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AP Pro32 ballot from Brown

AP Pro32 ballot from Brown

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Clifton Brown of Sporting News:

Week 15

CLIFTON BROWN (Sporting News)

1. New England Patriots - No doubt they are the team to beat after dismantling Texans.

2. San Francisco 49ers - Sunday night game against Patriots could be Super Bowl preview.

3. New York Giants - David Wilson is the newest big-play weapon in a potent attack.

4. Seattle Seahawks - It's not just about Russell Wilson. This team is solid and physical.

5. Denver Broncos - Knowshon Moreno is running like he's back in college at Georgia.

6. Houston Texans - The Texans should be concerned about their leaky secondary.

7. Baltimore Ravens - Can't blame Cam Cameron anymore. It's time for Joe Flacco to deliver.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Has any 11-2 team every gotten as little respect? Don't think so.

9. Washington Redskins - Alfred Morris is the latest back to love a Mike Shanahan offense.

10. Cincinnati Bengals - Their season could come down to beating Steelers in season finale.

11. Green Bay Packers - Packers have shown renewed commitment to running game lately.

12. Chicago Bears - They're fading down the stretch for the second consecutive season.

13. Indianapolis Colts - For such a young team, they play with impressive poise.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers have been inconsistent, but loss to Chargers was shocker.

15. Dallas Cowboys - Can't say the Cowboys have stopped competing for Jason Garrett.

16. Minnesota Vikings - Even when opponents load the box, Adrian Peterson excels.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Momentum has been lost, and playoffs now look unlikely for them.

18. Cleveland Browns - I'll say it again. Pat Shurmur is making a strong case to keep his job.

19. St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher is showing why he was so coveted during offseason.

20. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton looks like he's starting to blossom. That's crucial for franchise.

21. San Diego Chargers - They remain a tease under Norv Turner. Good wins, baffling losses.

22. Miami Dolphins - They face key decisions on several players, including Reggie Bush.

23. Detroit Lions - This team has flat-out underachieved. Lack of discipline has hurt.

24. New Orleans Saints - We can stop waiting for the playoff run. It's not going to happen.

25. New York Jets - Doubt if they make the playoffs. Who will they beat if they get in?

26. Buffalo Bills - If players keep griping, you have to wonder if Chan Gailey will stick.

27. Philadelphia Eagles - Playing out the string, but Nick Foles is gaining experience.

28. Kansas City Chiefs - With Dwayne Bowe gone, the Chiefs' offense really can get worse.

29. Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals' season has disintegrated into a debacle.

30. Tennessee Titans - Jake Locker has not made the kind of progress they had hoped.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Some teams should be glad the season is almost over. This is one.

32. Oakland Raiders - Chiefs vs. Raiders in Week 15 won't be NFL football at its finest.

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Online:

http://pro32.ap.org/poll and

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Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'

Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'

Some say Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. Some say he isn't.

Former Patriots center Dan Koppen clearly sides with the second option.

In a segment on CSN New England's "Sports Tonight," Koppen said he doesn't think Flacco is much of a threat throwing the ball. 

He was asked if Flacco was going to be a reason the Ravens win or a reason they lose to the Patriots. 

"Well, if you look at his last performance, he could be a reason that they win, but over the course of his career, he's not a guy that strikes fear in your heart," Koppen said.

Koppen also said Flacco wouldn't have been this successful without his teammates' help.

"Some Patriots fans have seen this team come in and win, but I believe it's more about the players around him than Joe Flacco himself. ... He's not a guy that elevates the players around him. He needs a good running game, he needs a line, he needs those receivers, and he's also had a strong defense his whole career."

The only way to tell if this is a valid criticism would be to take all the players around Joe Flacco and replace them with average players, and that isn't going to happen. 

For now, the Ravens are winning and in first place in the AFC North, and fans should enjoy that.

MORE: Flacco named FedEx Air Player of the Week

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Joe Flacco named Week 13 FedEx Air Player of the Week by NFL

Joe Flacco named Week 13 FedEx Air Player of the Week by NFL

With a dominating performance over the Miami Dolphins defense in Week 13, Joe Flacco was named the FedEx Air Player of the Week by the NFL. 

In the Ravens 38-6 victory, the quarterback threw for 381 yards with four touchdowns, both season-highs. He completed 36 of his 47 passes and finished with a passer rating of 119.2.

This was Flacco's first time selected as the Air Player of the Week this season. Drew Brees (three time winner) is the only quarterback to receive the award more than once.

As the winner of the award, FedEx will make a $2,000 donation to the USO in Flacco's name through FedEx Cares. 

On the year, the Raven's play caller has thrown for over 3,258 yards with a 64.6 percent completion rate. He has found the endzone 15 times but also has thrown 11 interceptions.

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