AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Bob Glauber of Newsday:
BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)
1. Houston Texans -- When your defense isn't at its best, nice to have Matt Schaub save the day with five TD passes, including the game-winner in OT of a surprisingly difficult win over the Jaguars. Not gonna penalize Texans on style points. Bottom line: They got it done.
2. Atlanta Falcons -- Too soon to call it a slump. But a week after losing a battle against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan throws a career-high five INTs as Atlanta narrowly holds off Arizona. If he doesn't get back on track quickly, then there's a problem. A big problem.
3. San Francisco 49ers -- You don't often see a quarterback controversy on a winning team, but the 49ers sure seem to have one. Who's it going to be, Jim Harbaugh? Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith? Either way, looks like Kaepernick has a terrific future.
4. Green Bay Packers -- Nothing pretty except the final result, as the Packers outlast the Lions in Detroit to continue their domination over their NFC North rivals.
5. Baltimore Ravens -- Another ugly win for another highly regarded team. But when you beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, who cares how it looks? Ravens now in firm control in AFC North.
6. Denver Broncos -- Three more TDs for Peyton Manning and three more sacks for Von Miller add up to a convincing win over San Diego. Looks like Denver will cruise to the divisional title and perhaps even a trip to New Orleans in February.
9. New York Giants -- Giants return from bye rested and ready, but the schedule is a killer down the stretch. It starts with Green Bay at home on Sunday night and includes games against New Orleans, Baltimore and Atlanta. That one-game lead over Dallas looks mighty tenuous.
10. New Orleans Saints -- Hottest team in the league? Could be. Saints roll to their fifth win in the last six games and are right in the thick of NFC wild card race. Would be an incredible feat if they get there after overcoming 0-4 start.
11. Seattle Seahawks -- Seahawks return from bye to face reeling Miami. Can't afford a misstep here, not when Seattle is still very much in the thick of it in the divisional and wild card races.
12. Dallas Cowboys -- Just when it looks like the Cowboys will go kerplunk -- i.e. lose at home to the awful Browns -- they pull off a dramatic comeback and remain a factor. Only one game behind the slumping Giants, and this thing can change in a hurry.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers -- With the quarterback situation a mess because of injuries, it'll be Mike Tomlin's greatest coaching jobs if he gets to the playoffs.
15. Indianapolis Colts -- Mr. Luck, say hello to Mr. Brady. Carry on.
16. Minnesota Vikings -- Vikings come off bye with chance to take a huge step in the division. A win over Chicago, and they're in business. Looks like they might have to face Jay Cutler, though. Not easy with Bears in bounce-back mode after San Francisco embarrassment.
17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Bengals follow up blowout of defending Super Bowl champions with another excellent performance, even if the competition was inferior. But hey, the Chiefs played well the week before in Pittsburgh, so give credit to Cincy for not giving KC a chance in this one.
18. Washington Redskins -- RG3 has his way against the Eagles' reeling defense. Still a ways to go in the playoff chase, but at least there's a chance.
20. New York Jets -- Just the way Rex likes to play: Run the ball, play good defense, have the quarterback manage the game. The Jets did just that to beat the Rams on the road. A win over New England at home on Thanksgiving, and hope lives on.
21. Detroit Lions -- It's just about over for the Lions. A Thanksgiving Day loss to the Texans, and that could be it.
22. Buffalo Bills -- Bills are still far from good, but they kept their flickering playoff hopes alive by beating Miami at home in an ugly one. Now let's see what they do at Indy in a virtual must-win situation.
23. San Diego Chargers -- Is Philip Rivers really a descending player? The evidence is hard to ignore. Maybe a change of coaches next season will signal an eventual rebirth. The Chargers can only hope.
24. Miami Dolphins -- It wasn't long ago the Dolphins looked as if they'd turned the corner. Now they look as if it's 2011 all over again.
25. Arizona Cardinals -- Cardinals haven't won since September. Really.
26. St. Louis Rams -- So much for that. A week after the Rams tie the mighty 49ers on the road, they come up small at home against the Jets. Not the kind of payback former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was looking for.
27. Philadelphia Eagles -- The offense is miserable. The defense is worse. And Andy Reid's time is just about up in Philly. What a mess.
28. Cleveland Browns -- Browns come close in Dallas, but can't finish off the upset. Woulda shoulda coulda -- the three words that have come to symbolize the Browns since their return to Cleveland in 1999.
29. Carolina Panthers -- Latest heartbreak for Panthers' fans: Watching the home team blow a 21-10 fourth-quarter lead with 4:34 to play.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Mike Mularkey hands the ball to Chad Henne after a terrific performance in relief of Blaine Gabbert in Houston. Let's see if it does the trick at home, where the Jaguars have been embarrassingly bad.
31. Oakland Raiders -- Will Dennis Allen be a one-and-done? Not like the Raiders haven't pulled the plug early before. Let's see if Mark Davis is like father Al when it comes to impatience with losing coaches.
32. Kansas City Chiefs -- Back to the basement for the Chiefs, who follow up a gutty effort in an overtime loss in Pittsburgh with a miserable showing at home against Cincy.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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