NFC Playoff Picture update: Lions extend their division lead

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

An updated look at the NFC playoff picture through Week 11, and where the Detroit Lions stand.

The Detroit Lions squeaked by the Chicago Bears in a thrilling game on Sunday afternoon. By the time Sunday night’s game came to an end, it became apparent just how important that win for the Lions was.

Most of the top teams in the NFC walked away from Week 11 with a win (if they played). That means the Lions were able to keep pace with all of those teams, and they continue to hold their place as the conference’s No. 2 overall seed. But Detroit got some BIG help from the Denver Broncos late, as they took down the Minnesota Vikings on “Sunday Night Football.”

Let’s take a closer look at the NFC playoff picture with only the Monday night game between the Chiefs and Eagles to be played in Week 11.

NFC North

  1. Lions: 8-2
  2. Vikings: 6-5
  3. Packers: 4-6
  4. Bears: 3-8

The Vikings remain the only true competition for Detroit, but with their loss to the Broncos, the Lions now have a commanding 2.5-game lead on the Vikings. Detroit and Minnesota still have both head-to-head games remaining, so the top spot is still up for grabs with seven weeks remaining. But the Lions are in a really comfortable spot right now.

NFC Playoff Picture

Division leaders:

  1. Eagles: 8-1 (Play on “Monday Night Football”)
  2. Lions: 8-2
  3. 49ers: 7-3
  4. Saints: 5-5

Wild Card race (top three advance)

  1. Cowboys: 7-3
  2. Seahawks: 6-4
  3. Vikings: 6-5
  4. Packers: 4-6
  5. Rams: 4-6
  6. Falcons: 4-6
  7. Buccaneers: 4-6
  8. Commanders: 4-7
  9. Giants; 3-8
  10. Bears 3-7
  11. Cardinals: 2-9
  12. Panthers: 1-9

The Lions didn’t get much help here. Though the Seahawks lost, the Cowboys and 49ers won. That keeps the 49ers nipping at Detroit’s heels for the No. 2 seed, while Dallas will continue to be a force to be reckoned with at the top of the Wild Card standings if they don’t end up catching the Eagles for the NFC East lead.

That said, not much has changed overall. The Lions still hold their own destiny in the division. They hold their own destiny with the No. 2 overall seed in the NFC. And now that they have a four-game lead over the teams on the outside looking in, playoffs are simply a formality at this point.

Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Chiefs will not change the NFC standings at all. Even if the Eagles lose and drop to 8-2, they will maintain the No. 1 seed in the division, because they have a better record in conference games (6-0) than the Lions do (5-1).

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Title: NFC Playoff Picture update: Lions extend their division lead
Author: Jeremy Reisman

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