AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

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

Week 11

BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)

1. Houston Texans - A statement game for the Texans, who slogged

through the rain and muck at Soldier Field to outlast the Bears. Some

well-earned fist pumping from Texans defensive coordinator Wade

Phillips, whose unit one-upped the host team's D.

2. Atlanta Falcons - Memo to Roddy White: next time you want to talk

about 16-0, wait until AFTER you play the Saints.

3. Green Bay Packers - Pack hopes week off doesn't interrupt hot

streak. They won five of six before the bye, now head to Detroit.

Lions have beaten Packers only once in last 13.

4. Chicago Bears - The bad news: The Bears lost at home to Houston.

The worse news: another concussion for Jay Cutler. Can't win without

this guy.

5. San Francisco 49ers - Terrific comeback by backup Colin Kaepernick

as Niners tie it with 17 fourth-quarter points. But kicker David Akers

can't seal the deal in OT, and Niners settle for the tie. Could prove

huge if Seahawks stay in the NFC West race to the end.

6. Baltimore Ravens - Ravens set franchise record for most points in a

game, pummeling the reeling Raiders and prepping for this week's

divisional showdown against the Steelers. Ravens 7-2 for first time in

the John Harbaugh era.

7. Denver Broncos - The Peyton Manning MVP tour continues. Not a bad

return for John Fox, either, as the former Panthers coach shows up his

old team in 36-14 win.

8. New England Patriots - Pats continue dominance of Bills, but not

before sweating out a shootout win at home. Pass defense continues to

be an issue for Bill Belichick's group, though. Needed a game-saving

end zone interception from Devin McCourty to win it.

9. New York Giants - Another year, another second-half swoon for the

Giants. This time, Eli Manning's the biggest issue; no TD passes in

his last three games. That hasn't happened since his rookie season.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers barely hold off 1-8 Chiefs at home,

but not before losing Ben Roethlisberger to a shoulder injury. The

timing couldn't be worse: Steelers face Ravens twice in next three

weeks.

11. Seattle Seahawks - Another fine showing for rookie Russell Wilson,

who schools Mark Sanchez in a convincing Seahawks win to keep

divisional race tight.

12. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck takes the baton from Peyton

Manning in the Colts-Patriots rivalry, which resumes on Sunday at

Gillette. Win or lose, Colts very much in the playoff hunt.

13. New Orleans Saints - Remember that four-game losing streak to

start the season? It's a distant memory for the Saints, winners of

four of their last five, including Sunday's rousing effort against

previously unbeaten Atlanta.

14. Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson's a medical marvel. Less than

a year after ACL surgery, he leads the NFL in rushing. Last four

games: a combined 629 yards and five TDs.

15. Dallas Cowboys - A season-saving win at Philly? Could be. With

Giants slumping and a soft schedule for Dallas, the Cowboys might be

back in the mix.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Greg Schiano said he wants to be known as

more than just the guy who goes after teams in late-game knee-down

situations. Another in a series of impressive wins is getting the job

done.

17. Cincinnati Bengals - One of the most complete games Bengals have

played in years, as they pummel the defending Super Bowl champs at

home behind Andy Dalton's career-high four INTs and a defense that

pummels Eli Manning.

18. Detroit Lions - One step forward last year, one step back this

year. There's always a team to fit that description. Looks like it's

the 2012 Lions. Defense doesn't show up against Vikings, and another

divisional loss to the Packers on Sunday puts their playoff hopes in

further peril.

19. Tennessee Titans - Bud Adams ought to rip his team more often. A

week after saying he'd never seen a home game as bad as the 51-20 loss

to the Bears, the Titans go out and thump the Dolphins on the road to

keep their playoff hopes alive.

20. San Diego Chargers - Still trying to figure out why Philip Rivers

would throw that pass. You know, the one that was intercepted,

returned for a touchdown, and threw more misery onto a season gone

bad.

21. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill looks like a rookie with three

picks at home against Tennessee.

22. Washington Redskins - Mike Shanahan insists he hasn't given up on

the season. Let's see if his players prove him right in a largely

meaningless game against Philly.

