Tuesday, December 18, 2012
AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Bob Glauber of Newsday:
BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)
1. San Francisco 49ers -- Maybe the biggest regular season win in the Jim Harbaugh era. Not only a dominating early showing against the Pats on the road, but a terrific recovery after New England's furious comeback. Now it's on to Seattle against the streaking Seahawks.
2. Denver Broncos -- Chris Harris with the longest interception return in Broncos history, and Peyton Manning with another solid effort as Denver makes it nine straight to get in position for a first-round bye.
3. Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Ryan insisted last week's stinker in Carolina wasn't the start of a trend. He and the Falcons showed that in no uncertain terms by stomping the defending Super Bowl champs at home. One more win and Atlanta clinches homefield advantage in the NFC.
4. New England Patriots -- Amazing comeback in the second half, but no moral victories for Bill Belichick. Suddenly, the Patriots are at risk of losing a first-round bye.
5. Houston Texans -- Nice way to recover from that thrashing the week before in New England, as Texans hold off Indy to clinch a second straight AFC South title. Two more wins and they're guaranteed the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
6. Green Bay Packers -- That's six in a row against the Bears and 12 straight against NFC North opponents for the Packers, who clinch a second straight divisional title. A trifecta of Aaron Rodgers-to-James Jones TDs does the trick.
7. Seattle Seahawks -- Pete Carroll's team is heating up at the right time with 108 points combined in the last two games. Now he'll try and do a number on the 49ers at home.
8. Washington Redskins -- Kirk Cousins to the rescue again -- this time as the starter -- as the Redskins win their fifth straight. Once 3-6, the Redskins can now win the division if they win their last two.
9. Dallas Cowboys -- A second straight Tony Romo comeback against an AFC North opponent -- this one with an assist to Brandon Carr on an OT interception -- and the Cowboys are in the thick of the divisional and wild-card races.
10. Minnesota Vikings -- Another in a series of transcendent performances from Adrian Peterson, who is rewriting the rules of medical science. Not even a year removed from knee surgery, and he might set the all-time rushing record. Just an unbelievable comeback.
11. New York Giants -- More mind-boggling inconsistency from the Giants, who look like champions one week (see: 52-27 over New Orleans last week) and also-rans the next. A 34-0 drubbing in Atlanta is the first regular season shutout loss in the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning era. Playoff positioning destiny is no longer theirs.
12. Indianapolis Colts -- Three-game winning streak is snapped, so a guaranteed playoff berth is still a win away. Another impressive performance from rookie running back Vick Ballard, who gets his first 100-yard rushing game.
13. Cincinnati Bengals -- Five turnovers forced by the Bengals' defense, and they're one step closer to the first back-to-back playoff seasons for Marvin Lewis.
14. Baltimore Ravens -- Jim Caldwell gets no closer to solving the Ravens' myriad offensive problems than Cam Cameron. Six days after Cameron was fired, Caldwell's offense looked no different in a blowout home loss to the Broncos. Giants up next at home.
15. New Orleans Saints -- Just about a perfect game by the Saints in a 41-0 smackdown of Tampa, their first shutout since '95. Makes you wonder what their season would look like had they played this way from the start.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Ben Roethlisberger with the costly interception in overtime, and more questions about Todd Haley's play-calling. Playoffs now in peril.
17. Chicago Bears -- Bears could become only the second team in the 23-year history of the current playoff format to miss out on the postseason after a 7-1 start. Jay Cutler playing hurt and it clearly showed against the Packers.
18. Carolina Panthers -- Cam Newton does a number on the Chargers a week after getting the best of Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Will it be enough to save Ron Rivera's job?
19. St. Louis Rams -- Second-quarter meltdown dooms the Rams, who trailed 30-7 at halftime and never got back in it against the Vikings.
20. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill with a sharp effort against an admittedly weak Jacksonville defense. Even so, important progress for the rookie quarterback.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Josh Freeman with one of his worst games ever, a four-interception, one-fumble debacle that conjures memories of the awful Bucs teams from decades ago.
22. Buffalo Bills -- More problems for the Bills' high-priced defense against Seattle. Buyer's remorse on Mario Williams?
23. Tennessee Titans -- Chris Johnson with a 94-yard touchdown run and Jake Locker with a 13-yard rushing TD just enough to beat an awful Jets' team.
24. Arizona Cardinals -- A week after giving up 58 points on the road to the Seahawks, the Cardinals' defense actually shows up and pushes the Lions all over the field to break a nine-game losing streak.
25. Cleveland Browns -- After yet another home loss for the Browns, rookie running back Trent Richardson offers his apologies to the fans.
26. San Diego Chargers -- A week after shocking the Steelers on the road, the Chargers come home and are absolutely abysmal against the Panthers. This is some rebuilding job ahead.
27. New York Jets -- And that's a wrap. No playoffs and the end of the Mark Sanchez era.
28. Detroit Lions -- You can learn a lot about a team when there's nothing to play for. Not sure Jim Schwartz likes what he's finding out his squad.
29. Oakland Raiders -- Ah, the old five field goal offense, something Sebastian Janikowski has seen plenty of in his years with the Raiders.
30. Philadelphia Eagles -- Two games to go and we move on from the Andy Reid era.
31. Kansas City Chiefs -- There's an elite college quarterback out there who's about to be anointed the savior of this offense. Good luck with that.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Chad Henne goes to Miami and shows the Dolphins why they didn't ask him back.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL