Lions on brink of elimination following blowout loss to Cowboys
The Detroit Lions could have clinched a playoff spot, but instead they will be facing elimination after their 42-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Lions could go from being the possible number two seed in the playoff field to missing the postseason altogether.
Detroit (9-6) had won five straight to get to 9-4, but if they lose a third straight game next Sunday against the Packers, Green Bay (9-6) would win the NFC North.
If that happens, the Lions would have to have the Carolina Panthers (6-9) beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7) and have the Washington Redskins (8-6-1) lose at home to the New York Giants (10-5) in order to make the playoffs.
The Lions had no answer Monday for the Cowboys terrific trio of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant.
Prescott tied the NFL rookie record for wins by completing 15 of his 20 pass attempts for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 35 yards.
EAZY DOES IT
Elliott got closer to Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record with 80 yards and two touchdowns on only 12 carries. He got 55 of those yards with a burst up the middle to give the Cowboys (13-2) a 14-7 first-quarter lead. Elliott's 15 touchdowns this season set a franchise rookie record. He now has 1,631 rushing yards this season, 177 yards behind Dickerson's rookie record of 1,808 set in 1983.
Bryant accounted for three touchdowns with four catches for 70 yards and two touchdown receptions. He even threw a 10-yard scoring strike to tight end Jason Witten.
Bryant's big plays were not limited to his touchdown pass. His first touchdown reception of the night was an amazing catch with a defender hanging all over him.
BRYANT SURPRISED BY CALL
"You know how you work on a play all year, but never call it? [Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan] called it and I was like, 'Whoa?'" Bryant said of his touchdown pass. "We completed it twice in practice."
WIN OR ELSE
Had the Lions won Monday, they could be playing next week for the number two seed if the Atlanta Falcons (10-5) were to lose at home against the New Orleans Saints (7-8). Of course, a win over the Packers, who have won five straight, would still give the Lions a division title and a home playoff game.
It was clear the Lions missed injured cornerback Darius Slay, who is questionable for next week. Things were going so well for the Lions just a couple of weeks ago. But now they are fighting for their playoff lives.