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. New England Patriots - The Patriot machine isn't even at full throttle without Rob Gronkowski and looks very difficult to stop. New England can run the ball, stop the run and of course Brady leads a great passing attack.
2. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning and company are in high gear right now and the long rest after a Thursday night win is just what the doctor ordered. Knowshon Moreno has picked up the slack for the loss of Willis McGahee.
3. Houston Texans - The shock of the Patriot loss is yet to be determined. One more loss and they could surrender the No. 1 seed to the Patriots.
4. Atlanta Falcons - It isn't time to panic because they lost their second game of the year, but the doubters didn't need much more to sound the alert. This week they face the Giants then we'll know a lot more about this team.
5. New York Giants - The performance David Wilson put on the field against the Saints should put fear in every team left. He is a big play waiting to happen.
6. San Francisco 49ers - The Colin Kaepernick experiment continues. He can run for sure, but he only throws a touchdown 1:43 passes and he's been sacked seven times in the last two weeks. This week the Patriots on the road and they will take the run away.
7. Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks are one nasty team that plays for 60 minutes. Rookie QB Russell Wilson has 20 touchdown passes and they just shut out an NFL team 58-0.
8. Green Bay Packers - The defense is going to get back Mathews and Woodson and then watch out. The running game is also coming alive. Just protect Rodgers or it all falls apart.
9. Baltimore Ravens - The defense is not what it used to be and the offense just doesn't deliver in the passing game like it should if the team wants to go to the Super bowl.
10. Indianapolis Colts - What else can you say about a 9-4 team led by a rookie QB. Andrew Luck gives the young Colts a chance especially at home. I would be surprised if they don't make the playoffs.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers - Ben Roethlisberger looked rusty in his return. The defense looks challenged without Ike Taylor. They should bounce back if the o line can overcome the season ending injury to Willie Colon.
12. Washington Redskins - The health of RG3 determines the rest of the season for the 'Skins. If he can go and is mobile the push for the playoffs continues. If he can't be himself things get much harder for Washington.
13. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler is taking the same kind of physical beating he took in the Mike Martz offense. The Bear defense has now gone seven straight games allowing a 100-yard rusher. The Bears are headed in the wrong direction.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Dallas has won three of the last four, but things could get rough if Dez Bryant is out with a hand injury. An angry Steeler team is coming to town this week.
15. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals are a promising young team, but need to learn how to beat good teams. Left on the schedule are games with Pittsburgh and Baltimore and Andy Dalton is 0-6 against them in his career.
16. Minnesota Vikings - If one non-quarterback could carry his team to the postseason it's Adrian Peterson. He sees eight or nine in the box all the time and he runs through the defense anyway. Without Percy Harvin there aren't enough other weapons to help Christian Ponder.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Now the young improving team finds themselves in a three-game losing streak and travel to New Orleans. The last time they met, the Saints put 35 points on the board in a win.
18. St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher should be in the discussion for coach of the year. His young team is 3-1-1 in the last four games and they have only given up 42 points in the last three weeks.
19. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez is now 19-16 on the road in his career which includes 4-2 in road playoff games, yet he gets little to no respect in New York. Give the 26-year-old QB a break and his team is still in the playoff race with three winnable games left.
20. New Orleans Saints - The defense was bad to begin the season and now the offense has hit hard times. Brees has nine interceptions and seven sacks in the last three games.
21. Detroit Lions - They are losing all the close games they won last year. Mathew Stafford is on pace for 745 pass plays called but only 21 touchdown passes.
22. Cleveland Browns - The Browns have been a tough out all year, which is impressive when you consider how many rookies are on the field. They are on a three-game winning streak and have five losses by a touchdown or less. They are 5-3 in their last 8 games.
23. San Diego Chargers - The win on the road last week against the Steelers was the first regular-season win in Pittsburgh in 15 tries. Why couldn't the team play like that every week?
24. Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins defense is solid and the offense is a work in progress. A good draft and a few key free agents in the off season and this team will be competitive next year.
25. Buffalo Bills - Give CJ Spiller the ball 20+ times a game until the end of the year now that Fred Jackson is injured and see what he can do.
26. Philadelphia Eagles - They may have found their next QB in Nick Foles and that's a big step in righting the ship. They could play the spoiler role the rest of the way with Cincinnati, Washington and the Giants still on the schedule.
27. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton looks like he's coming out of his sophomore slump, which I knew he would do with all of that talent. Hopefully the team finishes strong with three winnable games.
28. Tennessee Titans - They fire offensive coordinator Chris Palmer two weeks ago and use a QB sneak on first-and-10 when they thought it was third-and-1.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - It's been a very rough season in KC and it is just time to play for pride.
30. Oakland Raiders - Carson Palmer is not the problem, but he takes a lot of heat. He is going to wind up throwing for 4,700 yards and 27 touchdowns on a team that has issues on the O-line, running back, receiver and a defense that is a big part of the six-game losing streak.
31. Arizona Cardinals - NFL teams just don't lose 58-0, but the Cardinals did last week. It's hard to remember this team started the season 4-0 and beat the Patriots in Foxborough.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars - It has been a lost season and maybe if MJD played they would have won the three overtime games they lost and be shooting for an 8-8 season.
http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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