Most folks have considered the Detroit Lions season all but over most of 2021, but interestingly enough, the team has not been officially eliminated from playoff contention as of yet.
Believe it or not, the 0-10-1 Lions still have a shot at the playoffs if plenty of things break their way, and that farfetched scenario was outlined by CBS Sports in a recent tweet.
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The Lions would have to win out, while having things break exactly their way all around them to make the playoffs. Here’s a look at the scenario in which Detroit actually would find a way into the playoffs in spite of being the last winless team in the league:
Obviously, the chances of something like this happening are akin to being struck by lighting. It’s not something that fans can plan on seeing happen, even though the first part of the plan technically played out on Thursday, with Dallas beating New Orleans.
For any of this to work, the major catch is the Lions have to find a win. That’s been downright impossible for a team that has plenty of offensive and defensive limitations, so it’s probably not wise to bet on Detroit finding a way to get this done and follow through on this improbable scenario.
Lions Facing Tough Schedule to Finish 2021
For anyone looking for a reason that this will not play out, they need only look at what Detroit’s schedule looks like down the stretch. The Lions are facing a situation where they will continue to play solid teams the rest of the way, starting in Week 13 with the 5-6 Minnesota Vikings. From there, the Lions will take on the Denver Broncos on the road, the Arizona Cardinals at home, the Atlanta Falcons on the road, the Seattle Seahawks on the road and the Green Bay Packers to finish out the season. Between them, the final six teams the Lions play have a total of 37 wins to just 30 losses, which is nothing to sneeze at in terms of difficulty.
If the Lions manage to win out in that scenario, they would deserve some major credit even if they didn’t make the playoffs.
Lions Probably Have Better Shot at Top Pick
Anyone expecting the Lions to win out probably deserves some sort of reality check. Fortunately, there was an answer last week. At this point in time, the Lions continue to take small steps toward ensuring that all the losing comes with the benefit of the first pick in the draft next year, and it’s becoming harder to ignore that the team may be in the driver’s seat for that selection when all is said and done.
Recently, ESPN’s FPI metric took a look at the favorites for the top overall pick and not surprisingly, the Lions were in a very commanding spot. As ESPN’s Seth Walder pointed out, the Lions are currently favored by 69% to take home the first pick in the draft. Their next closest competitor? The New York Jets, with a mere 13% chance. No other competitor comes within double-digit percentage chance at this point in time.
Detroit’s struggles on both sides of the ball paint the picture of a team that may find winning a game difficult the rest of the way, and it’s likely the FPI metric is taking this possibility into account for the team as they set about finishing their season.
Fans weary of all the losing need only take heart in the fact that a big payoff is likely coming soon for the team in terms of the top selection overall. That will be true even if the team doesn’t make the playoffs.