AP Pro32 ballot from Kirwan
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com:
PAT KIRWAN (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com)
1. San Francisco 49ers - Harbaugh makes the move to a second year quarterback with no road experience and they just keep winning. Aldon Smith looks unblockable coming off the edge.
2. Houston Texans - There is very little separating the top teams, but the Texans just played 10 quarters of NFL football in five days and injuries started to pop up.
3. Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons answered the doubters with a road win in Tampa against an offense that was averaging 34 points a game for the last six weeks.
4. New England Patriots - The Patriot offense looks like a machine and has scored 190 points in the last four games. The defense is looking better with the addition of Aqib Talib.
5. Denver Broncos - The Broncos looked sluggish on offense against Kansas City, but they got a win and the defense is better than some of the other teams in this area of the power rankings.
6. Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens convert a fourth-and-29 that saved them from a drop in the rankings. Baltimore looked much better in overtime than they did all day against the Chargers. Next week the Steelers come to town.
7. Chicago Bears - This team has a 13-2 record with Jay Cutler and a 1-6 record without him in their last 22 games. Injuries this week could be a problem for the defense.
8. New York Giants - Classic Giants game this week as they rebound from a very sluggish month. Eli gets time to throw, the pass rush gets after the opposing QB and the winning formula is back.
9. Green Bay Packers - There are so many injuries and problems with the offensive line. Rodgers leads the NFL with 37 sacks.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs are a tough out with a red hot Josh Freeman. Schiano is teaching this group of young players how to win. His advice ... do whatever Ronde Barber is doing on or off the field.
11. New Orleans Saints - The Saint defense is now adequate, but not good enough to overcome Drew Brees interceptions for touchdowns. They can still make the playoffs with most of the other wildcard candidates losing this week.
12. Indianapolis Colts - Inspiration can never be underestimated and neither can a talented rookie quarterback. T.Y.Hilton is becoming a factor as a receiver and returner.
13. Seattle Seahawks - The road woes continue and they travel to Chicago this week. Unless the Seahawks win at least one road game and all of their remaining home games they may come up short.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers - Life without Big Ben is a reality check about this team, or most teams for that matter. Next year spend $4 million and get the best backup QB on the market. For now just get ready to play the Ravens next week and try and stay in the wildcard race.
15. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals are a hot team right now with Andy Dalton throwing nine touchdown passes in the last three games. They will get their chance against the Steelers and Ravens later this season.
16. Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings look like a team from the 'best of the rest' group. Christian Ponder is going to have to be better to beat the good teams. AP can only do so much and without Percy Harvin the big play isn't there. This week no one averaged over 11 yards a reception.
17. Washington Redskins - RG3 will live up to his end of the bargain if the defense can do its part. I would not be surprised if the Skins make a push for the playoffs.
18. Detroit Lions - The Lions are a very physical team and should have a better record than they do. The upstart Colts come to town this week and that should be an indication if this team still has the fight in them.
19. Dallas Cowboys - Say anything negative about the Cowboys situation and the fans call you a Cowboy hater. OK. They're a great team that's misunderstood. Once again is the talent overrated?
20. San Diego Chargers - The Chargers simply don't finish games. Norv Turner will take the blame, but sooner or later the players who gave up a fourth-and-29 play should be blamed. Coach Turner doesn't play the game.
21. Miami Dolphins - It was good to see that the Fish dug down deep and got a win at home over the Seahawks. The sprinklers going on during the game wasn't to cool off a red-hot offense, just another strange story about the 2012 season.
22. New York Jets - The Jets got run over by their arch rivals, New England last week. Rex Ryan promises the team will finish strong and I would expect nothing less. Nothing has gone well since they traded for Tebow.
23. Buffalo Bills - Once before the year is out I want to see CJ Spiller get 30 carries and five receptions. Can he deliver, will he run out of gas? I just want to see it.
24. St. Louis Rams - The young Rams are learning from their head coach how to win. Rome wasn't built in a day!
25. Cleveland Browns - The Browns are a tough out for any team. A win over the Steelers at home goes a long way in Cleveland. Now two winnable games coming up that could change the fortunes for this coaching staff.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars - I wonder what this team's record would have been if MJD didn't get hurt and Henne was the QB all year? I would guess they could have had 4-5 more wins.
27. Tennessee Titans - The Titans sacked a QB seven times, intercepted a pass, rushed for over 100 yards and lost anyway. It feels like a lost season for a good young team.
28. Arizona Cardinals - There is a ray of hope that rookie QB Ryan Lindley can play, but behind the Cardinal line he doesn't have much of a chance. It was good to see Beanie Wells back, but at 2.8 per carry things haven't changed.
29. Carolina Panthers - The Panthers won a MNF game against the Eagles and demonstrated they can be successful when Cam Newton plays like he did in 2011. They have the talent to finish strong this season and get out of the bottom 10 teams in this ranking.
30. Philadelphia Eagles - How has that defense looked since Andy Reid fired Juan Castillo? Play the young kids the rest of the way and aim for 2013.
31. Oakland Raiders - It feels like if the Raiders get on a plane and come to the East Coast they will lose and score about 10 points. It was their fourth of five trips back east and it happened again. One more trip left Dec. 23 in Carolina.
32. Kansas City Chiefs - I will credit the Chiefs with great effort this past weekend, but I think we all saw that Brady Quinn isn't going to make much of a difference.
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