Despite a lot of promise and three playoff contenders, the NFC North only sent one team to the postseason. The other three all have decisions to make in the coming months. For two of those teams, that will include a new head coach and the third has to replace both coordinators and the general manager.
The Full Press editors of the NFC North team pages shared their thoughts on the three teams in the division that missed out on the postseason.
What about your team makes you optimistic for the future?
Tyler Kading, Bears: The Bears are only a couple pieces away. They finally have their quarterback in place, and with a great running corps, the offense is almost there. The defense has taken strides in the past couple years, and as players like Leonard Floyd finally get back healthy, that defense is a top-10 unit in football.
Matt Urben, Lions: The Lions just fired a coach after back-to-back winning seasons, which indicates the team is not satisfied being slightly above average. Matthew Stafford will be just 30 years old next season and is playing the best football of his career. Another step forward and the team could contend very soon.
Jake Schyvinck, Packers: There are reasons for optimism despite the Packers missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The good news is that Aaron Rodgers will be back and fully ready to go for 2018. Green Bay also brought back two key pieces on offense in Davante Adams and Corey Linsley. Those two extensions are key for 2018. Finally, the Packers are moving on from defensive coordinator Dom Capers. A change on defense could help the Packers moving forward.
What makes you pessimistic?
Kading: While Ryan Pace has done a great job acquiring promising talent, the results just are not there. It is not acceptable in this league to only win 14 games in three seasons, and there is no reason to be certain that these struggles were the fault of the staff. They could very well be the fault of the general manager, and a new coach will be the test to prove otherwise.
Urben: The Lions will have extremely high expectations for next season and if they do not wind up with a winning record, it will feel like a backward step. If the Lions do win fewer than nine games, you have to question the decision to fire Jim Caldwell. The pressure will be on the next head coach.
Schyvinck: The Packers surely are making changes, but is that enough? It will still come down to the new general manager making decisions and improving the roster enough. If the Packers stay stagnant, 2018 could bring similar disappointment. On top of that, the defense still needs impact players on every level. If that does not happen, a Super Bowl run is unlikely.
What is your team’s primary position of need?
Kading: It starts with wide receiver. There was only one NFL-caliber wideout on the Bears team last season, and even he is only a fourth option, at best. After that, the secondary could use a significant upgrade. Both Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are impending free agents, and the depth after them is non-existent. It is possible they return, but even if they do, more quality corners are needed.
Urben: Running back is obviously a big need after such a disappointing season running the ball. Detroit could use a power back capable of converting short yardage situations. The defensive line could use an upgrade and team may need a new center with Travis Swanson‘s future uncertain.
Schyvinck: Green Bay needs help in a few key spots. The most important would be to get help off of the edge. While Clay Matthews had a productive season, he is getting older. Nick Perry is still under contract, but he continues to have injury issues. There is not much depth behind them, so finding an instant impact off the edge is important. Adding another corner on the outside would also benefit the Packers. Finally, the tight end spot is in need of an upgrade.
Who do you think the Bears will hire as their next head coach? Who do you think the Lions hire?
Kading: For the Bears, Matt LaFleur is the ideal coach. The Bears need a coach who has worked with young quarterbacks and inexperienced wide receivers, and LaFleur absolutely fits the bill. His track record, which includes successes with Robert Griffin III, Matt Ryan and Jared Goff, is unmatched among available candidates.
For Detroit, Matt Patricia would be a great hire. Detroit doesn’t need to target an offensive minded guy, but rather a coach who is knowledgeable in all facets of the game. Patricia had a Belichick-esque rise through the ranks in New England, and many around the league think he is more than qualified to control the 53-man roster if needed. He is too good for a playoff-contending team like Detroit to pass up
Urben: I can see the Lions hiring Matt Patricia to replace Jim Caldwell. For the Bears, Mike Vrable or Josh McDaniels would make sense for that young, but talented roster.
Schyvinck: For the Bears, John DeFilippo makes a lot of sense. He has done very well in Cleveland and with the Eagles as a quarterback coach this season. DeFilippo would work well with Mitchell Trubisky and get the offense back on track in Chicago. For the Lions, promoting from within makes sense. Jim Bob Cooter has improved the offense dramatically in his time in Detroit, and Teryl Austin is worthy of the head coaching gig with his work on the defense.
