The 4-7 Detroit Lions are still in the NFC playoff picture, even after a heartbreaking loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving.
Are the Lions going to make some incredible playoff push? Probably not. They’d need a lot of help and a lot of luck to stumble into a wild card spot.
But looking ahead to their final six games, they could win most of them. A winning record is entirely possible, based on how the Lions have been playing. Tankathon ranks the Lions remaining schedule as the 23rd hardest in the NFL.
Could they do it? Let’s break it down.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
The Jaguars arrive in Detroit this weekend coming off a last-minute win vs. Baltimore. The Jaguars are playing well, for the most part, but their defense will likely struggle to contain a Lions offense that is suddenly healthy again and moving the ball.
The Lions are slightly favored in this matchup, with a few extra days rest. It’s a winnable game for Detroit.
Minnesota Vikings (9-2)
Revenge. The Lions should have beaten the Vikings in Minnesota earlier this year, and they’ll be looking for some revenge when the Vikings come to Detroit next weekend.
The Vikings are 9-2, but they haven’t dominated teams, and all bets are off for division games. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Lions get one here at home.
@ New York Jets (7-4)
This is probably the toughest game left on the schedule. A road game vs. the Jets, who are playing quite well, even with a new quarterback, Mike White.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh, a Dearborn native, facing his childhood team for the first time. The Jets top-5 defense is for real. This will be a quality win if the Lions can pull it off.
@ Carolina Panthers (4-8)
The Panthers are a mess, but they aren’t your typical tanking team. Their defense ranks in the middle of the league in all categories and they’re still playing with effort. They’ve got nothing to lose but draft position.
But this is definitely another winnable game for Detroit. They should go to Carolina and take care of business.
Chicago Bears (3-9)
The Lions have already beaten the Bears in Chicago this year, and depending on the health of quarterback Justin Fields, this one could be a little easier, at home. Either way, I like the Lions to sweep Chicago.
@ Green Bay Packers (4-8)
If Aaron Rodgers is still playing quarterback for the Packers, the Lions will probably have some trouble at Lambeau. But if he’s not, the Lions will have a legit chance to sweep Green Bay with a final game win.
Are the Lions going to win all of these games? Probably not. Could they win most of them? It appears possible.
From a 1-6 start, the Lions have put themselves in a position to finish the season strong, and with the Rams packing it in for the season, that first round pick is looking better and better.