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AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Bob Glauber of Newsday:

Week 15

BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)

1. New England Patriots - The bigger the stage, the better Tom Brady

plays. Another Monday night masterpiece, and the Patriots declare

themselves the best team in the game right now.

2. Denver Broncos - The MVP tour rolls on for Peyton Manning, who has

won eight straight, but only two against teams currently with winning

records. Huge test in Baltimore this week.

3. San Francisco 49ers - Two more sacks from Aldon Smith, who is in

the running for Defensive Player of the Year. And now for the two-week

stretch that could decide playoff positioning: at New England and at

Seattle.

4. Houston Texans - Matt Schaub overmatched against Tom Brady in a

statement game - a very bad statement game - for Houston. If there's a

rematch in January, Texans better hope it's in Houston.

5. Atlanta Falcons - Off day in Carolina or were the Falcons exposed?

They'll find out quickly when they host the defending Super Bowl

champs on Sunday.

6. New York Giants - Giants are at their best when their backs are

against the wall. Latest example was 52-27 thumping of New Orleans at

home. Rookie David Wilson was brilliant on kickoff returns and

injected himself into the running back rotation.

7. Indianapolis Colts - Another second-half comeback for Andrew Luck,

who already has six of them in his first 13 games. Ridiculous.

8. Green Bay Packers - Win and you're in: If Green Bay beats the

wounded Bears on the road on Sunday, they clinch the NFC North. Pack

gets in position to win the division with solid, if unspectacular

effort against Detroit.

9. Baltimore Ravens - Two losses, more problems on offense, and John

Harbaugh has had enough. Out with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron

and in with Jim Caldwell. Risky move, but worth it for Harbaugh. Tough

first task when Baltimore hosts Caldwell's old pal Peyton Manning.

10. Seattle Seahawks - It's like Pete Carroll is back at USC beating

up on Washington State. Seahawks absolutely pummel Cardinals 58-0,

only 11 points from equaling Carroll's most lopsided win in college.

11. Washington Redskins - Good news for RG3 that he didn't end his

season with that knee injury. But it's a sobering reminder that the

kid needs to stay in the pocket more for his own good.

12. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler insists he'll be OK after a case of

whiplash against the Vikings. Bears trust he's right. Cutler's their

only hope.

13. Minnesota Vikings - Not sure we've seen anything like Adrian

Peterson before. Still not even a year since reconstructive surgery,

and he just might be a 2,000-yard rusher.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Dramatic and emotional comeback win in Cincinnati

for the Cowboys, who are still mourning the loss of practice squad

player Jerry Brown. Tony Romo's comeback may have saved the season.

15. Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals blow nine-point lead against Cowboys

and need to recover quickly. At Philly is no lock, and then it's at

Pittsburgh and home to Baltimore. Bengals on the bubble right now.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - On the day Ben Roethlisberger came back, the

Steelers' defense left. Roethlisberger didn't help with an

interception and a botched screen pass.

17. St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher probably won't win Coach of the Year

honors, but he has done a sensational job getting this Rams team

competitive this quickly. He has already tripled last year's win

total.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rough day for Josh Freeman and the Bucs'

defense. Freeman bad early and the defense bad late. Decisive blow for

Bucs' playoff chances.

19. New Orleans Saints - Looks like the Saints are done after getting

blown out against the Giants. Just a horrid stretch for Drew Brees,

who has only one touchdown and seven INTs in his last two games.

20. Detroit Lions - Losing streak to Packers now at 22, longest in the

NFL. That kind of year for a Lions team that looked so promising

coming in.

21. Miami Dolphins - Dolphins just not in 49ers' league. Home game

against Jacksonville on Sunday more their speed.

22. New York Jets - Could the Jets recover enough after Mark Sanchez's

infamous "butt fumble" to make the playoffs? Not out of the question

if the Jets win out.

23. San Diego Chargers - As the saying goes, the 15th time's the

charm. San Diego beats the Stillers in Pittsburgh for the first time

in 15 regular-season visits, this just days after a report that said

Norv Turner is out after the season.

24. Carolina Panthers - Stunning performance by Cam Newton against the

Falcons. Makes you wonder why this hasn't happened more often this

season.

