Chip Kelly hire sparks strong reaction; Thursday NFL news

Get a head start on Thursday's football talk with "NFL AM" at 6 a.m. ET on NFL Network. Today, join last week's New England Patriots hero, running back Shane Vereen, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin as we count down to Championship Sunday. Plus all the latest NFL news.

Here's what else is on tap for Thursday:

Championship Sunday

Four teams are still alive in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy. On Championship Sunday, that number will be cut to two. Check out's comprehensive scouting reports on the surviving squads:

» Darlington: Niners on road to ruin?
» Kinkhabwala: Falcons face another test
» Jones: Ravens riding emotion
» Breer: Patriots savvy and spry

On Twitter: #NFLPlayoffs

» After the Philadelphia Eagles' hiring of Oregon's Chip Kelly, and the Jacksonville Jaguars snagging Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the NFL is down to just one team without a head coach. Stay up to date with all the latest coaching moves here.

» Charles Davis believes Chip Kelly and his high-octane offense will do just fine in the NFL, while Heath Evans thinks it could be one of the worst hires in memory. Who's right, and which new coaching hire holds the most promise for success? Our experts has it out in the latest Instant Debate.

» Listen to the best sounds of the year from the four teams competing this weekend on a special edition of "Sound FX," tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network, followed by a replay of last season's AFC Championship Game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots at 8:30 p.m.

» Gil Brandt explains why the Atlanta Falcons will beat the San Francisco 49ers.

» Elliot Harrison offers his picks for Championship Sunday.

» Adam Schein ranks the four championship round head coaches.

» Take a break from the playoffs and delve into next season, as's experts present their mock 2013 drafts.

» Daniel Jeremiah's 2013 NFL Draft notebook examines how the Lennay Kekua saga will affect Manti Te'o's NFL prospects.

» Happy birthday to Houston Texans linebacker Bradie James, who turns 32 on Thursday.

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