Can the Detroit Lions win the NFC North?
The Detroit Lions remaining divisional games, and quarterback situations of those opponents, bodes well for their chances at winning the NFC North.
I know, I know. We should probably wait for the Detroit Lions to beat a few more playoff-caliber teams before talking about winning the NFC North. There’s a lot of football left to be played and a lot of things can factor into the final season standings, but the door to the division was busted wide opened Sunday when Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.
Nobody wants it to be this way. You want to get every team’s best shot and come out victorious. The Lions went toe to toe with last year’s NFC champion Atlanta Falcons and almost pulled out the win. That’s the type of win we all want to see. That’s also the step this team needs to take to prove they’re legitimate contenders.
The Lions did get some love in the power rankings, reaching as high as second overall by NLF.com. But after back-to-back losses with injuries piling up, the team is falling in those rankings with a 3-3 record.
In their division, the Lions are currently third. They trail the Packers (4-2) and Minnesota Vikings (4-2) by one game while holding a one-game edge over the Chicago Bears (2-4). This is where they have a huge opportunity.
The Lions have beaten the Vikings on the road in their only divisional game so far this year. Both remaining divisional road games will be played before anyone in the division visits Detroit. Three divisional games at home inside Ford Field presents a sizeable advantage down the stretch.
Looking at the divisional opponents, the Packers will presumably be starting backup quarterback Brett Hundley, the Bears are starting their rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, and the Vikings quarterback situation is a large question mark from week to week. The Lions are the only team with their starting QB still taking the snaps. The consistency at the most important position in football is a big advantage for this team.
This week, the Lions have a bye which will allow many players to take a break and heal, including quarterback Matthew Stafford after the beating he’s been taking recently. It could also mean the return of left tackle Taylor Decker, a key contributor to keeping Stafford upright in the pocket.
Next: Detroit Lions - Offensive line investments yielding poor returns
Other offensive linemen including T.J. Lang, who didn’t play Sunday, and Rick Wagner, who left the game for a short period with an injury, will benefit from the extra week of rest. With a healthier offensive line and consistency at quarterback, it’s hard not to remain positive about the Lions’ chances at taking over the division. Even in the middle of a two-game losing streak and sporting a .500 record.