Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Bob Glauber of Newsday:
BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)
1. Houston Texans - When your defense isn't at its best, nice to have
Matt Schaub save the day with five TD passes, including the
game-winner in OT of a surprisingly difficult win over the Jaguars.
Not gonna penalize Texans on style points. Bottom line: They got it
2. Atlanta Falcons - Too soon to call it a slump. But a week after
losing a battle against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan throws a career-high
five INTs as Atlanta narrowly holds off Arizona. If he doesn't get
back on track quickly, then there's a problem. A big problem.
3. San Francisco 49ers - You don't often see a quarterback controversy
on a winning team, but the 49ers sure seem to have one. Who's it going
to be, Jim Harbaugh? Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith? Either way, looks
like Kaepernick has a terrific future.
4. Green Bay Packers - Nothing pretty except the final result, as the
Packers outlast the Lions in Detroit to continue their domination over
their NFC North rivals.
5. Baltimore Ravens - Another ugly win for another highly regarded
team. But when you beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, who cares how it
looks? Ravens now in firm control in AFC North.
6. Denver Broncos - Three more TDs for Peyton Manning and three more
sacks for Von Miller add up to a convincing win over San Diego. Looks
like Denver will cruise to the divisional title and perhaps even a
trip to New Orleans in February.
7. New England Patriots - Blowout win over the Colts is great, but
losing Rob Gronkowski to a broken forearm takes away Tom Brady's
biggest offensive weapon. Pats won't be the same without him.
8. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler can't get back soon enough, but it's the
defensive meltdown in San Francisco that should have Lovie Smith just
9. New York Giants - Giants return from bye rested and ready, but the
schedule is a killer down the stretch. It starts with Green Bay at
home on Sunday night and includes games against New Orleans, Baltimore
and Atlanta. That one-game lead over Dallas looks mighty tenuous.
10. New Orleans Saints - Hottest team in the league? Could be. Saints
roll to their fifth win in the last six games and are right in the
thick of NFC wild card race. Would be an incredible feat if they get
there after overcoming 0-4 start.
11. Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks return from bye to face reeling Miami.
Can't afford a misstep here, not when Seattle is still very much in
the thick of it in the divisional and wild card races.
12. Dallas Cowboys - Just when it looks like the Cowboys will go
kerplunk - i.e. lose at home to the awful Browns - they pull off a
dramatic comeback and remain a factor. Only one game behind the
slumping Giants, and this thing can change in a hurry.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Another terrific comeback effort from Josh
Freeman in a road win over the Panthers. Statement game now on tap for
Sunday: Falcons at Tampa.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers - With the quarterback situation a mess
because of injuries, it'll be Mike Tomlin's greatest coaching jobs if
he gets to the playoffs.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Mr. Luck, say hello to Mr. Brady. Carry on.
16. Minnesota Vikings - Vikings come off bye with chance to take a
huge step in the division. A win over Chicago, and they're in
business. Looks like they might have to face Jay Cutler, though. Not
easy with Bears in bounce-back mode after San Francisco embarrassment.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals follow up blowout of defending Super
Bowl champions with another excellent performance, even if the
competition was inferior. But hey, the Chiefs played well the week
before in Pittsburgh, so give credit to Cincy for not giving KC a
chance in this one.
18. Washington Redskins - RG3 has his way against the Eagles' reeling
defense. Still a ways to go in the playoff chase, but at least there's
19. Tennessee Titans - Still in the hunt for a wild card, Tennessee is
on the road to face Jacksonville. A tougher task perhaps now that Chad
Henne gets his shot as the Jags' starter.
20. New York Jets - Just the way Rex likes to play: Run the ball, play
good defense, have the quarterback manage the game. The Jets did just
that to beat the Rams on the road. A win over New England at home on
Thanksgiving, and hope lives on.
21. Detroit Lions - It's just about over for the Lions. A Thanksgiving
Day loss to the Texans, and that could be it.
22. Buffalo Bills - Bills are still far from good, but they kept their
flickering playoff hopes alive by beating Miami at home in an ugly
one. Now let's see what they do at Indy in a virtual must-win
23. San Diego Chargers - Is Philip Rivers really a descending player?
The evidence is hard to ignore. Maybe a change of coaches next season
will signal an eventual rebirth. The Chargers can only hope.
24. Miami Dolphins - It wasn't long ago the Dolphins looked as if
they'd turned the corner. Now they look as if it's 2011 all over
25. Arizona Cardinals - Cardinals haven't won since September. Really.
26. St. Louis Rams - So much for that. A week after the Rams tie the
mighty 49ers on the road, they come up small at home against the Jets.
Not the kind of payback former Jets offensive coordinator Brian
Schottenheimer was looking for.
27. Philadelphia Eagles - The offense is miserable. The defense is
worse. And Andy Reid's time is just about up in Philly. What a mess.
28. Cleveland Browns - Browns come close in Dallas, but can't finish
off the upset. Woulda shoulda coulda - the three words that have come
to symbolize the Browns since their return to Cleveland in 1999.
29. Carolina Panthers - Latest heartbreak for Panthers' fans: Watching
the home team blow a 21-10 fourth-quarter lead with 4:34 to play.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars - Mike Mularkey hands the ball to Chad Henne
after a terrific performance in relief of Blaine Gabbert in Houston.
Let's see if it does the trick at home, where the Jaguars have been
31. Oakland Raiders - Will Dennis Allen be a one-and-done? Not like
the Raiders haven't pulled the plug early before. Let's see if Mark
Davis is like father Al when it comes to impatience with losing
32. Kansas City Chiefs - Back to the basement for the Chiefs, who
follow up a gutty effort in an overtime loss in Pittsburgh with a
miserable showing at home against Cincy.