AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez

Updated: October 2, 2012, 4:13 PM ET
Associated Press

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:

Week 5

ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)

1. Houston Texans -- Barring an upset road loss Monday night against the New York Jets, the Texans will maintain a stranglehold on this spot for at least another week.

2. Atlanta Falcons -- Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (11 touchdowns, two interceptions, 69.4 completion percentage) would receive my AP Most Valuable Player vote if the season ended today.

3. Baltimore Ravens -- The next step for Baltimore is to become a more consistent winner on the road starting with Sunday's game at lowly Kansas City. Including the playoffs, the Ravens are 10-10 away from M&T Bank Stadium since the 2010 season.

4. San Francisco 49ers -- As evidenced by a 34-0 thrashing of the New York Jets, another trip to Youngstown, Ohio between early-season road games for practice and player bonding once again did the 49ers some good.

5. Arizona Cardinals -- A 24-21 overtime home victory over Miami reflects that Arizona took the Dolphins too lightly or the Cardinals may not be staying undefeated much longer.

6. Chicago Bears -- The offense is still experiencing growing pains but the defense proved in championship form during Monday night's 34-18 road thumping of Dallas.

7. Philadelphia Eagles -- The Eagles are the NFL's shakiest 3-1 team with all three victories coming by a combined total of four points. No matter. They're still 3-1.

8. Cincinnati Bengals -- A 27-10 road rout of Jacksonville marked Cincinnati's best defensive showing of the 2012 season. Wide receiver A.J. Green (six catches for 117 yards and one touchdown) wasn't bad, either.

9. San Diego Chargers -- The six turnovers forced by the Chargers' defense was the most encouraging part of Sunday's 37-20 laugher at Kansas City.

10. New England Patriots -- The rollercoaster Patriots are on the way up again overcoming a 21-7 deficit with 35 consecutive points Sunday against Buffalo.

11. Green Bay Packers -- After last Sunday's 28-27 nail-biter against New Orleans, the Packers must hope that Saints quarterback Drew Brees' 446-yard performance isn't an indication that the pass defense has reverted to 2011 form.

12. Minnesota Vikings -- Running back Adrian Peterson's comeback, the quick development of second-year quarterback Christian Ponder and a staunch defense make the Vikings one of this season's biggest surprise stories.

13. Denver Broncos -- Peyton Manning may not be the same player he once was, but butchering Oakland's defense for 338 yards and three touchdowns on 30-of-38 passing shows he still has gas in the tank.

14. New York Giants -- Two early division losses could haunt the Giants come playoff time.

15. Washington Redskins -- The Redskins were 2-6 in their previous nine games decided by three points or less before Billy Cundiff nailed the game-winning field goal in Sunday's 24-22 road win over Tampa Bay.

16. Dallas Cowboys -- Tony Romo may still be throwing interceptions to the Bears as you are reading this.

17. Seattle Seahawks -- The Seahawks lost to St. Louis in the same way they defeated Green Bay -- on a fluke. Rarely does a team score all of its points on special teams and still win like the Rams did in Sunday's 19-13 home victory.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers -- The bye week bought more time for ailing players like safety Troy Polamalu, linebacker James Harrison and running back Rashard Mendenhall to further recover from leg injuries.

19. St. Louis Rams -- The offense is still struggling but much-improved defense and special teams have the Rams off to a 2-2 start under new coach Jeff Fisher.

20. Buffalo Bills -- Following a disastrous home loss to New England, the Bills have no time for self-pity with a road trip to San Francisco on the horizon.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- The Bucs still can't get over the hump, losing their third straight game by one score or less to Washington. At least quarterback Josh Freeman rebounded late against the Redskins after six-plus quarters of poor passing.

22. Carolina Panthers -- Problems with the secondary and run defense are preventing the Panthers from becoming a legitimate playoff-contender.

23. Detroit Lions -- The Lions are 6-10 in their past 16 games dating back to last season and it showed on the field once again in Sunday's 20-13 home loss to Minnesota.

24. Miami Dolphins -- Consecutive overtime losses to the New York Jets and Arizona show the Dolphins could be on the road to respectability.

25. Oakland Raiders -- Excluding a Week 3 home upset of Pittsburgh, the Raiders were dreadful in the second half of their three defeats. The pattern continued in Sunday's 37-6 loss at Denver.

26. New York Jets -- Can it get worse for the Jets? Yup -- the Houston Texans are coming to town for Monday night football.

27. Indianapolis Colts -- Interim head coach Bruce Arians will have to help the Colts forge ahead for the short-term without head coach Chuck Pagano, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars -- The Jags have a new head coach (Mike Mularkey) and the same problems developing anything in the passing game.

29. Kansas City Chiefs -- A large number of Chiefs fans and local media want team owner Clark Hunt to clean house in the front office. That could very well happen if Kansas City doesn't quickly get its act together.

30. New Orleans Saints -- Too little, too late has become the theme of New Orleans' season after a fourth consecutive loss by one score or less.

31. Tennessee Titans -- Chris Johnson finally showed signs of life in a 141-yard rushing performance against Houston. Unfortunately for the Titans, Tennessee's defense was DOA in last Sunday's 38-14 loss.

32. Cleveland Browns -- While evaluating his team's future, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam can't be happy with an 0-4 start.

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Online:

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