clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Black Monday head coach Primer: NFC North

New, comments

It’s onto the NFC North for our look at the state of front offices. Some folks have already been canned. Not more will follow AFC North | AFC East | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East

We’re going to go around the league, looking at each division and seeing what vacancies could open up for Black Monday. Chances are, there won’t be any in Santa Clara, but a coach could bail to fill one of the vacancies elsewhere. Today, we have the NFC North.

Now we’re getting to the competitive divisions. The NFC North was on lock-down with the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers dominating things, but times have changed. The Minnesota Vikings have emerged, and for a brief moment, the Chicago Bears. While it’s competitive, you’d think there’d be some openings. Unfortunately, it looks like all teams are sticking by their coaches. And given the tenures of some, it’s the right move.

Green Bay Packers

Matt LaFleur. Let’s start with him. is a huge question mark. Is he a good coach/playcaller or is he getting elevated by his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers? We saw what happens when the Packers play good defenses (the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers come to mind).

There’s just something...off with the Packers. You saw it with Mike McCarthy too, so if it’s the coaching (or if you see nothing wrong at all), that’s your decision. They have Mike Pettine as the defensive coordinator and all those toys on offense and this is what they can come up with? Something’s weird.

That said, LaFleur has the Packers going into the playoffs (thanks easy schedule!) and winning the NFC North. He’s most definitely not going anywhere especially with the crap the Packers turned in in 2018. He might have been a deer in headlights in several games, but coming down the stretch he’s grown into the role.

There was a shakeup two years ago in the front office with Brian Gutekunst getting promoted to general manager at the start of 2018. The Packers love stability, both with coaches and front office personnel. Given the infancy of Gutekunst’s tenure and the recent hire/success of LaFleur, everyone here is safe.

Who should/will get fired: Nobody

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have stability with head coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman has made one of the deepest rosters in the league. The Vikings don’t have a divisional title, but they do have a wild card spot locked up. They’ve won the division two out of the last four years as well. Remember what the Vikings were before this?

The Vikings paid Kirk Cousins a lot of money. Money to not just get to the playoffs, but win the Super Bowl, and if anyone watched those Monday Night Football games against the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, you might be wondering what Cousins is like when the moment is too big.

And that’s been the biggest problem. The one ding against the Vikings is their inability to draft and develop a franchise quarterback. They tried with Teddy Bridgewater, but injuries ended that idea. They have Cousins, and the jury is still out on if that was a good signing given the contract, because it can be argued that Case Keenum played better in a Vikings uniform than Cousins ever did.

The quarterback is an issue, coaching is not. No one is getting canned here.

Who should/will get fired: Nobody

Detroit Lions

Trying to guess what’s improved and not with this team is an exercise in frustration. They’ve been in games, but they also have looked ugly in others. Let’s not forget the way they started their season: tying with the Cardinals. Now that’s a bad sign right there.

I would say it might be time for Matt Patricia to go, buuuuut they already said he’s staying. I would say it might be time for GM Bob Quinn, buuuuuut he’s staying too. These two are tied at the hip at this point and when one goes, it’s going to be because they pressed the button to blow it all up.

These two are joined at the hip and this will be it for them. One more year and it’s housecleaning time for Detroit.

Who should/will get fired: Nobody

Chicago Bears

The departure of Vic Fangio didn’t hurt the way I thought it would, but the presence of Mitch Trubisky certainly does. I’d like to point out that the Bears traded up for this guy. One spot. With Pat Mahomes still on the board. Go Niners.

So a decent defense and then what? Matt Nagy has nothing on offense to work with which might be a fault of him, a fault of his front office, and maybe his quarterback. Who knows. All I know is the Bears have been disappointing this year. This was supposed to be Mitch Trubisky’s year.

Right now, the only thing Trubisky has is that Jay Cutler, dial-a-turnover magic with 12 interceptions (two picks in one game is rather frequent) and three more games to go. What Trubisky has shown has still been progress under Nagy. Is Nagy the answer? It’s his second season and the Bears are hovering around .500. They won’t make the playoffs, but it’s not on the realm of Washington disappointment. Given that it’s his second year, he should get one more in those circumstances.

General Manager Ryan Pace isn’t going anywhere either. The Bears will give him another year and if this offense continues to look bad, they may force Pace out along with Nagy. Not this year, though.

Who should/will get fired: Nobody