We're Black and Blue All Over:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- I can't say I was expecting the NFC North season to end Sunday. We had two of our teams finish among the top 12 in the NFL this season, based on playoff berths, and I figured that, one way or the other, we would be playing into late January. But both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers lost their opening playoff game and now everyone is home for the winter.
That pushes our blog into full offseason mode, which means plenty of filler posts and nonsensical debates are headed your way. Ha! In reality, we seem to have as much to discuss during the winter and spring around here as we do in the summer and fall.
Thanks to all of you for hanging with us from the wild post-lockout free-agent scramble through an eventful and historic regular season. And for those of you who are new, please know that this blog is active 12 months per year. Stop in whenever you like. We'll leave the light on for you.
As always, we'll take a Monday morning spin around the division. I'll have a final Free Head Exam on the Packers later Monday and we'll go from there.
The Packers' Super Bowl dreams landed with a thud, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Two Wisconsin teams have had their seasons ruined by a Hail Mary pass, writes Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal.
Sunday will go down as the most disheartening playoff loss in Packers history, according to Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers safety Nick Collins will visit with a doctor in March to have his neck examined and determine whether he can resume his career in 2012. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com has more.
The Minnesota Vikings have offered defensive coordinator Fred Pagac a job as their linebackers coach in 2012, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The demotion calls into question the Vikings' plans for assistant head coach/linebackers Mike Singletary. Has Singletary been fired or will he be the defensive coordinator in 2012? Neither option would surprise me.
There doesn't appear to be much urgency from legislators to solve the Vikings' stadium issue, writes Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press.
It's not yet clear where Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson will rehabilitate after knee surgery, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press grades the Lions' season.
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh wants the team to re-sign defensive end Cliff Avril, notes the Detroit News.
Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com examines the Lions' biggest needs.
The Chicago Bears need to pursue cornerbacks this offseason, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler advocated for full-time officials via Twitter on Sunday.