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Tie goes to the NFC North: Packers, Lions both will make playoffs with a tie

Here’s one scenario you probably didn’t consider when it comes to the NFC playoff picture: The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions would both make the postseason if they tie on Sunday night at Ford Field.

In fact, if the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants, a tie is the only way both the Packers and Lions would advance.

There have been two ties in the NFL this season: the Cardinals-Seahawks in Week 7 and the Bengals-Redskins in Week 8.

The NFL released the Week 17 playoff scenarios on Tuesday, which can be seen here:

The Redskins and Giants play at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, so the Packers and Lions will know the outcome of that game by the time they kick off in Detroit at 8:30 p.m.

If the Redskins lose, the Packers and Lions would both be in the playoffs, with the winner going as the division champion and the loser as a wild-card team.

In the event of a Redskins victory, only the Packers-Lions winner would make the playoffs, barring a tie, of course.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert had some fun with that idea on Twitter. He went so far as to suggest that perhaps the Packers and Lions could tank for a tie by taking a knee on every snap.

In the tie scenario, the Packers would win the NFC North -- and get the home playoff game that goes with it -- while the Lions would be a wild-card team.

There hasn’t been a tie in a regular-season finale since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, according to ESPN Stats & Information. However, it has happened in a 14-game schedule, and the last two times both involved the Packers. They tied the 49ers in the 1965 finale and the Rams in the last game of 1964.