For the first time in many years the Detroit Lions enter their Thanksgiving Day contest in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Lions earned an important shootout 49-35 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Now they will host the unbeaten Green Bay Packers on Thursday afternoon in need of a win to keep pace with the Bears in a race for a playoff spot. Joel Thorman is thinking highly of the Lions in this week's SB Nation NFL Power Rankings, moving them up two spots to the No. 9 position:
9. Detroit Lions (7-3, LW: 11): The game of the year is coming up on Thanksgiving Day when the Lions host the unbeaten Packers. Can they do it?
As the season comes to a close the Lions likely need a 3-3 split in their final six games in order to feel safe for a playoff spot. Minnesota, Oakland, and San Diego look like the best chances for those wins, but the Lions still have two games against Green Bay and one against New Orleans.