As last weekend came to an end, so too did the 2019 NFL regular season.
The NFC North will be represented by two teams in this year’s postseason, as Green Bay wears this year’s divisional crown and Minnesota prepares for a Wild Card clash with New Orleans this week. A playoff rematch with the Saints surely attracts headlines this week in Minnesota, but are the Vikings going to be healthy enough on defense to stop the Saints on the road this time around?
Meanwhile, Detroit and Chicago will be watching the postseason from home as the new year begins and immediately made assistant coaching changes this week. Both teams will be searching for new coordinators as Matt Nagy and Matt Patricia hope to save their jobs after next season.
Details on this weekend’s wildcard game, as well as those coaching moves are here in today’s rundown.
Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
Lost 21-19 vs. Chicago; Next at New Orleans (Wild Card)
Vikings drew their worst possible opening opponent in Saints
“A 13-3 team with a pronounced home-field advantage, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, the most prolific receiver in the league, most of its key players healthy and an offense capable of highlighting Minnesota’s greatest weaknesses”
Vikings Thursday injury report: Eric Kendricks returns to practice
Two key Viking defenders have been limited in practice - one for the better and one for the worse.
Big Performances & Dramatic Endings Define Vikings-Saints Postseason Games
The last playoff memory Minnesota had against New Orleans was a miraculous one. The Vikings are hoping for similar positive results without the drama this time around.
Chicago Bears (8-8)
Won 21-19 at Minnesota
Ryan Pace’s belief in Bears QB Mitch Trubisky is strong, but is it real?
Does the Bears GM actually believe Trubisky is the man for the job going forward or is he keeping his real opinions close to the vest?
5 candidates for Bears offensive coordinator
Chicago wasted little time firing Mark Helfrich after the season and here are some of the early names being tossed around for the OC opening.
Bears add 2 voidable years to the end of Kyle Fuller’s contract to create 2020 salary-cap savings
Chicago re-structured Fuller’s hefty deal from a contract originally created by Green Bay and later matched by the Bears.
Detroit Lions (3-12-1)
Lost 23-20 vs. Green Bay
Detroit Lions fire strength coach, special-teams coordinator and 4 other assistant coaches
These moves are just the beginning in an offseason that is assumed to have plenty of makeover on the coaching staff.
Paul Pasqualoni out as Lions defensive coordinator, Jeff Davidson steps down as OL coach
As an update to the article above, the Lions will also be on the lookout for a new man to lead the defense, but Head Coach Matt Patricia had called defensive plays later in the year.