BBAO: Charting our next course

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
8:15
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Good morning to you on the first day of the offseason for half of our division. It's the first day of the postseason for the other half. On the blog, we're full steam ahead.

I'm planning to churn out one last four-set of Free Head Exams while also turning our attention to the initial hype of the wild-card rematch between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. (My column on the Vikings' surprising finish posted early Monday morning.) We'll deal with the future of coaches Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears) and Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions), and while we have a moment we'll reiterate that the Lions have earned the No. 5 position in the 2013 draft.

The Bears became the second team in the 23-year history of this postseason structure to miss the playoffs after starting 7-1. Will that cost Smith his job? Will Schwartz take the fall for a third losing season in four years of his tenure with general manager Martin Mayhew? We might not get answers on Black Monday, but we'll be ready when they come.

While we have a moment, let's take our morning spin around the division:

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