AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

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

Week 10

BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)

1. Atlanta Falcons - "Halfway to Perfect" - the completely perfect

headline in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the Falcons

remained unbeaten at the halfway point after grinding out a home win

over the Cowboys.

2. Chicago Bears - The turnover machine that is the Bears came up with

five more, including four forced fumbles by Charles Tillman and an

interception return for TD by Brian Urlacher in a 51-20 beatdown of

the Titans. Biggest day yet for Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, who

team up for three TDs.

3. Houston Texans - Texans send former No. 1 overall pick Mario

Williams home a 21-9 loser, as Arian Foster and Matt Schaub beat up on

not-so-super Mario's shoddy defense.

4. Green Bay Packers - Streaking Packers make it four straight wins

with solid effort at Lambeau against slumping Cardinals. Only one

downer as Pack heads into bye week: a hamstring injury that could keep

All Pro linebacker Clay Matthews out for a couple weeks.

5. New York Giants - Eli Manning put up his worst QB rating since the

2008 playoffs as the Giants confront a familiar nemesis: the month of

November. They're 13-20 in November games during the Tom Coughlin era.

6. San Francisco 49ers - Niners come off a bye week to host the Rams.

Gotta like the home team this week.

7. Baltimore Ravens - Jimmy Haslam owns the Browns, and so does Ravens

coach John Harbaugh: He's 10-0 against Cleveland.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers - Not easy to travel and play the same day, but

Steelers get it done with a fine comeback win on the road against the

defending Super Bowl champs. Huge win that keeps them in the thick of

the playoff race.

9. New England Patriots - Pats back in action after the bye week to

host the Bills, who have lost 17 of their last 18 to New England. Pats

figure to win big once more.

10. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning putting together an MVP season ...

again. He already has a record four MVP awards in his trophy case.

11. Seattle Seahawks - Three more TD passes for rookie Russell Wilson

and Seattle survives a big day from Adrian Peterson to stay within

reach of 49ers.

12. Detroit Lions - Mikel Leshoure does something not even Barry

Sanders did in his Hall of Fame career in Detroit: rush for three

first-half TDs as Lions roll over Jags on the road.

13. Indianapolis Colts - The win over the Dolphins was great, but not

as inspiring as Chuck Pagano's locker room speech afterward. Battling

cancer, the coach vows to dance at his daughters' weddings and win

Super Bowls with the Colts. May he get to do it all.

14. New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees says there's still plenty to play

for this season, especially after Saints come alive in Monday night

win over Eagles. Defense had 13 sacks coming into the game and had

more than half that total (7) against Philly.

15. Dallas Cowboys - Sign of the times: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had

to bang on his own team's locker room door to gain entrance after

Sunday night's loss to the Falcons.

16. Minnesota Vikings - More issues for quarterback Christian Ponder,

who hasn't even hit 65 passing yards in two of his last three games.

Leslie Frazier says Ponder's job isn't on the line, but Joe Webb might

want to keep that arm loose just in case.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Who ever thought Doug Martin would be in

the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year? A record-setting rushing

day for the Bucs' tailback has him in the conversation.

18. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill went toe-to-toe with rookie draft

classmate Andrew Luck, but comes up just short. Even so, another

meaningful step in the right direction for the promising QB.

19. San Diego Chargers - Chargers stop the bleeding with a home win

over the Chiefs, but they'll need more than that for anyone to think

they're a contender in the AFC West ... even though they're just a

game behind the Broncos.

20. Washington Redskins - Mike Shanahan says he's not throwing in the

towel after indicating he'll now look to who belongs with the team in

2013. The fact that the issue is even open to interpretation is the

latest sign of how badly things are going in his third year with the

Redskins.

21. Arizona Cardinals - They go into the bye week on a five-game

losing streak, and coach Ken Whisenhunt says he's open to changes.

What the team really needs is starting QB Kevin Kolb back from a rib

injury.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Not all Michael Vick's fault this time.

Under pressure all night from the Saints' suddenly reinvigorated

defense, he never had a chance. And that defense under new coordinator

Todd Bowles? That's 58 points in two games so far.

23. Cincinnati Bengals - Some promising moments for the Bengals, who

led briefly in the fourth quarter against Peyton Manning's Broncos.

But then it all fell apart, as it has the last month. Four straight

losses, with the Giants up next.

24. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez faces his old coach on Sunday in

Seattle. The Jets' QB hopes he can put on a show for Pete Carroll. If

not, then the Tim Tebow calls grow ever-louder.

25. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton shows RG3 a thing or two, as the

Panthers end a five-game losing streak.

26. Oakland Raiders - Raiders' defense falls into the Black Hole,

giving up 35 points to the Bucs in the second half. Carson Palmer's

comeback bid falls one interception short, and it's more misery for

the silver and black.

27. Buffalo Bills - GM Buddy Nix says Chan Gailey will be back as head

coach next season, but defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt has no

such assurances. Not after another miserable performance against the

Texans.

28. St. Louis Rams - Rams had a bye week to think about a blowout loss

to the Patriots in London. Now it's off for some NFC West-style

punishment in San Francisco.

29. Tennessee Titans - We'll let Bud Adams provide the comment here.

After watching the Titans get walloped by the Bears, 51-20, he told

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, "In my 50 years of owning an NFL

franchise, I am at a loss to recall a regular season home game that

was such a disappointment for myself, and fans of the Titans. We were

grossly outcoached and outplayed from start to finish." As strong a

postgame comment from an owner we've ever seen.

30. Cleveland Browns - Five trips inside the red zone for rookie

quarterback Brandon Weeden and only three field goals to show for it.

Another painful week in Cleveland.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Could Mike Mularkey be one-and-done in

Jacksonville?

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Romeo Crennel gives up his defensive

coordinator duties and appoints Gary Gibbs. Next up: Ben

Roethlisberger's Steelers on the road. Good luck with that.

---

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http://pro32.ap.org/poll

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Will Matt Elam make Ravens in 2016 after fifth-year option declined?

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Will Matt Elam make Ravens in 2016 after fifth-year option declined?

It was no surprise the Ravens did not pick up the fifth-year option on safety Matt Elam by Monday’s deadline. The bigger question is whether Elam even makes the team next season.

The 32nd pick in the 2013 draft, Elam has been one of the biggest first-round busts in team history. Some of the standout players who went after Elam in that draft include Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short (44th), Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (48th), and Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins (52nd).

Elam missed all of last season with a torn biceps, after underperforming in 2013 and 2014. Elam was a big hitter in college at Florida, but has struggled with missed tackles as a Raven, and has been even worse in pass coverage. With the Ravens acquiring safety Eric Weddle in free agency, and Lardarius Webb switching from cornerback to safety, Elam is expected to be a backup at best. He will compete with Terrence Brooks, Kendrick Lewis, and others for a backup role.

Elam is scheduled to make $1.327 million next season, before becoming a free agent in 2017.  However, Elam’s first priority is to secure his place with the Ravens in 2016.  

AFC North: Steelers LB James Harrison will return for 2016

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AFC North: Steelers LB James Harrison will return for 2016

The Ravens can expect to see Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison as an opponent again in 2016. Harrison confirmed on his Instagram account Monday that he would return for another season.

Harrison will turn 38 years old Wednesday (May 4), but he was still effective in 2015 with five sacks and 40 tackles playing in the Steelers’ linebacker rotation. With his announcement that he was returning, Harrison wrote “I’m feeling just like a fine wine. Getting better with age.”

Despite Harrison’s age, the Steelers believe they got younger and better on defense through the draft. Five of the Steelers’ seven picks were on defense – cornerback Artie Burns (first round), safety Sean Davis (second), defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (third round), outside linebacker Travis Feeney (sixth round), and inside linebacker Tyler Matakevich (seventh round).  

Clearly, there will be plenty of new names in the Ravens-Steelers rivalry, with both teams looking to get younger and faster. However, Harrison plans to be part of the mix for at least another season. The Ravens host the Steelers in Week 9, and visit the Steelers on Christmas afternoon.

MORE RAVENS: BISCIOTTI GETS HIS WISH WITH BOLSTERED PASS RUSH

Bisciotti gets his wish with draft class full of pass rushers

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Bisciotti gets his wish with draft class full of pass rushers

At the team's "State of the Ravens" end-of-season news conference, owner Steve Bisciotti made no bones about where he thought the Ravens needed to improve in 2016: rushing the passer.

So although Bisciotti didn't speak to the media after the draft, he had to be pleased with the results.

With two of their first three picks, the Ravens selected players who figure to pressure the quarterback -- Boise State linebacker Kamalei Correa and Brigham Young defensive end Bronson Kaufusi.

"They both have pass rush ability," coach John Harbaugh said. "They both get sacks, they are both high-motor players and high-energy pass rushers. These two guys are going to run to the ball. These two guys are going to run to the ball 100 miles an hour every single play. That’s really important on defense.”

The next day, the Ravens added Grand Valley State defensive end Matt Judon -- who had 20 sacks last year -- in the fifth round. Just for good measure, they also reportedly agreed to sign undrafted rookie linebacker Victor Ochi of Stony Brook, who led the Football Championship Subdivision with 13 sacks.

Harbaugh said after the draft that "I don't think it was a secret" that Bisciotti wanted the Ravens to upgrade the pass rush, "and we were able to fill (that need). I’m really fired up about that. I’m really excited about these guys getting to the quarterback.”

Bisciotti said in January that losing Terrell Suggs to a season-ending injury in Week 1 had a "domino effect" that greatly disrupted the defense. Elvis Dumervil was forced into more of a three-down role, and Courtney Upshaw never came close to replacing Suggs' sack numbers. Dumervil dropped from 17 sacks to six, and overall the Ravens dropped from 49 sacks in 2014 to 37 last season.

When the pass rush failed to pressure the quarterback, coverage linebackers or defensive backs were frequently exposed.

"I think I have a true appreciation of what pressure means, and so that’s what I think we need to do," Bisciotti had said in January. "I think we need to focus on our free agency and our draft, and I think we have to have multiple pass rushers in order to let everybody else be effective.”

Suggs turns 34 in October and is coming off his second major Achilles injury. Dumervil is 32. So the need to develop good young pass rushers is obvious. The Ravens hope they took a big step in that direction over the weekend.

MORE RAVENS: EVALUATING ALL FIVE 4TH-ROUND SELECTIONS