With last evening's stunning loss
at home against the Baltimore Ravens, the Detroit Lions no longer control their own destiny in the NFC North division. Had the Lions run the table in their final three games (vs. the Ravens, Giants and at the Vikings; all very winnable), they would be division champs and thus the only North team in the postseason. Alas, the Lions are still the Lions, so now they'll need help.
Here's scenario to ponder:
If the Lions (now with a 7-7 record and in third place) win at home vs. the pitiful Giants on Sunday, the Chicago Bears (8-6) lose at Philadelphia and the Green Bay Packers (7-6-1) lose at home vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Lions are back in first place since they own the tiebreaker over the Bears.
As such, here's what the North standings would look like after Week 16:
1. Detroit (8-7)
2. Chicago (8-7)
3. Green Bay (7-7-1)
That means it would come down to the final week of the regular season to decide which North team will make the postseason. For the Packers to win the division under this hypothetical situation, they would obviously have to beat the Bears in Soldier Field and then hope the Lions lose at the Vikings.
So in a sense, you would have a scenario in Week 17 where the Packers fans are rooting for a Vikings win and some Vikings fans rooting against their hometown team so as to improve their draft position.
While such a situation would be several levels beyond bizarre, in this strange 2013 NFL season it seems oddly appropriate.