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NFC North Rundown: Improbable finish keeps Vikes’ season alive

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Minnesota stays on path for a Super Bowl run with a miraculous final-second score.

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As the Green Bay Packers continue to patch holes on their coaching staff for the 2018 season, they find themselves in plenty of company.

The Chicago Bears have now finalized their choices for head coach and coordinators, while the Detroit Lions have also reportedly made up their minds on the franchise’s next head coach. Each new coaching staff will inherit a medley of talented rookies that they hope will continue to blossom into starters and franchise-changing players in the next couple of years.

But this week’s rundown wouldn’t be complete without an inside scoop on the play that saved the Minnesota Vikings’ season and what to watch for in the NFC Championship Game.

Minnesota Vikings - NFC Championship at Philadelphia

Inside the play that saved the Vikings’ season -- and crushed the Saints

“Seven Heaven” was an appropriate name for the play that sealed the win for Minnesota. Here’s what Mike Zimmer, as well as Vikings and Saints players had to say about the unbelievable play afterwards.

Familiarity may breed contempt as Vikings, Eagles square off for NFC title

Defense, defense, defense as Minnesota and Philadelphia get ready for a game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Nick Foles versus Case Keenum? Just as all NFL fans expected, right?

Vikings vs Eagles: Five key NFC Championship matchups to watch

Former Chicago Bear Alshon Jeffery is a familiar opposing player for Minnesota, but may still create mismatches. Meanwhile, time of possession will be one to watch for two teams among the league’s best.


Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions: Matt Patricia the frontrunner to be next head coach

Per Albert Breer, the Patriots’ defensive coordinator will be named the next Detroit head coach at season’s end.

Matt Patricia: Belichick’s Protege Through the Eyes of a Patriots Player

Sports Illustrated took a deeper look into the coaching style of Patricia through the eyes of former linebacker Brandon Spikes. He’s a player’s coach that certainly puts in the time for his homework.

How the Detroit Lions’ rookies fared in 2017

The Lions saw a healthy share of production from its top six 2017 draft picks and expect to see them continue to develop into impact players in the very near future.


Chicago Bears

Bears hire former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich to run offense

Between new head coach Matt Nagy and the Chip Kelly disciple Helfrich, the Bears have doubled up on offensive minds to groom Mitchell Trubisky and their other young offensive pieces.

Vic Fangio agrees to new deal to remain with Bears

After Green Bay decided to go forward with Mike Pettine as its new defensive coordinator, the Bears locked up 2017 coordinator Fangio in hopes of creating continuity among a defense that has posted impressive numbers during Fangio’s tenure with the team.

They said it: Bears hire Matt Nagy

Now that the dust has settled on Chicago’s head coaching hire, here is what a number of media sources are saying about Nagy’s fit with Chicago and what to expect going forward.