This week, all the NFC North action got condensed into two games, and the result is that the Detroit Lions are all alone atop the division.
With the Bears loss, the Lions, having beaten the Packers on Thanksgiving, are in full control in the NFC North. They now have a game or more on the rest of the division, and every possible tiebreaker.
Here’s what the standings look like.
NFC North Standings
Detroit — 7-5 (4-1 NFCN)
Chicago — 6-6 (2-3 NFCN)
Green Bay — 5-6-1 (2-2-1 NFCN)
Minnesota — 3-8-1 (1-3-1 NFCN)
To put it in baseball terms, the Lions’ magic number is three. Three wins in their last four will win them the division, as will two wins and a loss by the Packers and Bears, and so on.
Of course, four games is a lot of time. Let’s not go crowning people just yet. The Lions have not exactly shown a propensity to win consistently, so the Bears and Packers are still very much alive. That is, of course, provided they can turn around their own atrocious play of late.
It’s entirely possible that the winner of the NFC North backs in to the position, unless somebody flips the switch on their play in December.