But first: the Chip Kelly era is over. Jeff Lurie did this just as I was in the process of trying to finish packing for an early flight to Aruba, where I've been enjoying Sun, Sea, Sand on One Happy Island for the past several days.
IgglesBlitz and Bleeding Green Nation are dissecting this move in detail, and you should definitely go there for analysis.
My main thoughts on this are: it seems like Lurie wanted to strip Chip of his GM/personnel responsibilities (and he was certainly a much poorer GM than coach), Chip said no, and Jeff said, "Bye, Felicia!" Afterwards, Chip's been all, "I was never - and never wanted to be - the GM!" which will all know is BS. It seems likely to me that he'll end up in Tennessee, and I suspect that will probably go well for him, as long as the Titans make sure they have a strong personnel team that's NOT Chip.
I can't really speak to the locker room dynamics, but there seems to be at least some evidence that, while ALL the players were shocked by the timing, more than a few were not that unhappy at the result. And that's not great.
Now we wait to see who the new head coach will be (Hue Jackson! Please, Hue Jackson! Matt Patricia is an interesting idea, too.)
On to the final week's picks:
Games with playoff implications:
Jets at Bills: Jets (who will then make the playoffs - go, Jets!)
Patriots at Dolphins: Pats (who would then be the damn top seed in the AFC AGAIN)
Ravens at Bengals: Bengals, who potentially would still have the ability to get a first round bye with a Broncos loss, which they really need to get Andy Dalton back - and yes, it's unlikely the Broncos will lose, but the Bengals can't do anything about that.
Steelers at Browns: Steelers, who could take the six seed *if* they win and the Jets lose. Prediction: they'll do what they can, although it won't be enough, because the Jets aren't going to lose.
Titans at Colts: Colts, who are still not mathematically eliminated, but it won't matter, because they need the Jets AND the Steelers to lose, and that's also not going to happen.
Buccaneers at Panthers: Panthers, who want to hold that #1 seed
Raiders at Chiefs: Chiefs
Chargers at Broncos: Broncos
Seahawks at Cardinals: Cards, who could take #1 if the Panthers lose (I think), which also means the Seahawks will go #6
Vikings at Packers: This may be the most interesting game of the week, as it will determine the winner of the NFC North. I'm calling for the upset, with the Vikings winning in Green Bay, and taking the division in the process.
Games without playoff implications:
Eagles at Giants: Giants, I hope, because the best thing the Birds can do for themselves at this point is improve their draft position. Also, note to interim head coach Pat Shurmur: PLAY THE DAMN BACKUPS.
DC at Cowboys: DC - no playoff implications here, because DC can't possibly do better - or worse - than the #4 seed in the NFC
Saints at Falcons: Falcons
Jaguars at Texans: Texans
Lions at Bears: Bears
Rams at 49ers: Rams
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