Peyton Manning was the only unanimous choice for the 2013 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team Friday. It was his seventh time as a first-teamer, tying Hall of Famer Otto Graham for the most by a quarterback.
The Denver star set NFL records this season with 55 touchdown passes and 5,477 yards through the air.
He was chosen on all 50 ballots from media members who regularly cover the NFL. New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham and Indianapolis outside linebacker Robert Mathis each drew 49 votes. Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman had 48.
Eighteen NFC players and nine from the AFC made the team. Philadelphia and Carolina each had three: NFL rushing leader McCoy, guard Evan Mathis and tackle Jason Peters for the Eagles; linebacker Luke Kuechly, center Ryan Kalil and fullback Mike Tolbert for the Panthers. For complete list, see Scoreboard, C6.
Bill O’Brien has been introduced as the third coach in Houston Texans history. Less than two years after replacing Joe Paterno as coach at Penn State, the 44-year-old O’Brien has returned to the NFL. He was an offensive assistant under Bill Belichick at New England from 2007-12.
Around the League
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has been linked to Cleveland’s head coaching vacancy. Stoops, an Ohio native, said he’s not looking to pursue a pro job but “you never know down the road.” … Saints running back Pierre Thomas (back) has been ruled out of the team’s playoff game at Philadelphia today. … The Panthers are expecting wide receiver Steve Smith, running back Jonathan Stewart and defensive tackle Colin Cole to return to practice Wednesday. … Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has reportedly interviewed for Detroit’s coaching vacancy. … Ravens running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery will not return in 2014. … The Steelers have fired offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. after just one season. … Vikings rookie return man Cordarrelle Patterson has been added to the Pro Bowl roster.
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has been fined $21,000 for using the crown of his helmet to hit Eagles defensive end Damion Square on Sunday. Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and Ravens safety James Ihedigbo were each docked $15,750 for hitting defenseless offensive players with the crowns of their helmets. Saints wide receivers Lance Moore and Kenny Stills were fined $7,875 for an illegal end zone celebration. Browns cornerback Jordan Poyer was docked $7,875 for grabbing a facemask.
Sunday’s 49ers-Packers playoff game in Green Bay could be one of the coldest NFL games ever played. Temperatures at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin are expected to be minus-2 degrees at kickoff and are expected to drop even lower as the night goes on. … The Colts, Bengals and Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts, meaning the games will not be blacked out locally.