As Detroit heads into Sunday's matchup against the New York Jets (4-5), they are currently in sole possession of second place in the NFC North. But on Monday, that could change drastically.
One of their division rivals, the Chicago Bears, go up against the resurging St. Louis Rams. Jim Miller will miss another game, and if the Bears have any chance at winning they need their defense to step up and make plays at key points in the game, and they need the offense to score when it needs to.
The other team that looks to get out of the NFC North basement is the Vikings. They have a division game against the 8-1 Green Bay Packers, who have the best record in the league. The Pack have been running opponents over all year long. There have been shaky times for Brett Favre & Co. as many Lions fans will tell you, but they continually look like a strong team. The Vikes will have their work cut out for them.
Even though both the Bears and the Vikings are both underdogs in their games, as the viewing audience knows that means absolutely nothing heading into gameday. With that said, if the Lions don't win, the NFC North could be turned upside down.
If the Lions lost, and both the Vikings and Bears won, there would be a tie for second place in the division. If the Lions take anything out of this season that is positive, it will be that they finished second place in the division. They will have to finish the year strong, and they can stop any momentum from division rivals this week with a win at home against the Jets.
The Lions need something to fight for. They aren't going to get first place. It's likely they will not reach the playoffs. But it's obvious that the team has made progress from last year, no matter how little. But if they finish in last place it will all be for not. With the adversity the Lions have faced this year, with a new quarterback, a certain GM's comments, and utter chaos at the Wide Reciever spot, the Lions would have a personal victory if they finished in sole possession of second place. It all starts this week.