The Pros: Five things to watch this weekend
Chip Kelly, genius?
Even before he was hired, Chip Kelly was looked at as a coach whose system would not work in the NFL. After the Eagles started 1-3, many tried to cement that opinion of Kelly. That's how the sports world does it. Short-sightedness rules. The Eagles are 8-3 since with a chance to win 10 games and wrap the NFC East by beating Dallas in Dallas on Sunday. If that happens, Kelly deserves to be a coach of the year candidate.
Peyton Manning will lead the league in passing yards and touchdowns. The Eagles' LeSean McCoy will lead the league in rushing yards, barring something dramatic and unhealthy (he has a 189-yard lead on Kansas City's Jamaal Charles). One of the tightest races is for receiving yards. Just about everything other than Josh Gordon has been dismal this season in Cleveland. He's 72 yards in front of all-world receiver Calvin Johnson heading into the final Sunday.
Cardinals have another chance to prove it
Earlier this week, enormous Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell said, "In my opinion, I think we are the best team in the NFC. I hope we get into the playoffs and we can show it." To have that happen, or be true, the Cardinals will have to beat the San Francisco 49ers at home Sunday and have Tampa Bay win at New Orleans. Not bloody likely.
Patriots, again and again
For the 11th consecutive season, the New England Patriots have won at least 10 games. A win Sunday at home against the Bills will give the Patriots their seventh season of 12 or more wins in the last 11. For comparison, the Seahawks have four seasons of 12 or more wins in their 37-year history. Bill Belichick took over for Pete Carroll in 2000. He's missed the playoffs three times since. One of those years, the Patriots won 11 games without Tom Brady.
The end for Tony Gonzalez
The Hall-of-Fame-to-be tight end for the Atlanta Falcons will play his 277th and final game Sunday. Entering Sunday, Gonzalez has 454 more catches than the No. 2 tight end in history, Jason Witten. He has 5,011 more receiving yards than second-place Shannon Sharpe. He made the Pro Bowl 13 times. He was named All-Pro 10 times. On his Wikipedia page, there is a link called, "List of records." "It's gonna be like a part of me that is dying, honestly," Gonzalez told Sports Illustrated. "I'm never ever going to be able to play football again for a living."
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