25. Buffalo Bills - OK, so Chan Gailey was technically wrong when he

said the Bills are out of the playoff picture. But if they do get

there, it would make the Frank Reich's comeback against the Oilers

look like child's play.

26. Cleveland Browns - Progress, yes. Enough to convince Jimmy Haslam

to stick with Pat Shurmur? Probably not.

27. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles in a terrific comeback win over

the Buccaneers, winning at the buzzer and giving the Iggles some hope

for the future.

28. Tennessee Titans - Jake Locker outplays Andrew Luck early, but

falters in second half with that stunning interception from his own

1-yard line. Game over.

29. Arizona Cardinals - Cardinals have had some bad losses in their

mostly sorry history, but 58-0 in Seattle tops 'em all. Ken Whisenhunt

gets the rest of the year, but might get the gate at the end.

30. Kansas City Chiefs - Brady Quinn goes back to Cleveland, but shows

why the Browns gave up on him.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Chad Henne not doing much to convince the

Jags he'll be the guy next year.

32. Oakland Raiders - Raiders owe Carson Palmer $13 million next

season. Doubt he'll see that cash.

---

Online:

http://pro32.ap.org/poll

and

http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Report: Ravens mulling cutting Dennis Pitta to create more cap space

Report: Ravens mulling cutting Dennis Pitta to create more cap space

A decision on whether to cut or keep Dennis Pitta is one of many issues facing the Ravens this offseason.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Ravens “may balk” at the $5.5 million salary Pitta is due next season. That makes sense, considering Pitta was just 28th in the NFL among tight ends in yards per catch (8.5) despite leading all tight ends with 86 catches. Pitta only had two touchdown catches, and there is concern he no longer has the speed to make explosive plays after two major hip surgeries.

Free agency begins March 9, but cutting Pitta with a June 1 designation would create the most cap space for the Ravens - $5.5 million.

However, if the Ravens release Pitta, they would turn the tight end position over to a question-filled group that includes:

Ben Watson – He is 36 years old, and missed all of the 2016 season with an Achilles injury. Cutting Watson and saving $3 million in cap space might make more sense than cutting Pitta. Especially if Pitta agrees to a pay reduction, as he did before last season.

Nick Boyle – He missed 10 games last season due to his second suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Another suspension could lead to the end of Boyle’s career.

Crockett Gillmore – He must prove he can still healthy after missing seven games in 2016, and 15 games over the past two seasons.

Darren Waller – He was suspended four games in 2016 for his first PED violation, and he has caught just 12 passes in his first two seasons.

Maxx Williams – He is coming off major knee surgery.

Pitta remains a favorite target of quarterback Joe Flacco, and even if Pitta struggles to make splash plays, he is still a chain-mover as a possession receiver. You can make a case for cutting or keeping Pitta. The Ravens will soon make their verdict.

MORE RAVENS: Stanley and his adopted dog from BARCS to be on Animal Planet

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Have a cool idea? The Ravens might just give you $200,000 for it

Have a cool idea? The Ravens might just give you $200,000 for it

The Ravens are trading in the kicks for pitches all in the name of charity. In a new partnership with Light City Baltimore, the popular football team is utilizing their resources to give back to their community through an exclusive pitch competition for eligible local companies.

The pitch competition, officially titled, the Baltimore Ravens Innovation Challenge at Light City will be held on April 6. The Ravens are looking for start up companies with innovative ideas in need of a little investment push. The applications are live on their website with an upcoming deadline of March 6.

Eligibility includes:

  • Based in Baltimore City or Baltimore County

  • Annual revenue under $5 million

  • Must not be in industries the Ravens have category exclusive partners, including beer and financial services.

Only a lucky six will be selected to pitch to the panel of judges which includes investors and Ravens personnel. Perhaps the ones to impress most are the live audience who also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite. Like most competitions, there can only be one winner and this lucky company will win the $200,000 sponsorship package.

The package includes:

  • LED signage at M&T Bank Stadium

  • Digital advertising on the Ravens website

  • Print advertising in the Ravens yearbook

  • Game day publications

  • Exposure at Ravens Walk, Ravens training camp and the Ravens Flock Festival.

Furthermore, the winning company will work directly with the Ravens to execute the sponsorship.

So, for all you entrepreneurs out there, put on your thinking caps and let your lights shine.

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