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What Lions win over Vikings in Week 16 means for NFL playoff picture in NFC

The Detroit Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16. We break down what it means for the XFC playoff picture.

Jahmyr Gibbs #26 of the Detroit Lions scores a rushing touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-24 in Week 16. The win secured the first NFC North title for Detroit since 1993. The Lions move to 11-4 on the season, while the Vikings fall to 7-8. Let’s take a look at how this game affects the NFC playoff picture.

Detroit has not only clinched a playoff berth, but the division title means that it will be a top-four seed in the NFC. With the way that the NFC South has played this season, it is actually guaranteed to be a top-three seed. The Lions are currently the No. 2 team in the NFC sandwiched between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco would have the same record if they lose to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, but they own the tiebreaker over Detroit and Dallas, so they retain the No. 1 seed in the conference no matter what happens.

If the Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, they will move to the No. 2 seed due to a better division record. If Dallas loses and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants, then the Eagles would hop the Lions as the No. 2 seed. Detroit will go on the road in Week 17 for a huge tiebreaker game with the Dallas Cowboys and then will host Minnesota in Week 18.

The Vikings drop to 7-8, but remain in second place in the NFC North. With the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks both winning, Minnesota remains outside the NFC playoff picture and currently holds the No. 8 spot with seven playoff spots on the line. The Vikings will host the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 before going on the road for the rematch against the Lions.