National Football League playoff scene: Packers, Lions, Redskins matches will be most anticipated

Doyle BarkerDec 28, 2016

"Detroit squandered its chance to clinch a playoff spot but the Lions have another opportunity in Sunday night's showdown with the Packers for the NFC North crown".

Well, it would mean the Packers have won the NFC North based on a head-to-head record of 1-0-1 record against the Lions while Detroit, of course, defeated Washington this season and would have an identical record earning them the No. 6 seed. The Packers-Lions victor would finish 10-6 and capture the division crown, while the loser finishes 9-7 and misses the playoffs entirely.

If Washington loses, the Packers-Lions game will still have meaning; the victor gets a home game against the Giants in the opening round and the loser heads to Seattle, most likely. The win would also force Washington into a tricky situation, as they would have to win next week and hope for a Detroit win over the Packers in order to clinch the sixth and final playoff spot. In the NFC South, the second-place team could be either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the New Orleans Saints. The Giants could play either of those teams the following week, or they could be at Atlanta or Seattle.

Green Bay is up to a 3.5-point favorite at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks, via OddsShark, and the over/under is 48.

The Redskins (8-6-1) now sit seventh in the six-team playoff picture after beating the Chicago Bears, 41-21.

Regardless of how other teams do, the Redskins must beat the New York Giants next week to have any shot at the playoffs.

The Packers' regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions next Sunday has been moved into the prime-time slot. He is making plays with his arm and legs, and Green Bay's offense is clicking on all cylinders.

A Lions win makes things complicated for Washington. Back in Week 3, Rodgers carved up the Lions' secondary with four touchdown passes. Marvin Jones had a career game with six catches for 205 yards and two TDs.

Before the season, I picked the Packers to beat the Steelers in Super Bowl LI. They'll need better blocking and some reserves in the secondary to step up - but hey, if Cleveland can win a game, then anything is possible in this league.

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