Most years, in order to make the NFL playoffs, teams need to win a minimum of nine games, with 10 likely to enter you. Things look a little different this year, as NFC teams dominate early in the season and 10 wins may be the new minimum.
The New England Patriots sit at the top of the league at 7-0, while the NFC already has four teams with six wins: the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, who won their game Week 8 last Thursday.
This means that if the Lions sit at 2-3-1, they will need to win at least seven of their remaining 10 games, and realistically, you probably need eight to get into the playoffs.
The good news is that the hardest part of their schedule is over.
The combined record of their first six opponents was 25-1
Week 8 vs. Giants (2-5)
Week 9 at Raiders (3-3)
Week 10 at Bears (3-3)
Week 11 against Cowboys (4-3)
Week 12 at Redskins (1-7)
Week 13 against the Bears (3-3)
Week 14 at the Vikings (6-2)
Week 15 against the Buccaneers (2-4)
16 in the Broncos (2-5)
Week 17 against the Packers (6-6) 1)
If the Lions want a shot in the postseason, they need to get back to their winning ways immediately and how they will fare in the next three games will determine their chances.
They need to beat the Giants on Sunday. You have to. If they lose, they are likely to start selling pieces from the list and try to zero in on the pieces for the next season.
Then they will be on track for the next two games against the Raiders and The Bears. The Raiders are a bit of an underrated team, but it's a winning game for the Lions and one that will have to keep their hopes alive after the season.
The Bears' game at Soldier Field has never been pleasant and the Lions have mostly lost their recent trip there, but they have won four of their previous five games before. It will be the toughest of the upcoming three games, but again, it's a winning game for the Lions to have.
If they manage to win their next three games and push their record to 5-3-1, then they open up a world of possibilities. Getting those wins still won't mean they are tied to the playoffs, but if they don't get it, it would mean that their path for 2019 to the postseason is pretty much everything.
It's time to see if the Lions can live up to the potential we've seen in the last six months.