Jan 6, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; A general view of logos around the field prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff game between the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Lions need to keep taking care of business on the field – that means beating the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. However, there isn’t any shame in getting some help from others on the way to the playoffs.
Here is your weekly rooting guide for other week 11 games involving teams in the NFC playoff picture.
Sunday Early Games
Washington Redskins (3-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
The Eagles are closer in the wild card rear view mirror and the Lions already beat the Redskins. The Lions can take care of business against the Eagles in a few weeks, but for this week, root for the Redskins slow down the suddenly hot Eagles.
Arizona Cardinals (5-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
The Cardinals are the team in the wild card race no one is talking about. Root for a loss to the Jaguars and we won’t have to talk about them for the rest of the season.
Baltimore Ravens (4-5) at Chicago Bears (5-4)
The Lions are effectively two games clear of the Bears by virtue of the season series sweep but a loss to an AFC opponent still helps.
Sunday Late Games
San Francisco 49ers (6-3) at New Orleans Saints (7-2)
How we view this game may turn but the time the regular season ends but in the here and now, a Saints win is in the Lions’ best interest. If the Lions don’t have to worry about a wild card by winning the North, the 49ers would be the pick to give the Lions a better shot at a first round bye. It’s too early to worry about that, the Lions just have to get in and a Saints win helps that cause. With two games against the Panthers and a matchup with the Seahawks, there will be plenty of other good games to root against the Saints for the purposes of playoff seeding. This week and this week only, pull for the 49ers.
Green Bay Packers (5-4) at New York Giants (3-6)
The Packers still loom as a serious threat to the Lions because they would hold a big head-to-head tiebreaker with a road victory on Thanksgiving Day. Plus, it’s the Packers and rooting against them is always fun. Go G-men!
Minnesota Vikings (2-7) at Seattle Seahawks (9-1)
We’ll have to root for the Seahawks in future weeks and it is unlikely the Lions will catch them for playoff seeding but the Vikings are no threat to the Lions’ playoff hopes. Skol, Vikings!
New England Patriots (7-2) at Carolina Panthers (6-3)
The Panthers have one of the NFL’s top defenses. Can Tom Brady pick them apart? Lions fans should hope so.