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Around the NFC North, Wildcard Weekend: Emery Passed Over Arians, Suh Wins Appeal, Cole Takes Advantage

According to a report, former Bears general manager Phil Emery missed out on Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It's over. The NFL regular season is done, which obviously means its time for playoff football and the battle for Super Bowl 49 to begin. The Green Bay Packers won the NFC North title and earned a first-round bye after their 30-20 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Minnesota beat Chicago 13-9 at home, but both teams have been out of the race for the postseason for weeks. The Packers will face Dallas if they beat Detroit, or they will face Carolina or Arizona if Detroit goes into Dallas and wins. To be frank, they play the highest seed remaining among those teams.

Here's a final look at the playoff seeding in the NFC conference:

Seed Team Record
1 Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2 Green Bay Packers 12-4
3 Dallas Cowboys 12-4
4 Carolina Panthers 7-8-1
5 Arizona Cardinals 11-5
6 Detroit Lions 11-5

The Bears fired head coach Marc Trestman after two seasons, and general manager Phil Emery after three. With a disappointing 5-11 finish, and complete dysfunction on the offensive side of the ball -- along with an ineffective defense -- Trestman's fate was forthcoming. The same with Emery, who gave struggling quarterback Jay Culter a three-year, $54 million contract.  Whoever takes over will have a decision to make on Culter, along with other team assets.

Even though the Vikings came short of the postseason, based on how he played down the stretch of the season, they might've found their quarterback of the future in Teddy Bridgewater.  Bridgewater completed 70-plus percent of his throws in four of the last five games. Minnesota has a lot of young talent (especially on defense) that they will be building off of heading into the offseason.

And of course, we have Detroit. Detroit travels to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday (4:40 p.m. ET on FOX). Ndamukong Suh will play after having his one-game suspension for stepping on Aaron Rodgers' leg exchanged for a $70,000 fine. Suh stated this week that his feet were so cold, he couldn't tell the difference between Rodgers' leg and the ground. Debate.

We get you get up with everything else around the division with the latest links as we head into Wildcard Weekend:


Assistant general manager George Paton declined to be interviewed for the New York Jets' vacant general manager position.

We'll wait to see the latest involving Adrian Peterson and his reinstatement, but head coach Mike Zimmer remains in his corner.

With starting linebacker Chad Greenway absent Sunday, Audie Cole made the best of his opportunity.

Zimmer discussed how his first year in Minnesota went.

Minnesota signed nine players to reserve/futures contracts on Tuesday.


Here's how Suh beat the system.

Is Suh worth the money and hassle?

Golden Tate knows a thing or two about playing in the playoffs, and says his team must play better.

Jim Caldwell once again showed that nobody is excused from his standards.

The Atlanta Falcons asked permission to interview defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.


According to a report, Emery passed over Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ouch.

Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer got in on the firing action, too.

A report card for the Bears, that for the most part, highlights the brighter spots of the 2014 season.

Chicago is taking an aggressive approach in finding their new head coach.

Rookie 6th-round punter Pat O'Donnell was placed on ESPN's All-Rookie team.