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EA: On, Off the Field on Wild Card Weekend

Chad Pennington's going, Brett Favre's thinking, Bill Cowher's staying, the Jets are interviewing, and the Falcons, Chargers, Ravens and Eagles are advancing.

Pennington's return to the playoffs was a short trip. After throwing only seven interceptions during a remarkable regular season with the Dolphins, the former Jets passer threw four picks against the Ravens in a 27-9 loss Sunday.

"It has been a special year. That's why it hurts so much," said Penny, just a week after Miami clinched its AFC East title at the Meadowlands with a win over the Green & White. "You want to keep it going and see how far you can take it."

With the score tied, 3-3, late in the second quarter, Pennington went up top to Ted Ginn but instead found the ridiculous Ed Reed. Not only did Fast Eddie pick up the first of his two thefts on the afternoon, but he ran back his takeaway for a 64-yard score.

Sports Ilustrated's Peter King spoke with Favre only a few days after the Jets finished up their season. According to King, Favre appears to be learning towards retirement.

"I'll take some time, but it may be time to look in a different direction,'' Favre reportedly told GM Mike Tannenbaum.

King also said Favre declined to undergo an arthroscopic surgery to repair his damaged right biceps, which was recommended by team doctors if he intends to play again. It doesn't appear any final decision from Favre is on the front burner.

Last week the Jets reached out to Cowher, the former Steelers head coach, about their head coaching vacancy. But he quickly removed his name from consideration and the CBS studio analyst clarified his status Sunday afternoon.

"It's a privilege and an honor to be a head coach in the National Football League, and I have been flattered about the attention," he said. "But the timing right now is not right. I don't plan on coaching next year."

To this point, the Jets have conducted three interviews for their vacancy. Offensive coordinator Brian Schotteneheimer and assistant head coach/offensive line Bill Callahan received interviews Friday while Giants defensive coordinator Steven Spagnuolo visited the Jets' Florham Park offices on Saturday.

The Green & White have also received permission to speak with Rex Ryan, the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator/assistant head coach.

But there have been conflicting reports about whether Boston College football coach Jeff Jagodzinski has been contacted by the team. The Boston Globe indicated that Jagodzinski had been contacted, but the Eagles boss refuted that report.

"Well, there's nothing to it," he said. "I haven't talked to them and no one has contacted me."

Then late Sunday evening, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that BC has threatened to fire Jagodzinski, who was Favre's offensive coordinator in Green Bay in 2006, if he interviewed for the Jets' job.

According to NFL Network reporter Adam Schefter, the Jets will also speak with former Ravens head coach Brian Billick this coming week . "Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is the favorite for the job, but Billick can't be dismissed," Schefter wrote on his blog.

As far as the other weekend playoff results, the Cards held off the Falcons, 30-24, and the Chargers topped the Colts, 23-17, in a late Saturday OT thriller. Then the weekend ended with the Eagles' 26-14 triumph at Minnesota.

We'll talk about the divisional matchups later in the week, but these two No. 6 seeds are live dogs. The Ravens are going to be a handful for the Titans in Nashville and the Eagles will be a tough out for the Giants.

Can 'Bolts RB Darren Sproles give the Steelers fits? He was sensational against Indy and defensive coordinator Ron Rivera called a great game. But it's a lot easier playing in SoCal than in the 'Burgh and the Steelers have one of the best homefield advantages in football.

Congratulations to the Cardinals, but their playoff stay will be short. The Panthers are waiting in their den for a team that just doesn't play well on the road.

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