Detroit Lions eliminated from NFL playoffs after Seahawks clip Rams in epic OT game

Detroit Free Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Detroit Lions will have to wait at least one more season to end their NFL playoff drought.

The Lions were eliminated about 50 minutes before the start of their Sunday night game against the Green Bay Packers when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Rams, 19-16, on a 32-yard field goal in overtime.

The Seahawks rallied to tie the game with 2:19 left in regulation on a 16-play, 82-yard drive that was kept alive by a questionable running into the kicker penalty.

Seattle (9-8) had a chance to win at the end of regulation after forcing a Rams punt, but Jason Myers missed a 46-yard field goal off the right upright as time expired. Lions fans in attendance at Lambeau Field cheered the miss loudly.

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The Seahawks went three-and-out on their first possession of overtime, but ex-Lion Quandre Diggs intercepted a Baker Mayfield deep pass on the next series, and former Michigan State standout Kenneth Walker ran the Seahawks into field goal range.

The Seahawks need a win and a Packers loss to snag the NFC’s final wild-card berth; the Packers (8-8) can clinch their fourth straight playoff berth with a win over the Lions (8-8).

Either Seattle or Green Bay will play at San Francisco next weekend in the wild-card round.

“Come on Lions, let’s go!” Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith said to end his postgame interview on the field.

The Rams’ loss gives the Lions the sixth overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft in April, which completes the Matthew Stafford trade from two years ago.

Several Lions players said they would try their best to stay in a bubble before Sunday’s night kick so as not to have the outcome of the Seahawks-Rams game influence their play.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said he would check the score periodically.

“I’ll probably watch,” he said Friday. “More just to see the score. Not, I don’t want to get invested in it emotionally. I just want to see the score periodically. That’s me. And I know our guys will be looking at the score, but I think that that’s – I think it’s, just keep it at an arm’s length is what I would say. That’s the best way to approach it.”

Campbell said this week the Lions will play to beat the Packers regardless of the Seahawks-Rams outcome, and Lions players echoed that message.

The Lions can finish with a winning record for the first time since 2017 with a victory, and can get above .500 for the first time since Week 5 of the 2019 season.

The Lions beat the Packers in Week 9 this season, 15-9, when Aaron Rodgers threw three interceptions.

Rodgers is 3-0 in the final game of the season with the playoffs on the line. Green Bay has won four straight games.

“Obviously there’s a situation where we can win and we can still possibly not make it into the playoffs,” Lions fullback Jason Cabinda said during the week. “But if that’s the case, it’s more so of like an either we’re winning or you’re not going, but we’re winning regardless. That’s kind of the mindset going on is that this is a must-win game, it’s a playoff game, it’s a game that we’re fighting to get in at the end of the day, so it’s the most important game, and that’s how we’re looking at it.”

The Lions traded Diggs, a safety, to the Seahawks in 2019 along with a seventh-round pick for a fifth-round draft choice, under the previous regime of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. Diggs did not speak highly of his former bosses after the trade.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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