My five cents
1Peyton Manning downplayed the notion that he is a different quarterback in the cold. The fact is, the Denver Broncos quarterback hasn’t played many cold-weather games. He is 3-7 in his career in the regular season and postseason when the temperature at kickoff is 32 degrees or lower, according to ESPN. He threw 11 touchdowns, 12 interceptions for 214.1 yards per game in those 10 outings.
2Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso, a second-round pick, all but has the defensive rookie of the year award wrapped up. His 125 tackles rank third in the NFL, and he has two sacks, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
3The Houston Texans have a chance to do something even the Oilers never did in the city’s professional football history. The Oilers, as bad as they were for much of their history before moving to Tennessee, never lost more than 11 games in a row. The Texans have lost 11 in a row and very well could lose out. The Texans will have interest in Lovie Smith and Stanford coach David Shaw to replace Gary Kubiak.
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4Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden can’t stay healthy, hasn’t proved he’s special, and he turns 27 this summer. That’s why he won’t find many bidders when he hits the free-agent market this spring. McFadden, the fourth overall pick in 2008, has one 1,000-yard season, and he has never played more than 13 games in any of his six seasons, missing games with toe, knee, hamstring, foot and ankle injuries. McFadden has only 11 touches since Oct. 27.
5The Philadelphia Eagles passed on safety Earl Thomas and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to take Brandon Graham with the 13th overall pick in 2010. Thomas and Pierre-Paul are Pro Bowlers. Graham has only 11.5 sacks in his four seasons, though two came last week.