23. Arizona Cardinals - Why you can never look at a 4-0 start the same

way: Cardinals were that good a month into the season. They haven't

won since. Now it's off to face an angry Falcons team coming off their

first loss. Ouch.

24. St. Louis Rams - Rams nearly pull off huge upset, and Greg "The

Leg" Zeurlein's 53-yard field goal in OT appeared to win it. Nope.

Penalty. 58-yarder no good. Settle for the tie. Still an impressive

effort for an improving team.

25. Buffalo Bills - Feisty effort from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who nearly

pulls off dramatic comeback in New England, but throws it to the wrong

team at the end. Bills now 0-11 at Gillette.

26. Philadelphia Eagles - Wonder if we ever see Michael Vick play

again for the Eagles. Concussion against the Cowboys could be the

start of the Nick Foles era.

27. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez had hoped to show off for his old

college coach. Instead, Pete Carroll got to see just how miserable the

Jets' quarterback has turned out to be this season.

28. Carolina Panthers - Special teams coach Brian Murphy gets the gate

after a blowout loss to Denver. Won't be last coaching change for

Panthers. Could be a clean sweep at season's end.

29. Oakland Raiders - Raiders' awful defense at it again. They've

given up a combined 97 points the last two games. Don't imagine things

will get much better against the resurgent Saints.

30. Cleveland Browns - Rumors of Mike Holmgren to the Cowboys swirling

this week in advance of Browns-Dallas matchup in Big D. Holmgren says

nothing's up.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - Finally, the Chiefs played 60 minutes without

surrendering a turnover. Too bad they had to play overtime; Matt

Cassel's interception cost the Chiefs a chance at the biggest upset of

the week.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - Stat that will most likely get Mike

Mularkey tossed after the season: the Jags have been outscored 153-44

in five home losses.

---

Online:

http://pro32.ap.org/poll

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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

Will Ravens' record-setting fourth-round bonanza live up to the hype?

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Will Ravens' record-setting fourth-round bonanza live up to the hype?

Will the Ravens’ fourth-round haul live up to the hype?

No team in NFL history had ever made five fourth-round picks, and some felt the Ravens hit on all of them. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay says, “This might be the best fourth round I’ve ever seen from a team.”

Here’s a closer look at how the five players the Ravens selected in Round 4 could fit in next season:

Tavon Young, CB, Temple (104th overall)

Young will compete for a nickel corner spot as a rookie. Barring injuries, the only certainty about the Ravens secondary is Jimmy Smith starting at one corner and Eric Weddle starting at safety. Young will compete for playing time with Shareece Wright, Kyle Arrington, Will Davis, and others. But if Young plays regularly as a rookie and helps them win games, it’s a steal.

Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati (107)

Moore has legit deep speed, joining Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace as receivers that can stretch the field for quarterback Joe Flacco. Think about it, the Ravens didn’t’ have Perriman, Wallace, or Moore on the field last season. If Moore has a strong training camp, the Ravens will find a way to get him some opportunities. Remember the big plays Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones made during the Super Bowl year? The Ravens hope Wallace, Perriman, and Moore provide that kind of impact.

Alex Lewis, OT, Nebraska (130)

If the Ravens part with left tackle Eugene Monroe, Lewis could become the backup at left tackle behind first-round pick Ronnie Stanley. Lewis could also be the backup to right tackle Rick Wagner. Either way, Lewis could be one injury away from playing.

Willie Henry, DT, Michigan (132)

He’s the fourth-rounder with the hardest path to immediate playing time. The Ravens are deep at defensive tackle with Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, and Carl Davis. But if Henry shows he can help as a run stopper, he’ll be part of the defensive line rotation.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech (134)

Some thought Dixon was the best pass-catching back in the draft. Justin Forsett will enter camp as the starter, but the Ravens want to keep him fresh. It’s a crowded running back group right now, but Buck Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro both saw playing time as rookie running backs. Dixon will too, if he shows he’s ready to make plays.

MORE RAVENS: A WAY TOO EARLY NFL DRAFT TOP 10