Well, sometimes you have to work for it, and other times, you don't have to do anything. Things can sometimes just fall into your lap, just like the most recent ascent to the first place in the NFC North for the Detroit Lions. At 5-4, the Lions have moved into a tie for the top spot with the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers, however, own the 2-1 division record over the Lions and the Vikings, but the Pack also have a head scratching 4-5 record. What does all of this mean? For one, the Lions are still in the race for a playoff spot and possible division champions. Two, should the Lions win out the rest of their divisional games, they would be crowned NFC North champions.

A title they haven't held since the realignment in 2002. So, how did it happen?

Minnesota

The Vikings lost 26-20 in a tough game to Kirk Cousins and company Sunday. This is the same team that started the season 5-0. Plagued by injuries, they have fallen from grace. With a stout defense and a rather streaky offense, the Vikings can still make a push to win the division, it just doesn't look as likely as when the season began.On the bright side, the Vikings have just as a favorable schedule as the Lions, but should they continue to stumble, they can continue to kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.

Green Bay

What is going on over there? Since the rise of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have always been a sure thing.

Almost a shoe-in for division champs. Since the realignment in 2002, the Packers have won the division eight times, including four straight titles from 2011-2014. The Pack (read: Aaron Rodgers), just doesn't look like they want it anymore. In their game yesterday, the Pack fell behind big and early to the Titans, finding themselves down 21-0 in the first quarter.

Unable to find a way to slow down Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee offense, the Pack dropped a huge game which could have vaulted them into first place.

NFC North Standings

As it sits right now:

1. Detroit Lions 5-4 (1-2)

2. Minnesota Vikings 5-4 (1-2)

3. Green Bay Packers 4-5 (2-1)

4. Chicago Bears 2-7 (2-1)

Looking ahead

The Detroit Lions are in prime position to make a run into the playoffs.

They head into the final stretch with very winnable games, and the rest of the divisional games at home. Their only likely loss will come against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys on Monday night. Should this all play out the way Lions' fans hope, we will be looking at division champs, something that hasn't happened since 1993. But for now, we must take it one week at a time.

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