Last Sunday, the Vikings played at Green Bay and were reminded of what can happen when a talented quarterback, coach and general manager intersect.

The Packers have won 13 regular-season games in three consecutive seasons and played in back-to-back NFC Championship Games. Ever since they traded for an unproven quarterback named Brett Favre, they have dominated the division they share with the Vikings.

This Sunday, the Vikings will play host to the Chicago Bears, and they be reminded of the perils of change at the NFL's most pivotal positions.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer have worked together for eight seasons. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been with them for four.

Their tenure has not gone the way they had planned. After playing in the NFC Championship Game following the 2017 season with Case Keenum at quarterback, Cousins, Spielman and Zimmer have built a 32-31-1 record.

They have won one playoff game together and failed to advance past the divisional round. They are 14-19 since that playoff victory at New Orleans.

They will miss the playoffs for the second season in a row, and they have missed the playoffs in three of Cousins' four seasons.

If Vikings ownership is intent on reaching the Packers' heights, they should move on from Spielman, Zimmer and Cousins, but those moves are not without risk.

Big changes could turn them into the Bears.

If the Vikings are dumb enough to hire someone like Matt Patricia, they could become the Lions.

For all of their lore and tradition, and the occasional competitive season, the Bears have been rudderless for a long time. They have not won a playoff game since the 2010 season and have just that one playoff victory since the 2006 season, their last trip to the Super Bowl.

Current Vikings leadership has fallen short of its own stated goals of building a championship team. They have succeeded in remaining competitive. There is value in remaining competitive, which is measured in an engaged fan base, sellouts and meaningful games in December and sometimes January.

If the Wilfs chop off the top of their hierarchy, they could wind up with the next wunderkind GM and coach, who might find the NFL's next great quarterback.

Or the Wilfs could whiff, ushering in an era of "rebuilding," which, in the NFL, often means: "We don't know what we're doing, someone please send help."

In Lovie Smith's last three seasons, the Bears went 10-6, 8-8 and 11-5 and played in a conference championship game.

They replaced him with St. Louis Park native Marc Trestman, who went 13-19 in two seasons and did not make the playoffs.

The Bears replaced Trestman with NFL veteran John Fox, who had taken Carolina and Denver to Super Bowls. Fox went 14-34 in three years. As it turned out, his horrible personality was his best trait.

After firing Fox, the Bears hired Matt Nagy, who had spent two years as Andy Reid's offensive coordinator in Kansas City.

Nagy went 12-4 with rookie Mitch Trubisky in his first season. The next two years, he finished 8-8. This year, the Bears are 6-10 and Nagy is expected to be fired this week.

The Bears have gone from an experienced, defensive-minded coach (Smith) to an offensive coach who had success in Canada (Trestman) to a gruff old-school veteran (Fox) to a young, supposedly innovative offensive mind (Nagy), and have gone mostly nowhere.

Compared to the Detroit Lions, the Bears are as dynastic as Alabama.

The Lions, one of the worst-run franchises in sport, had a rare run of competence under coach Jim Caldwell, who had a 36-28 record in four seasons in Detroit.

In the four seasons since Caldwell's firing, the Lions are 16-46-2.

Spielman, Zimmer and Cousins have demonstrated their obvious flaws over the past four seasons. I'm on record calling for change, in part because this Vikings team feels so stale, Cousins is so selfish, and the relationships between the three are so obviously frayed.

That doesn't mean they will be easy to replace.