AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei

AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei
December 11, 2012, 5:59 pm
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Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of Chicago Tribune:

Week 15

DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)

1. New England Patriots - Step into Bill Belichick's web, Colin Kaepernick.

2. Denver Broncos - They need to beat the Ravens in order to keep their hopes alive for a first round playoff bye.

3. Green Bay Packers - Mike McCarthy believes this team can be better than the 15-1 Packers of a year ago. Can the Bears make him look wrong on Sunday?

4. San Francisco 49ers - Beating the Dolphins was one thing; beating the Patriots would be something else.

5. Houston Texans - In three of their last four games, Texans have a blowout loss to the Patriots and close call wins against the Jaguars and Lions. Any question about which direction the Texans are headed?

6. Atlanta Falcons - Was loss to the Panthers a blip, or was it the start of a tailspin?

7. New York Giants - If NFL teams had no secondaries, the Giants would be No. 1.

8. Indianapolis Colts - The best teams can win games in different ways. The Colts have done that.

9. Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens defense needs a savior. What do you know, here comes Ray Lewis.

10. Seattle Seahawks - They are starting to have the look of a team you would not want to be playing in January.

11. Washington Redskins - You know things are going their way when Kirk Cousins can lead them to an overtime victory over a formidable opponent.

12. Cincinnati Bengals - Their litmus test will be against the Steelers in two weeks, but they can't overlook the Eagles on Thursday.

13. Chicago Bears - The more passes Bears receivers drop, the more the Bears drop in the power rankings.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Could they ride a wave of emotion all the way to the postseason?

15. Minnesota Vikings - They have the best one-dimensional offense in the NFL.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - Against the Raiders, Browns, Titans and Chargers, they are 0-4. Good thing the next two games are against contenders.

17. St. Louis Rams - It's not saying much, but this is the best Rams team that St. Louis has seen in quite some time.

18. New York Jets - The fact that they may be a playoff team does not speak well to the quality of the AFC this year.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Any team that can blow a 21-10 lead with four minutes left against the Eagles is not a good bet to be playing on February 3. Or Jan. 20. Or Jan. 12, 13, 5 or 6.

20. Cleveland Browns - If the season started three weeks ago, they would be a top five team.

21. New Orleans Saints - Joe Vitt describes his team as "fragile." And the Giants did not handle with care.

22. San Diego Chargers - It might be too late to save jobs, but that was an impressive effort by Norv Turner and the Chargers Sunday.

23. Miami Dolphins - Bad news: they have dropped five of six. Good news: up next are the Jags and Bills at home.

24. Buffalo Bills - Who needs to use C.J. Spiller when you are 5-8?

25. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton is starting to look like the 2011 version of Cam Newton. Where was this guy in September?

26. Detroit Lions - Their fifth straight loss has clinched them last place in the NFC North.

27. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles has begun making his argument for why he should be the Eagles' staring QB in 2013.

28. Tennessee Titans - The Titans can write off the season to the education of Jake Locker.

29. Oakland Raiders - It might be Terrelle Pryor time in Oakland.

30. Arizona Cardinals - Fifty-eight points separated them from the Seahawks in their ninth straight loss. Change is coming in Arizona.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Look at the bright side, Jacksonville - only 19 days until it's the offseason.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Getting blown out by the Browns might not do much for team morale.

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