Peterson, Vikings knock Bears out of playoffs

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Peterson, Vikings knock Bears out of playoffs

DETROIT So close, so agonizingly close.

That was how the 2012 season finished for the Bears, who defeated the Detroit Lions 26-24 to finish 10-6 but lost out on their second playoff appearance since 2006 when the Green Bay Packers could not hold down the Minnesota Vikings.

The Bears needed the Vikings (10-6) to lose because with a win over the Packers, Minnesota owned the tiebreak advantage over the Bears by virtue of a 4-2 division record to the Bears 3-3. Instead, the Vikings won on a 29-yard field goal by Blair Walsh as time expired.

The San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals to slip past Green Bay into the No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye. The Vikings now have to prove that their win in the Metrodome was no fluke: They face the Packers next weekend in a wild-card game in Green Bay.

Evaluations starting

Although evaluations of players and coaches are on-going throughout the season, meetings to arrive at decisions were not being held until after the season, including possible playoffs, concluded.

The first order of business will be to formalize a decision on the return of head coach Lovie Smith. From there, staff decisions and player calls will be made.

With the Minnesota win over Green Bay, that time is suddenly at hand.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Pittsburgh QB Nathan Peterman

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Pittsburgh QB Nathan Peterman

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh

6'2" | 226 lbs.

2016 stats:

2,885 YDS, 60.5 CMP%, 27 TD, 7 INT, 163.4 QBR | 72 CAR, 286 YDS, 3 TD

Projection:

Third/Fourth Round

Scouting Report:

"Peterman's experience in a pro-style passing attack gives him a head start headed into the league. His physical attributes are just average, but his accuracy, composure and anticipation are what sets him apart from some of the more physically gifted quarterbacks in this year's draft. Peterman's tape is sure to catch the eye of at least a few teams in need of a quarterback and he should come off the board by day two with a chance to become a solid starting quarterback in the future." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OLB Dawuane Smoot

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Illinois OLB Dawuane Smoot

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Dawuane Smoot, OLB, Illinois

6'3" | 264 lbs.

2016 stats:

56 tackles, 15 TFL, 5 sacks

Projection:

Day 3

Scouting Report:

"Duck-footed, face-up rusher able to generate some power in his rush, Smoot failed to put together the breakout season many predicted after a strong junior showing. He lacks a track record of pass rush production to excite NFL teams as an early round pick, but his athleticism could create an opportunity for him as a 3-4 rush end if given the chance. " — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles