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NFC North Rundown: Super Bowl approaches as Urlacher waits for HOF decision

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One of the most feared middle linebackers in NFC North history hopes to become a first ballot Hall of Famer this weekend.

Brian Urlacher directs the defensive secondary

As the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots prepare to square off in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, NFC North opponents will be home and beginning to formulate their offseason plans.

In Detroit, a new coaching staff is starting to come together, while Chicago figures to be thinking long and hard about how to improve its wide receiver position for the 2018 season. Minnesota fans, meanwhile, might reminisce about what could have been while watching the Super Bowl and struggle to cheer for either team.

In addition to the Super Bowl hoopla, former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher hopes to hear his name called to the Hall of Fame on Saturday as one of the division’s fiercest defenders of the past two decades.

More on each of these stories, including what teammates had to say about Urlacher’s effect, in today’s divisional rundown.

Chicago Bears

Ex-teammates see Urlacher as Hall of Famer

Former teammates Alex Brown and Charles Tillman hope to see Brian Urlacher’s name announced Saturday as a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection. Urlacher is one of 15 finalists.

Bears’ Adrian Amos recognized as best free safety in NFL

Praise is streaming in for the Bears’ under-the-radar safety, who was selected to Pro Football Focus’s All-Pro Team and named the top free safety in the league by Bleacher Report. This article provides some insight into those selections.

Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins potential offseason WR targets for Bears

Wide receiver headlines Chicago’s team needs heading into the offseason. Here are a few potential veteran additions, as well as draft picks, that could be possible fits for the Bears.


Detroit Lions

Report: Lions to hire three assistants, including QB coach George Godsey

While Detroit will wait to name Matt Patricia head coach until the Super Bowl has concluded, reports are beginning to trickle in on new staff hires on each side of the ball.

Trade to Patriots ‘a blessing’ for ex-Lion Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy doesn’t harbor any ill feelings towards the Lions as he prepares to play in his first Super Bowl as a member of the Patriots. Van Noy’s story is a good lesson of the importance of matching a player’s skillset with defensive scheme.

Tony Dungy: The Lions made a mistake in firing Jim Caldwell

At the Super Bowl festivities on Tuesday, former championship-winning head coach Tony Dungy criticized Detroit for firing Caldwell, citing the progress, class, and wins Caldwell brought to the Lions organization.


Minnesota Vikings

Many Minnesota Vikings Fans Are Rooting for the Patriots to Win Super Bowl LII

After the Philadelphia Eagles “ruined all their hopes and dreams” in the NFC Championship Game, many Vikings fans are cheering for New England this weekend. Here are a few more of their reasons why.

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr looking for long-term contract extension

After three straight Pro Bowl nods, Barr is hoping the Vikings lock him up on a long-term deal this offseason before heading into his contract year.

Case Keenum took the Vikings on improbable ride in 2017

Keenum exceeded all expectations in 2017 with road victories and a walk-off playoff touchdown pass. Here is list of more superlatives from the Vikings’ season and a few offseason priorities.