Fireside Chat: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

>> 12.12.2011

A minor technical snafu (I didn't press record right away) chopped off the intro and the first minute or so, but here's this week's Fireside Chat. A strange and bizarre-feeling win, but . . . yes, a win. Subscribe (and rate!) via iTunes if you are an iTunesy person like myself.


jammitch,  December 12, 2011 at 8:32 PM  

I owe you one more clear explanation of the Seattle thing. Or, more clearly, the entire tiebreaker situation regarding the Bears.

The head-to-head tiebreaker is obviously already locked at a draw.

Next, we need to look at divisional records. The Lions are 3-2 with a game at Lambeau; the Bears are 2-2 with a game at Lambeau and a game at Minnesota.

For the Bears to take this tiebreaker, they'll have to win out in the division while the Lions lose to the Packers. I don't think this is very likely. On the off chance the Bears do beat the Packers, the perfect season is gone and the Packers will probably sit their starters for the Lions anyway.

If that tiebreaker holds, the next one is common opponents.

Since the two teams are in the same division, all the games are in common, except the two games against each other (obviously) and the two “strength of schedule” games against the NFC West and East. Since the tiebreaker only applies if the two teams have the same record, it’s easiest to look at the two non-common games, and the team with the worst record in non-common games will conversely have the best record in common games.

The Lions are
•1-1 against the Bears
•1-1 against the Cowboys and 49ers
•6-3 against the rest of the schedule

The Bears are
•1-1 against the Lions
•1-0 against the Eagles and Seahawks
•5-5 against the rest of the schedule

The worst the Bears can do in non-common games is to drop to 1-1 by losing to the Seahawks at home. Winning will get them a better record in non-common games, meaning a worse record in common games. Losing will tie it and kick it along to the next level. But if they’re dropping home games to the Seahawks, they probably aren’t going to pick up enough wins elsewhere to be in the race.

The other thing going in the Lions' favor is that the wildcard tiebreaker is reduced to one team per division before going across divisions, so the Bears' win against the Falcons doesn't help them unless they can beat out the Lions, as they'll be eliminated before the Falcons enter the picture.

This is good, because conference record for the Lions is likely to be a low point, as all their losses are in-conference so far, and the Bears went 1-3 against the AFC West.

One other interesting tidbit: the Cowboys and Giants are each at 7 wins. They each have three games remaining, with one against each other. So they can combine for at most 5 more wins, for a total of 19. This means the 2nd place team in the East can’t have more than 9 wins.

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