NFL Playoff Picture: Lions Take Command In Wild NFC Race

After defeating the Oakland Raiders 28-27 Sunday with yet another dramatic fourth-quarter comeback, the Detroit Lions are now tied for first place in the NFC Wild Card race with the Atlanta Falcons at 9-5.

They are two games ahead of four 7-7 teams in the NFC: the Chicago Bears, the New York Giants, the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks

Both teams can clinch playoff berths in tough contests next week, with Atlanta heading to the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints and Detroit hosting the San Diego Chargers.

But no matter what happens over the holiday weekend, the Falcons and the Lions are resting pretty easy after Sunday's results. If they need a win in Week 17, Detroit faces a one-loss Green Bay team that will probably not have anything to play for while Atlanta hosts a reeling Tampa Bay squad in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

Due to their 23-16 victory over the Lions in Week 7, the Falcons will have the tie-breaker and a possible date with a 9-7 NFC East champion in the first week of the playoffs.

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