Detroit Lions fans can sit back and watch the rest of week 13 with the satisfaction of the Thanksgiving beat-down of the Packers. As you watch the rest of the weekend’s action, here is your rooting guide for games impacting the Lions and the NFC playoff picture.
Sunday Early Afternoon
Chicago Bears (6-5) at Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1)
At best, the Bears can finish the week tied with the Lions for the NFC North lead. The Lions season-sweep already gives them the edge in a head-to-head tiebreaker but the lead over the Bears becomes the equivalent of two games if the Vikings can pull out a win. Root for: Vikings.
Arizona Cardinals (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)
The Cardinals are flying under the radar as a Wild Card contender and have a win over the Lions to their credit. That’s not a good scenario for the Lions should they get thrown in the Wild Card mix. Meanwhile, someone will have to win the NFC East, with the Eagles already contending. More good is done for the Lions with an Eagles win over the Cards. Root for: Eagles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8) at Carolina Panthers (8-3)
The Lions’ loss to the Bucs looks a little less bad if Tampa can go in to Carolina and leave with a win. Not only that, the Lions will need to see some losses added to the Panthers total should their playoff prospects come down to a Wild Card berth. Root for: Bucs.
Sunday Late Afternoon
St. Louis Rams (5-6) at San Francisco 49ers (7-4)
Another one to watch for a potential Wild Card situation, the 49ers are currently slotted as the sixth seed. A Rams win gets the Lions closer to having some breathing room should they need it.
Sunday Night Football
New York Giants (4-7) at Washington Redskins (3-8)
It might be a stretch to consider Giants-Redskins an important game for the NFC playoff picture but a Giants win could give them some life in the NFC East race. You never know, that could lead to a motivated team coming to Ford Field later this month. Root for: Redskins.
Monday Night Football
New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Seattle Seahawks (10-1)
Any hopes the Lions had for competing for one of the top two seeds in the NFC were likely dashed as a result of losses to the Steelers and Bucs. However, there is still a chance and the best chance comes as a result of the Saints stumbling mightily over the next few weeks. If that is to happen, it has to begin this week. Root for: Seahawks.