December 2015


In the end, Chip Kelly created a poor culture and a beatable scheme. A day after firing Kelly, CEO Jeffrey Lurie made it clear he wants a coach who can relate to his players and everyone else in the building. ''You've got to open your heart to players and everybody you want to achieve peak performance,'' Lurie said Wednesday.
For a second straight season, the New Orleans Saints aren't headed to the playoffs. Sean Payton may be headed out of town. With speculation already growing about Payton's next job, the Saints will try to avoid finishing with their worst record of his tenure Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
While Odell Beckham Jr. is returning to the field for the final time this season, it could be the last time Tom Coughlin coaches the New York Giants. Coughlin won't be the first NFC East coach to depart after the Philadelphia Eagles dismissed Chip Kelly on Tuesday.
Just because the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers have clinched playoff spots and can't earn a first-round bye doesn't mean they won't be desperately trying to finish the regular season with a victory. The Vikings badly want to win the NFC North and end the four-year reign of the Packers, who may be as interested in showing everyone they can be a legitimate threat in the playoffs by putting forth a strong all-around performance. ''I kind of figured that the last game would always mean something with the Packers,'' Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said.
MINNESOTA (10-5) at GREEN BAY (10-5)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-9) at NEW YORK GIANTS (6-9)
Josh Freeman spent his first two pro seasons showcasing his franchise quarterback skills. Now, after spending two years out of the league, Freeman is finally getting another chance to prove himself. The 27-year-old former first-round draft picked signed Tuesday with the quarterback-needy Colts.
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is going to have surgery on his fireworks-damaged right middle finger after the season to improve his grip and help his tackling. In a wide-ranging interview Wednesday, Pierre-Paul believes that he has shown in the seven games since his return in November that is remains one of the NFL's top pass rushers, saying no one on the Giants can do what he does. The soon-to-be 27-year-old said he accepts blame for the Giants missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season, saying they would have won some close early games had he not been recuperating from his injury.
Dez Bryant's injury-plagued season is ending early, and the Dallas receiver faces the likelihood of more surgery on the right foot he broke in the opener. Bryant will miss the finale against Washington on Sunday with the Cowboys (4-11) eliminated from the playoffs and the Redskins (8-7) already in as NFC East champions.
New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. isn't changing the way he plays, just the actions that led to his recent one-game suspension for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules. A contrite Beckham returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since being suspended for his actions, including a helmet-to-helmet hit, in a game against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 20. Beckham said it was tough being away from his teammates.

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