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Detroit Lions take over first place in NFC North with 21-19 victory against the Chicago Bears

The Detroit Lions are for real.

This is not the same team that finished 4-12 last season. Erase all memories of that team which could not run the ball without Jahvid Best. Forget about the previous underachievement of Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley, a former first-round pick. There is no need to criticize Detroit’s receiving corps for not stepping up to help Calvin Johnson.

Detroit defeated the Chicago Bears 21-19 on Sunday in Soldier Field. The Lions’ victory signified more than a two-point win.

- Lions coach Jim Schwartz recorded his first career victory in Chicago.

- Detroit swept the Chicago Bears this season.

- The Lions have a 3-1 record in the NFC North.

- Oh, and Detroit is one of the NFC’s best teams.

Detroit is currently 6-3 because of its well-balanced offense and impressive defense.

Lions receivers Calvin Johnson had six receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago, but running back Reggie Bush had 14 carries for 105 yards. The offseason acquisition of Bush has helped diversify Detroit’s offense.

In addition, Lions backup running back Joique Bell had 10 carries for 41 yards.

Meanwhile, Fairley, who previously predicted Ndamukong Suh and himself would form the NFL’s best defensive tackle tandem, stopped Matt Forte on Chicago’s two-point conversion attempt with 40 seconds remaining to seal Detroit’s victory.

Detroit still has games remaining against Green Bay (at Ford Field) and Minnesota (on the road), and can likely wrap up the NFC North title with two wins. The Lions are alone in first place in the NFC North and on track to win their first division title since 1993. Lions coach Jim Schwartz was in the hot seat prior to this season, but could advance to the playoffs for the second time in the past three seasons.

The Detroit Lions are for real.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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