Give your team’s season a grade.
Kading: Since the Bears’ season was the epitome of mediocre, the grade they get is the most mediocre grade there is: C. They finally got the young arm that the franchise has lacked for decades. However, dumb mistakes, bad coaching decisions and inconsistent play cornered the Bears into the NFL’s cellar once again.
Urben: For the Lions, I cannot go any higher than a C+. They were a slightly above average team, but when they had a chance to go beyond that, they failed every time. There have been many worse seasons in Lions history, but this season felt like a missed opportunity.
Schyvinck: For Green Bay, this season was a C- at best. It’s hard when you lose a player like Aaron Rodgers who consistently carries this team, but some players made strides. Adams looks like a true number one receiver. Blake Martinez and Kenny Clark are looking like future studs on defense. Missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 is the main determinant.
- Closing Takeaways From The Buffalo Bills Final Preseason Game
- Three Takeaways From The Buffalo Bills Commanding Win In Preseason
- Josh Allen Joins The $40 Million Club, And It Makes Complete Sense
- Dear NFL, Don’t Even Think About Moving The Buffalo Bills
- Reminiscing On Colts’ Preseason Predictions
- Chiefs-Raiders Preview: Secure Home Field
- Chiefs Opinion: Eric Berry Can Save Chiefs Defense
- Chiefs-Chargers Recap: Chargers Comeback, Stun Chiefs
- NFL Draft: Players to Watch in Saturday’s Bowl Games
- Chiefs-Ravens Recap: Resilient Rally In OT
- Chiefs-Ravens Preview: Something’s Got To Give
- FPC Buccaneers Round Table: Can Dirk Koetter Save His Job?
- Chiefs Sign Kelvin Benjamin
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Seven-Round 2019 Mock Draft
- Matchup Breakdown: Los Angeles Rams vs Detroit Lions
- Chiefs-Raiders Preview: Get Back On Track
- Chiefs-Rams Recap: Monday Night Madness
- Chiefs-Rams Preview: Game of the Year?
- Chiefs-Cardinals Preview: Take Care of the Birds
- Chiefs-Browns Recap: Cleveland Boys Takedown Browns
- Chiefs-Browns Preview: Take Care of Business
- Chiefs-Broncos Preview: Another Division Rivalry Sweep?
- Chiefs Week 7: Three Up, Two Down
- Three Up, Three Down- Chiefs-Patriots
- Chiefs-49ers Preview: The Home Opener Has Arrived
- Chiefs-Chargers Preview: Turning Out the Bolts
- Chiefs Defensive Backs: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Packers
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Bears
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Falcons
- Chiefs Offensive Line: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Three Things to Watch For: Chiefs vs Texans
- Chiefs Tight Ends: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Chiefs Wide Receivers: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Chiefs Running Backs: Projected 53 Man Roster
- Chiefs 2018 Breakout Candidates: Defense
- Chiefs 2018 Breakout Candidates: Offense
- 2018 Chiefs Draft Review: KC Addresses the Defense and Needs
- Our Newest Titan: Rashaan Evans
- 2018 Kansas City Chiefs Schedule
- Chiefs Draft Prospect: Parry Nickerson
- Chiefs Draft Prospect: Dorance Armstrong Jr.
