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NFC North Rundown: Bears fall to Saints, drop out of Super Bowl contention

The Bears’ loss in New Orleans kicks off what is shaping up to be an extremely interesting offseason in the Windy City.

Wild Card Round - Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

And then there was one.

The final remaining NFC North team in the playoffs, the Green Bay Packers will lace up their cleats Saturday after enjoying a first-round bye. But they may have received somewhat of a surprise opponent in the Los Angeles Rams, who upset Seattle despite Jared Goff being pressed immediately into action after thumb surgery. The game sets up several storylines between two former California quarterbacks and two head coaches that are plenty familiar with each other.

However, it was not a storybook ending for the Chicago Bears, whose offense faltered in the first round of the postseason. What is next for upper management is anyone’s guess, but a no-news Monday may suggest that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy could be safe.

Today’s rundown investigates that topic, but also peeks at Detroit’s own coaching and managerial searches and some possible cap casualties in Minnesota this offseason.

Chicago Bears

Lost 21-9 at New Orleans (wildcard round)

Notes: Bears’ season ends after lifeless Wild Card loss to Saints

The Chicago offense struggled to move the football until the final drive of the game - a “fitting way to go out” if it was indeed Mitchell Trubisky’s last game for the Bears.

George McCaskey, Bears face tough call on Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy

A late run to the playoffs may have been enough for both the GM and head coach, who survived the first day after the season unlike many of their Bears predecessors.

Allen Robinson sounds done with Bears in potential Giants, Jets intrigue

There should be plenty of intrigue across the league if Allen Robinson becomes available; his brief comments yesterday seem to reflect that he will be.

Minnesota Vikings

Former Vikings DE Everson Griffen apologizes for deleted tweets blasting Kirk Cousins

Several since-deleted tweets from Griffen would suggest that there was some conflict between Cousins and Zimmer during the defensive end’s time in Minnesota.

Three Vikings who could be cap casualties this offseason

A trio of starters could be part of cost-cutting measures this winter, notably safety Harrison Smith.

Vikings Announce 2 Coaches’ Contracts Will Not Be Renewed in 2021

While Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak contemplates retirement, a former Packers assistant will definitely not be back with Minnesota next season.

Detroit Lions

Lions set to interview Ed Dodds for G.M. opening

The Indianapolis Assistant General Manager declined being considered for the vacancy in Carolina, but will meet with Detroit.

Lions conclude interview with Dan Campbell for coaching vacancy

Detroit is also conducting its head coaching search and the Saints’ tight ends coach is the latest name to surface as a Lions interviewee.

O’HARA: How Lions’ 2020 draft class fared in first season

After one year in the pros, Detroit’s most recent draft class showed plenty of potential, with five players earning starts over the course of the season.