AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of Chicago Tribune:
DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)
1. Houston Texans -- They proved they are no fluke by winning against a tough Bears team in bad conditions Sunday.
2. Atlanta Falcons -- Did anyone really think they were the '72 Dolphins? They are allowed one mulligan.
3. Chicago Bears -- No disgrace in losing to the Texans when the Bears' starting QB is in the locker room.
4. Baltimore Ravens -- Confidence is sky high at the right time -- two of the next three are against the Steelers.
5. San Francisco 49ers -- They have allowed an NFL-low 127 points, but if they had allowed one fewer they would be 7-2 instead of 6-2-1.
6. Green Bay Packers -- They need to survive a tough stretch of schedule before the cavalry arrives of players who currently are injured.
8. Denver Broncos -- In all phases of the game, they are looking better and better by the week.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers -- They beat the Chiefs without Big Ben, but the Steelers need their quarterback healthy to win down the stretch.
10. Indianapolis Colts -- They may have less hair on their heads, but they've been playing like they have more hair on their chests.
12. Seattle Seahawks -- They are 6-4, but winless in the NFC West and 4-4 in the NFC -- which is not a good scenario for their postseason chances.
15. New Orleans Saints -- They look like a different team since Joe Vitt came back from his suspension.
16. Cincinnati Bengals -- After beating the Giants, they have a chance to go on a roll with games against the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys and Eagles.
17. Dallas Cowboys -- Cowboys get five of their next six at home and could get hot.
18. Detroit Lions -- After a loss to the Vikings, the Lions are looking at playing their next four games against teams with a combined winning percentage of .740.
19. Miami Dolphins -- Dolphins scored 3 points against the Titans. Some opponents have put up more than that against Tennessee before the last note of the national anthem.
20. San Diego Chargers -- Chargers are 1-4 in their last five, and it won't get easier this week with a trip to Denver.
24. New York Jets -- The Jets have lost three straight and if it isn't Tebow time now, maybe it never will be.
25. Washington Redskins -- They are not very reliable when it comes to defending the pass or predicting presidential elections.
27. Buffalo Bills -- They have lost five of six, but optimist Chan Gailey said there is "still a chance." Skeptics would say there still is a chance for the Bills to end up with the first pick of the draft.
28. Carolina Panthers -- Jerry Richardson says he does not want the team to go west to L.A. Instead, the Panthers just keep going further south.
29. Oakland Raiders -- Coach Dennis Allen is a defensive expert, but the Raiders have allowed at least 40 points in two straight games.
30. Cleveland Browns -- It's too late to back out of the deal now, Jimmy Haslam.
31. Kansas City Chiefs -- If only they could bring back Marty Schottenheimer. Or Hank Stram.
http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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