- Chiefs Complete More Signings
- Chiefs Officially Release Tamba Hali and Ron Parker
- Chiefs Ink Sammy Watkins and Anthony Hitchens
- NFL Free Agent Tracker (Live Updates)
- Chiefs Free Agent Targets: Backup Quarterback
- Raiders Opinion: Offensive Line Performed Better Than Most Hoped
- Raiders Review: Defensive Line Failed To Meet Expectations
- Kansas City Chiefs Punch Ticket To Super Bowl LVII
- 2022 NFL Schedule: Week by Week With Results (After Championship Games)
- NFL 2022: Key Statistics Through Championship Games
-Follow @FPC_NFCN on Twitter
Ep 141: Andy Reid, Eagles, And Conference Championship Weekend w/ Joe Bannerby Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 5:36 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by former Eagles President Joe Banner to talk […]
Ep 140: The 49ers/Cowboys Rivalry With Former San Francisco Tight End Brent Jonesby Full Press Coverage on January 19, 2023 at 9:02 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by former 49ers tight end and three time Super […]
Ep 136: Remembering The Longest Game Ever Played With Larry Littleby Full Press Coverage on December 24, 2022 at 1:09 am
On the 51-year anniversary of the longest game ever played (Chiefs vs. […]
Ep 135: Hall of Fame Semifinalist Jahri Evans Joins The Showby Full Press Coverage on December 16, 2022 at 3:51 pm
Former Saints guard and 2023 HOF Semifinalist Jahri Evans joins Clark and […]
Ep 134: Remember AFL/NFL Star John Hadl with Nick Canepaby Full Press Coverage on December 8, 2022 at 2:39 pm
Former Hall of Fame voter, Nick Canepa, joins Clark and Ira to discuss the […]
Ep 133: Hall Of Fame Semifinalist Henry Ellard Joins The Showby Full Press Coverage on November 30, 2022 at 4:28 pm
Former Rams and Redskins wide receiver, Henry Ellard, joins Clark and Ira […]
Ep 132: Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Semifinalists w/ Rick Gosselinby Full Press Coverage on November 22, 2022 at 6:15 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame voter Rick Gosselin […]
Ep 131: 'Football Heaven' With PFHOF Senior Advisor Joe Horriganby Full Press Coverage on November 17, 2022 at 5:55 pm
Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Advisor, Joe Horrigan, joins Clark and […]
Ep 130: Remembering John McVay With Hall of Famer Eddie DeBartolo Jr.by Full Press Coverage on November 13, 2022 at 1:42 am
Clark and Ira are joined by Hall of Fame owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to […]
(Season 3.1) Commanders Roundtable w/ Deuce, DH, and DTby Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 3:56 am
George Carmi hosts Deuce, DH, and DT as they discuss the latest topics of […]
1/31 - Tom Brady and the 49ers, Aaron Rodgers Futureby Full Press Coverage on January 31, 2023 at 9:00 am
Ian and John discuss whether or not the 49ers loss in the NFC Championship […]
1/30 - Conference Championship Recap: Eagles, Chiefs Advanceby Full Press Coverage on January 30, 2023 at 10:35 am
Ian and John recap the Eagles and Chiefs victories on Conference […]
1/27 - Conference Championship Preview: Who is Going To The Super Bowl?by Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 9:50 am
Ian and John preview Conference Championship Weekend and give their picks […]
1/23 - Divisional Round Recap; Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, and 49ers Advanceby Full Press Coverage on January 23, 2023 at 2:00 pm
Ian and John recap Divisional Round Weekend in the NFL. Learn more about […]
Boot 2 The Face Episode 210 "No Monè, No Monè, No Monè"by Boot 2 The Face on January 19, 2023 at 12:55 am
Rucker and EJ are back discussing Rucker going to Impacts Hard to Kill […]
1/31 - Tom Brady and the 49ers, Aaron Rodgers Futureby Full Press Coverage on January 31, 2023 at 9:00 am
Episode 80 Criss Partee discusses NBA trade rumorsby Full Press Coverage on January 31, 2023 at 6:25 am
1/6 - Damar Hamlin Update, Bills/Bengals, AFC Playoffs, Week 18 Picksby Full Press Coverage on January 6, 2023 at 3:11 pm
Winter Classic: Bruins Rally To Beat Penguins At Fenwayby Full Press Coverage on January 4, 2023 at 2:09 am
1/3 - Bills/Bengals Postponed; Bruins Topple Penguins In Winter Classicby Full Press Coverage on January 4, 2023 at 2:05 am
1/2 - Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Week 17, Bills/Bengalsby Full Press Coverage on January 3, 2023 at 3:22 am
12/30 - New Year's Eve, Luka Doncic, NBA Talk, Week 17 Preview and Picksby Full Press Coverage on January 1, 2023 at 2:29 am
Aaron Rodgers, Packers Win Third Straight; Playoffs In Sightby Full Press Coverage on December 27, 2022 at 7:36 pm