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AP Pro32 ballot from Lynch

AP Pro32 ballot from Lynch

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter John Lynch of Fox Sports:

Week 14

JOHN LYNCH (Fox Sports)

1. Houston Texans - What a showdown coming with the Patriots coming on Monday night.

2. Atlanta Falcons - Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is coaching his tail off and this D is making great QB's look confused. Ask Drew Brees.

3. New England Patriots - What a showdown coming with the Texans on Monday night.

4. Denver Broncos - The Broncos lost to the three teams I have in front of them right now, but are a much better team now and I would like their chances versus all of them.

5. San Francisco 49ers - A bold move by Harbaugh to stick with Kaepernick at QB backfired against the Rams.

6. Green Bay Packers - Health may be the only thing holding the Pack back. Good news: Greg Jennings is back and Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews appear close to coming back. Bad news: WR Jordy Nelson is now out with a hamstring injury.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers - I moved them to the No. 7 spot with the anticipation of Big Ben coming back. With he and Polamalu back, this team is battle tested in meaningful games and tough to beat.

8. Baltimore Ravens - I know they are 9-3 and I like this team. Too many key injuries - Ray Lewis, Lardarius Webb and now possibly Suggs again makes them awful vulnerable.

9. New York Giants - The Giants have been very inconsistent and to me it starts up front on both sides of the ball. This D-line that has been so feared and integral to their success and championships in recent years needs to start dominating!

10. Chicago Bears - The Bears are now banged up on D. This team is built to succeed at this time of year and needs to get healthy to make their run.

11. Indianapolis Colts - The Colts continue their special season and are now 8-4. Andrew Luck is a special player and will be for a long, long time in this league.

12. Seattle Seahawks - I'm more impressed with this team and their rookie QB each week. Beating the Bears at Chicago is a big step for them as they had been rock solid at home but struggled on the road. The possible looming suspensions of their CB tandem would devastate this Defense and team.

13. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals are stacking W's and proving to be tough competition.

14. Washington Redskins - The 'Skins are back in the hunt after an impressive W on Monday night against the Giants. Mike Shanahan and his staff are coaching their hearts out. On offense they are maxing out RG3's vast skill and on D they are doing a lot with a little.

15. Dallas Cowboys - Romo looked really good in the second half. Problem is, he needed to as the Cowboys let Nick Foles and the Eagles hang 33 on them.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs gave the Broncos all they could handle in the first half. In the second half, Peyton Manning and Von Miller proved to be too much for the Bucs. Schiano can coach and has this team prepared and ready to compete every week.

17. New Orleans Saints - The Saints just lost to the Falcons and now they travel to the Giants to face a ticked off Giants team.

18. Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson is an absolute stud. The Vikings need more like him.

19. St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher has done a masterful job with this team!

20. Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins had a tough draw facing the Patriots.

21. Buffalo Bills - Mario Williams is starting to make the impact the Bills expected. Too little, too late for the Bills and Mario?

22. Detroit Lions - Underachieving in Detroit! This team is very talented. Talent alone doesn't win you games.

23. San Diego Chargers - Another fourth-quarter lead for the Chargers and another blown fourth quarter lead for the Chargers. Their inability to finish will likely lead to a very different Chargers team next season.

24. Cleveland Browns - The Browns have won two in a row. That's right, the Browns have won two in a row.

25. New York Jets - Joe Namath may line up at QB for the Jets this week. Jets fan could only wish.

26. Tennessee Titans - Clearly not ready to compete with the Texans.

27. Carolina Panthers - Tough game for anyone to have to play in at KC.

28. Arizona Cardinals - Ugly!

29. Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles youth showed up on offense but their defense continued to play awful football at Dallas.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars - A step backward as the Jags fell to the Bills.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - God bless them all.

32. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders turnaround has a long way to go ... condolences to Dennis Allen and his family as they mourn the loss of his father.

---

Online:

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

http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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AFC North: Steelers' Antonio Brown posts, deletes video of Mike Tomlin insulting Patriots

AFC North: Steelers' Antonio Brown posts, deletes video of Mike Tomlin insulting Patriots

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has created a new firestorm heading into the Patriots-Steelers AFC championship game, by posting a Facebook Live video from the locker room in which coach Mike Tomlin referred to the Patriots as “a--h----s”.

Tomlin was giving his postgame address to the team after the Steelers’ 18-16 playoff victory over the Chiefs.

While Tomlin was speaking, Brown was streaming the locker room scene on Facebook, unbeknownst to Tomlin.

The coach talked about the Patriots having a head start in preparation, because they won their divisional game Saturday night, while the Steelers-Chiefs game did not end until late Sunday night in Kansas City.

“When you get to this point in the journey, man, not a lot needs to be said,” Tomlin said in the video, which Brown has since deleted from social media.

“Let’s say very little moving forward. Let’s start our preparations. We just spotted these a--h---s a day and a half. They played yesterday. Our game got moved to tonight. We’re going to touch down at 4 o’clock in the f---king morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for their a--. But you ain’t got to tell them we’re coming.

“Keep a low profile, and let’s get ready to ball like this up again here in a few days and be right back at it. That’s our story.”

Well, it’s a little late for the Steelers to keep a low profile now, after Brown’s video went viral.

This is why most coaches don’t like cameras in the locker room immediately after games. The statements are candid. The concept of what is said in the locker room, staying in the locker room, is lost.

Now Tomlin, Brown, and the Steelers will have to deal with the fallout. But it will only raise the AFC showdown, with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.

RELATED: STEVE SMITH'S BEST TRASH TALK

 

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Former Ravens great Lewis tweets at Brady to stop complaining

Former Ravens great Lewis tweets at Brady to stop complaining

Even though Ray Lewis is retired, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still gets under Lewis’ skin.

The former all-time great Ravens linebacker went to Twitter to voice his displeasure during Saturday’s AFC playoff game, after Brady complained about a hit he took from Jadeveon Clowney of the Texans. Brady thought the hit was late and wanted a penalty called on Clowney. Brady screamed at referee Pete Morelli, asking for a flag that wasn’t thrown.

Lewis thought Brady was out of line.

“It’s Called Football Brady,” Lewis wrote on Twitter.

Brady has never been a popular guy in the Ravens’ locker room - understandable considering the past battles the two teams have had. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs refuses to mention Brady by name, preferring to go with cryptic references like, “That quarterback up North”, or “You know who I’m talking about.”

Not that Brady is losing any sleep over what Lewis and Suggs think. Brady is going to another AFC Championship game, while the Ravens can only watch. That’s just more reason for Lewis to find Brady particularly irritating at this time of year.