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AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei

AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of Chicago Tribune:

Week 14

DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)

1. Houston Texans - We will find out all we need to know about this team when they visit New England on Monday.

2. Denver Broncos - As if having Peyton Manning doesn't give them enough of an offensive advantage, now they have Mitch Unrein, too.

3. New England Patriots - They have won six straight and already clinched the AFC East. Can they stay on this tear through February?

4. Atlanta Falcons - They may be the least respected 11-1 team in history. Can anybody figure out why that is?

5. Baltimore Ravens - After a tough loss, it doesn't get easier from here: at the Redskins, Broncos and Giants at home, and at the Bengals.

6. San Francisco 49ers - Alex Smith is advised to keep his arm loose.

7. Green Bay Packers - Greg Jennings back; Jordy Nelson out. Been that kind of year in Green Bay.

8. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck is so good he can win even when he throws three interceptions.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - They have won three in a row by an average of 21 points per game.

10. Seattle Seahawks - Russell Wilson might be putting himself in the rookie of the year discussion.

11. Chicago Bears - They have lost three of four and are looking worn out, but still should win 10 or 11 games.

12. Washington Redskins - Perhaps they will start a new trend, and most every team will be running the triple option fumble.

13. New York Giants - Someone better tell them this is not 2011 and they can't wait until the last two weeks of the season to turn it on.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers - If they can beat the Ravens on the road with Charlie Batch, who can't they beat with Ben Roethlisberger?

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They probably would love to have someone dive at their knees during a couple of late game kneel downs.

16. Dallas Cowboys - Don't forget about the Cowboys. Tony Romo has thrown 10 touchdowns and two interceptions over the last five games.

17. Minnesota Vikings - They may be wasting one of the all-time great seasons by a running back.

18. St. Louis Rams - If they could play the 49ers every week, the Rams would be one of the best teams in the NFL.

19. New Orleans Saints - They came up awfully small in two of their biggest games of the season the last two weeks.

20. Miami Dolphins - They have lost four of five and Ryan Tannehill has cooled off.

21. New York Jets - Greg McElroy wouldn't have been the best quarterback in any NFL stadium except the one he was in Sunday.

22. Buffalo Bills - They rediscovered the running game after the horse ran out of the barn.

23. Detroit Lions - With Titus Young, Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson out of action, any guesses on who Matt Stafford will throw to at Lambeau Field Sunday?

24. Cleveland Browns - The Browns have won two in a row and could make it three straight against K.C. Maybe the Mayans were right about the world ending this month.

25. San Diego Chargers - Anyone who weighs 300 pounds or more, please contact A.J. Smith for an offensive line tryout.

26. Arizona Cardinals - Did you ever think they would be longing for Kevin Kolb?

27. Tennessee Titans - OK, so maybe it wasn't all Chris Palmer's fault.

28. Oakland Raiders - Have they begun packing up the U-hauls yet?

29. Carolina Panthers - The Panthers are going to go really young the rest of the season. They should save on razors this way.

30. Philadelphia Eagles - Jim Washburn probably never dreamed getting fired would feel so good.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Their fans are more excited about seeing the Jets' backup quarterback Sunday than anyone on their own team.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Emotion can carry this team only so far. They will have to earn their next victory.

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All but one NFL owner approves of Raiders' move to Las Vegas

All but one NFL owner approves of Raiders' move to Las Vegas

PHOENIX — NFL owners approved the Oakland Raiders' move to Las Vegas at the league meetings Monday.

The vote was a foregone conclusion after the league and Raiders were not satisfied with Oakland's proposals for a new stadium, and Las Vegas stepped up with $750 million in public money. Bank of America also is giving Raiders owner Mark Davis a $650 million loan, further helping to persuade owners to allow the third team relocation in just over a year.

Owners voted 31-1 to approve the move, with the Miami Dolphins opposed.

The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, and in January the Chargers relocated from San Diego to LA. The Raiders likely will play two or three more years in the Bay Area before their $1.7 billion stadium near the Las Vegas strip is ready.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0

Las Vegas, long taboo to the NFL because of its legalized gambling, also is getting an NHL team this fall, the Golden Knights.

"Today will forever change the landscape of Las Vegas and UNLV football," said Steve Sisolak, chairman of the Clark County Commission and a former member of a panel appointed by the Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to study the stadium tax funding plan.

"I couldn't be more excited for the fans and residents of Clark County as we move forward with the Raiders and the Rebels," Sisolak said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and a group trying to keep the team in Oakland, made a last-ditch presentation to the NFL last week. But that letter was "filled with uncertainty," according to Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Monday, she asked the owners to delay the vote, wanting to give her city a chance to negotiate with a small group of owners to complete a stadium deal at the Coliseum site.

"Never that we know of has the NFL voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully financed option before them with all the issues addressed," Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. "I'd be remiss if I didn't do everything in my power to make the case for Oakland up until the very end."

Schaaf said the city has presented a $1.3 billion plan for a stadium at the Coliseum site that would be ready by 2021. She says the existing Coliseum would be demolished by 2024, with the Oakland Athletics baseball team either moving to a new stadium at the Coliseum site or somewhere else in the city.

The Raiders' move became more certain this month when Bank of America offered the loan. That replaced the same amount the Raiders lost when the league balked at having casino owner Sheldon Adelson involved and he was dropped from the team's plans.

Leaving the Bay Area is not something new with the Raiders, who played in Los Angeles from 1982-94 before heading back to Oakland. Davis was passed over last year in an attempt to move to a stadium in the LA area that would have been jointly financed with the Chargers. Instead, the owners approved the Rams' relocation and gave the Chargers an option to join them, which they exercised this winter.

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Proposed NFL rule change would eliminate Ravens' intentional holding strategy

Proposed NFL rule change would eliminate Ravens' intentional holding strategy

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

It made everyone do a double-take, then it made perfect sense to non-Cincinnati and non-Pittsburgh fans.

Back in Week 12 when the Baltimore Ravens held off the Cincinnati Bengals 19-14, it wasn't a single touchdown that made national headlines. Rather it was a game ending safety that cut a seven-point deficit to only five. 

On the final play, numerous Ravens players held the opposing Bengals, who were setting up to receive punt, with 11 seconds left on the clock. Punter Sam Koch, just sat back, draining the clock before finally running out the back of the end zone with the clock at zero. 

SEE LINK FOR FULL RULE EXPLANATION

Thursday it was proposed to the NFL's Competition Committee to make plays like this illegal. 

While it may be considered unfair to some, making this new rule would simply add to an already expanding rule book and only be used for a select handful of plays a year, maybe. 

Eliminating cleverness of coaches that are well versed in the NFL rule book, should not be the approach of the of rule adaptations. There is no impact on player safety nor does it make the game 'more watchable' (like the extra-point rule).

Not only that, but the new proposed rule just leaves another set of loopholes for coaches to take advantage of at the end of a game. What if team trying to score on the last play commits two offensive penalties just to get another shot at the endzone?

But before making a massive overhaul to fix all of the loopholes in the NFL rule book, can we establish what a catch is first?

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