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NFC North Rundown, 1/23: Season ends for Vikings in tragic fashion

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After a dramatic divisional round win for Minnesota, the Vikings were throttled by the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in the NFC Championship Game.

NFC Championship - Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After a last-second thriller in front of their home crowd last weekend, the Minnesota Vikings will not be playing in front of their fans in Super Bowl LII.

The Philadelphia Eagles dealt a crushing 38-7 blow to the Vikings’ fabulous season on Sunday, advancing to the big stage for a date with the New England Patriots. A Vikings defense that had limited opposing offenses to a mere 25% conversion rate on third downs during the regular season allowed the Eagles to convert 10 of 14 third downs en route to a lopsided game. A tough final game to the year sets up a long offseason for a team facing quarterback uncertainty in 2018.

With the Patriots heading to the Super Bowl, it creates another two-week period of limbo for the Detroit Lions in naming Matt Patricia their new head coach and beginning to address players that fit his defensive style. Meanwhile, the Bears have made a concerted effort to create chemistry within its coaching staff, even on its special teams unit.

Those stories and more in today’s rundown.

Minnesota Vikings

3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings-Eagles NFC Championship

3rd-and-long isn’t the only stat line that led to Minnesota’s demise on Sunday evening.

Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater uncertain if Vikings want them to return in 2018

The future is cloudy for Keenum, Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford heading into the offseason, as the Vikings organization has provided few glimpses into their course of action with all three starting-caliber quarterbacks.

Jerick McKinnon hopes to find an expanded role in free agency

With Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray in the Vikings’ backfield for the foreseeable future, McKinnon will use free agency to explore a fit for him in terms of scheme and playing time in Minnesota or elsewhere.


Detroit Lions

Lions’ union with Patricia on hold as Patriots advance to Super Bowl

A fourth quarter comeback victory for New England, whose defense made a final defensive stand, delivered a Super Bowl berth for the Pats and a delay in coaching change for the Lions.

Detroit Lions OG T.J. Lang added to Pro Bowl roster

The former Packer Lang received his second Pro Bowl nod after being added as an alternate last week.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper: Detroit Lions want ‘versatile’ players under Matt Patricia

Draft guru Mel Kiper offers his opinion on the type of defensive players Detroit will target in the 2018 draft, including a versatile front seven player from Ohio State.


Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears’ Tabor happy to explain his job

The Bears’ new special teams coach provides a glimpse into some of the special teams roster considerations NFL teams look at, as well as his excitement for his new position.

Column: Alshon Jeffery heads to the Super Bowl: Why didn’t the Bears ever replace him?

As the former Bear Jeffery gets set for a Super Bowl appearance with the Eagles after scoring two touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game, here is a look back at the Bears’ decision to let Jeffery walk without a viable replacement.

What Matt Nagy’s coordinator search tells us about the Bears’ head coach’s style

Patrick Finley goes inside new head coach Matt Nagy’s coordinator hires and the desire to create balance and chemistry in staff personalities.