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Don’t look now: Lions’ win over Packers puts them in position to chase Vikings for NFC North

By Matthew Coller

The Green Bay Packers would need a miracle to be a contender for the NFC North without quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Detroit Lions, however, are in prime position to make a race out of the North following a 30-17 win over the Packers on Monday Night Football.

At 4-4, the Lions trail the Minnesota Vikings by two games, but Detroit’s upcoming schedule is a mishmash of the NFL’s worst teams. Next week, the Lions get the Cleveland Browns, then their schedule goes as follows:

  • At Chicago
  • Minnesota
  • At Baltimore
  • At Tampa Bay
  • Chicago
  • At Cincinnati
  • Green Bay

Outside of the Vikings, each one of those games is very winnable for the Lions, who saw quarterback Matthew Stafford post 361 yards on 26-of-33 yards passing on Monday night.

The Vikings’ schedule is much more difficult as they have two 6-win teams on the slate in Los Angeles and Carolina. They also have to travel to Washington and Atlanta, two formidable 4-4 teams.

Detroit has been a thorn in the Vikings’ side the last two years. They made the postseason on last year on the back of two wins against Minnesota – one in overtime and another on a final-drive interception. The Lions beat the Vikings 14-7 at U.S. Bank Stadium earlier this year.

The Lions have shown vast improvement on defense this season, entering Monday’s game eight in defensive “Expected Points” and third in forced turnovers.

Thanksgiving Day could ultimately determine which team wins the division, depending on whether the Lions take care of weaker opponents.

The post Don’t look now: Lions’ win over Packers puts them in position to chase Vikings for NFC North appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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