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The Lions are back in the conversation for the NFC North crown

Why the Lions still have a big chance to win the division.

NFL: New England Patriots at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Lions fans, how is everyone feeling? I can tell you personally that I have not come down from my cloud yet. I rewatched the Lions’ win over the Patriots in its entirety, and I still can’t believe that nationally televised performance.

I found myself wondering again what this team could be capable of when it’s all said and done. I’ve racked my brains, and I’ve told myself to stop on multiple occasions, but I continue to come back to the word “everything.” If the Lions play like they played on Sunday for the rest of the year, they’re capable of everything.

That’s quite a sharp turn for a lot of people. Just two weeks ago on this day, the Lions were coming off the worst game in franchise history, and a lot of us, myself included, were having reactionary thoughts such as, “Did the Lions make a mistake in hiring Matt Patricia?”

Then a week ago, it occurred to me that the Lions were onto something, but they just hadn’t figure it out yet or they just hadn’t put it all together. So I made the possibly reckless choice of going all in on this Lions team and Matt Patricia.

I don’t regret that choice after Sunday. My heart wants me to think I was right, but my mind keeps telling me that even after that incredible win over the reigning AFC champions, they still haven’t fully put it altogether. They’re obviously on the right track but they haven’t reached their full potential. I suggest everyone else think with their head on this one too.

Nevertheless, a lot can happen in one week of football. It was just last week when the Lions were 0-2 and the sky had fallen for many Lions fans. Nearly every analyst out there had pegged the Lions for dead. I overheard some Lions fans at a car dealership going through the schedule week by week and concluding the Lions would finish 3-13.

The world had given up on the Lions and surely their NFC North rivals would further the divide on Sunday when all three got a leg up against Buffalo, Washington and Arizona.

But then Sunday came. The Bears did win. They beat the lowly Cardinals by just two points. But the Vikings got blindsided by the Bills 27-6 and the Packers lost to the Redskins 31-17. Let’s not forget, the Packers and Vikings tied in Week 2 as well.

Follow all of that up with a shocking Lions win Sunday night and the Lions go from being way behind in the division race to having the same amount of wins that the two teams Lions fans should be concerned with most have.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions’ rivals going into Week 4. The Bears will host the Buccaneers on Sunday, a team atop the NFC South thanks to yet another great start to the season from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Packers will take on the Bills team that drubbed the Vikings last week, although I’m not sure if last Sunday was fluke for Buffalo or not. Lastly the Vikings draw the hardest opponent of the week with the Los Angeles Rams, and on a short week, no less.

Then the Lions get a Cowboys team that’s been struggling in the first three weeks of the season. Dak Prescott has thrown just two touchdown passes all year. He’s also thrown two interceptions as well. But the Cowboys do have one of the best running backs in the league and a defense that’s been pretty good against the run this year. If the Lions play like they did on Sunday night, this is winnable game on the road for Matthew Stafford and company.

If the Week 4 chips fall in the Lions favor, they could be 2-2 and find themselves tied with the Bears for the best record in the division. Just like that. What a difference a week makes.

Who knows what the Lions will do on Sunday? The glitz and glamour of national television is finally over. The Lions will head into Dallas on Sunday and play at their normal 1 p.m ET spot. That has to take a lot of the pressure off the team, especially now that they’ve notched their first win.

The Lions just simply need to play their game, and right now is the time to do it. They have Dallas on Sunday, welcome Green Bay in the following week and then go on the bye. The goal is definitely to hit that bye at 3-2. If the Lions play like they did Sunday night, fans have nothing to worry about.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.