The Detroit Lions have slipped back pretty dramatically in the NFL standings after a rough stretch, and as a result, their playoff hopes have taken a mighty hit.
Once high after the Lions started the season undefeated at 2-0-1 and respectable even in spite of a few losses, a recent lack of winning has left them in a precarious position. Now, the Lions have just a 3% chance at the postseason at the halfway mark of the year.
As was once said in the hit movie Dumb and Dumber, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
In Detroit, it sure seems as if the Lions will be trending in the wrong direction come January. It would be the third straight year the team has missed the playoffs since they last made at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
Only bucking the slimmest of odds will help pull them out of their current low odds situation.
Will Lions be in Playoff Contention?
While it looks as if the answer is trending toward no on the playoffs for Detroit, there’s a long way to go in another month and the team could always catch fire to get back in the race.
The Lions, in order to put their best foot forward for a playoff run, have to do a couple of things according to Fox analyst Charles Davis. First, they have to continue to get good play from the quarterback spot and the offense as well as see a defense which has been beat up in the trenches start to come around.
“Matthew Stafford’s in a heck of a groove right now throwing the football. He’s never had a big running game, what he calls the today’s offense status quo, ‘I’m going to throw the football.’ He’s had some nice help, Kenny Golladay really jumped up,” he said. “But overall, this Lions defense, they need Damon Harrison to play full out inside and discourage some teams from running the football, because that’s been part of their Achilles heel.”
The trouble? Stafford is now hurt, so the Lions will have to find a way to survive without him and that probably will be tough duty. If they can and Stafford can rebound down the stretch, anything is possible.
If those two elements offensively and defensively stay in form, the Lions will be a tough team to deal with. At this point, their offense looks in solid form even with the potential for Jeff Driskel to play major snaps, but the defense has left some major things to be desired, even in spite of a big win against New York weeks ago.
Lions Playoff Path
Detroit can likely forget about the postseason if they continue to drop games, so the biggest path is to keep winning, then have some things benefit them in the standings. After that, they will likely need to win against the Washington Redskins on the road. After that, another can’t lose game against the Bears at home on Thanksgiving. Three straight wins would likely keep the Lions in the conversation into November, which could set Detroit up to make a run late in the season.
In other words, the best path is to keep winning consecutively to erase some of the recent losses. It’s a tall order, but looking at the relative record of the teams that play, it’s not impossible whatsoever.
READ NEXT: Darius Slay Wants Lions to Keep Pushing