To sum up the divisional race in week 13 of the NFL season, the Chicago Bears lost no ground in the NFC North title hunt despite their first loss since October. But that loss took a back seat to the news that shortly followed on Sunday: the Green Bay Packers’ firing of Mike McCarthy.
All around the division, there is much being said about the Packers’ former head coach, who was relieved of duties after the team’s 20-17 loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals. After 13 seasons and a 125-77-2 record, McCarthy’s legacy around the division is that of a productive head coach that became a nemesis for the Packers’ rivals. One such competitor went as far to label it a “mistake” in wake of Sunday’s news.
However, McCarthy may be the first domino to fall for NFC North coaching shake-ups, at least since the Lions’ firing of Joe Marciano as special teams coach earlier this season. A number of names are on the bubble, while some are listed as potential names to watch for the Packers’ open position.
Storylines involving coaches make up today’s divisional rundown.
Chicago Bears (8-4)
Lsot 30-27 at New York Giants; Next vs. Los Angeles Rams
Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy is suddenly the second-longest tenured coach in the division and one of his assistants could be a candidate for Green Bay.
The Chicago Tribune examines the relationship between Mark Murphy and Pat Fitzgerald from their time together at Northwestern.
Although it may not be surprising that McCarthy was fired, the former head coach had an outstanding record against the Packers’ rival to the south.
Detroit Lions (4-8)
Lost 30-16 vs. Los Angeles Rams; Next at Arizona
While not from the Detroit local media, this article mentions a familiar name in that area as a head coaching candidate for Green Bay and his experience with established quarterbacks.
First-year coach or not, Patricia is entering a critical prove-it stretch of the season with Detroit owning a 4-8 record.
After firing their special teams coach a few weeks ago, the Lions could very well begin searching for their next Offensive Coordinator soon while their head coach’s seat warms up.
Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1)
Lost 24-10 at New England; Next at Seattle
On top of calling it “sad,” Zimmer was not fond of the Packers’ decision to sever ties with a divisional coaching counterpart.
Another first-year coordinator could be in jeopardy of losing his job after a shaky season if one reads between the lines of Zimmer’s last post-game press conference.
Despite frustration and dissatisfaction over DeFilippo’s offense in Minnesota this season, some wonder if he will be a Packer head coaching target.