Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Ira Kaufman of Tampa Tribune:
IRA KAUFMAN (Tampa Tribune)
2. Atlanta Falcons -- Everyone keeps looking for cracks, but they keep winning the close ones.
3. New England Patriots -- When the Pats don't score 40 points, Boston residents lower their flags.
8. New York Giants -- A 1-3 slump has opened the door to the NFC East crown.
10. Chicago Bears -- A swarming defense just disappeared in crunch time.
12. Cincinnati Bengals -- With an October lull well behind them, the Bengals are on a serious playoff surge.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers -- They likely salvaged their season in an unlikely venue -- Baltimore.
14. Washington Redskins -- Fiscal cliffs aside, the buzz has returned to the nation's capital.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Back-to-back losses to division leaders leaves them at the NFL crossroads.
16. Dallas Cowboys -- There's no margin for error heading to Cincinnati.
17. St. Louis Rams -- Outplaying the 49ers twice is no small feat.
19. Minnesota Vikings -- A slow fade into the Minnesota tundra.
20. Miami Dolphins -- Just not enough offense to beat the big boys.
21. Detroit Lions -- It's time to shop around for a new defense in Motown.
22. Cleveland Browns -- They've been quite competitive for the past two months.
23. Buffalo Bills -- A heck of a ground game has largely gone to waste.
24. San Diego Chargers -- It's all over for Norv Turner, and you can tell he knows it.
25. New York Jets -- They finally met a team with even more troubling QB issues.
26. Tennessee Titans -- Coughing up 30 points per game is no formula for success.
27. Philadelphia Eagles -- One of the league's most stable organizations is in disarray.
30. Kansas City Chiefs -- Out of unspeakable tragedy, the Chiefs bonded together.
31. Oakland Raiders -- The NFL's worst point differential resides in the East Bay.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars -- A new owner faces the same old problem ... not enough weapons.
http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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