must be conducted to ensure that only one team is represented in each division. The Lions and Packers are the only two teams from the same division, with the Lions having a head-to-head tiebreaker from previous victories. Packers: Out.
And then there were the Lions, the Seahawks, and the Commander.
Let’s use the exact tie-breaking instructions on the NFL’s website.
- Head-to-head sweep. (Applies only if one club beats all other clubs or one club loses all other clubs.)
- The Seahawks beat the Lions, but they didn’t play Commanders, so that’s not the case.
- The Lions played both the Commanders and the Seahawks, but split that series, so not applicable.
- The Commanders lost to the Lions, but they didn’t play the Seahawks, so that doesn’t apply.
To the second tiebreaker:
2. Highest win-loss tie percentage for a game played within the conference.
- With the Lions tied, their winning percentage in the conference is 6-5-1.
- A Seahawks tie would be 5-6-1 in the conference.
- If the commander wins, it will be 5-6-1 in the conference.
Boom, the Lions are in the playoffs.
Of course, this would require two improbable draws, and the Commanders, who are currently 5.5 points underdog and have nothing to play with, win the Cowboys. Is it bad?
hat tips to Twitter User Ben Ingersoll Thanks for pointing out this scenario.