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AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez

AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:

Week 15

ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)

1. New England Patriots - Their record isn't as good, but a 42-14 thumping of Houston makes the Patriots the team to beat in the AFC.

2. Denver Broncos - A win Sunday at Baltimore would go a long way toward keeping Denver's hopes for a first-round playoff bye alive. The Broncos would lose head-to-head tiebreakers against Houston and New England because of early season losses.

3. San Francisco 49ers - It was the kind of physical victory that 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh cherishes. San Francisco's rushing attack produced 117 second-half yards and wore down Miami's strong run defense in a 27-13 home victory.

4. Houston Texans - Put the letterman jackets back in the closet.

5. New York Giants - If a 52-27 rout of New Orleans is a true indicator, the Giants may be getting hot yet again at just the right time.

6. Atlanta Falcons - Maybe the Falcons will stop worrying about a lack of national media "respect" and earn it with performances better than the one they gave in Sunday's 30-20 loss to Carolina.

7. Green Bay Packers - Beware the Packers. Green Bay has won seven of its past eight games and is now getting Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson back from injuries at a critical stretch of the season.

8. Baltimore Ravens - Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had better hope the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron results in more points to cover for a defense ravaged by injuries.

9. Indianapolis Colts - Another close game, another Colts win.

10. Seattle Seahawks - The NFL's best home-field advantage this season was on display once again as the Seahawks waxed Arizona, 58-0.

11. Chicago Bears - Having lost four of their past five games, the Bears must get on track ASAP or risk missing the playoffs entirely. Unfortunately for Chicago, Green Bay is next on the schedule.

12. Washington Redskins - Can the Redskins win if rookie sensation Robert Griffin III is out Sunday against Cleveland? We'll find out if the quarterback isn't sufficiently healed from a sprained knee suffered last Sunday against Baltimore.

13. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals squandered too many opportunities for touchdowns in a 20-19 loss to Dallas.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Just like Kansas City the week before, Dallas showed impressive resiliency in the face of off-field tragedy with a comeback win in Cincinnati.

15. Minnesota Vikings - With the way he is running, Adrian Peterson may be able to carry the Vikings all the way into the playoffs while breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - A 34-24 home loss to what was a slumping San Diego squad could ultimately cost the Steelers a playoff berth.

17. St. Louis Rams - Thanks to a surging defense, the Rams remain alive in the playoff race.

18. New York Jets - The offense is painful to watch, but two straight wins have the Jets still in postseason contention.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Woeful pass defense is the biggest reason behind a three-game losing streak that has bumped the Buccaneers from being a legitimate playoff contender.

20. New Orleans Saints - An awful year for the franchise can't end soon enough now that the Saints (5-8) are basically out of the playoff picture.

21. Cleveland Browns - Although the Browns have won three straight games for the first time since late 2009, how Cleveland performs against Washington, Denver and Pittsburgh in the final three weeks will provide a better gauge of how far along the team's rebuilding process truly is.

22. San Diego Chargers - Norv Turner is almost certainly on his way out as Chargers coach, but a 34-24 upset of Pittsburgh proved his team hasn't stopped playing hard for him.

23. Buffalo Bills - Under coordinator Dave Wannstedt, the Bills have turned their season around defensively to become one of the league's top units over the past five games. That won't be good enough, though, to end a 13-year postseason drought with the Bills dropping to 5-8 following a 15-12 home loss to St. Louis.

24. Carolina Panthers - After struggling for half the season, Cam Newton has played as well as any quarterback over the past three games. However, it's too little too late with the Panthers at 4-9.

25. Miami Dolphins - Miami's offense continues to regress with a 27-13 loss to San Francisco marking the eighth time the Dolphins failed to gain 300 yards.

26. Detroit Lions - On the bright side for one of the NFL's most disappointing teams, Detroit's five-game losing streak should end Sunday against a team that has dropped nine straight contests - Arizona.

27. Tennessee Titans - The latest way for the Titans to fall - getting outscored 20-3 in the second half of a 27-23 loss at Indianapolis.

28. Philadelphia Eagles - With a 381-yard passing performance and the game-winning touchdown toss as time expired, Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles staked his claim for the starting job entering 2013 in last Sunday's 23-21 win at Tampa Bay.

29. Oakland Raiders - As a six-game losing streak grows, it becomes harder each week to find something the Raiders are doing well.

30. Arizona Cardinals - Freshly claimed Brian Hoyer can't do any worse at quarterback than the two schmoes Arizona fielded in last Sunday's 58-0 blanking in Seattle.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - After an 80-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles on the first play from scrimmage, Kansas City went scoreless for the final 59:48 in a 30-7 loss at Cleveland.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - Over the past six games, the Jaguars have surrendered an average of 157.3 yards rushing while producing just 76.7 yards on the ground offensively. Not surprisingly, Jacksonville is 1-5 in that stretch following last Sunday's 17-10 loss to the New York Jets.

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Maryland teen gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from Ravens at NFL Draft

Maryland teen gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from Ravens at NFL Draft

The first round of the NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday and the Ravens made sure a special fan will not only be there, but be a part of the process.

In 2015, T.J. Onwuanibe was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and through Make-A-Wish he wanted the opportunity to announce a Ravens draft pick. 

Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced that dream would come true and not only would T.J. get to announce a draft pick, but the Ravens first round draft pick.

T.J. Onwuanibe was joined by the Ravens cheerleaders and mascot at McDonogh for the special reveal.

Here's the full version of the video coach John Harbaugh recorded.

MORE RAVENS: What we know about the Ravens 2017 schedule

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NFL Schedule Release: What we already know about 2017 Ravens slate

NFL Schedule Release: What we already know about 2017 Ravens slate

With the NFL schedule being released on Thursday night, the Baltimore Ravens already know which teams they will be up against to make postseason after missing out in back-to-back years. 

First the team will play six games against their division, both a home and an away matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns. Throughout the past several seasons, the league has back-loaded the schedule with divisional matchups in order to keep most teams' playoff hopes alive. Typically three of those six games will be post-Thanksgiving, with one also within the season's first three weeks. As always (except last year), one of the Ravens-Steelers matchups will sure to be on primetime.

In this year's cycle, the Ravens will face off against the AFC South and the NFC North, which means three more playoff teams from last year, the Lions, Packers, and Texans. Tough road games will include at Green Bay and an 'away game' against the Jaguars played in London (typically scheduled in the middle weeks of the season).

MORE RAVENS: An ex-Ravens heart is keeping an MLB legend alive

As the second place finishers in the AFC North, the squad will host the Dolphins and travel to Oakland for the 16 game schedule. Both those units took home the AFC Wild Card slots in 2017. 

The timing of the Green Bay and Oakland road games will be critical in the season. Field conditions inside Oakland Alameda Coliseum have never been the best when the Oakland Athletics games are still going on in September and potentially October. Meanwhile a trip to Lambeau in late November or December will surely be a dreaded matchup where temperatures hover around zero degrees.

Last year the team finished with a tough stretch against the Cowboys, Bengals, Dolphins, Patriots, Eagles, Steelers, and Bengals again. Make that three playoff teams and three divisional rivals in the final seven games. Odds would favor the Ravens getting a better balance this go around.

On Thanksgiving do not expect the Ravens to back in the limelight. With the team playing the Detroit Lions at home and the Redskins reportedly taking the primetime slot, there would be no room for Baltimore. In addition, they played against Pittsburgh on Christmas this past season. A shame for the team which is 2-0 on turkey day in their franchise's history.

There is also an indication for an uptick in primetime games for the Ravens with the team only having two last year, their lowest since 2006. Three total games were broadcast on national television. 

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