1. The NFC North is a two-team race. The Lions are atop the standings now with a 7-2 record, 2-0 in the division. The Green Bay Packers romped over the Chicago Bears 55-14 on Sunday night. The Pack is 6-3 and 3-1 in the division.
2. If the Lions win their remaining three home games they will finish 10-6 which may or may not be enough for the division title. Their upcoming home opponents are the Bears (3-6) on Thanksgiving, followed by the Tampa Bay Bucs (1-8) on Dec. 7 and the Minnesota Vikings (4-5) on Dec. 14.
3. The Lions should be able to pick up at least one road win although it won’t be easy. They play at Arizona (8-1) on Sunday, at New England (7-2) on Nov. 23. Then wrap up the season on Dec. 21 at the Bears and at Dec. 28 at Green Bay which could be for the title. The Bears game seemingly would be the easiest win. The Cardinals will be without quarterback Carson Palmer but Drew Stanton, a former Lions’ backup, will start in his place. Stanton (Farmington Hills Harrison, Michigan State) is a solid quarterback who cannot be overlooked.
4. This is my sixth straight season of covering the Lions and I’ve never seen such focus from the players. Jim Caldwell has brought this change and it’s remarkable. Center Dominic Raiola said they are not worried about what other teams are doing, they're totally concentrating on themselves.
5. The Lions haven’t started a season 7-2 since 1993 which is coincidentally the last time they won a division title. They’ve put themselves in a good position to win one again 21 years later, but the Packers could have something to say about that.