For the first time in 12 years, the Detroit Lions are headed to the NFL playoffs. The Lions ended their lengthy playoff drought by dominating the San Diego Chargers on Saturday. Detroit won by a score of 38-10, and with the victory the team locked up one of the two wild-card spots in the NFC.
What seed the Lions will have going into the final week of the regular season will depend on what happens with the Atlanta Falcons in their game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. If the Falcons win, they will remain the No. 5 seed since they would have the same record and the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Lions. If the Saints win, however, the Lions will move a game ahead of Atlanta in the standings and be able to clinch the fifth seed with a win against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17.
For Detroit, the difference between the five and six seed is playing the NFC East champion (Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants) or the Saints or San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card round of the playoffs. The Lions would likely prefer to avoid a hot Saints team, and although a rematch with San Francisco would be fun, the Cowboys or Giants seem like they would provide a much more winnable game.
Regardless of what happens, all that matters right now is that the Lions are back in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Considering they were 0-16 just three seasons ago, that is something no fan will take for granted.