Three of the AFC's most talked-about quarterbacks are currently sidelined with injuries, although each could be back at the helm of their first-place teams for the playoffs.
Cincinnati's Andy Dalton suffered a fractured thumb on his throwing hand Sunday while making a tackle after his shovel pass was intercepted. According to multiple reports Monday, he will not undergo surgery and instead hopes to be ready for the postseason.
Indianapolis, reeling after a 51-16 loss to Jacksonville, is tied with Houston atop the AFC South at 6-7. Andrew Luck, recovering from a lacerated kidney, reportedly is going to try to practice this week. Meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck is in a sling and the team has to turn to Charlie Whitehurst for Sunday's game against the Texans.
Then there's Denver's Peyton Manning. The Broncos lost at home to Oakland on Sunday — quarterback Brock Osweiler's first defeat in four starts — and Coach Gary Kubiak said Monday he wants to talk to Manning before deciding on a starter for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh. Manning may practice this week, something he hasn't done since he was sidelined by a foot injury during a Week 10 loss to Kansas City.Although it appears to be unlikely that Manning will return this week, Osweiler might feel the five-time league most valuable player peering over his shoulder. The Broncos play Cincinnati in Week 16.San Diego hasn't scored a rushing touchdown since Week 1.
That's astounding considering the Chargers used the 15th pick this year on Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, who ran for 29 touchdowns in college last season.
Yes, that O-line is closer to a NO-line, but the Chargers would have to average a rushing touchdown per week for the rest of the season just to get back to last year's anemic total.
You hear it every week: "Carolina's the worst (fill in the blank: 10-0 … 11-0 … 12-0 …13-0) team in NFL history."
Somehow, the Panthers don't seem too bothered.
Trivia question: Complete this list of the season's top three quarterbacks in passing touchdowns:
After rushing for 146, 159, 128 and 133 yards in Weeks 2-5, St. Louis rookie Todd Gurley cooled with games of 89, 45, 66, 19 and 41. Against Detroit on Sunday, he had another big game with 140.
Gurley, who hasn't gotten any help from a nonexistent passing game, might have hit a rookie wall. But then he ran through it.
New Orleans receiver Marques Colston caught his 70th and 71st career touchdown passes Sunday. Not bad for a seventh-round pick from Hofstra.
Consider these Seattle players who went undrafted: running back Thomas Rawls and receiver Doug Baldwin.
Rawls, a rookie, was having a phenomenal season with four 100-yard games in six starts before suffering a season-ending broken ankle Sunday.
Baldwin, in his fifth season, has eight touchdowns in the last three games.
Speaks to the Seahawks' top-shelf personnel department.
Before meeting with reporters last week to tout the Carson stadium plan, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger conceded he's got a lot on his plate. Of the "Star Wars" buildup, he said: "It's a little hard to concentrate on anything else these days."
Trivia answer: Blake Bortles, with 30. Brady has 33 and Palmer 31.
As a high school freshman at his football banquet, kicker Justin Tucker told attendees he would make it to the NFL one day and win a Super Bowl. That was met with lots of eye-rolls.
Tucker, who leads the league with 28 field goals this season, won a ring when Baltimore beat San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII.
Earlier this season, quarterback Ryan Mallett was released by Houston after oversleeping and missing a team flight. But, underscoring just how desperate teams are for even mediocre quarterbacks, there's once again a market for Mallett. Both Baltimore and Cincinnati reportedly are vying for his services.
The Rams and Chargers aren't going anywhere this season. But they could be going somewhere after it. Both play their last home games of the season this week