The off-season has begun for the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions a few weeks sooner than they would have preferred, following their conference championship game losses on Sunday.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell displayed a level of candor after the game Sunday that we're not used to seeing from coaches, especially following such a heart wrenching loss.

While it's not something normally said, he's certainly got a point. The NFL is built for parity. It's built to take a team like Detroit from the depths of despair a couple years ago and vault them to the doorstep of the Super Bowl, only to watch them get torn back down as the vicious cycle repeats itself.

Campbell is right. Returning to this stage is anything but guaranteed. His Lions will return to a deep NFC North next year which includes Green Bay, a team that also made noise this postseason and appears to be set at the QB position with Jordan Love. Chicago could role out Caleb Williams under center next season and the Vikings are not exactly a rollover either, rather a team capable of winning eight or nine games regardless of who is playing QB.

For the AFC runners-up, their path may be even tougher. The AFC is loaded, both in top teams and QB's. Their division features two other playoff teams from this season who will look to reload in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, while the team that finished in the basement gets a healthy Joe Burrow back.

Both teams will have their work cut out for them, no doubt. Which one is more likely to duplicate their success from 2023?

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