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NFL playoff picture: What does Vikings-Lions mean for NFC standings

The Vikings face the Lions in Detroit on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions passes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on December 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Results update: The Lions beat the Vikings to improve to 6-7. Detroit is in ninth place a game and a half back of the Seahawks and Commanders in the wild card race. Minnesota dropped to 10-3 and while they remain in first in the NFC North and second in the conference standings, they are now two back of the Eagles for the No. 1 seed.

Week 14 of the NFL season resumes on Sunday, December 11. The Minnesota Vikings will hit the road to take on the Detroit Lions in an NFC North battle. Kickoff from Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan is set for 1 p.m. ET, and the game will air on Fox.

Vikings playoff picture

Minnesota has a chance to clinch the division today with a win. This would lock them into a top-four seed in the NFC playoffs. At least for this week, win or lose, they will retain the top spot in the division as well as the No. 2 overall for the playoffs due to their overall record.

Lions playoff picture

Detroit has a 5-7 record and are in second place in the division. The Green Bay Packers, who are in third at 5-8, are off this week. These teams still have a meeting in Week 18, but for now, due to Detroit’s win in Week 9, they will remain in second place in the division even if they lose on Sunday. Only seven teams from each conference will qualify for the playoffs, and Detroit is currently No. 9. Unfortunately, with a win, they won’t move up a spot, but if they lose, they would just sink lower into the muddied rankings of teams sitting outside playoff contention.

Tiebreaker implications

Detroit lost the first game against Minnesota 28-24. A win today would help push their eventual tiebreaker to a division record comparison. If they remain tied, it would then move to win-loss in common games, conference games and then strength of victory and schedule. The Lions can’t be eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, but their path to the postseason certainly gets tougher.