NO LOVE FOR LOVIE: Buccaneers fire Lovie Smith after two seasons in Tampa Bay. There's almost always one surprise when coaches start getting fired in January. This year it was the Buccaneers with a late-night move to dump Lovie Smith after just two seasons. Guess how the Bucs gave Smith the news that he was fired.
SURPRISED: Buccaneers LB Lavonte David lashes out at "stupid" decision to fire Lovie Smith. Most fans were surprised at the firing. So were some players.
WHY FIRE LOVIE? The question now is why the Bucs 86'd Smith after just two seasons. A 6-10 record is nothing to brag about (unless you're Jeff Fisher), but it was an improvement over 2-14 last year. Worse, Tampa's defense has struggled, and Smith's speciality is on that side of the ball. Bucs Nation also points to some of the roster decisions under Smith, especially with free agents.
Another reason for the move may have come via Miami. The Dolphins were said to be very interested in offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who the Bucs reportedly didn't want to lose given his work this season with QB rookie Jamies Winston. Officially, Koetter is one candidate for Smith's old job, but according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, it's Koetter's job to lose.
NO MORE MEGATRON? Is Calvin Johnson going to retire? Maybe. He's at least considering the option as the game's heavy physical toll adds up for the 30-year-old receiver.
BIG RED: How did the Chiefs get good again this season? Andy Reid steered the Chiefs out of a 1-5 start to finish the season with an 11-5 record. Now, they're using a tried and tested approach with an eye towards a deep postseason run.
RIVALS: The best kind of playoff football. "We don't like them. They don't like us." The Steelers-Bengals game is going to be a wild one.
PAYTON IS STAYING: Sean Payton is still a Saint. The New Orleans Saints and Payton announced that there will be no change at head coach.
STAFF CHANGES: The Rams dumped five assistant coaches. The Rams did not renew contracts for five coaches, including three offensive assistants. Most surprising of all, perhaps, was that they dumped the running backs coach who's been there since 2012.
GIANTS NEXT COACH: Odds favor Josh McDaniels getting the Giants job. Vegas is already betting on Big Blue's next head coach.
BEAST IS BACK: Marshawn Lynch has "been fantastic." Marshawn Lynch was a full participant at Seahawks' practice Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday vs. the Vikings.
SURGERY FOR KAEP: Colin Kaepernick undergoes surgery on right thumb, left knee. The 49ers QB took care of some injury issues on Wednesday.
HOUSTON SIGNS STILL: Texans sign DT Devon Still to a futures contract. You can never have enough defensive linemen.
RELOCATION: The relocation cha-cha begins. What about the fans who stick with a team regardless of the city it calls home? The Rams are telling the NFL they should move to LA because Twitter said so.