After losing to the 49ers, the Lions are more likely to receive a first-round bye and the NFC’s top seed

What’s another week when it comes to a home playoff game for Detroit Lions fans who have waited thirty years?

After defeating the Minnesota Vikings the day before to secure their division, the Lions’ chances of earning the top seed in the NFC and a first-round bye started to look more likely when the Baltimore Ravens destroyed the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

With their loss on Monday, the 49ers, who remain atop the NFC standings due to a conference record tie-breaker, were joined by the Lions and Philadelphia Eagles in a three-way tie for the best record in the league. The 49ers will receive a bye if the three teams manage to stay tied for the remainder of the regular season.

The only way the Lions can guarantee the bye is if they surpass the 49ers in the standings with certainty. And the most obvious way for that to happen is for the 49ers to lose one of their two remaining games in addition to the Lions winning their final two games, which are against the Dallas Cowboys on the road and the Minnesota Vikings at home.

Next week, San Francisco will travel to face struggling Washington, and there is a good chance they can bounce back. However, the season finale against the Los Angeles Rams is looming large. They’ve won five of their last six games to get closer to their own playoff berth, making them one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

By virtue of a tiebreaker, the Lions would receive the NFC’s No. 2 seed, ahead of the Eagles, if both the 49ers and the Lions win their final two games. That implies that, should the Lions make it past the first round of the Wild Card playoffs, they would be assured of hosting a second playoff game at Ford Field.

With their 11-4 record, the Lions are, at the very least, guaranteed a spot in the conference standings. However, that implies they would have to travel if both the No. 2 seed and they win their opening postseason matchup.

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