AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:
ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)
1. Houston Texans -- I perceived Chicago as the more physical team entering last Sunday night's game. Houston's 13-6 road victory proved me wrong.
3. New England Patriots -- Although a 37-31 victory over Buffalo was closer than it needed to be because of ongoing defensive issues, the Patriots still rolled to a third straight win for further separation in the AFC East.
4. San Francisco 49ers -- Failing to win as a double-digit favorite usually would be considered a major disappointment, but there were mitigating circumstances. Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick was forced into the most extensive action of his two-year NFL career in place of the injured Alex Smith (concussion) and didn't do half-bad in a 24-24 tie with St. Louis.
5. Atlanta Falcons -- The season-long problems rushing the football and stopping the run came back to bite the Falcons in their first loss against New Orleans.
7. Baltimore Ravens -- The AFC North front-runner will be decided in the next three weeks with the Ravens and Pittsburgh playing twice.
9. Green Bay Packers -- From a player health standpoint, no team needed the bye week more than the Packers.
10. Indianapolis Colts -- A true measuring stick of just how good the surprising Colts are will come Sunday in New England.
11. Seattle Seahawks -- At 5-0, the Seahawks may be the NFL's best home team. The next step is transferring that mojo to the road, where Seattle is 1-4.
12. New York Giants -- The Giants had their worst performance of the season in a 31-13 loss at Cincinnati. On the bright side, November is usually rough for the Giants before this team gets its act together for a playoff push.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Undrafted rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson -- who still lives at home with his mom -- is one of the NFL's feel-good stories. Johnson intercepted a pass for the third straight game, returning an errant Philip Rivers throw 83 yards for a touchdown that sparked last Sunday's 34-24 win.
15. San Diego Chargers -- Chargers head coach Norv Turner snapped at a stupid media question during his postgame news conference. Turner should save the anger for quarterback Philip Rivers, who remains too inconsistent for the Chargers to build momentum down the home stretch.
17. New Orleans Saints -- The Saints continue to surrender yards at a record-pace, but the defense did come through with two goal-line stands that yielded only three points in a 31-27 victory over Atlanta.
18. Miami Dolphins -- Based solely upon how badly Tennessee was beaten the previous week by Chicago, it was the Dolphins who should have won, 37-3, and not the other way around. Miami instead played its worst game to date under rookie head coach Joe Philbin.
19. Cincinnati Bengals -- Following four straight losses, Bengals fans had jumped off the bandwagon so quickly that not even a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion could generate a sellout to lift the local television blackout. Had the locals known the 2012 Bengals would play their best game in a 31-13 romp over the New York Giants, it would have been the hottest ticket of the season.
20. Dallas Cowboys -- Despite all the doom and gloom in October, a win over Philadelphia and favorable upcoming schedule have put the Cowboys right back into the thick of the NFC playoff race.
21. Washington Redskins -- The upcoming Sunday matchup against Philadelphia should be dubbed the "Basement Bowl." The loser will assume sole possession of fourth place in the NFC East, which is where the Redskins have finished the past three seasons.
22. Arizona Cardinals -- The return from the bye may not be pleasant. The Cardinals must travel to Atlanta and face an angry Falcons squad coming off its first loss of the season.
24. New York Jets -- So much for the hope that the bye week would bring immediate improvement in the second half of the season. The Jets looked worse than ever in a 28-7 road loss at Seattle.
25. Philadelphia Eagles -- The Eagles keep hitting new lows in the Andy Reid era. This time, it's the first five-game losing streak since Reid became head coach in 1999.
26. Tennessee Titans -- Titans owner Bud Adams should keep threatening to fire everyone if it's going to produce victories like last Sunday's 37-3 rout of Miami.
27. Carolina Panthers -- By getting sacked seven times and throwing another interception returned for a touchdown against Denver, quarterback Cam Newton is doing nothing to help head coach Ron Rivera's job security.
28. Cleveland Browns -- The Browns' best chance of winning Sunday against Dallas? Hope the Cowboys are overconfident after a season-saving win over Philadelphia.
29. Buffalo Bills -- A 37-31 loss at New England marked the fourth time the Bills have lost this season despite scoring at least 28 points.
30. Oakland Raiders -- Yes, things actually can get worse for a Raiders squad that has surrendered 97 points and 934 yards in the past two games. The surging New Orleans Saints roll into town for a Sunday matchup.
31. Kansas City Chiefs -- There could be no more appropriate ending for a team that leads the league in turnovers to have a Matt Cassel interception converted into the game-winning overtime field goal against Pittsburgh.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Rather than wait until 2013, the Jaguars should play home games in London right now. That would save local fans from having to witness the ongoing dreck being presented at EverBank Stadium.
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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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