NFC North Roundup for NFL Week 15

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Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (left) and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz (right) shake hands after the game at Ford Field. Ravens won 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

This week saw a seismic shift in the NFC North, as the Detroit Lions, who have been leading the division for basically half the season, slipped into third place with a primetime loss at home against Baltimore.

That loss, combined with wins by the Bears and Packers, takes the playoff hunt out of the Lions’ hands, and makes Chicago and Green Bay the frontrunners. Should they both win next week, the Lions will be eliminated from playoff contention before they even take the field against Minnesota in Week 17.

Meanwhile, the Bears have gotten Jay Cutler back, and the Packers have won two straight with Matt Flynn under center, and could get Aaron Rodgers back any minute now. Meanwhile, the Lions are sinking with four losses in their last five, and are nowhere near the favorites in the division any longer. They might be the favorites in the division for “team about to get their coach fired.”

Meanwhile, the Vikings have been playing meaningless games for half the season, but they’ve been coming on, and don’t look that far away from competing in 2014.

NFC North Standings

Chicago — 8-6 (2-3 NFCN)

Green Bay — 7-6-1 (2-2-1 NFCN)

Detroit — 7-7 (4-1 NFCN)

Minnesota — 4-9-1 (1-3-1 NFCN)