The Detroit Lions had the chance to rest on Sunday while preparing for their Monday Night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. They certainly spent a portion of the day glancing at the two teams that are hot on their tail in the NFC North race, and they couldn’t have liked what they saw.
The early game saw the Chicago Bears travel to take on the Cleveland Browns. At 7-6, the Bears and Lions shared the same record heading into Sunday, though the Lions hold the tiebreaker with their season sweep of the series. Jay Cutler looked rusty in his first game back from injury, and the Browns controlled the game early. The Bears found their feet by the fourth quarter, though, scoring 21 points in the frame and leaving town with a 28-21 win.
Even with the injury to Aaron Rogers, the Green Bay Packers aren’t out of the NFC North hunt either. They entered Sunday at 6-6-1, with that ominous tie hanging off the end of their record. They met up with the Dallas Cowboys in the later game, again suiting up without their leader and star quarterback. Like the Bears, they too struggled early, allowing the Cowboys a 26-3 halftime lead. But those who stayed tuned in for the second half witnessed an exciting comeback, much to the chagrin of Lions fans everywhere. The Packers eventually pulled off a 37-36 win.
The Lions don’t need any help to make the playoffs. If they win the rest of their games, they are in. It starts with a win Monday Night against the Ravens, a game that is now a must-win thanks to the efforts of the other NFC North squads.