The Lions started the season 1-6. The Packers starter 4-8. They’ll finish the season playing each other.
The NFL has announced the Week 18 schedule. It concludes with the Lions visiting the Packers at Lambeau Field on NBC.
The Packers will become the seventh seed in the NFC with a win. The Lions can make the playoffs only if the Seahawks lose to the Rams earlier in the day, and then if the Lions beat the Packers.
The Seahawks easily could be miffed at not having both games played at the same time, with the Lions thinking they still have a chance to qualify for the postseason when facing the Packers. As it stands, the Lions quite possibly will know they’re out before the game even starts.
And the Rams can do their former franchise quarterback a favor by beating the Seahawks, since that would give Jared Goff a ticket to the playoffs — if he can beat the Packers on their own turf.
Of course, the Lions may still play to win. They can spoil Green Bay’s playoff berth, laying the foundation for a possibly deep playoff run in 2023.
Eight Week 18 games will be played at 1:00 p.m. ET. Five will start at 4:25 p.m. ET. The early games will nail down the final AFC playoff spot (Jets-Dolphins, Bills-Patriots, Browns-Steelers), and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The late games will determine the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Along with Rams-Seahawks determining whether the night game is win-and-one for one team, or for both.
There’s one remaining wrinkle to be determined. If the Bengals lose tonight, Baltimore-Cincinnati will be played at 4:25 p.m. ET, as the AFC North title game.
If the Bengals win tonight and clinch the division, it will be played at 1:00 p.m. ET as part of the potential scrum for the top seed in the AFC.
The Bengals will have a chance at the No. 1 seed only if the Chiefs lose to the Raiders on Saturday.