NFC Playoff Picture, Week 17: A Detroit loss introduces more chaos

The NFL announced that the Packers-Lions match-up in Detroit will be played on Sunday Night Football with a kickoff at 8:30pm ET (7:30 CT).

The NFL also switched two other games from 1:00pm to 4:25pm - New Orleans at Atlanta and New York Giants at Washington.

Green Bay's regular-season finale is set to be the de facto NFC North title game, regardless of the result of Detroit's Week 16 game in Dallas on Monday night.

If Washington loses, the Packers-Lions game will still have meaning; the victor gets a home game against the Giants in the opening round and the loser heads to Seattle, most likely. They had better, because the Detroit secondary is not very NFC North winningesque. However, if the Lions, Falcons and Seahawks all win, Detroit will finish as the fourth seed and host the Giants.

Green Bay is up to a 3.5-point favorite at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks, via OddsShark, and the over/under is 48. At 8-6-1 on the season, the Redskins are just outside of the playoff picture in the NFC. Detroit's secondary had a rough time with Dez Bryant Monday night, but Green Bay doesn't have any physical speciman of that caliber in its receivng corps, which is good because the officials were letting Dez get away with perhaps a little excessive contact fighting off receivers on Monday. The game's national feed will be on Sirius XM channel 88, the Lions feed on 83 and the Packers feed on 81. If they beat the Giants in the week's final season, they'll be in over the loser of the Lions-Packers game as the sixth week, setting up three NFC East teams in the postseason.

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If Detroit were to lose tonight in Dallas, then they would have to wait and see what Washington did against the Giants next week. I believe once we get in the playoffs and win the playoff game on Wild Card Weekend, our Redskins can go deep into the playoffs, possibly win the Super Bowl.

It doesn't help, either, that the Packers are one of the hottest teams in football, having won five straight with their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, playing like a potential league MVP.

Here is the schedule of opponents for the Packers for next season.

The Lions are led by quarterback Matt Stafford, who has thrown for 3,720 yards and 22 touchdowns. Also, Prescott's underwhelming prime-time performance against the Giants in Week 14 is cause for concern about how the rookie will perform come playoff time. Fans have been emailing me, tweeting at me and chatting on Facebook that this game would be for the division crown as far back as September.

  • Regina Holmes