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NFC North Rundown, Week 17: Regular season ends with medley of questions

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The 2017 regular season ends with more questions than answers about the direction of three divisional teams.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

After a 35-11 loss to the Detroit Lions that effectively closed the book on the 2017 season, the Green Bay Packers face an offseason of change. From the front office to the defensive coaching staff, the Packers will look to clean up and bring new energy to a team that finished 7-9 and firmly in third place in the NFC North.

But change will be all around in the division this winter.

In Detroit and Chicago, the offseason now begins with each team fresh off a head coach firing. Early reports provide the possibility of assistant coaches moving around the division in possible head coach and coordinator roles. Time will tell what the offseason of 2018 holds, but buckle up for some fun.

More on those coaching rumors plus Minnesota’s rejection of the playoff curse in the final regular season rundown.

Detroit Lions (Final record: 9-7)

Won 35-11 vs. Green Bay

Detroit Lions fire coach Jim Caldwell

Justin Rogers provides a detailed account of Caldwell’s tenure in Detroit with the Lions heading in a new direction after back-to-back 9-7 seasons.

Detroit Lions coaching search: 6 names to watch

Six names, including a Packers assistant coach, are on the quick list for Detroit’s new head coach.

Lions grades: Meaningless finale brings out the best in Detroit's season

Caldwell’s last game was a dandy, however, as the Lions gashed Green Bay behind strong play from Matthew Stafford and their defensive backfield.


Minnesota Vikings (Final record: 13-3)

Won 23-10 vs. Chicago

Vikings aware of bye week’s value

Rest, review, and preparation ahead for Minnesota as they locked up the two seed in the NFC playoffs on Sunday and now play the waiting game for their next opponent.

Heading Into Playoffs, Vikings Reject Cursed Team Narrative

After achieving their second-best record in 40 years, the Vikings are aware of their past postseason flops, but insist this is a different team and different year.

Will NFL's best defense carry Vikings to Super Bowl?

Minnesota finished the season first in total defense and scoring defense. Despite the loss of two quarterbacks and their starting running back, the defense carried the Vikings to the playoffs. Can it take them further?


Chicago Bears (Final record: 5-11)

Lost 23-10 at Minnesota

Chicago Bears coaching search now on Pace

While Head Coach John Fox got the boot, General Manager Ryan Pace got a two-year extension this season. Team President and CEO Ted Phillips believes Pace has a clear vision for directing a winning team. Now, Pace gets his true test in hiring a new head coach for the Bears.

Bears defenders hold out hope 'mastermind' Vic Fangio stays

Fangio has been rumored for a number of defensive coordinator roles, but his players hope the long-time defensive mind’s final destination is right where he is now.

14 potential head-coaching candidates for the Bears

The Chicago Tribune provides a slideshow of 14 candidates the Bears could pursue this offseason in addition to Vic Fangio.