#NFL News and Notes - December 12, 2010

New England Patriots first-round cornerback Devin McCourty is proving the draftniks wrong, writes Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.

Offensive tackle should be a top priority for the Buffalo Bills in the 2011 NFL Draft.

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott needs to be the glue on a defense that finds itself at a crossroads.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline was placed on injured reserve on Saturday.

Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap will miss Monday night's game with a hamstring injury.

Against all odds, the Pittsburgh Steelers are leading the AFC North.

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is 38 yards away from a 1,000-yard season.

Cincinnati Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons has done a good job with personnel that's constantly changing.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star grades the Indianapolis Colts' performance from Thursday night.

The Tennessee Titans could be on the verge of a youth movement, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Jacksonville Jaguars fullback Greg Jones has developed into a solid lead-blocker, writes Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has become one of the best in the NFL, writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

The San Diego Chargers need a win today to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff is beginning to live up to his draft status.

Denver Broncos interim head coach Eric Studesville knows nothing is guaranteed at the end of the year.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract extension on Saturday morning.

A major road test awaits the St. Louis Rams today in New Orleans, writes Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is making the most of a limited roster, writes Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times.

The San Francisco 49ers have pinned their late-season hopes on quarterback Alex Smith.

Fifth-round quarterback John Skelton will be under center when the Arizona Cardinals attempt to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Dallas Cowboys left tackle Doug Free will be tested by Eagles defensive end Trent Cole tonight.

Washington Redskins undrafted rookie wide receiver Brandon Banks has yielded big returns, writes Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.

The Philadelphia Eagles will be tested in December, Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

As he prepares for his 100th consecutive start, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has come a long way, writes Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.

Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers says the sod at Soldier Field has cost him a couple of sacks.

Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton's mobility could be an asset against the Packers.

Conditions at the Metrodome caused the postponement of the Minnesota Vikings-New York Giants game to Monday night.

Detroit is a homecoming for several Green Bay Packers, writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Constitution.

A win today would give the New Orleans Saints consecutive double-digit win seasons for the first time since 1991-92.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman isn't using the "S" word, writes Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times.

The Atlanta Falcons will likely lean heavily on running back Michael Turner against Carolina.

More than a quarterback is needed to fix the Carolina Panthers, writes Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer.

Today's NFL birthdays: Bills defensive end Spencer Johnson (29), Panthers cornerback Richard Marshall (26), Browns second-round safety T.J. Ward (24), Colts linebacker Phillip Wheeler (26), Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown (29), Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff (25), Jets wide receiver Brad Smith (27), Chargers fifth-round nose tackle Cam Thomas (24) and long-snapper Ryan Neill (28), 49ers cornerback Nate Clements (31), Seahawks sixth-round tight end Anthony McCoy (23), free agent tight end Leroy Banks (23), wide receivers Chris Duvalt (23) and Rich Gunnell (23), safety Bryan Evans (24), and running back Chris Jennings (25).

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