For all intents and purposes, the Detroit Lions will be the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs. ESPN analytics gives them a two percent chance to become the No. 2 seed, with a win and losses by both the Dallas Cowboys (to the Washington Commanders) and the Philadelphia Eagles (to the New York Giants).
As the No. 3 seed, the Lions have two potential opponents-the Los Angeles Rams (if the playoff "started today", they would be the sixth seed and play the Lions in the Wild Card Round) or the Green Bay Packers.
The Rams have clinched a playoff spot, and their decision to rest many key players on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers suggests they don't care whether they're the No. 6 or No. 7 seed. Whether they should care about traveling to Detroit, Dallas or Philadelphia in the first round is a separate conversation.
If the Lions were to get to the No. 2 seed, via the aforementioned scenario that's being deemed as not very likely to happen, then their number of potential Wild Card Round opponents naturally grows.
Every possible Detroit Lions Wild Card Round scenario and opponent
Just to re-establish, if the Lions stay as the No. 3 seed their possible opponents are these.
- Los Angeles Rams (61 percent chance according to ESPN entering Sunday's action)
- Green Bay Packers (39 percent chance, according to ESPN)
If the Lions become the No. 2 seed, here are their possible first round playoff opponents.
- Los Angeles Rams: 49ers beat the Rams, and the Packers beat the Bears
- Green Bay Packers: Rams beat the 49ers and the Packers beat the Bears
The Packers would also be the No. 7 seed and the No. 2 seed Lions' first round playoff opponent if:
- Cardinals beat the Seahawks
- Panthers beat the Buccaneers or Falcons beat the Saints
- Rams beat the 49ers or Bears beat the Packers
Here are the rest of the Lions' potential opponents if they become the No. 2 seed, and the scenarios for them.
- Seattle Seahawks: Seahawks beat the Cardinals and Bears beat the Packers
- New Orleans Saints: Saints beat the Falcons, Cardinals beat the Seahawks, Bears beat the Packers and Buccaneers beat the Panthers
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Buccaneers tie the Panthers, Cardinals beat the Seahawks, Bears beat the Packers and Saints beat the Falcons