The recent events in the NFC North playoff picture ( Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers) unfolded dramatically, reshaping potential tiebreaker scenarios between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. Monday Night Football’s outcome eliminated one possible tiebreaker and clinched another, establishing a more straightforward path for one team’s postseason aspirations.
Lions Hold Edge Over Green Bay Packers in NFC North Playoff Race:
Before kickoff, speculation loomed about the Lions and Green Bay Packers potentially finishing the season with similar records, setting the stage for a playoff race. Both teams could reach 10-7 or 11-6. However, the Packers’ defeat against the Giants shifted the dynamics significantly.
The tiebreaker scenario was initially contemplated to involve comparisons of records against “common opponents.” Yet, the Packers’ loss fundamentally altered this narrative, leaving only a singular decisive factor in case of a tie between the two teams.
Key Points Unveiled:
- Elimination of Common Opponents Tiebreaker:
The possibility of a tiebreaker based on “common opponents” no longer exists between the Lions and the Packers.
- Clear Outcome If Same Overall Record:
In the event of an equal overall record, the Packers now hold the advantage over the Lions.
The ‘Common Opponents’ Tiebreaker and Its Potential:
To trigger the “common opponents” tiebreaker, both teams would have needed identical overall records and matching divisional standings.
The Lions and Green Bay Packers split their head-to-head matchups, with the divisional record as the second tiebreaker. Presently, both teams stand at 2-2 within the NFC North, with two games remaining for each—two for the Lions against the Vikings and two for the Packers against the Vikings and the Bears. To activate the “common opponents” consideration, both teams would have had to secure identical results in these upcoming games.
Why This Possibility Faded:
The Packers’ current record of 6-7 has effectively nullified the chance of both teams finishing with identical overall and divisional records.
For instance, even if both teams were to win their remaining NFC North matches, the Lions would secure at least 11 wins, while the Green Bay Packers could only mathematically achieve 10. Similarly, if both teams went 1-1, resulting in a 10-7 finish for the Lions and 9-8 for the Packers, the Lions would prevail.
Clear-Cut Tiebreaker Scenario:
While both teams could still tie in overall record, specific scenarios exist where the Packers would secure the advantage:
- Green Bay goes 4-0, while the Lions go 1-3.
- Green Bay goes 3-1, while the Lions go 0-4.
In these scenarios, the Packers would possess a superior divisional record, solidifying their position ahead of the Lions.
Deciphering’ Common Opponents’:
Had the tiebreaker come into play, eight ‘common opponents’ would have been considered between the Lions and Packers. The Lions remarkably boast a flawless 7-0 record against this group, with only the Broncos left on their schedule.
Conversely, the Green Bay Packers stand at 3-3, playing the Buccaneers and Panthers next, aiming to achieve a 5-3 finish. Even if the Lions stumble against the Broncos and the Packers triumph against their upcoming opponents, they will hold a more robust record against these ‘common opponents.’
In conclusion, the Lions’ favourable standing in the ‘common opponents’ comparison signals a shift in the playoff landscape despite the recent Packers’ loss. This outcome secures a distinct path for the Lions in the NFC North playoff scenario.