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Ray Lewis retirement the talk of the NFL; Thursday's news

Get a head start on the day's football talk with "NFL AM" at 6 a.m. ET on NFL Network. Today, we look at the unparalleled career of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced his retirement on Wednesday effective at the end of the season. NFL Network's Brian Billick shares his thoughts on the leader of his Super Bowl XXXV-winning Ravens team, along with former Pittsburgh Steelers nemesis Jerome Bettis and former Ravens teammates Jonathan Ogden, Rod Woodson and Qadry Ismail.

Here's what else is on tap for Thursday:

» Keep track of all the latest NFL head-coaching news here.

» Catch a special extended edition of "NFL Replay" tonight on NFL Network, as the Minnesota Vikings' playoff-clinching victory over the Green Bay Packers from Week 17 is shown in its entirety at 8 p.m. ET.

» Our analysts give their picks for Wild-Card Weekend.

» Gil Brandt offers up his playoff QB rankings.

» Adam Schein fantasizes about a dream Conference Championship Weekend that features Brady-Manning in one game and a Seahawks-Packers rematch in the other.

» Bucky Brooks compares the two bruising running backs in Sunday's NFC Wild-Card Game: The Washington Redskins' Alfred Morris and the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch.

» Dave Dameshek and Adam Rank talk playoffs with Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Terence Newman and Around the League's writers and throw an New Year's party in an all-new Dave Dameshek Football Program.

» You've got a clean slate for your fantasy team in the postseason. Start over by playing the NFL Fantasy Playoff Challenge for free for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII in New York.

» Happy birthday to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who turns 32 on Thursday.

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