Tuesday, November 13, 2012
AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Bob Glauber of Newsday:
BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)
1. Houston Texans -- A statement game for the Texans, who slogged through the rain and muck at Soldier Field to outlast the Bears. Some well-earned fist pumping from Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, whose unit one-upped the host team's D.
2. Atlanta Falcons -- Memo to Roddy White: next time you want to talk about 16-0, wait until AFTER you play the Saints.
3. Green Bay Packers -- Pack hopes week off doesn't interrupt hot streak. They won five of six before the bye, now head to Detroit. Lions have beaten Packers only once in last 13.
4. Chicago Bears -- The bad news: The Bears lost at home to Houston. The worse news: another concussion for Jay Cutler. Can't win without this guy.
5. San Francisco 49ers -- Terrific comeback by backup Colin Kaepernick as Niners tie it with 17 fourth-quarter points. But kicker David Akers can't seal the deal in OT, and Niners settle for the tie. Could prove huge if Seahawks stay in the NFC West race to the end.
6. Baltimore Ravens -- Ravens set franchise record for most points in a game, pummeling the reeling Raiders and prepping for this week's divisional showdown against the Steelers. Ravens 7-2 for first time in the John Harbaugh era.
7. Denver Broncos -- The Peyton Manning MVP tour continues. Not a bad return for John Fox, either, as the former Panthers coach shows up his old team in 36-14 win.
8. New England Patriots -- Pats continue dominance of Bills, but not before sweating out a shootout win at home. Pass defense continues to be an issue for Bill Belichick's group, though. Needed a game-saving end zone interception from Devin McCourty to win it.
9. New York Giants -- Another year, another second-half swoon for the Giants. This time, Eli Manning's the biggest issue; no TD passes in his last three games. That hasn't happened since his rookie season.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Steelers barely hold off 1-8 Chiefs at home, but not before losing Ben Roethlisberger to a shoulder injury. The timing couldn't be worse: Steelers face Ravens twice in next three weeks.
11. Seattle Seahawks -- Another fine showing for rookie Russell Wilson, who schools Mark Sanchez in a convincing Seahawks win to keep divisional race tight.
12. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck takes the baton from Peyton Manning in the Colts-Patriots rivalry, which resumes on Sunday at Gillette. Win or lose, Colts very much in the playoff hunt.
13. New Orleans Saints -- Remember that four-game losing streak to start the season? It's a distant memory for the Saints, winners of four of their last five, including Sunday's rousing effort against previously unbeaten Atlanta.
14. Minnesota Vikings -- Adrian Peterson's a medical marvel. Less than a year after ACL surgery, he leads the NFL in rushing. Last four games: a combined 629 yards and five TDs.
15. Dallas Cowboys -- A season-saving win at Philly? Could be. With Giants slumping and a soft schedule for Dallas, the Cowboys might be back in the mix.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Greg Schiano said he wants to be known as more than just the guy who goes after teams in late-game knee-down situations. Another in a series of impressive wins is getting the job done.
17. Cincinnati Bengals -- One of the most complete games Bengals have played in years, as they pummel the defending Super Bowl champs at home behind Andy Dalton's career-high four INTs and a defense that pummels Eli Manning.
18. Detroit Lions -- One step forward last year, one step back this year. There's always a team to fit that description. Looks like it's the 2012 Lions. Defense doesn't show up against Vikings, and another divisional loss to the Packers on Sunday puts their playoff hopes in further peril.
19. Tennessee Titans -- Bud Adams ought to rip his team more often. A week after saying he'd never seen a home game as bad as the 51-20 loss to the Bears, the Titans go out and thump the Dolphins on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive.
20. San Diego Chargers -- Still trying to figure out why Philip Rivers would throw that pass. You know, the one that was intercepted, returned for a touchdown, and threw more misery onto a season gone bad.
21. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill looks like a rookie with three picks at home against Tennessee.
22. Washington Redskins -- Mike Shanahan insists he hasn't given up on the season. Let's see if his players prove him right in a largely meaningless game against Philly.
23. Arizona Cardinals -- Why you can never look at a 4-0 start the same way: Cardinals were that good a month into the season. They haven't won since. Now it's off to face an angry Falcons team coming off their first loss. Ouch.
24. St. Louis Rams -- Rams nearly pull off huge upset, and Greg "The Leg" Zeurlein's 53-yard field goal in OT appeared to win it. Nope. Penalty. 58-yarder no good. Settle for the tie. Still an impressive effort for an improving team.
25. Buffalo Bills -- Feisty effort from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who nearly pulls off dramatic comeback in New England, but throws it to the wrong team at the end. Bills now 0-11 at Gillette.
26. Philadelphia Eagles -- Wonder if we ever see Michael Vick play again for the Eagles. Concussion against the Cowboys could be the start of the Nick Foles era.
27. New York Jets -- Mark Sanchez had hoped to show off for his old college coach. Instead, Pete Carroll got to see just how miserable the Jets' quarterback has turned out to be this season.
28. Carolina Panthers -- Special teams coach Brian Murphy gets the gate after a blowout loss to Denver. Won't be last coaching change for Panthers. Could be a clean sweep at season's end.
29. Oakland Raiders -- Raiders' awful defense at it again. They've given up a combined 97 points the last two games. Don't imagine things will get much better against the resurgent Saints.
30. Cleveland Browns -- Rumors of Mike Holmgren to the Cowboys swirling this week in advance of Browns-Dallas matchup in Big D. Holmgren says nothing's up.
31. Kansas City Chiefs -- Finally, the Chiefs played 60 minutes without surrendering a turnover. Too bad they had to play overtime; Matt Cassel's interception cost the Chiefs a chance at the biggest upset of the week.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Stat that will most likely get Mike Mularkey tossed after the season: the Jags have been outscored 153-44 in five home losses.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL